Hey, stop the presses, I'm a white 30-year-old male and I'm about to complain about the Star Wars prequels on the internet.
There's a guy on Youtube, with the handle RedLetterMedia, who specializes in video reviews of sci-fi movies. He came to prominence with his reviews of the Star Trek series, and has recently gained more attention for his lengthy takedowns of the first two Star Wars prequels and Avatar. Lengthy. Like 70 minutes for each of the Star Wars prequels. That length of time could be easily spent on a laundry list of nit-picks and internal inconsistencies, and while there's plenty of nits being picked, he mostly gathers his commentary into thematic sections around larger-scale ideas. Each is an indictment of what George Lucas has become and what he has turned the Star Wars films into. The bottom line that in the intervening 22 years between trilogies, Lucas traded art for commerce, story for plot, and character for plot delivery device. He illustrates most accurately how Lucas' characters do not behave as real people, but like blank-faced zombies, which isn't surprising given how little they had to act with and react to in the films. None of this surprises, but all points are effectively made. They should be required viewing for all aspiring film makers or critics.
- RedLetterMedia's Phantom Menace Review
- RedLetterMedia's Attack of the Clones Review
- (Language and some imagery NSFW on both)
[The one complaint I have about the reviews is for elements of the Plinkett character. The joke is that he's a social maladjust who is definitely a kidnapper and is probably a serial killer. This got pretty tiresome in the Phantom Menace review especially, but was improved upon in the second, in which Plinkett and his hooker captive find a common bond in bitching about Attack of the Clones' awfulness.]
I really didn't like the prequels, but like many my age I convinced myself for a long time that they were maybe kind of sort of ok. I recently watched The Phantom Edit and its sequel, Attack of the Phantom, in which a professional editor makes very careful and thoughtful changes to both movies, improving both significantly. Watching those versions, I decided that there were indeed better films buried within Lucas' theatrical releases. But you can't really polish a turd, and the Phantom Editor, in his commentary, makes clear his own disdain for what George Lucas has created.
|This was on my bedroom wall for 15 years.|
The upshot of all of this is that I've come to a decision: I'm going to get rid of my DVD copies of Episodes I-III. We've got limited real estate in our DVD cabinet, and I don't need that crap on hand for future viewing.