NUMBER ONE: EVERYTHING

I'm on my way to see The Force Awakens and I'll give you a real NPF soon, but it seems appropriate to remind anyone who enjoys the Star Wars franchise who might not be familiar with them to watch the Plinkett Reviews of the prequels on Red Letter Media. Hiding behind the often ridiculous humor of the Plinkett character is a really thorough deconstruction of exactly why those movies are so bad. Anyone can watch them and come to the conclusion, "These movies are terrible." But if you're at all interested in the process of moviemaking and script development and film criticism, there's a lot in here for you.

If the opening line of Plinkett dialogue – "Episode I: The Phantom Menace is the most disappointing thing since my son. But unlike my son, who hung himself in a gas station bathroom, the Phantom Menace is going to be here forever." – appeals to you, then it's safe to say that his humor will be an additional incentive for you to watch.

Youth, nostalgia, and love of the franchise carried me through Phantom Menace ("Well…I guess it was OK….") but to this day I have never, ever seen a worse movie that I did not go to see specifically because I expected it to be bad than Attack of the Clones. I've seen worse movies, but never one that I went into hoping it might be good. It is so very bad that the idea that there is anyone alive who enjoys watching it baffles me. Right now, about 90 minutes away from seeing the new film, Attack of the Clones is a powerful reminder of just how low the bar is for Mr. Abrams and his sequels.

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27 Responses to “NUMBER ONE: EVERYTHING”

  1. Knight of Nothing Says:

    Love Plinkett/Red Letter Media. The only good thing to come out of the prequel trilogy was the entertainment I got out of watching those reviews. Pleased (but not surprised) to learn you too are a fan!

    Curious to hear your review of The Force Awakens. I thought it was good, not great.

  2. SeaTea Says:

    Those reviews are truly inspirational in the sense that one almost never gets to see someone make their case so convincingly. If you can watch those reviews and come away thinking "Those are still pretty good movies", you are not a person on whom facts and logic function.

    They thoroughly and intelligently take apart every facet of the movies and use compare/contrast to show you WHY they are terrible in a fractal way. It also makes me sad a little because at several points they show was that the films could have been SO MUCH BETTER if only someone had the ability to tell George "No". Like Elvis in his later years, George was fat, lazy, and not very good, and nobody around him could tell him "You need help" without being fired.

  3. Martin Pollard Says:

    I think you're going to like "The Force Awakens." It's not the best film by a long shot, but it's easily up there with the originals (for me, it comes in above "Jedi" and below "Empire" and "Star Wars") and takes a runny, steaming shit all over the prequels (and while I personally believe that the prequels do have a few redeeming moments, they're still the "Godfather III" to the original trilogy).

  4. J. Dryden Says:

    OH MY GOD A STAR WARS DISCUSSION I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY WHERE TO BEGIN

    That is, without exaggeration, my immediate response to this post, and I will spare all and sundry from the encyclopedic catalog of considered opinion that could have followed it.

    "So you're posting to say that you're not going to post?" Yes, but only to make the point that Holy Hell do these movies have a goddamned full-nelson on my soul, and I have tried really hard to justify why they do, and I have failed.

    In short: Shut up and take my money.

  5. Skipper Says:

    This is great — very helpful. Here I am sitting down sipping my chamomile tea (all the doctors will allow me, along with water), waiting for a delivery that will arrive "sometime between 8 am and The Singularity," thinking I really need to get a life. Then, I popped in here to find out that I'm really not that bad off.

  6. Hazy Davy Says:

    I've just woken up from my sleep recovery, after seeing the SW marathon.

    I figured it would get me to liking the movies, and it improved it somewhat.

  7. sheila in nc Says:

    @ Skipper: Wait, what??

  8. jharp Says:

    I'm still trying to find the time to watch the original.

    What's it been 40 years now?

  9. AMT guy Says:

    WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!?!

  10. c u n d gulag Says:

    I'm sorry, but who cares?

    We have real problems!

    Sci-fi is great!

    But we have too many GOP members in Congress, who don't don 't know ( Sci,) from, (-fi) …………….

    """,

  11. Martin Pollard Says:

    Are some of you really so offended by some of us actually wanting to set aside life's problems for a little while and have some fun that you have to jump up on the table, whip out your dicks, and piss in our cornflakes? There are an unlimited number of places to discuss and complain about the state of the world, and this'll again be one of them soon enough, but for now, how about letting us have a tiny little slice of the Internet to enjoy ourselves for just a little while, hmm?

  12. A Different Nate Says:

    I rewatched the Plinkett Star Wars reviews recently, and they're masterful. I think they go overboard with the whole "women chained up in the basement and also he fucks his cat apparently" bit though. The analysis is so well done that these segments just become an annoying distraction.

    The only intelligible defense of these bits I've ever read is that it's all kind of a meta-joke about how the only person crazy enough to review all three prequel movies is somebody as monstrous as Plinkett.

  13. JustRuss Says:

    I consider Phantom to be worse than Attack. If you edited Attack down to about 45 minutes you could have something reasonably watchable. Phantom's just not salvageable. And it has a lot more Jar-Jar content.

  14. mothra Says:

    Never saw the Star Wars prequels, but love those Plinkett reviews. Not making me want to see those prequels very much….

  15. Xynzee Says:

    Empire seems to have been George's peak and the Earwaxes really detracted from Return. I always assume that somebody at the executive level's kid thought they were "soooo cuuuute!!" and demanded more Earwax.

    Aside from a weak script and poor direction, what was really detrimental to the Prequels was lack of tension. We know how it ends, so why spend the emotional energy? Oh here's Anakin in a pod race. Will he die? Will he win and free himself? Well duh! No, and of course he does.

    So that made them a let down. Not to mention the universally hated Jar Jar.

  16. Sour Kraut Says:

    @Xynzee,

    Lucas wanted Endor to be a planet full of Wookiees (possibly slave laborers for the Empire) but decided it wasn't practical, so he chopped them in half and made them Ewoks. The Ewoks aren't great, but I've never understood the white-hot hatred some fans have for them.

    Revenge of the Sith is the only prequel worth bothering with, and even then Lucas manages to piss in the soup and fill it with some awkward moments and dialogue. It still baffles me that he never pulled Lawrence Kasdan's number out of his rolodex and asked for an assist on the script.

  17. jjack Says:

    I am not watching this new piece of shit.

    There are THREE Star Wars movies. That is all there ever has been and all there ever will be.

    And then there are some shitty fan fictions that get branded with the official Star Wars logo so they can bilk nerds out of money.

  18. wetcasements Says:

    "Empire seems to have been George's peak"
    And Lucas didn't direct Empire.
    That said, I liked it very much. Harrison Ford cares _just enough_ to make it work.
    Boyega and Ridley are both charming, fun, and cute.

  19. jon Says:

    Let me recommend Attack the Block here. It's inexpensive on Amazon and makes a great gift!

  20. Robert Says:

    I remember watching FanDumb at home with my husband. When Binks appeared and delivered his first line, I said, "oh, this is going to get real old real fast."

    A comics artist has a T-shirt for sale, reading WHAT PREQUELS? in the iconic font. Like some people my age, SW was his first exposure to 'science fiction', and he takes it seriously. For me, it was space opera fantasy, and I took it less and less seriously with every movie. I'll probably see SW-TFA after it's left the theaters, unless one of my sons gets a wild hair to see it.

  21. Xynzee Says:

    @Wet: That was sort of my point ;)

  22. Robert Says:

    I just went to check out the Plinkett site. I was disappointed to see that his reviews are in video format. Realizing that I had really wanted to read them, instead of watch them, made me feel really old.

  23. Nate Says:

    The guys at RedLetterMedia also do really great awful VHS movie reviews "Wheel of the Worst" and the Plinkett Star Trek reviews are also hilarious and worth watching.

    Much like you as a little kid fell in love with Star Wars, there's a whole generation of kids who have seen Episodes 1-3 and remember that time fondly. I'm not saying the prequels are by any means great movies, but that helps explain the inexplicable younger person who loves those films.

    My wife and I have two tickets to see the new Star Wars movie on Christmas Eve. It's going to be great!

  24. Nate Says:

    Also, RedLetterMEdia's "United States of NOOOOOOOOOOO!" is great too.

  25. H.M.S. Blankenship Says:

    As a person who doesn't care much either way, I would be interested to hear what the passionate fans here think of that theory that Jar Jar was originally going to be the secret Sith master, but that Lucas lost his nerve after there was so much backlash, & cobbled together a new subplot involving whoever it was, Count Dookie. There was supposedly going to be this YOOOGE reveal in the 3rd prequel, in which you realize that Jar Jar was the evil mastermind behind everything, instead of the amiable swamp-rodent doofus that he appeared to be.

  26. Tim H. Says:

    All the star Wars films are best enjoyed if one doesn't think to much about them, the prequels weren't that much worse. Now, if they filmed The Songs of Distant Earth, they'd have my attention…

  27. JustRuss Says:

    @ H.M.S. Blankenship: That's pretty much what Asimov did with The Mule in his Foundation series. Wouldn't surprise me if Lucas considered that, he seems to have borrowed quite a bit from that series.

    Saw TFA yesterday and enjoyed it a lot, but am a bit worried. It's basically a recycling of A New Hope, without those bones to build on I'm not sure the next one will be as good.