Friday, December 21, 2007

How To Identify A Fanboy

Last year, I wrote a scathing criticism of Transformers. The review, published on an international website, drew hundreds of responses, a majority from extremely angry fanboys. I was called everything from "stupid" and "retard," to even "terrorist" (?!). Most assumed that I do not like the Transformers cartoon series anyway (wrong, I, like any 80s kid, grew up with the series and the animated movies), that I hate any and every Michael Bay movie (true, but I did find Con Air and the first Bad Boys to be stupidly entertaining), and that I already had preconceptions about the movie before I stepped into the cinema.

About that last point, I booked tickets early before the movie's release, and I booked them at the IMAX cinema in Berjaya Times Square, because I had hoped to, at the very least, enjoy a stupidly entertaining movie on a huge screen with a great sound system. Yes, the only preconception I had about the movie was that it would be "stupidly entertaining." But what I got was endless yakking by the characters, annoying and juvenile humour, and no action in the first half. When the action did come, it was a complete mess.

Weeks after my review was published, there still seemed no end to the vehemence directed at me. So I wrote to a friend, telling him how amazing the response has been. He wrote back: "Beware the wrath of the 14-year-old!"

I say, how true!

So, here's a simple guide to identifying a fanboy:

1. They get so infuriated by a negative review of their favourite movie, they get personal and spend precious time writing in to the reviewer, not to dispute the points made, but to call her/him a "fucking retard," and use "Your review sucks!" as their main point for an intellectually engaging discussion about a movie that "rawks."

2. They are walking encyclopedias of quotable quotes from "kewl" movies that could rival IMDB:
"What? The boss refuses to approve my leave? THIS ... IS ... SPARTA!!!"
"You've been promoted? Congratulations, and remember, with great power comes great responsibility!"
"They're building a new outer ring road? Yeah, one ring to rule them all!"

3. They dress up as their favourite characters when going for the movie, no matter that they're too short to be Darth Vader, look ridiculous as half-man, half-robot with an Optimus Prime head and a human body, or seem more like a children's party clown than a wizard from Hogswart.

4. They use (often misspelled) words like "kewl," rawks," and "awesome" to describe a movie. Or even a combination like "awesomely kewl," "kewlly rawks" or "rawksly awesome."

5. They wear the t-shirt of a movie months before it's even released. (Yooohoo, Mr Nutshell!)

6. They'll buy into any sort of viral marketing and blog endlessly about every little update. Give them a teaser trailer consisting of nothing but a logo and a voice-over, and watch them spray their pants. "Man, that's a kewl ... er, logo! Awesomely rawks!"

7. They will show the same vehemence to a movie and its director, as they do to a reviewer who trashes their awesome movie, if said movie deviates from the ending of the book from which it was adapted. Or, in J.K. Rowling's case: "Dumbledore is NOT gay, dammit!"

8. They have a fixation on beautiful women in a movie and call them "super hotties," and lament that the world could have been a happier place if only "she had shown more cleavage."

9. They watch their favourite movie at least 30 times in the cinema, just so they could do No. 2.

10. They'll pre-order the "Special Edition, Limited, Individually numbered, Ultimate Director's Cut Boxed Set with Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes" of their favourite movie.

11. MERCHANDISE!!! No matter that they don't really need that RM2,000 LOTR sword for protection as no orcs are going to be storming their houses anytime soon, or that it would break apart if they really do knock an orc over the head with it.

12. They regard anyone who thinks movies should be more than mere entertainment as just an old pretentious fart like Guo Shao-hua.

You know, right, that I'm just kidding you with this article? Because sometimes, I can be quite a fanboy myself. Just not in the extreme sense!

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