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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Plinkett Reviews RotS [star wars is bad]

   
Author Topic: Plinkett Reviews RotS [star wars is bad]
Samprimary
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http://www.redlettermedia.com/sith.html

Finally.

spoiler: revenge of the sith is bad

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Orincoro
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Thank god! A friend told me this had been posted today. It's now the morning after new years' so I'm ready to get down with plinkett.
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0Megabyte
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Finally!
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Samprimary
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This series is nerd closure. It's also saved me so much of a headache when it comes to people who still think it was a good movie. I can just point them to Plinkett. I can just say 'watch this plz'
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Nighthawk
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The review is almost as long as the movie itself, clocking in at 110 minutes (movie's 140 minutes).
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Samprimary
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And it's worth every second!

If you're impatient and just want to get to the epic film school dissection that layers the prequels with Citizen Kane and discusses the general failures of the prequels in a way which makes me happy to understand cinema as an art, go to 8:40 in the third video.

It's 11. The Language of Cinema

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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I think his entire point can be summed up in the part of his Phantom Menace review where he asks people to describe pivotal characters from the Original and Prequel Trilogies.
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Parkour
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Lucas ends up looking like a hopeless useless nincompoop in this. it ends up with him just looking lost, stupid, and confused just because of what got pointed out about the way he is acting and the way he is "directing".
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Destineer
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ROTS is a bad movie for sure, but unlike the other two prequels it contains a few individual scenes that are well done and that I enjoy watching. This makes it a much better addition to corpus than I and II, in that it adds a few minutes to the watchable Star Wars footage archive. It doesn't work at all as a whole movie, though.
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Samprimary
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Roger Ebert put this entire review up on his site, and said, okay, I was wrong, Plinkett forces me to look back at this film (and his baffling 3 and a half star review) and, well ..
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Orincoro
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Link? I can't find it.

And yeah, man. When Plinkett gets into showing some of the green and blue screen stuff, with Lucas sitting around with his coffee, the look on everybody's face, the lack of excitement, and then he shows scenes from the original trilogy with real sets and exciting moments, it drives the whole thing home so strongly.

And, when he calls attention to it, the blocking of pretty much every dialogue scene is, well, goddamn awful.

My favorite motif through this whole series is and remains: "Every frame is sooo dense, there's soooo much going on in every shot"

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Here it is
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Destineer
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Just watched the first 2/3 of this. Good, but it really hurts his cred when he compliments "Die Another Day."
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theamazeeaz
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Meh.

I assume that some of the scenes in there were part of this guy's schtick making fun of movies (perhaps going for the Family guy style of cuts), but the overload of poop jokes (and I *like* body fluid humor) and the countless number of times he hyperbolically said how bad the movie was made this feature-length rant a bigger investment of my time than I would have liked.

I did appreciate how professionally his critique was made and how throughout the entire rant he had relevant footage (shots of toilets excepted), and I liked when he simultaneously showed the editing and blocking of the couch scenes and fight scenes (curious how much that was edited...)


Does anyone remember this essay from about a decade ago? More serious, but makes the point rather well.
http://www.hatrack.com/misc/phantommenace/index.shtml

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Just watched the first 2/3 of this. Good, but it really hurts his cred when he compliments "Die Another Day."

He compliments the 'to the blood' fight scene in die another day.

Specifically, the effectiveness of it, and the practicality of it, against the fight scene in RotS that took a kadjillion dollars to make and came off less interesting.

And if you really can't hold up to Die Another Day after spending that much money, hang up your hat.

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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Just watched the first 2/3 of this. Good, but it really hurts his cred when he compliments "Die Another Day."

He compliments the 'to the blood' fight scene in die another day.
So that's what Ep3 needed to make it better: Madonna.
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Destineer
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That swordfight in "Die Another Day" was a joke of a scene that completely threw off the tone of the movie.
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TomDavidson
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I would have preferred that the movie actually had the tone of that scene, personally, but I agree that it didn't match the film.
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0Megabyte
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Yep. But that's not the point. Even if it isn't great, it's still a lot more visceral than anything in Revenge of the Sith. And the point was about the tangibility of the scene as a contrast, not about how it fit in the film it was set in, or even about whether that film was any good.
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Teshi
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I really liked this review. It's much more like I would like movie reviews to be, especially the comparisons and the suggestions for improvement.

His Star Trek review I agree with but he comes to a different conclusion-- he liked it.

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Tarrsk
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ROTS's fight scenes are so bad that they managed to make "Die Another Day" look good by comparison. I suspect this is Mr. Plinkett's point.

Loved the "two people sitting on sofas... talking" bit. It really hammers home the utter incompetence of George Lucas as a director of dialogue. It's not just that he isn't an "actor's director." It's that he literally has no idea (or rather, has forgotten) how to do anything more interesting than a basic shot-reverse shot setup. On a couch.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Mary Cate and I rung in the new year watching this. [Smile]
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
I really liked this review. It's much more like I would like movie reviews to be, especially the comparisons and the suggestions for improvement.

His Star Trek review I agree with but he comes to a different conclusion-- he liked it.

Soo you didn't like it?

I think the thing with Plinkett that you have to keep in mind is that for him, and his persona, liking and not liking are sort of tangential to the crux of the issue. If you like something that is actually garbage, that's bad, because the reasons you like it, or that you respond positively to it, are not good reasons. In these films for instance, the positive response comes mainly from the way in which familiar concepts are used and reused to present what is meant to be a pleasing atmosphere. But in actually telling a story, or in even having a story, these familiar elements are no help at all. If you didn't like Star Wars or know Star Wars already, this crap would really look like crap. As it is, it's more just confusing and disturbing because it contains so many elements of things for which you already have positive feelings. The original trilogy presented iconic images and characters that are still remembered today. The difference with the prequel trilogy is that this time the films *contained* iconic characters and images that are still remembered today. That doesn't make a good film. The characters and images are not iconic for what they are, but for the films and stories they were in before. So, as Plinkett points out very emphatically, Darth Vader is utterly meaningless in these films, and that's why his final appearance in them is laughable and strange and deplorable, because all he cache is built on stories that have nothing to do with these.

On the other hand, if you don't like something, but that something, say Star Trek XI, is actually well done, then that's ok too. You don't have to like the story or feel positively towards the background, but the fact is that it's a piece of work that stands on its own with strong elements of story telling and character is important. The thing he objects to most in Star Wars I II and III is that they are not honest attempts at telling stories- they are so confusing partly because they come from no creative direction at all. They advance no point, move no character forward, and work only towards fitting themselves with what is already known and understood, and with what in fact already stood on its own- so they feel insidious and dishonest. Star Trek XI approached its subject, even as a reboot, with forward movement. The story of the past is gone- this film does not seek to advance a point already made.

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The Reader
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Wow, am I grateful for having seen that. I never knew why I didn't like the pretrilogy. It just felt off.
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Belle
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I knew there was a fundamental problem with characterization - that was obvious, but watching all three reviews (yes, all three! I took it in stages and did it over the last couple days) has opened my eyes to other things I did not consciously notice - like the "density" of shots, the overuse of light sabers, the copying of shots from Empire but with no emotional depth, etc. I found the persona a bit annoying, the whole pizza roll thing and the schtick with the women tied up - I thought it was pointless and detracted from great reviews, but maybe I'm just not in on an inside joke or something. [Dont Know]
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The Reader
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Yeah, He's entertaining, but the Ed Gein character he plays is disturbing, and I think that's an understatement. I've watched other reviews and I'm sure those are running jokes. I still added Red Letter Media to favorites.

Those movies are not going to age well. Future filmmakers may watch them as examples of what not to do.

What's sad is that Lucas thinks how he did what he did was dramatic! Sitting on couches? Real life drama occurs rather low key like that, but movies are supposed to be a visual and audio feast, especially Star Wars. Everyone spoke as if they had just finished a Thanksgiving meal and were ready for a nap. And that's what it looked like with all those awful couches!

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TomDavidson
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I found myself wondering what it was like being a set designer for a movie that was almost entirely CGI, except for the living room furniture. Would you resent being called upon to design a dozen different space couches, or would you appreciate the challenge?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by The Reader:
What's sad is that Lucas thinks how he did what he did was dramatic! Sitting on couches? Real life drama occurs rather low key like that,

Real life drama can occur on couches. But so can movie drama! It's sometimes even represented rather well on couches. The King's Speech had some riveting dramatic dialogue on couches.

The real thing is that, well, whether or not it happened on a couch, or just standing around, the dramatic dialogue was dry, flat, and horrid. No real depth to it at all. The cinematic equivalent of eating straight starch paste.

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Geoffrey Card
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I hope I'm around decades from now, when someone does a Star Wars prequel reboot that basically makes the movies that Plinkett suggests ought to have been made [Smile]
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Orincoro
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I hope that whoever would have the skill and interest in such a project would do the right thing, and invest their energies in something new and better.
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0Megabyte
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Indeed. You'd have to basically make utterly different movies, with virtually nothing in common, to do it right.

Everything down to the concept of the Jedi Council are things never hinted at originally, that are so central to the plot that jettisoning them means jettisoning much of the plot.

That would be a good thing.

But then, by the time you're done, you'd be making something connected in name only.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Indeed. You'd have to basically make utterly different movies, with virtually nothing in common, to do it right.

jedi can be cool. lightsabers can be cool. all that stuff can be cool!
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0Megabyte
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Well, if someone was to remake it, of course they'd' have jedi and lightsabers.

Maybe done so that they are as cool as they can be.

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Samprimary
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here, I found some top secret notes from Lucas's desk prior to the release of Attack of the Clones

quote:
problem: image of jedi knights has not been graced by my awesomeness

solution: have the entire jedi order show how wicked cool they are by charging into the middle of a colosseum (it will be a betterer more cgi colosseum than gladiator, which makes my movie betterer) and end up trapped standing there in the middle of it with no cover while getting massacred by drones

this is sure to make lightsabers seem practical rather than impractical, and it is sure to make jedi seem awesome rather than pretty much useless


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0Megabyte
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Ha! I know.
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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by The Reader:
What's sad is that Lucas thinks how he did what he did was dramatic! Sitting on couches? Real life drama occurs rather low key like that,

Real life drama can occur on couches. But so can movie drama! It's sometimes even represented rather well on couches. The King's Speech had some riveting dramatic dialogue on couches.

The real thing is that, well, whether or not it happened on a couch, or just standing around, the dramatic dialogue was dry, flat, and horrid. No real depth to it at all. The cinematic equivalent of eating straight starch paste.

I suspect there's also a difference between having multiple scenes on couches because that's where the characters would reasonably be doing most of their talking and having scenes on couches because it's easier to keep them framed within a greenscreen set. As the review points out, "Padme packing" is what passes for dramatic action within a dialogue scene in RoTS.
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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Well, if someone was to remake it, of course they'd' have jedi and lightsabers.

Maybe done so that they are as cool as they can be.

You never know what a remake would/wouldn't contain. When Kevin Smith was on board for the Superman remake, producer Jon Peters gave him three rules:

1) I don't want to see him in that suit. His suit needs to be all black.

2) I don't want to see him flying.

3) He needs to fight a giant spider in the 3rd act.

(Peters eventually used his giant spider idea in Wild Wild West.)

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Synesthesia
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I must watch this when I get home!
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BlackBlade
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I ended up watching all his other movie reviews, including all the Star Trek ones. That was kinda addicting...
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Synesthesia
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that review was funny.
And it's really right about those movies. They just are not as good as the original 3.

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