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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 10/12/01



Starwoids
2001 (2001) - Film Threat (IndieDVD)

review by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits

Starwoids Program Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B/B-

Specs and Features

80 mins, NR, full frame (1.33:1), Amaray keep case packaging, single-sided, dual-layered (no layer switch), audio commentary with director Dennis Przywara and star Guy Klender, video interview with Kevin Smith, 7 deleted/extended scenes, fan profiles, "Daniel's Diet", filmmaker's diary, animated program-themed menus with sound effects, scene access (24 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0), subtitles: none

"OH, MY GOD...!"

Are you one of those Star Wars kids? You know... the kids who saw the original film back in 1977 and were forever changed by the experience? It was Generation X's version of Woodstock, and I'll admit it - I'm one of 'em. Yes... I've seen all the original films hundreds of times. Not just on video, mind you, but back in the early 80s, when the only way to see them was to spend the whole day in a theater, watching showing after showing of the many re-releases there were back then. Yes... I spent a whole day in line with all my friends back in Fargo, North Dakota, when Return of the Jedi hit theaters (it was quite the media event locally - Fargo had never heard of anyone standing in line for anything up until then). Yes... I damn near leaped out of my seat cheering when the trailer for the Star Wars: Special Editions first appeared in theaters. Yes... I sat through the God-awful Meet Joe Black just to see the Episode I trailer, not once but twice. And yes... I did see the first showing of Episode I on the first day it premiered at the Mann's Village theater in Westwood, CA (scenes from which appear in this film).

BUT... I didn't stand in line for 42 days waiting for it like the stars of this film. Yes, that's right - for 42 DAYS people waited in line for Episode I at the Village and at the Mann's Chinese theater in Hollywood. I even had a buddy in line down there (who shall remain nameless). I'll be honest - while part of me thought they were nuts, part of me wanted to join them. I can understand it. Many of these enthusiastic fans were of the younger variety - Generation Y - who had been in diapers (or were not even born yet) when the original films were released. They'd never had the fun of spending a day in line with friends to see a Star Wars movie. Now, it was finally their turn.

And what an adventure it was! There was noble sacrifice, there was charity, there was fellowship and camaraderie. Hell... there was even a mini-rebellion! Filmmaker Dennis Przywara decided to document the experience of these intrepid Star Wars fans, and the result is the hilarious, sobering and sometimes a bit scary Starwoids. The film follows the quest to be first in line of young movie zealot, Daniel Alter, who is well known in Westwood for being the guy who's got to be first in line for almost EVERY new movie. There were the guys from CountingDown.com, who made a party (and eventually a global media event) out of waiting in line and even webcast all the fun live. There were the guys who created Star Wars: The Musical - no kidding. There's the girl who's car is painted to look like an X-Wing fighter and the guys who came from England just to be part of it all. In short, there were hundreds of people from all walks of life, all waiting in line to see the most eagerly anticipated film in cinema history. And this is the story of the some of the best 42 days they ever spent.

Newly released on DVD by our friends at Film Threat.com and IndieDVD, Starwoids is well worth a look. The production is shot-on-video, so you get digital-looking full frame video and decent (if average) Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio quality. But a reference quality home theater experience isn't exactly what you're looking for if you pick up this DVD. The film is just plain fun, and the disc delivers some cool extras. You get an audio commentary with Przywara and star/cameraman Guy Klender (to whom the enthusiastic quote at the beginning of this review is attributed) and an amusing video interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith, who offers his perspective on Star Wars (and interestingly even reveals that, like myself, he didn't hate Episode I nearly as much as many others fans did). You also get some 7 deleted and/or extended scenes (including more of the aforementioned Star Wars: The Musical), profiles of many of the fans you'll meet in the film, info on "Daniel's Diet" and even a filmmaker's production diary (which is continued online). All things considered, it's a nifty little package.

And you thought Star Trek fans were a hoot! Starwoids is a must spin for film buffs, Star Wars fans or anyone who ever stood in line for a movie - and you know who you are! Plus, I've met filmmaker Dennis Przywara a couple of times now, and he's a heckuva good guy. How's that for a good old-fashioned, Midwestern testimonial? Watch his movie - you'll be glad you did.

Bill Hunt
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com




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