Have you seen Harry S. Plinkett reviewing the Star Wars prequels trilogy?
All three movies are reviewed in excrutiating detail in three videos (70, 90 and 110 minutes long, respectively) and the reviews are devastating. Plinkett shows how Lucas himself destroyed the whole amazing mythology he gave birth to decades earlier, thus proving that he apparently never truly understood it. But what I love the most in them is how thoroughly Plinkett dissects Lucas’ movies and gives an analysis of what is awesome in the original Star Wars trilogy, and, by extension, what sucks in the prequels. He gives numerous examples of what went wrong and why, and believe me, there’s many more reasons they suck than Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd and horrible dialogue – Plinkett doesn’t even spend that much time on these, probably because everyone else in the world already did. No, he notices myriads of stuff more subtle and better hidden that those evident ones, things that we never noticed – but our brains did.
Especially funny parts of the reviews include Plinkett proving the blandness of characters of Episode I using a clever experiment that included characters from the original trilogy and some of reviewer’s friends, listing things Anakin did well and wrong when courting Padme, and comparing the trilogy as an attempt to create a character story around Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader with another famous character story in film, “Citizen Kane”. But the most valuable point he makes is how ironically the rise and fall of Anakin (as well as the rise and fall of William Randolph Hearst, the real-life prototype of Charles Foster Kane character from Welles’ film) mirrors the change that occured in George Lucas himself, “going from an idealistic young filmmaker wanting to rebel against the system to becoming the system” – the same point is also made in the 2010 documentary “The People vs. George Lucas”, which I also saw recently (and recommend).
Before you go and see them, be warned though! The videos are quite disturbing in places – the first 20 seconds of first review set the tone of his type of humour, and if you have problems with them, you may not like the rest. The Plinkett persona (actually a character created by Internet reviewer Mike Stoklasa) is presented as a borderline senile psychopath who kidnaps and murders women (prostitutes mostly), butchers animals and does many other, horrific things. This is done so well that sometime during watching “The Phantom Menace” review I actually thought that maybe he really is a psycho, and I’m just indulging his sick mind by watching his videos on YouTube. I turned them off at that point and refused to continue until I saw the outtakes of the reviews, in which I saw that it was all staged – I saw the make up, the actors, and the props. Now I can watch his reviews (and he made some more, aside from the Star Wars prequels, including “Avatar”).
And in the end Harry S. Plinkett – the same psychotic sadist – makes a beautiful and very true point, that “in the end all the computers in the world can’t generate the most basic thing that a movie needs – an emotional connection with the audience.”
Highly recommended! (if only for people with hard stomachs and distance to what they see)