Fanboys appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though always watchable, the transfer seemed ordinary.
Sharpness varied. Most shots demonstrated good delineation, but more than a few exceptions occurred. Wide shots tended to be somewhat soft and fuzzy, so they created occasional distractions. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but edge enhancement cropped up through the film; I noticed moderate haloes a fair amount of the time. The flick also tended to be a bit grainy, but other source flaws failed to appear.
Colors looked fairly ordinary. The image took on a golden tone much of the time, but the image stayed with a pretty natural impression. The hues seemed acceptable but they weren’t particularly strong. Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, but shadows tended to be a bit too thick, though. All of this was good enough for a mediocre “C”.
I also thought the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Fanboys remained unexceptional. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that. The hallucination scene had some life to it, but that was about it.
In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.
Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.
When we shift to the supplements, we open with an audio commentary from director Kyle Newman, screenwriters Adam F. Goldberg and Ernie Cline, and actors Dan Fogler, Kristen Bell, and Sam Huntington. All sit together for this running, screen-specific look at locations and sets, references to Star Wars and other pop culture elements, cast and performances, cameos, editing and alternate scenes, music, story and script, and production design.
Commentaries with this many participants often become silly and chaotic. Given the comedic nature of the film, I expected the worst from this track, so color me pleasantly surprised by its coherence. Anecdotes rule the day, as the speakers throw out quite a few amusing tales about the production. They also include a good amount of actual information, and that helps make this an interesting and useful piece.
Six Deleted Scenes run a total of seven minutes, 50 seconds. These include “Six Fingered Man” (1:07), “Big Chuck Board Room” (0:52), “Sex With Ewok or Wookie” (1:43), “William Katt” (1:36), “Kyle as Yoda” (1:21) and “Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (Extended)” (1:11). We hear about some of these during the commentary, and a few simply add a little to existing scenes. The most interesting actually offers an alternate version of a sequence in the movie. “Katt” is nearly identical to a part of the final flick except Danny McBride plays the Katt part there.
Four featurettes follow. The Truth About Fanboys goes for five minutes, 49 seconds as it provides notes from Bell, Fogler, Newman, and actors Jay Baruchel and Christopher Marquette. Despite a few shots from the set, this is generic promotional fluff.
Next comes the five-minute and 19-second Star Wars Parallel. It features Baruchel, Marquette, Fogler, Newman, Bell and Huntington. “Parallel” details various references. Most are obvious, some aren’t, but this still feels like another promo piece.
4 Fanboys and 1 Fangirl lasts eight minutes, 50 seconds and includes remarks from Marquette, Bell, Huntington, Baruchel, Newman, and Fogler. The show looks at cast and characters. It’s not particularly insightful, but it has a few interesting notes.
For the final featurette, we go to the three-minute and 40-second The Choreography. It looks at the strip club scene and shows some of the preparation for that sequence. Like the other featurettes, it seems pretty forgettable.
Entitled Disturbances in the Force, we get seven “webisodes”. These fill a total of 11 minutes, 40 seconds as they show bits from the set. These are light and fluffy but they’re more interesting than the featurettes.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Inglourious Basterds, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Soul Men and Outlander. The disc also provides the trailer for Fanboys.
Despite a good cast and a fun premise, Fanboys turns out to be a dud. It does little more than throw cameos and pop culture references; these aren’t enough to overcome the dull characters and general lack of creativity. The DVD offers mediocre picture and audio but compensates somewhat with a set of extras highlighted by a surprisingly interesting audio commentary. I wanted to like this movie but found it to be a witless dud.