Revenge of the Plinkett
Christmas came a week late to the Cinema Scoped household with the December 31 drop of Red Letter Media’s (http://redlettermedia.com) highly anticipated review of Star Wars: Episode III—The Revenge of the Sith.
Red Letter Media is the brainchild of Mike Stoklasa, a Milwaukee-based filmmaker who found new life as the pizza roll-obsessed, vodka gimlet-swilling, cat-molesting, 115-year-old armchair critic Harry S. Plinkett, a serial killer who dissects movies with the manic obsession and unfocused derangement of … well, a serial killer.
Stoklasa/Plinkett’s hilariously offensive Episode I review became an Internet sensation upon release in December 2009. It was a masterpiece of withering criticism, most impressively because it ripped The Phantom Menace a new asshole while barely mentioning Jar Jar Binks.
An Episode II review quickly followed, featuring an expanded Plinkett subplot and more cutting observations on Lucas’ sterile “method.” There’s a welcome streak of fanboy self-deprecation (“I love Empire Strikes Back so much, I’d f*** it.”), and a brilliant segment on the prequels’ overuse of lightsabers, which Plinkett compares to “dangling a shiny object in front of a small child.”
That brings us to Stoklasa’s 110-minute review of Episode III, in my opinion the worst of the prequels, if only because its molestation of the Star Wars universe can’t be ignored. Stoklasa’s review, however, is a filthy classic, performing such a thorough autopsy on Lucas’ lifeless mise-en-scène that it could serve as a mini film school.
Plinkett is at his funniest and most righteous when dissecting the blah characters (note how much of the film takes place on sofas!) and the nonsensical plot, which serves only to segue between unwatchable special-effects scenes. Even Roger Ebert liked Red Letter’s Episode III review, despite Plinkett’s assertion that the venerable critic’s three-and-a-half star review for Revenge of the Sith was bought and paid for.