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STUDIO: Cinevolve Studios
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes
Star Wars fucked a lot of people up.
Joe Pesci, Adam Corolla, Jimmy Kimmel, Roger Corman and Meat Loaf
Taking the 42 days of lines forming outside of theaters for the release of The Phantom Menace, director Tariq Jalil discovered something intriguing about fandom. What Jalil does is to pass some sort of judgment on the perceived sadness of the dedicated geek. Geekdom has this weird schism about it, where you have two poles. The ones that can try and sometimes blend into mainstream life. Then, there’s the people with the sob stories and the psych bullshit reasons for why they can’t remember anything but the Legend of Zelda chronology. This film focuses on the latter.
Professional Bob Solo Impersonators can be found at the Ghost Dog convention.
A Galaxy Far, Far Away starts with a recap of what the director intentionally wanted to capture. Fans gathering for what should be a defining pop culture moment in their lives. They lined up for the toys, the KFC cups, the merchandise and every little bit of Lucasfilm profiteering they could obtain. Jalil then takes a moment to spotlight the extravagance of these actions and how they could only happen in America. Then, he craps the bed and forgets what his point with an onslaught of C-List celeb clips.
Tom Rothman uses that to wipe his ass.
The celebrity clips fly by rather fast and they seem to be used as a setup for the accompanying geek behavior. Meat Loaf and Joe Pesci don’t get why people line up for Star Wars toys, so let’s show off a guy fronting a band dressed like Darth Vader. Laugh at the fools that name their children after Jedi or the fools that want The Force to become a nationally recognized religion. For a film that wants to understand a people, we see way too many downsides to being a devotee of the Star Wars. Similar treatment was had in Trekkies, but those people like Klingons and shit. They might as well be Furries, amirite?
Lamer than FDR’s dick.
I am all for a good freak show, but I’m also for well-founded documentaries. Jalil floats in and out of his ideas more than a drunken English lit professor trying to get a 20 year old coed to put them on the glass. The director wants to spotlight a people that obsesses over the inconsequential while worshipping the most material of goods. But, there’s no real follow-up. No one is asked to examine their lives and defend their choices. It’s just a giant running reel of freaks on freaks on freaks.
If he wanted to be more relevant, he’d be wearing a Hypercolor shirt while having a Crystal Clear Pepsi in his other hand.
The film wants to be an insightful look at fan culture. You can tell that Jalil has something to say about these guys and he comes close to calling them the biggest materialistic whores in America. But, he pulls back. Making fun of them for dressing up like Sith Lords and working in IT is one thing. Yet, if he calls them obsessive shits that can’t look past themselves…that’s too far. But, is it? What’s the difference between the people on The Hills and the nerd blowing 2500 dollars on a NM copy of Amazing Spider-Man #14? Nothing. They’re all shallow whores with no connection to the world outside of what they know.
I don’t want to keep your city weird, I don’t want to hear your thoughts on Wilco and I don’t give a fuck what George Lucas did to your childhood.
DVD is plagued with the problems that come with most indie documentaries. The film contains a 1.33:1 transfer that mixes video sources across from various sent-in clips. The entire project was edited together in a rather piecemeal faction, so there’s no overall sense of strong A/V Quality. But, the entire effort comes across better than most with a solid Dolby track. When the sound does drop out in low-grade footage, subtitles kick in.
release is surprisingly strong for a release from a no-name distributor. There’s a couple of commentaries that are from the original release and the 10th Anniversary screening. Plus, you get some deleted scenes that help to flesh out the interview segments. Does any of this make for a better film? No. But, it helps you to understand what the director wanted to do. It’s just sad that good intentions aren’t enough.