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Talking pictures: ‘Fanboys’ may not be worth all the cosmic outrage

SHARE Talking pictures: ‘Fanboys’ may not be worth all the cosmic outrage

I don't suppose it's occurred to any of these people that "Fanboys" just might not be a good movie.

Some of the people behind the yet-to-be-released movie are organizing an online boycott of "Superhero Movie," a new spoof that was released by Dimension Films, an arm of the Weinstein Co. Check out the Web site, committed.to/stopdarthweinstein, for more information.

These "fanboys" and others are apparently peeved at the way Weinstein officials have treated the film.

Last year, the studio acquired the distribution rights to the comedy about "Star Wars" devotees (played by Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler and Jay Baruchel) who break into George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to steal a print of "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace."

The fictional film is set around the time of "Phantom Menace's" original theatrical release.

But the studio has held up the finished film's release while they decide which version to release — the filmmaker's original cut, or a Weinstein Co.-mandated revision. And they're still trying to figure out whether the film will even be released theatrically.

The Weinstein brothers, Bob and Harvey, have become infamous for some of their editing. Their former company, the now-Disney-owned Miramax Films, was snidely referred to as "Miram-AXE" because of the way they chopped up foreign and indie releases.

Among the more notable examples was the 2001 U.S.-released version of Stephen Chow's hit "Shaolin Soccer," which featured awful dubbing and nonsensical edits.

Again, who's to say the Weinsteins are in the wrong here? Drew McWeeney, better known as "Moriarty" on Ain't It Cool? News movie gossip and news site (www.aintitcool.com), claims to have seen both versions of the movie — and that neither of them is all that great.

And, of course, who knows what kind of effect this "boycott" will even have? There are different demographics completely for the films — spoofs like "Scary Movies" and "Meet the Spartans" predominantly draw teens, and not the die-hard Star Warriors who are eagerly awaiting "Fanboys."

Besides, the boycott will also punish "Superhero Movie" filmmaker Craig Mazin, who probably had nothing to do with the Weinsteins' decision in the first place.

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It's been a bad-news week for the Weinsteins, who also bought up the movie rights to "No Woman No Cry," Rita Marley's book about her relationship with late reggae musician Bob Marley.

However, it turns out the studio doesn't have the rights to any of Marley's music. And family members may prevent them from getting them.

According to Marley's friend and music publisher, Chris Blackwell, the family recently licensed the music to filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who plans to make a documentary about the Marley family patriarch.

"Martin Scorsese doesn't want to go out with a competing project," he told the trade paper.


E-mail: jeff@desnews.com