Attack of the Nerds: Fanboys Makes a Joyride out of Looking Forward to Star Wars

The Fanboys eagerly await the opening of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
The Fanboys eagerly await the opening of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Remember when, back in 1999, the Star Wars hype was almost as huge, if not even bigger, than this year? After an absence of more than a decade and a half, the saga was about to return with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and expectations were through the roof. Fanboys, a 2009 comedy by director Kyle Newman, feeds to the frenzy of that time. As the title suggests, you might be in for a wild ride if you belong to the eponymous group. Does the film satisfy in that regard, however, and – on top of that – is it also a movie that’s fun to watch for non-Fanboys?

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Fun in Space: Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills Not Only in This World

Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) shoots his way through Mexico, Texas - and even into outer space.
Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) shoots his way through Mexico, Texas – and even into outer space.

There were times when Machete was but a bloodthirsty creature from one of the many fake trailers for the Grindhouse double-dip of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof and Planet Terror by his old friend Robert Rodriguez. Yet a full-blown effort by fans eventually forced the hands of the two filmmaking buddies, and the character re-emerged as the hero of a trilogy of full-length features much in the same manner as the previous Grindhouse entries. Now the knife-throwing Mexican scarface is back for more with Machete Kills, but will he be deliver?

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Man on a Mission: The Post-Apocalyptic Tom Cruise of Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion

Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) saves the day.

There once was a time when science-fiction films were innovative and ahead of their time. Back then, even B-movies could attract audiences because they had something to say, despite their overall trashy appearance. Nowadays, it sometimes feels as if major studios seem to be more interested in shelling out large sums for rather pedestrian works in terms of storytelling that desperately attempt to make up for their deficiencies in that area by means of impressive visual and aural effects. TRON: Legacy by Joseph Kosinski was a prime example for that recent phenomenon in 2010. Three years later, the director returns with his sophomore movie, Oblivion and Tom Cruise on his coattails as the star du jour.

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Falling into Infinity: The Bottom Line on the Indie Epic Cloud Atlas by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis

Zachry (Tom Hanks) and Meronym (Halle Berry) in the post-apocalyptic section of Cloud Atlas.

A big-budget independent movie based on a novel considered to be ‘unfilmable’ – that sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? Three renowned directors still made the daring choice to tackle David Mitchell’s 2004 book Cloud Atlas. They hired an international all-star cast consisting of the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, David Gyasi, Keith David, and Hugh Grant and went to work. Has their expensive experiment been a success or a big-time failure?

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When Two Worlds Collide: ‘The Ugly Truth’ about Andrew Stanton’s John Carter

Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins, left) and John Carter (Taylor Kitsch, right) in the Mars desert.

Expectations were enormous when Disney’s long-announced new live-action 3D blockbuster John Carter hit theaters in March. At an estimated budget of a ‘mere’ $250 million, John Carter is the fourth-most expensive film of all time. The studio was certainly willing to take that risk, given its good experiences with such big-budget blockbusters as the Pirates Of The Caribbean sequels and the animated Tangled. John Carter was supposed to be Disney’s answer to James Cameron’s 3D spectacle Avatar, a science-fiction adventure set in an alien world that would make use of the technology’s manifold possibilities.

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Sanada (Takashi Shimura, left) treats Matsanuga (Toshirô Mifune, right).

Ray of Hope: The Bleak Postwar Universe of Akira Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel

Sanada (Takashi Shimura, left) treats Matsanuga (Toshirô Mifune, right).

Japanese master Akira Kurosawa is arguably one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Yet he seems to have been largely forgotten by modern cinemagoers – despite the fact that he produced a string of great movies that have influenced so many Hollywood and foreign classics. We’ve all heard of John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven, Sergio Leone’s A Fistful Of Dollars, and, of course, George Lucas’s epic Star Wars, right? Not many people know that none of them would have been possible without Kurosawa.

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Let There Be Light: Mankind’s Cosmic Journey Out of the Dark in Cyril Moog’s META_MORPHOSIS

The official poster for the Cosmic Cine Filmfestival

Letters scroll up the screen as if announcing a new episode of Star Wars. ‘The earth is on the brink of entering the next dimension,’ they tell us while ethno music plays in the background. ‘Thousands gather to mentally build an energy portal through which the earth will reach a higher spiritual level.’ That is the premise of META_MORPHOSIS, coming to you at a string of German science-fiction film festivals this spring.

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