GeekBomb: Movies About Fanboys

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary added the word “fanboy” last year, and they list its first usage as 1919. Sadly, they don’t provide any examples for that usage. Curly Lambeau founded the Green Bay Packers that year in Wisconsin, but I don’t think he had throngs of fanboys around him just yet. For the record, Merriam-Webster defines a fanboy as, “A boy who is an enthusiastic devotee (as of comics or movies).” Interesting that they don’t include the term fangirl, which I hear all the time. Can’t a girl be just as enthusiastic as a boy, Merriam-Webster?

Although fanboys really came into common usage when it applied to comic book fans, since the 90s it’s come to cover enthusiasts of movies, video games, TV shows, music, and anything else people seem to line up for. It’s also grown out of its original usage as a derogatory word used to conjure up images of people like the Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons, and has become the marketing demographic that every company covets.

Given the rise of the power and size (no pun intended) of fans, it’s only normal that film cameras would start turning the other direction to document the phenomenon of fandom. First you have films that generate fans, then fans start making their own films, inspired by their fandom, then films that are made about the fans, and finally fictionalized movies depicting fans of fictional shows. It’s come full circle, and in today’s GeekBomb we explore the world of films about fans.

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GeekBomb: The Enduring Legacy of the Pink Panther

It saddens me to think that there are going to be generations of kids soon who will think The Pink Panther refers to “those Steve Martin movies.” It’s enough to make Peter Sellers spin in his grave, and he would undoubtedly be none too pleased with someone else inhabiting one of roles that he created and made iconic. But, that’s one of the problems with Hollywood remakeitis, so it’s up to us to keep the love for the original going. And if I catch anyone thinking that Keanu Reeves was in the “original” The Day The Earth Stood Still, I might just go ballistic.

The fact that a second The Pink Panther movie just came out only attests to the genius acting ability of Peter Sellers, which Martin is basically imitating anyhow, the smarts of Blake Edwards to create the character in the first place (even though these movies were pretty much an accident), and the impressive and catchy jazzy riff theme song by Henry Mancini. Read on to find out all about the history of The Pink Panther and the 10 other films (if you count the Martin movies) it spawned, not to mention the cartoons.

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GeekBomb: The History of Poop in the Movies

Everyone poops. It’s a truism that you can’t deny, and there’s even an entire book on the subject. In fact, there’s a whole slew of books in that department, ranging from What’s Your Poo Telling You? to It Hurts When I Poop: A Story For Children Who Are Scared To Use The Potty. Which based on the title alone scares me, and I’m an adult. For some reason, from childhood to our adult years, toilet humor amuses us for some reason, and that means we’ve seen plenty of it in the movies.

In fact, Oscar nominee Slumdog Millionaire has a pretty extensive and memorable poop scene in it, and we hope that somewhere there’s a propmaster or special effects technician who is proud to say, “I made the poop in Slumdog” and that someone is buying them a beer. Since the nominations came out, I’ve been thinking about all the other memorable poop scenes in movies, for better or for worse, and thought I’d round up some of the best for a Monday morning GeekBomb to get you going. Have your daily dose of fiber and dive in after the break.

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Every evil genius needs a lair from which the run all of their daily affairs: everything from selecting the color of the company letterhead to plotting world domination. Usually these are hollowed-out mountain fortresses, secret inactive volcano lairs, or undersea secret bases. Because if you’re going to do something on such a massive scale, why not it with a little style and panache?

Now, I don’t know if I’m going to call George Lucas an evil genius. A genius? Definitely. Evil? Well, the jury’s still out on that one, but his last few movies have certainly been tipping the scales in the wrong direction. Still, it’s hard to fault the guy that’s been responsible for American Graffiti, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Let’s just hope he ands some new franchises in there and stops tinkering with the old stuff.

Even though Lucas may not be an evil genius just yet, he’s still forged his own sprawling, secret base from which he conrols his empire. With the Skywalker Ranch-centric Fanboys opening (finally) this weekend, we thought we’d take a brief peek behind the scenes and tell you all about the secret lair of Lucas.

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Let’s face it. As far as superpowers go, the ability to move things with your brain is pretty awesome. Sure, flying is cool, turning invisible would have fun benefits, and super-strength could always come in handy. Plus it’s a lot cooler than all the “problem” superpowers, like having your entire body burst into flame, turning into some disgusting creature, or having your power be that you’re just extremely fat, and bouncy, like the Blob.

It’s just not the first power that leaps into people’s minds when they get asked, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” Maybe because that other stuff is too sexy. However, it’s the real thinking man or woman who chooses telekinesis, because once you realize the full potential of that power, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. As the telekinetic Push opens up this weekend, read on for an ultra-brief history of telekinesis, and find out how it’s affected cinematic history.

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GeekBomb: A Brief History of Stop-Motion Animation

Editor’s Note: This is the debut post by Kevin Kelly, who will be offering his expertise in geekdom in a new /Film daily blog feature called GeekBomb. Welcome Kevin to /Film!

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline opens this weekend, and it’s directed by Henry Selick, one of the few modern masters of stop-motion animation. Although he was trained as a traditional animator, he really came to fame with stop-motion, having directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Monkeybone. In the day and age of everything being whipped up in CGI, it’s really a testament to see people work in a medium that requires hours of tedious work on films that can take an extremely long time to produce. Which is why the Sundance opening night film Mary & Max was such a treat.

Whenever someone mentions stop-motion, most people tend to think of one of the above movies, or the equally excellent Chicken Run or Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, both co-directed by the amazing Nick Park. And just to be clear, I’m not calling Monkeybone excellent… but the stop-motion moments are pretty damned awesome. You just have to love a naughty monkey sometimes. Even though most of those films are fairly recent, stop-motion animation has been around in one form or another for more than one hundred years. Click through for the highlights and milestones of this under appreciated art form.

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