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Plinkett Strikes Back
December 23, 2011 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Mr. Plinkett returns to review Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Cyrstal Skull. Direct BlipTV link to part 1, and part 2.
posted by codacorolla (231 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yessssss! His reviews are funny and some really spot on analysis on why these movies don't work. He taught me that Qui Gon Jin was a terrible character.

Already loving it 20 seconds in.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:01 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hated that movie enough to walk out of it halfway through.

I watched the rest of it later on TV, and regretted it.
posted by empath at 9:05 AM on December 23, 2011


Cate Blanchett was criminally underused in that movie, also the fakey fake fake fake CGI ants was just the icing on the disappointing cake.
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Like all of Plinkett's reviews, the real meat starts about halfway in but as usual he makes some really terrific points and clearly knows a thing or two about story construction.

I've been watching it all morning so far and am almost finished. Part 2 is in line with the best of his commentary from the Sith review.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:08 AM on December 23, 2011


Don't run Indy!! You'll throw your hip out!!
posted by Trochanter at 9:13 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]




OMG the Olsen Twins thing..
posted by empath at 9:14 AM on December 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love his other reviews but they're all for movies I've seen. I had the good sense to stay far away from Indy 4, so will I be completely lost if I watch this? Knowing the depth of his analysis of plot and writing, I guess I'd be missing a big piece of the puzzle. Plinkett reviews require a serious time commitment, so let me know if it's worth my while!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:14 AM on December 23, 2011


He explains the things he's talking about so far. Indy 4 is dumb, has stupid CGI and is about space aliens. There, I caught you up.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:16 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love his other reviews but they're all for movies I've seen. I had the good sense to stay far away from Indy 4, so will I be completely lost if I watch this? Knowing the depth of his analysis of plot and writing, I guess I'd be missing a big piece of the puzzle. Plinkett reviews require a serious time commitment, so let me know if it's worth my while!

I've never seen the Star Wars prequels, yet found his reviews of them hilarious. As long as you know the story universe and have an idea of what a film should be doing, listening to him tear a shoddy film apart is a real joy.
posted by Jehan at 9:17 AM on December 23, 2011


People harp on the Fridge thing but I thought it was just in line with the paperbook golly-gee adventure tone of the movies in general.
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM on December 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


I should stop watching this and get on with my epic crossover fic, Indiana Jones and the Surly Beard of Mrifk.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:26 AM on December 23, 2011


I think the fridge would've been forgivable, Whelk, if the rest of the movie hadn't been so forgettable.

It's not even that I hated it. It's that for the life of me I can't remember a thing about it.
posted by pts at 9:30 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Boo, my boss came into work right as I wanted to spend the next few hours watching this. Christmas ruined.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:37 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was so excited about this movie before it came about and then almost fell asleep half way through watching it. Before I watched this review, I didn't really remember anything about it. What a waste of everyone's time.
posted by octothorpe at 9:38 AM on December 23, 2011


This is so much better than Half In The Bag. I tried watching one of those, and couldn't get through 10 minutes. There is a throwaway joke at the start about HITB, but it shouldn't be.
posted by narcoleptic at 9:44 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


People harp on the Fridge thing but I thought it was just in line with the paperbook golly-gee adventure tone of the movies in general.

The problem isn't that it's silly, the problem is that it breaks the laws of the universe as established in the Indy movies. If Indy could survive that then suddenly a lot of scenes that were perilous and exciting throughout the franchise are rather boring.

So best we choose to ignore it rather than reach the conclusion that a two ton rolling boulder would simply leave an Indy shaped impression in the dirt, which he would get up out of and continue with his day.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:52 AM on December 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


Good thing he reviewed it now so I would know whether or not I should watch it.

The best (most ridiculous) thing about the movie was the fridge. Also the best part of Fallout: New Vegas was finding the skeleton in the fridge out in the wasteland. I wore that hat for most of the game.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 9:55 AM on December 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


I, too, will defend the fridge as consistent with Indy as we know him. I would also defend Von Daniken style aliens and crystal skulls - if Indy can go to Atlantis he can totally do that shit.

And the Sovs are perfectly adequate Nazi replacements.

Boring CGI action and the Poochy character ruined that movie.
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I love his analysis.

Man, I hate his humor. OMG, the Olsen twins thing.
posted by bpm140 at 9:55 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the first draft of Raiders Indy fights a Nazi with a machinegin arm. Just saying.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on December 23, 2011


BTW, are there transcripts of these reviews anywhere?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:57 AM on December 23, 2011


Christmas is early then
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:57 AM on December 23, 2011


this machinegin arm thing, is this something we can all get?
posted by neuromodulator at 10:04 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why did that movie have to be so awful? Why why why?

I fall on the side of the fence that says the fridge in and of itself wasn't too out of line. He did survive falling out of an airplane with just an inflatable raft and all. If only the rest of the movie wasn't insanely terrible that one bit could be forgiven.

That said, I can't wait to get home and watch Plinkett tear this one apart.
posted by Aznable at 10:09 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Comment on this webzone if you want a pizza roll.
posted by mattbucher at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


In the first draft of Raiders Indy fights a Nazi with a machinegin arm. Just saying.

Yes, but they took that part out before it was filmed.

Great movies are just shit movies with all the bad parts pulled out.
posted by bpm140 at 10:11 AM on December 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


I thought the fridge thing was funny or at worst, the least bad thing in the movie.
posted by octothorpe at 10:15 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


After the great Cop Dog review I was hoping he would review Quigley next. Biggest disappointment since my son.
posted by mediated self at 10:15 AM on December 23, 2011


Yes, Cate Blanchett was criminally underused. Full on Chekhov's gun failure there -- you tell me she's a Soviet psychic, I better see some full on Professor Xavier shit happening, dig?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:17 AM on December 23, 2011


Well, she THINKS shes psychic.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on December 23, 2011


Just like Lucas THINKS he has wonderful ideas. It's parallels, it rhymes, like poetry!
posted by Drastic at 10:25 AM on December 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


Was she really a Soviet psychic? cause I totally want to be one! You can call me Psycho Mantis.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:31 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


A sword weilding nutjob sob with delusions of being psychic that everyone goes along with because Stalin ass into that sort of thing and they don't want to get purged is actually a pretty wonderful character concept, IMHO, pity it wasn't better used.
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I actually thought that the crystal skull aliens were an interesting attempt to link the pulp themes of the thirties with the Sci-Fi themes of the 50s. Sort of a passing of the torch.

That said, I'm really tired of that ancient astronauts crap, because it's incredibly racist. I'd like to see a claim that the Washington Monument was built bgy aliens, because the local primitives with their pathetic tools couldn't possibly build something like that.
posted by happyroach at 10:40 AM on December 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


The "whoops this house and whole village is a nuclear testing site" was the climax to the first season of Michael Mann's "Crime Story." I bet you thought I forgot that, Senor Speilbergo.

No lo hice.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:41 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've said this before, but...the worst thing I can say about Crystal Skull is that Shia LaBeouf wasn't the worst thing about it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:53 AM on December 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


I bought the falling out of a plane in a raft to a snowy slope because I have seen skiers so something similar. Skier WANTS to do it from a stationary helicopter + Indy HAS to do it from a slow moving plane = plausible.

The fridge scene would have been better if Indy and faceless Soviet had to comically work together in true Indy fashion to get the hell out of there. Then deal with the blast wave... Then the vacuum suck (whatever that's called)... Perhaps a trademark Indy smile when something in the nuke suck takes the Soviet with it. A scene that has shades of the Nazi who ate the propeller in Raiders.

As it is, a 'lead lined' label doesn't cut it. And he also get out of the fridge and stands there after a trip that would have, and had, crippled Evel Knievel. I'm not saying movie physics have to be perfect, but as long as they resemble something, anything we've seen in the real world, I'll buy it for 90 mins.
posted by CarlRossi at 10:54 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm laughing too hard at work. Looks like I'm gonna have to go home early (and watch some Olsen twin movies).
posted by mattbucher at 10:55 AM on December 23, 2011


Raiders is my absolute favorite movie. Temple of Doom is just about my least favorite movie (I keep giving it 2nd chances, and it just gets worse. Kate Capshaw is the worst person on earth, and Spielberg doesn't seem to understand what made Raiders great.) Crystal Skull was meh. I consider it the best of the sequels, which is like saying it's the most enjoyable maggot-filled feces I've ever eaten.

I'm trying to get my gf to watch Episodes 1-3 just so we can watch Plinkett's reviews together -- they're much more enjoyable than the movies themselves.
posted by coolguymichael at 10:56 AM on December 23, 2011


His bit in the beginning of part two about how the Indy character works because he's the manly man that viewers want to be rings true with me. After I saw Raiders, in the summer before the start of first grade, my neighbor and I got together and dug a big hole in his backyard. Inspired by Indiana Jones, we imagined that if we dug deep enough we'd find an ancient temple full of snakes and treasure.

It didn't quite turn out like that, the neighbor kid, while tossing a shovelful of dirt of his shoulder, managed to hit me square in the face. The shovel split my face open from the bridge of my nose up to over my right eye. Twenty six stitches later I had a hard time making friends on the first day of school.

So the Indiana Jones movies have been mostly ruined for me because of that emotional association. I'm glad to hear that George Lucas is working so hard to ruin them for the rest of you.
posted by peeedro at 10:57 AM on December 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


For those who need or want a TL;DR, Plinkett lays it all out at the end:

1. Indiana Jones can't be old
2. Indiana Jones needs to murder moar people
3. The action needs to be realistic and practical
posted by Askiba at 10:58 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The action needs to be realistic and practical

Yeah, this can't be said enough. The scene where he shoots the swordsman in the first movie is prototypical indy -- just a perfect no-bullshit response.
posted by empath at 11:01 AM on December 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't find a link but I swear that I read an article a few years before the movie came out that Spielberg wanted to avoid CGI with this movie and do everything with the same practical effects work that the original three used. But somehow between that interview and the actual post production, he changed his mind to use really fake and rubbery looking animation.
posted by octothorpe at 11:09 AM on December 23, 2011


His bit in the beginning of part two about how the Indy character works because he's the manly man that viewers want to be rings true with me. After I saw Raiders, in the summer before the start of first grade, my neighbor and I got together and dug a big hole in his backyard. Inspired by Indiana Jones, we imagined that if we dug deep enough we'd find an ancient temple full of snakes and treasure.


This illustrates perfectly a point Plinkett makes in the prequel reviews about one of the key reasons those films were so misguided: just because kids see a movie, that doesnt mean kids want to see other kids in the movie. Kids want to be Han, or Lando, or Leia. They dont care that those characters are 20 years older than they are, because that is irrelevant since they are imagining anyway. No kid wants to be Mutt or young Annakin or one of those youngling Muppet Babies Jedis we saw getting trained because none of those guys are particularly cool or interesting or in control of anything in the first place.

And as I say every time Lucas and his "herp Republic serials!" fixation comes up: Star Wars and Indy succeeded in spite of their matinee cliffhanger roots and not because of them. If they had just been straight homage to that corny crap then no one would have cared in the first place. When I was a kid growing up with the SW and IJ films, none of us made any connection to those saturday morning serials and that's a good thing because most of those serials are really, really bad. Sure, they have a cheeky, schticky spirit to them but none of them work outside of the context of them being nostalgic artifacts.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Only seen Part 1 so far. The Olsen twins joke is really off-putting, but he has a good point about the crystal skull. In the previous three movies there was always a clear goal - keeping the Nazis away from some famous artifact that would give them tremendous power. In this movie it isn't all that clear why it would be so bad if the Soviets got the skull. Maybe one woman would get enhanced mental powers?

And all the CGI was way over the top, especially at the end. As an archeologist, Indy should be haunted for the rest of his life by all that knowledge he almost had, but lost. It would make archeology kind of unfulfilling afterwards, knowing that so many ancient people were connected, but he could never prove it.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


That said, I'm really tired of that ancient astronauts crap, because it's incredibly racist. I'd like to see a claim that the Washington Monument was built by aliens, because the local primitives with their pathetic tools couldn't possibly build something like that.

I don't disagree that the ancient astronaut stuff is racist, and the idea is obviously ludicrous. But I think the mitigating factor here is that unlike the Washington Monument, the nutjobs usually say that the crystal skulls are made in a way that the Mayans would have to have had access to technology that they shouldn't have and something secret knowledge something yaddayaddayadda. Which is of course bullshit, but it's probably true that the ancient Mayans didn't have access to the modern equipment that was found to have actually been used to manufacture the fraudulent crystal skulls in Europe in the 19th Century. And if one were to mistakenly attribute the skulls to the Mayans, the way they were able to manufacture them would certainly be mysterious.
posted by Hoopo at 11:20 AM on December 23, 2011


I'm really tired of that ancient astronauts crap, because it's incredibly racist.

Well, it was invented by Lovecraft.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


1. Indiana Jones can't be old
2. Indiana Jones needs to murder moar people
3. The action needs to be realistic and practical


Hff. So basically he's using the least liked (and possibly weakest - though both 2 and 3 have issues) of the movie to lay out his nerd thesis on how things being grim and gritty is always awesome? Hmmf.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The scene where he shoots the swordsman in the first movie is prototypical indy -- just a perfect no-bullshit response.

And totally wasn't in the screenplay. Harrison Ford is responsible for two of nerddom's greatest scenes off the top of his head.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


There's a difference between wanting everything to be grim and gritty and hating that god awful vine swinging scene.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:33 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]




There's a difference between wanting everything to be grim and gritty and hating that god awful vine swinging scene.

Practical effects totally made the Indy movies, but I don't think realism really came into it at all with the action scenes - they're all at least a little bit Loony Tunes.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on December 23, 2011


I didn't care for Mutt originally, but Plinkett makes a good point about his presence being a sort of counterpoint to Indie's dad in the last film. They should have cut out most of the stuff with Marian and Oxley and had a more believable arc for Mutt. Like at the beginning he's this punk kid that doesn't give a crap about Mayans or science, but after adventuring with Indie he gets infected with that old Jones family obsession and starts to wonder about the wider world. Maybe he enrolls in college, but refuses to tell his dad which one.

And there could have been a WWII flashback with Indie and Mac. That would have been a better opening teaser. Show us their relationship.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:37 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite moment so far at 24:28 of part one, the seemingly-honest bemusement in his voice as he discusses a large, moving piece of the set.
"I like that this big thing was actually a practical set. Boy, I was fucking shocked to learn that."
posted by Edogy at 11:38 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The first 55 seconds are wonderful. Then the rest ... is great too.

Which parallels the movie itself. Except substitute "complete and total shit" for "great".
posted by IAmBroom at 11:42 AM on December 23, 2011


I couldn't be happier that they decided to return to the Plinkett format.

I think the point could be arguably made that criticism focusing squarely on the negative, the ill-conceived or the bloated is the easiest to write and the least valuable for both the reader and the critic herself.

That being said, the Plinkett character constructs thorough-enough counter arguments involving film history, basic thematic explorations and screenwriting to transform some of the base aspirations of a simple teardown. Any filmgoer, filmmaker or writer can learn a tremendous amount from Plinkett's dissections. It's honestly my favorite part of these reviews and why I end up recommending them so highly to others.
posted by m_steven_a at 11:44 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite moment so far at 24:28 of part one...

My jaw dropped watching that part too. I thought that was all CGI.

Also to add to my other note, I had secretly hoped that Crystal Skull would be the movie where we learn how Indy loses his eye. One day. One day...
posted by CarlRossi at 11:44 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, watching this I'm actually remembering a lot more parts of the movie I actually like. Hell, I can even see an argument for the kid. I think he's nailed it about the bits that suck though: they all look like a videogame. Also it does, indeed, feeling the characters are being given something to do for the lot of the movie.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on December 23, 2011


Toht's robotic arm - he also has some kind of cyber-eye.
posted by Artw at 12:02 PM on December 23, 2011


I've only seen the first part thus far, but that's the best thing I've seen in ages, thanks so much. These are so funny and so spot on. Makes my day.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:06 PM on December 23, 2011


That was pretty great. For all his crude gags Plinkett is usually insightful about the films and filmmakers he analyzes. I'd love to see him tackle the Matrix sequels next. And that Dan Akroyd footage...I had no idea.
posted by mediated self at 12:14 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm really tired of that ancient astronauts crap, because it's incredibly racist.

In fairness, it's a sub–type of hyperdiffusionism, the belief that all civilization comes from a single advanced culture. The use of aliens as a source and with restricted recipients is fairly new, and racism is not a necessary part of the belief. Almost all ancient cultures have been identified as the source at some time, and equally all other cultures as the recipient. Before the discoveries of oceanography made such a belief impossible, "ancient astronauts" were Atlanteans who simultaneously spread mound–building culture to both Europe and America from their land in the Atlantic sea. The restricted scope of current beliefs is probably partly due to the impossibility of adequately exoticizing or mystifying neolithic Europe in the same way still possible for Mesoamerica. The "Zimbabwe problem" view might be consciously absent.

I would like to see ancient astronauts crap thrown away for good because it's a much worse story than reality. Part of the hyperdiffusionist appeal is its simplicity, when humans are wonderfully more complex and interesting.
posted by Jehan at 12:27 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


And that Dan Akroyd footage...I had no idea

I have it on pretty good authority that Dan Akroyd used to do a LOT of acid, so the "big pink spiral in the sky" thing....
posted by Hoopo at 12:30 PM on December 23, 2011


is anyone else really annoyed with bliptv? ads, no full screen, so annoying
posted by cupcake1337 at 12:39 PM on December 23, 2011


That Olsen twins joke was horrible, really awful, I really didn't expect something quite so crude and stupid. Laughing about paedophilia, using huge streams of fake cum? Gross and very poorly judged. Makes me quite angry. It's just going too far. My estimation of this person has gone way down.
posted by rubber duck at 12:39 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


And it wasn't terribly funny.
It might have worked as a tossed-out quip but It instead built up into a thing whose offensiveness was actually overshadowed by its boring lameness.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:43 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tintin is the film Crystal Skill should have been.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:47 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can understand how some people may not find the "Plinkett-style" comedy funny (hell even I found it forced in this review at various points - lol meta jokes, etc.), but he is extremely good at pointing out the flaws and questionable elements of the film.

Not to mention the Olsen twins bit, I think and hope that was just down to poor judgement.

I would also heartily recommend the Half in the Bag episode regarding "Jack and Jill". Actually most of the Half in the Bag episodes provide a lot of excellent criticism, whether you enjoy the comedy or not.
posted by pyrex at 12:48 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Excellent as usual.

They should have recast Indy and stayed in the Nazi era.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:53 PM on December 23, 2011


I love the Star Wars prequel tear downs, but this mostly sucked. He had 20 minutes worth of things to say, but it lasted well over an hour. Also, it was kind of bizarre hearing him complain about the missing structure of the movie when his criticism was so haphazard and meandering.
posted by Chuckles at 1:01 PM on December 23, 2011


I bloody hope Tintin is good, Speilberg needs to redeem himself after all the crappy TV shows he's pushed on us lately.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on December 23, 2011


The emasculation of action films is one of the banes of contemporary cinema... everything blanded-out to get low rating and maximised audience.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:02 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fearfulsymmetry, go see the new Mission Impossible.
I'm not kidding. It is FANTASTIC.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:04 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Olson twins joke (maybe?) reflects the gossip media build-up to the "are they legal yet?" thing. For awhile a few years back, you couldn't escape the wink and nudge about it. Obviously they were actually post-adolescent women, as opposed to little girls, at the time, but there was still a pretty creepy vibe to it.
posted by maxwelton at 1:04 PM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fearfulsymmetry, go see the new Mission Impossible.
I'm not kidding. It is FANTASTIC.


Tom Cruise dies in the first five minutes?
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on December 23, 2011


I reckon it's about evens that Prometheus will be a total let down given the track record of these things.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:07 PM on December 23, 2011


I really don't care about the refrigerator thing. Being a matinee action star, Indy is indestructible and the only way to show that someone is indestructible is to keep piling on the abuse. In the course of the first three films he gets knocked around, punched out (by his ex, no less, on an occasion or two), slammed by henchmen, sucker-punched, tortured and brainwashed for Kali, bullwhipped in the face, learns how they say goodnight in Chermany, chased by giant rolling boulders, and cuts a giant rope bridge's support to ride it slam into the gorge's rock wall.

He fights back very well, of course, because he's Indiana Freakin' Jones, though more often than not he comes out of a victorious scrap very weary and with a few new scars. But still, he's victorious, because he's Indiana Jones. He's an action-movie star with an abnormally high threshold of tolerance for having his ass kicked. So when he was able to duck into a fridge to escape a nuclear explosion, I saw that as Indy's indestructibility taken to a competely illogical extreme, and it was hilarious.

Of course, the temptation here is to try and top that the next chance you get, but that would be pointless. Let something keep its title as High Point. You can't keep making more.

This physical stuff, though, did unsettle me in Crystal Skull but for a different reason. The same reason watching the older Three Stooges shorts can be difficult to see. The actors are much, much older now. It's no fun watching Moe bop Larry on the head and knock him over when Larry looks like he could break his hip if he lands wrong. Ford is old, Raiders is thirty, and those facts challenged the "Indy is indestructible!" feeling for me more than a preposterous refrigerator situation.
posted by Spatch at 1:15 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


They should have recast Indy and stayed in the Nazi era.

Spielberg decided he wouldn't use Nazis as cartoon villains any longer.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:18 PM on December 23, 2011


There were a number of things that didn't sit so well with me - but there was one thing that directly annoyed me during the movie. It was so distracting that it took me out of the movie every single time. I found myself dwelling on it every single time. It still annoys me every time I see it in a video clip replay - that damn alien skull.

It's a cheap plastic skull with cellophane stuffed in it. It looks cheap. It is cheap.

I can forgive the monkeys and swinging vines. I can forgive the bomb proof fridge. I can forgive the character inconsistencies. I can forgive pretty much everything about the movie. Except one thing.

That skull. It is unforgivable.
posted by Xoebe at 1:36 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


coolguymichael: "Temple of Doom is just about my least favorite movie"

But that's the only movie in the series that would have had a different ending if Indy had just stayed home! He actually changed the outcome there. The other three movies, the bad guys would have ended up dead by their own actions every time.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:42 PM on December 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


Well, they might not have even found the Ark...
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was so godawful bad that I've tried very, very, very hard to erase it from my memory banks, and consider Indiana Jones done after the Last Crusade.
posted by cool breeze at 1:48 PM on December 23, 2011


I actually liked the film. It was what I expected and I had a good time. I like the transition between the mystical from the 30's and the sci-fi in the 50's (see Green Lantern). I know it's not popular, but I enjoyed Crystal Skull.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:48 PM on December 23, 2011


Yessssss! His reviews are funny and some really spot on analysis on why these movies don't work. He taught me that Qui Gon Jin was a terrible character.

No he wasn't. As stated in the Episode I Review Rebuttal:

"No, Qui-Gon Jinn is most certainly not "stern." In fact he's the complete opposite, and can basically be summed up as an idealized father figure. Strong, brave, in control, but also kind and soft spoken. The type of man many people probably wished their dad would be like when they were kids. Qui-Gon is calm and patient when dealing with others, and he believes in the people he takes under his wing."

Episode I was not a good movie, but a lot of the Plinkett attacks are unfounded.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 1:50 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


That Olsen twins joke was horrible, really awful, I really didn't expect something quite so crude and stupid.

Having watched the rest of Plinkett's stuff, it's pretty much exactly what I expected.

But [Temple of Doom]'s the only movie in the series that would have had a different ending if Indy had just stayed home!

I know this is conventional wisdom on the internets, but it's false. Indy found the ark. You can argue that it would have been found anyway, but a million things might have happened differently had it not happened then.

Also, the real ending (in the warehouse) would have likely never happened at all had there not been Americans at the Ark's opening.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:02 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I recently watched Episode 1 again for the first time in ages, basically checking to see if would be appropriate for my Star Wars obsessed daughter. I thought maybe it would seem better to me , watching with fresh eyes and without expectations. Oh my god was I wrong...

1) It is boring. So horribly, horribly boring. The first twenty minutes is all dull conversations about dull stuff, and any oportunity for drama anywhere i s mercilessly crushed underneath longwinded dialogue and flat acting. How dull did you remember it being? It is way more dull than that. Anankin leaves his mother to go off into space forever and as a viewer I couldn't care less - it;s made as dull as any midichlorians or trade agreements.
2) It is shockingly, shockingly racist. Every single alien is some awful racial stereotype - Jar Jar, of course, his fellow lizard things, the Chinese space gits, the Arab slave traders... again, I sort of remembered it, but on rewatching it's far far worse.
3) Jar Jar Binks. As bad as you remember him. And really, the small chance that my daughter might like the horrid clowning creep is the real reason she will never watch it. NEVER. NOT ON MY WATCH.

So, anyway, yuck. A terrible movie with a terribe reputation well deserved.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on December 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


A russian friend of mine can't vouch highly enough for Cate Blanchett's russian accent in this film. It may be the only thing redeemable about it.

Mickey Rourke's accent in Iron Man 2, however?
posted by stratastar at 2:08 PM on December 23, 2011


(Someday I'll come home to find her watching Clone Wars or something, I know, but if I can help her bypass just that one movie I will have done her a great service)
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on December 23, 2011


Mickey Rourke's accent in Iron Man 2, however?

Bwud is in the wuater!
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


At 14:31 of the first part, there's a plot structure infographic that appears for a moment, anybody know where it's from?

And re: the fridge scene — it's usual for action heroes to do impossible stuff, but depending on how the scene is set up you either get the impression that it's easy because A. the hero is special, extraordinarily strong, or lucky, or badass; or B. the danger is fake.

That nuclear blast is a B, what? no temperature, radiation or fallout? Indy just hides in a fridge and walks away, just as you or I would. Same thing with the final battle in SW Episode 1, when annoying kid Anakin accidentaly kills all the enemies, you get the impression that it's easy because the enemies are fake, not because Anakin is special.
posted by Tom-B at 2:16 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


sorry 14:01 not 14:31
posted by Tom-B at 2:25 PM on December 23, 2011


there's a plot structure infographic that appears for a moment, anybody know where it's from?

I found what I believe is the same chart on this site.
posted by mediated self at 2:28 PM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


This film is about the inherent corruption of hollywood. Nothing new here, it's been true from the beginning. People who are successful, accumulate a lot of power - producers, actors, directors. And then they become untouchable. They start making shit. Sometimes it's because they lost their artistic judgment. Sometimes, because they stopped listening to dissenting voices, their ego got the better of them, and they surround themselves with yes-men. Sometimes they just don't give a shit, and want to extract as much cash out of this as possible.

But the fundamental problem remains. They have a lot of power, and that's how they can make bad movies. Then various outsiders, dreamers eager to break in, foolishly say "that was so bad, I could make a lot better, clearly I deserve a career and I'll be a huge success", not realizing that no, you are not going to have a chance, because it's not that hollywood can't find better talent (there's plenty - get in line... end of the line!) and this is the best they can do, it's about the power of old men (and it is mostly men).

The viewers are of course partly to blame. I should say 'consumers'. And really, I shouldn't say "blame". Humans respond to brand products. The old guys ride the brand they made - perhaps it was great once upon a time, but now they have all the advantages of the incumbent brand recognition.

And the money guys back the brands. Would you rather put your money on an old Spielberg or some eager young kid? It's safer to put it on Spielberg. And it's got a built-in ass-covering for the execs should it fail: "hey, don't blame me, I picked Spielberg! But I guess you can't win every time!". Had he picked the young kid and the film failed, he'd get reamed: "why the fuck did you pick that complete unknown loser? You're fired!".

So there is no escaping bad films from old men in hollywood. Or... is there? We've seen this movie once before (ahem!). Hollywood back in the 70's. The old studio heads were completely confused by the radically different viewing public that developed as a result of the social revolution of the 60's. The old film formulas were not working. Weird stuff was working. They didn't understand what the kids wanted. So they threw up their hands and allowed new blood in, almost anyone could talk their way in - and some of the most interesting cinema happened in the 70's. Then we got to the 80's, and the blockbusters (thanks, Spielberg & gang), and as the country elected Reagan, so did the society change. Campus political activity petered out. Stagnation. Reign of old men.

Is there hope? Well, the economics of it all is changing. Technology is making filmmaking tools more affordable and therefore more democratically available. The studios don't have the production control anymore. But they still have distribution control. All those new voices can't be heard, because they don't have access to viewers. That's still controlled. But for how long? The internet is changing things, but a clear model has not evolved yet. Splintering of the viewing public is a two-edged sword; you get more room for niche product, but you have less mindshare and it's harder to make any money at it.

So for now, we're saddled with the old men. Geriatric action actors whose actions are all strictly CGI and SFX. Sclerotic scripts and senile direction. In other words, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. So it's with mixed feelings that I watch something like a plinkett review of this. I mean, it feels like picking on old men in wheelchairs. It's not a fair fight. But maybe all those cutting blows and witty rapier thrusts Plinkett delivers are irony laced and therefore not really meant to draw blood - it's a CGI review.
posted by VikingSword at 2:30 PM on December 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Talking of hip young punks picking up the baton - anyone else think that Super 8 was, once you scape off the Spielbergian nostalgia, kind of empty and crap?
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on December 23, 2011


I thought it was empty crap even with the Spielbergian gloss.
posted by mediated self at 2:42 PM on December 23, 2011


I wouldn't say it was crap, but the only thing I really remember about it is the scene on the train station platform just before the crash where the boys watch Elle Fanning knock her lines out of the park, mouths agape.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:45 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


The best thing about Super 8, by far, was the actual movie the kids shot that was in the end titles - they should have done the whole film like that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:45 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Which, in case anyone thinks I was being sarcastic, was great.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:46 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


>I found what I believe is the same chart on this site.
>posted by mediated self


Great, thanks!
posted by Tom-B at 2:52 PM on December 23, 2011


I have a love hate relationship with The Temple Of Doom, love in that the first eleven minutes or so are basically a perfect serial short adventure, jazz! Diamonds! Exotic locals! Escape! Running! Hate cause there is this other like movie loaf attached to the end of that great sequence that goes on for another hour and a half.
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like the heart ripping.
posted by Artw at 2:55 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love how at the very end of Part 2, we get a preview of films Plinkett wants to tackle. It's quite a list, and I hope he does all of them. I look forward to hearing him talk about the Matrix sequels (which don't exist in my universe) and the Twilight films. That would make for many delicious and insightful hours of movie criticism.
posted by hippybear at 2:56 PM on December 23, 2011


All low hanging fruit. He's a bit of a lazy fuck, TBH.
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I disagree with him on the point that the fact the goal of the Soviets in obtaining the skull is ill-defined is a major flaw. It seems very Cold War to me that the Americans would compete with the Russians just because.
posted by Hoopo at 2:58 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I could listen to this, but I can't stand his voice and character. I find no humor in it whatsoever, but I am interested in his individual points.
posted by gregoryg at 3:04 PM on December 23, 2011


Yeah but it's murky and confusing in a series that really needs not to be murky and confusing. Had they used the Cate Blanchett character more then you could have given the crystal skull more of a direct reason, I mean alien skulls, soviets, all of these things are good things for an Indy story, it was just sloppy and indirect and full of bad CGI, gah.

I mean, hw about this, Crazy Psyhic Soviet lady isn't in it for the glory of Stalin, she's got some of the command wrapped around her mind, the Skull will allow her to extend her power out to the millions, where she will become the single puppet master for the entire Soviet state and then ...THE WORLD. bam, world threatened, people become mind controlled slaves using alien technology, totally in the Indy wheelhouse.
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on December 23, 2011


I mean there is like a completely unnecessary middle sequese cause they remembered he needs to do some archeology, Indy spends quite a lot of time out of the leather jacket and fedora in the first movie, which I always thought helped his character stick out, half in the class room and half in the field doing daring do.
posted by The Whelk at 3:06 PM on December 23, 2011


All low hanging fruit. He's a bit of a lazy fuck, TBH.

I think you misunderstand his purpose with these reviews. He's doing them, and using the Plinkett character to do them, in order to examine some of the biggest, most successful movies from the past while and try to explain why, while they may bring in good box office, they end up being dissatisfying to anyone watching with anything more than a popcorn mindset.

There's a lot of real insight about movies and how they are made and what makes a quality movie versus a simple crowd pleaser which has no real lasting value aside from the money it brings in. I've gained quite a bit of an education about why some movies are really dissatisfying to me that I can't really put my finger on. He really lays it out better than anyone else I've read or watched trying to do the same thing.

I think the truly telling Plinkett Review, the one which helps establish him as something more than just a crank, is the one he did for the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. He really likes that movie, and he explains exactly why it's NOT a bad movie, not just in the context of the Star Trek canon, but also in a greater movie-making setting.

Ultimately, he's trying to let people who love movies know that it's okay not to like what everyone else likes, and to help them understand why their instincts are correct. It's crass and bitter and insulting on some level, but on another level it's a quality film studies education which focusses less on Film As Literature and more on Film As Craft. He explains exactly what has gone wrong with certain films and lets his viewers approach the movies again with a more informed eye, where they can appreciate the film's good points while noticing the faults and learning from them.

I think he's one of the most valuable film resources I've found online. I may find the whole masturbating to the Olsen Twins segment over the top, but leaving aside all that kind of thing, he's performing a service which has enriched my film viewing greatly since I learned of him.
posted by hippybear at 3:09 PM on December 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


It's telling about the strength of his pure structuralist criticism that I out up with the jokes and persona. The analysis is really good, and like with the znuTrek review mentions, how you can take a not stellar script and make it work through direction and action and sheer pace of narrative. So much of the big Sf/ action movies have been really leaden, terribly placed snore fests.
posted by The Whelk at 3:12 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I mean, hw about this, Crazy Psyhic Soviet lady isn't in it for the glory of Stalin, she's got some of the command wrapped around her mind, the Skull will allow her to extend her power out to the millions, where she will become the single puppet master for the entire Soviet state and then ...THE WORLD."

Not bad! Maybe it's a visual power, and if she combines the skull with this newfangled thing called "television" the masses of the Free World will be Stalin's hers to control.

Also,

Metafilter: I like the heart ripping.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:14 PM on December 23, 2011


TV is OLD. Hitler had TV.
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on December 23, 2011


Sure, but the 50s where when Americans started buying TV sets by the millions. Lots and lots of conduits for the power of the skull.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:18 PM on December 23, 2011


Oh, I wasn't saying it was a bad idea, just suggesting an alternate approach...
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on December 23, 2011


Whatever, it makes her double bad, she's not just a loyal soviet, she's in it for personal glory and is specifically using her powers to manipulate the higher ups to indulge the research that would make her even stronger, he'll maybe she even wants to trigger a real war cause she knows, cause she Read a minds, that no one in the high command has the guts to do it.
posted by The Whelk at 3:19 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Although TV would give us a nice " we're calling it, a freeway" moment.
posted by The Whelk at 3:20 PM on December 23, 2011


If you're an aspiring screenwriter I think you'd learn more from Plinkett* that you ever would from Story and the like

*And William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade. And a great interview with the writers of Night Of The Museum that's unfortunately no longer on the internets I think.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:20 PM on December 23, 2011


Could work.

I still like her psychic powers being bullshit better, mind.
posted by Artw at 3:21 PM on December 23, 2011


Yeah but psychic powers being bullshit feels like it belongs in another kind of movie. I totally buy mind powers in the Indy world.
posted by The Whelk at 3:22 PM on December 23, 2011


Also making her wanting to use the skull for personal gain and not the glory of the state makes it a bit easier to swallow.
posted by The Whelk at 3:25 PM on December 23, 2011


Well, a notjob who has no mind powers doesn't really preclude mind powers...
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on December 23, 2011


Or if the powers are bullshit that feels like a comic relief role and then it's not the Big Baddy and then maybe you don't hire Cate Blachett for the role. I mean the bullshit power situation could work, but you'd have to make it much more clearly bullshit and comic and then you're at a henchman, not a Villian.
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on December 23, 2011


And my basis for Indy like stuff is everything you ever read in Frontean times is true so magic mind powers just fits with the period better.
posted by The Whelk at 3:29 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So villains have to be boring?
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on December 23, 2011


The Whelk: you really need to turn autocorrect off on you iPad.
posted by hippybear at 3:31 PM on December 23, 2011


I think for this kind of Adventure story villains need to be clearly defined and Bad, Very Bad And Wrong. They can have Tragic flaws or be doing things for the wrong reasons, but there really can't be a question that they have to be stopped, adding in a " they think they can read minds but totally can't just play along" seems like adding a comic note where it doesn't belong, like I could see a henchman play that totally straight, and still be scary, but your big villain needs to have a very clear goal and objective and be totally scary.
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on December 23, 2011


Metafilter: a matter of opinion, but mine is right
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:34 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Like I agree, having someone who thinks they are psychic being tricked by someone who knows they're totally not is a really good device, but the movie didn't hit either direction hard enough so it's just halfway and stupid.


What autocorrect I am transcribing from my brain using this monkey paw.
posted by The Whelk at 3:36 PM on December 23, 2011


Also why they had to go to the place with the alien bodies was not well explained, at all, you need a race for both teams with a clear outcome and I just remember watching going, " they have to go to to the Mayan pyramid cause aliens and also, perfect knowledge! Wait it makes you explode? What?"

You can pull that trick once, and you did, with the Ark, cause it kind of made sense. Dead alien crashed ship mind meld does not.
posted by The Whelk at 3:45 PM on December 23, 2011


is anyone else really annoyed with bliptv? ads, no full screen, so annoying
Too many ads, no doubt. But there is full screen (click the TV icon).

But the reason I'm here: The kid seemed to be loosely based on Brando in The Wild One (at least, they went out of their way to dress him up like that). So he should have ridden a Triumph Thunderbird, Johnny's signature bike. Instead he rides a Harley, no doubt because Harley pays a lot more for product placement.

This bugged me more than it should have.
posted by coolguymichael at 3:45 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the moment Crystal Skull started, it did nothing but shit on the entire franchise. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd always thought the warehouse the Ark was store in was buried deep underground (and in Washington, for some reason). Putting the Ark in Area 51? Gah. Area 51 itself is just so, so tired, it's movie shorthand, it's the sign of a lazy filmmaker.

The skulls? What possible significance are they? Every. Single. Object. Indy ever went after was held in some form of religious devotion, from the golden idol head, to the remaisn of Nurhachi (first Manchu emporer, for crying out loud), to the golden cross at the beginning of Last Crusade. Every damn thing 'belonged in a museum.' Instead, we have these freaking skulls, which may or may not have been outright hoaxes.

And aliens? South Park had the best review of the film, easily, where Stan, staggering down the street after having witnessed the atrocity, imagines Spielberg and Lucas pinning Indy down and sodomizing him. Gah. Gah.

There wasn't a single good moment in the film. There wasn't any moment where I felt any kind of joy about sitting in the theater.

(On the other hand, Temple of Doom is the underrated masterpiece of the series, showing Indy making the journey from graverobber and mercenary to geniuine hero.)
posted by Ghidorah at 3:46 PM on December 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Too many ads, no doubt.

One ad at the beginning of each part is too many? Or did others have more ads? Because I had one at the start of each part, and no more.
posted by hippybear at 3:50 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Accurately if you did the Only Religious Objects you could have come up with some interesting things for a 50s era story.
posted by The Whelk at 3:52 PM on December 23, 2011


Actually, even though I'm tired of Lovecraft patisches, Indiana Jones At The Mountains Of Madness has a lot of potential.
posted by The Whelk at 3:53 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


only if Del Toro directs.
posted by hippybear at 3:58 PM on December 23, 2011


I watched the videos on the red letter media main site and saw no ads.
posted by mediated self at 3:59 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm okay with the MacGuffin being a non-religious object, but this one left them with nothing to bring back to the museum. Or at least, nothing they could write about without destroying their reputations as serious scientists.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:59 PM on December 23, 2011


I would almost be okay with that if they mentioned it, like ever....wow what a wacky adventure, too bad there's no way we can talk about it ever! It sucks no one will ever know! Cause again, one of the things that makes Indy not Generic Adventure Hero is that he's an academic.
posted by The Whelk at 4:04 PM on December 23, 2011


They really should have just used the crystal skulls as religious objects without having all the alien stuff involved. There's enough legend and woo-woo belief attached to the skulls which we actually do have that you wouldn't have to do much else beside having them have actual power.

(Disclaimer: when I was living in Sedona, AZ (woo-woo capital of the US), I actually had an audience with one of the skulls. I don't remember which one -- it was pink, and exquisitely formed, and certainly the reverence it was afforded by everyone else involved with its being in Sedona caused it to have a certain power and presence that I wasn't prepared for. While I have a pretty scientific-extentialist worldview overall, I'm not afraid to give time to spiritual exploration or whatnot. I don't give it a lot of credence beyond my acknowledgement that there's a part of me which seems to need it even if it isn't true. So, there it is. I've met a skull. It was an interesting experience, and one which I reflect on from time to time. I could easily see where a completely satisfying Indy movie could have been made leaving the aliens out entirely.)
posted by hippybear at 4:05 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indy's real life inspiration didn't exact have a stellar academic reputation.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah you didn't really need aliens, it just fit the times,

Or hey, I wish it was more directly about mesoamerican stuff, everything felt really generic in the movie, if you're going to do a Chariots Of The Gods, Mighty Morphin Mayan Aliens thing, then fucking use Pre Colombian shit. Thier adventures where surprisingly generic and vauge.

Which is super lame cause precolumbian shit is fucking cool, plaything of the jaguar god y'all
posted by The Whelk at 4:08 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally want Sedona to really be the site of crashed alien ship, but the radiation given off by the buried engines doesn't do anything but make people belive complete nonsense.
posted by The Whelk at 4:10 PM on December 23, 2011


I totally want Sedona to really be the site of crashed alien ship, but the radiation given off by the buried engines doesn't do anything but make people belive complete nonsense.

Tommyknockers
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:15 PM on December 23, 2011


It's the most beautiful place I've ever lived. Walking from my house there to the grocery store nearby was an adventure in the wonder of Nature. I completely get why people want to live there (although not in the numbers they seem to have flocked there since I left -- the place wasn't designed for that many people, and traffic was already horrible in 1997 -- it can only have gotten worse in the years since).

I can see why some people get all woo-woo over the place. There is something going on there which causes a lot of people to sleep poorly, some people get something similar to the Taos Hum, things like Bell Rock really do seem to feel odd when you walk around on them. I don't really believe in Lay Lines and Vortex Energy, but having lived there long enough (20 months) I can understand how people are led to believe in such things.

I did spend an afternoon sitting on top of a sandstone arch and having the cliff-face opposite me turn into faces and talk to me about the nature of the universe, but I suspect the mushrooms had more to do with that experience than anything intrinsic to Sedona specifically.
posted by hippybear at 4:18 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm okay with the MacGuffin being a non-religious object, but this one left them with nothing to bring back to the museum. Or at least, nothing they could write about without destroying their reputations as serious scientists.

You think Professor Jones got tenure for his work proving the Jewish Yahweh, Indian god Kali and the Christian Jesus Christ were all real? I don't think his adventuring had much application to his academic career.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 4:24 PM on December 23, 2011


Back to Lovecraft again, I imagine it's like Miskatonic U. - sure, they've all read that copyof the Necronomicon that got passed around, and one or two of them have gotten into scrapes with invisble monsters or space crabs or giant antarctic cities, but that's all talked about in hushed tones outside of regular business.
posted by Artw at 4:31 PM on December 23, 2011


Night Of The Museum

Ah yes, the classic tale of the night the Smithsonian went on a psychotic rampage.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:34 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm visiting my parents and my niece and nephew are buzzing around. I would love to share Plinkett's insightful analysis with my family because I think they would appreciate it, but his "humor" cuts would get me expelled in a very un-funny and irreconcilable way.

:-(
posted by scelerat at 4:38 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great, more crap from the Glenn Beck of Lucas-Bashers. So which bit of misinformation are internet morons going to be mindlessly parroting for the next year?
posted by mgrichmond at 4:39 PM on December 23, 2011


So which bit of misinformation are internet morons going to be mindlessly parroting for the next year?

I don't know. Why don't you watch both parts and tell us exactly what is misinformation and which parts you feel we'll be parroting, since you seem to be so confident in your assessment of this reviewer and his viewpoints?
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


This illustrates perfectly a point Plinkett makes in the prequel reviews about one of the key reasons those films were so misguided: just because kids see a movie, that doesnt mean kids want to see other kids in the movie. Kids want to be Han, or Lando, or Leia. They dont care that those characters are 20 years older than they are, because that is irrelevant since they are imagining anyway. No kid wants to be Mutt or young Annakin or one of those youngling Muppet Babies Jedis we saw getting trained because none of those guys are particularly cool or interesting or in control of anything in the first place.

This. 20 times over.

It's where Lucas is clearly seen to lose the plot and it's the key point where the prequels fall apart. There was ample room for a plot in which we meet a late teens/early twenties Skywalker and Kenobi, but instead Lucas went off in a bizarro kiddie adventure. It's unnecessary and redundant.

Also I have to echo ArtW's comments on the blatant racist stereotypes. What. The. Fuck. George?
posted by panboi at 4:51 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


My kid identifies with Princess Leia, and FWIW Leia is a suprisingly kickass character and actually pretty much pulls her weight storywise... Now, she also has the Queen Amidala Polly Pocket and is very interested in that character, who is sort of in a similar role except for this: She really doesn't do much of anything. And what she does do feels like what Plinkett identifies as giving the character something to do. Sure she's there because she's gotto have a love affair with the 10 year old (um, do they ever really go into how that works?) but that's all later on, in Phantom Menace she basically wears some clothes and delivers some wooden lines. Oh, and then there's the whole decoy thing, which is just going to be confusing as fuck fora 5 year old and doesn't really come to much of anything. Queen Amidala is actually a bit crap all round.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The decoy thing confused me - and I'm a grown-up.

What's actually most notable by their absence in the prequels is any Han Solo-type character. It just says a lot about where George Lucas' head is (and has been for a while) at the moment.
posted by panboi at 5:21 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Decoy thing: see a queen can't in good self-respect spend time hanging out with a 6 year old. But a queen hidden as a decoy servant is perfectly suited to take care of, and set the seed to fall in eventual love with said 6 year old's personality.

As was said: What. The. Fuck.
posted by stratastar at 5:47 PM on December 23, 2011


I've always said that the reason Lucas (and Spielberg) lost the plot was that they grew up and had children of their own, and these children were spoiled brats that grew up in the lap of luxury. And then Lucas looked at them and thought, "I want to make a movie kids will love. But, holy shit, my children are just dim little morons compared to me when I was their age. And since my children are the best children evar, all other children must be hollow, blithering idiots, barely able to dress themselves, much less follow a nuanced plot."

So, Lucas lowered his target. And his children loved the result.

So, if you wonder how Jar-Jar Binks was born, it's because George Lucas is a terrible father.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:49 PM on December 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


I've always said that the reason Lucas (and Spielberg) lost the plot was that they grew up and had children of their own, and these children were spoiled brats that grew up in the lap of luxury.

A point which is underscored by Plinkett (in different words) in Part 2 of his review of Indy 4.
posted by hippybear at 5:51 PM on December 23, 2011


I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Cyrstal Skull in a sneak preview at Lucasfilm in San Francisco. It was pretty awkward to sit in a theater with people who were likely involved in making the movie and try to conceal how much I thought it sucked.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:02 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The problem isn't that it's silly, the problem is that it breaks the laws of the universe as established in the Indy movies. If Indy could survive that then suddenly a lot of scenes that were perilous and exciting throughout the franchise are rather boring.

One of the scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark that established Indiana Jones as a great character was when he and Karen Allen were on the boat and he was pointing out all of the places he was hurt. He did a lot of implausible things, but he got the crap beat out of him and was vulnerable and human.

There was ample room for a plot in which we meet a late teens/early twenties Skywalker and Kenobi

Before the prequels I always imagined the younger Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi being peers and about the same age, and they would've been in their 20s or 30s during the time that Kenobi was remembering. Ewan McGregor's 18 years older than Jake Lloyd, and I was surprised by the age difference in the prequels.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:13 PM on December 23, 2011


WhackyparseThis: "You think Professor Jones got tenure for his work proving the Jewish Yahweh, Indian god Kali and the Christian Jesus Christ were all real? I don't think his adventuring had much application to his academic career."

It's beyond the scope of what we see in the movies - but sure, sort of. He couldn't tell anyone about the search for the Lost Ark, because that was a secret mission for the US government, but I can totally see Indy writing a super-dry monograph after the second movie: On The Rediscovery of An Ancient Thuggee Temple, with a short introduction explaining how he happened to survive a plane crash and encountered modern Thuggees, then 40 pages detailing the structure of the temple and artifacts found inside. And after the third movie, no one could stop Jones Sr. from writing about their discovery of the Holy Grail! The man spent his life looking for it. Maybe the two of them cowrote a paper, leaving out only the Knight and the miraculous healing stuff.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:09 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


St. Petersburg accents are sharp and crisp, Moscow accents are languid and fulsome. Roarke was trying a Moscow accent, Blanchette something more Baltic.

Sort of like a Bostonian evaluating a bad New York accent (It sounds so real!) vs. a bad New England accent ("Pahhhk the caaaahh?" For real, kid?), Russian expats are really only good at evaluating hometown accents.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:48 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


also, is we're doing 80s SF fantasia, Paul > Super 8
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on December 23, 2011


I'm kind of a big fan of Gentleman Broncos (18% on rotten tomatoes) as a celebration of cheesy non-decade-specific-but-kinda-80s SFness.
posted by Artw at 10:42 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Night Of The Museum

Ah yes, the classic tale of the night the Smithsonian went on a psychotic rampage.


I probably should have added that the interview was not great because it showed some insight into genius scriptwriting, in fact the opposite in that it's about what Hollywood is really like at the cruddy end of the business (in particular generic comedies) where the real aim of everyone is not to produce high art, and in fact most of the time is not even to produce a serviceable, entertaining and hopefully profitable film, but to just Not Get Fired for the longest time possible. So an awful lot of bad decisions and idiotic 'notes' coming down from on high get crow-barred into scripts by screenwriters and minor producers who know they are terrible but suck it up because they just want to keep working.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:28 AM on December 24, 2011


Not sure what interview you're referring to, fearfulsymmetry, but those guys wrote a whole book on the subject: Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How we Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
posted by mediated self at 3:04 AM on December 24, 2011


For me, the most interesting thing in this review was the idea that Crystal Skull could have been a B-movie rather than a Republic Adventure Serial. This had real potential.

Here's what I think they should have done: ditched Indiana Jones (that character's story was done) and made another franchise starring Harrison Ford.

Harrison Ford is an excellent movie star because he's one of the few that can do dorky and manly simultaneously. He can play a character who is frantic and out-of-his-depth without seeming too neurotic to respect. But, alas, he's a bit too old to play the exact same character he was playing in his thirties and forties.

So, make a new character: a fifties B-movie scientist who solves two-fisted science mysteries.

Suddenly, you have a whole new genre to plunder. You have hundreds of movies and comics and pulp novels to play with. You can update the whole thing with modern special effects and push the horror angle a bit further, be a bit more graphic, than they could be in the 1950s. But basically, you can get something that has the freshness of the original Indiana Jones, which is the one thing that no sequel can capture. You can do stuff because it's cool, not because you did it in another movie twenty years ago. And the fact that you have a 60-year-old man having to get involved in scenes of physical danger could be more tense and more exciting precisely because he's 60 years old, rather than that being something you have to hide.

As an equation, it would be:

[Harrison Ford] + [B Movie Tropes] + [Modern sensibilities] = something that may or may not be good, but at least would be NEW.
posted by lucien_reeve at 3:36 AM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Or at least it would be Quatermass. Which would be cool, actually - Harrison Ford as Quatermass.
posted by Grangousier at 4:15 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Olson twins joke (maybe?) reflects the gossip media build-up to the "are they legal yet?" thing. For awhile a few years back, you couldn't escape the wink and nudge about it. Obviously they were actually post-adolescent women, as opposed to little girls, at the time, but there was still a pretty creepy vibe to it.

I have no doubt that he was being creepy on purpose--he even showed the video covers where they were children. It's just like in the other reviews when he kept taking breaks to talk about murdering women. Or in this one. I wish he would knock it the hell off, because I love his film analysis and this other garbage is just offensive and off-putting. I honestly think that he's very astute and an excellent editor and has a lot of worthwhile things to say--that he could even be influential in a larger sense if he toned it down--and I didn't hear a word he said for about five minutes after that Olsen thing.
posted by heatvision at 6:09 AM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or at least it would be Quatermass. Which would be cool, actually - Harrison Ford as Quatermass.

Yes. Exactly. Except that because it didn't have the Quatermass brand it would be:

a) full of the joy of discovery that only the unknown can deliver

and

b) impossible to make in a Hollywood obsessed with presold products and remakes.
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:09 AM on December 24, 2011


Am I a terrible person for finding the Olson twins joke hilarious ?
posted by Pendragon at 7:09 AM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


No, I thought it was funny, and then it was awful, and then it kept going until it was hilarious.
posted by hippybear at 7:14 AM on December 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


We should all get together and write an Indy reboot starring Mutt in the 1960s fighting the Bavarian Illuminati and recovering Atlantean artifacts while doing piles of LSD and banging hippies.
posted by empath at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


So, it would be the Austin Powers version of Indiana Jones, then?
posted by hippybear at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2011


Yeah, he's actually an ethno-botanist, not an archeologist and the opening sequence is him going down to south america to try ayahuasca with a recently discovered tribe and accidentally stumbling upon a bunch of pillars with heiroglyphs describing an exodus of people from Atlantis landing on the shores of brazil, and a statue of a tentacled-faced monster they called Katalu crashing through the waves after them..
posted by empath at 7:56 AM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love how he finds those telling moments from the movies own promotional material. (I assume it's the DVD extras and such.)

One from this go-round was Spielberg tossing around the term MacGuffin. It's one thing for us, and for film studies people to toss it around, but, when you're making your movie, MacGuffin should be a bad word. It's your story! It's the story of the movie you're making right now. It's important. It's why "unobtainium" bugged me. It's disrespectful to your own movie.
posted by Trochanter at 7:56 AM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


MacGuffin at this point is just a technical term in screen writing. If you're making a thriller, there always is one.
posted by empath at 8:08 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are mechanical elements to story telling, I agree. But when you're making a movie, I repeat: for those three months, while you're shooting, cutting etc. that's the only story in the world. It has to have an integrity. When Spielberg used it in that mini documentary, it was like he just wrote off the whole script. "Oh, the MacGuffin."
posted by Trochanter at 8:16 AM on December 24, 2011


We should all get together and write an Indy reboot starring Mutt in the 1960s fighting the Bavarian Illuminati and recovering Atlantean artifacts while doing piles of LSD and banging hippies.

That would be The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen : 1969
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Olsen twins joke was horrible, really awful, I really didn't expect something quite so crude and stupid. Laughing about paedophilia, using huge streams of fake cum? Gross and very poorly judged. Makes me quite angry. It's just going too far. My estimation of this person has gone way down.

You know what makes me angry? The fact that vanilla burbclave types like you get so uncomfortable about any form of humor (and if you think that mild Olsen Twins bit was hot stuff, acquaint your entitled, prissy, and utterly ignorant asshole with grindhouse cinema) even modestly transcending your safe, unadventurous, and ultimately reactionary sensibilities, thus perpetuating a concatenation of stale creative cookie-cutter entertainment whereby legitimately terrible films like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which fear offending touchy douchey facks like you, sully their previous legacies. My estimation of your ability to comprehend how Mr. Plinkett's ironic use of uncomfortable humor to reveal what the American public ultimately settles for in the multiplexes has shot way down. Your cultural cognizance is gross and very poorly founded. If you can't laugh over the more unpleasant aspects of human existence (and, again, Mr. Plinkett is hardly going all that far), then I sentence you to a lifetime of Applebee's dinners and repeat viewings of Love, Actually. You, sir, are the fucking problem.

posted by ed at 8:30 AM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


My estimation of this person has gone way down.

He also kills hookers after forcing them to watch Baby's Day Out.
posted by empath at 8:34 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to repeat that for emphasis:

He makes them watch Baby's Day Out

*shudder*
posted by empath at 8:35 AM on December 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


That would be The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen : 1969

I prefer Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories for that - LoEG 69 is kinda gloomy and depressing.
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on December 24, 2011


The whole LOEG series is getting gloomy and apocalyptic, which is probably the point, but dammnit why can't there be Adventures with capital A anymore?
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on December 24, 2011


repeat viewings of Love, Actually

Hey, now. Don't go trashing Love, Actually. It's a fine movie, one of the better "large ensemble cast doing intersecting stories" films of the past while. It may be a bit sentimental, but it's also a holiday movie, which aside from a few outliers, is expected from the genre. I actually look for it regularly on my satellite service (it's not shown all that often).
posted by hippybear at 8:52 AM on December 24, 2011


I didn't quite get the Brian Jones death hole business. I thought Haddo went from dying body to living body. Anyone?
posted by stinkycheese at 9:04 AM on December 24, 2011


I didn't hear a word he said for about five minutes after that Olsen thing.

Hearing things I don't like sometimes give me temporary hearing loss, too! And when I eat liver I can't taste anything for days.
posted by coolguymichael at 9:16 AM on December 24, 2011


MacGuffin at this point is just a technical term in screen writing. If you're making a thriller, there always is one.

There's always an antagonist, too. But wouldn't it be kinda lazy to name your villian (in a semi-serious movie) Aunt Agonist? She could fight your hero Prote at the Klimax Klub.
posted by coolguymichael at 9:20 AM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops - that was in reference to unobtainium, btw. WTF am I doing up this early on my day off?
posted by coolguymichael at 9:21 AM on December 24, 2011


There's always an antagonist, too. But wouldn't it be kinda lazy to name your villian (in a semi-serious movie) Aunt Agonist? She could fight your hero Prote at the Klimax Klub.

Hiro Protagonist demands your respect!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:36 AM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but using unobtanium in the film itself is different than Spielberg talking about it as a MacGuffin in a making-of video.

Hitchcock popularized the term talking about his own films, and hardly anyone would call him a hack.
posted by empath at 9:39 AM on December 24, 2011


Using MacGuffin the way Spielberg did was brilliantly illustrative of the rote way this movie was made. Everybody on autopilot. Hugs all around. Cheques at the cashier. Fuck the public.
posted by Trochanter at 9:43 AM on December 24, 2011


Apparently the new Mission Impossible is awesome, so yeah, sequels don't have to be worse than their predecessors. You need a good director who will demand a script that makes sense, excellent practical effects (or CGI, they can be cool too) and believable performances from the actors.

None of those things happened in this movie outside of a few key scenes.

In fact, it's like George Lucas refuses to do 2+ things at once with a scene. The entire CIA/communist thing is just... what? Who cares. Has no bearing on the movie later.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:48 AM on December 24, 2011


I was really impressed with the new Captain America movie for having plot/character/action moments all at the same time. Not "HELLO, CAP'N, MY NAME IS DUM DUM DUGAN. I AM A SOLDIER WE MUST STOP HYDRA FROM BLAH BLAH BLAH. CUE ACTION SCENE NOW."
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:49 AM on December 24, 2011


Captain America is actually a pretty good example of an unpretentious, fun modern adventure movie that just gets on with the business of storytelling. And it has an Indy reference.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on December 24, 2011


An Indy reference? The whole movie was an extended homage to George Lucas. It was 90% shots from Indiana Jones or Star Wars.
posted by empath at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2011


Captain America was a better Indy movie than Crystal Skull.
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 AM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Captain America was a better Indy movie than Crystal Skull.

Yeah, totally agree.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:48 AM on December 24, 2011


Wait. The Captain America movie is worth watching?
For reals?

Huh. I'll be damned. Maybe I'll check it out.
The marketing suggested something like Rocketeer (which would be awesome) but I didn't want to get my hopes up.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:55 AM on December 24, 2011


It's very Rocketeer.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on December 24, 2011


Apparently the new Mission Impossible is awesome, so yeah, sequels don't have to be worse than their predecessors. You need a good director who will demand a script that makes sense, excellent practical effects (or CGI, they can be cool too) and believable performances from the actors.

And here's where I stand up and point out that, despite his status as an A-level talent, Tom Cruise is likely still the most underrated person who has ever worked in Hollywood.

Comedy, drama, action, romance. Dude's done it all, excellently. While we're talking about Mission Impossible, let me point out that he's produced all four (he co-runs United Artists) with four different directors, each of whom is a top-level figure in their own right and each of whom was allowed to stamp the film with their personal style -- and they all made a damn good film that made money.

You know, if it weren't for Xenu and the e-meters and the very obvious batshit insanity of the thing, it kinda makes me want to look into this whole Scientology thing...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:57 AM on December 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Really? I find him very samey. Still, he clearly enjoyed hamming it up with the make up and such in Tropic Thunder.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on December 24, 2011


>Why don't you watch both parts and tell us exactly what is misinformation and which parts you feel we'll be parroting, since you seem to be so confident in your assessment of this reviewer and his viewpoints?

I'm not gonna subject myself to any more of his...Plinketness. I could go the easy route and say it's his voice and his self-congratulatory attempts at "look how socially unacceptable I can be with my raep jokes!" humor, but that's just scratching the surface.

Honestly, I tried to watch his Episode I rant. I don't remember exactly when I turned it off; it might have been when he went on the assumption that The Trade Federation was some kind of regulatory body within the Republic (rather than one of the states governed *by* the Republic, which is why they were called the Trade *Federation* rather than, say, The Republic Office Of Trade Management). Or it might have been when he went on the assumption that the blockade of Naboo was bad because they had some "space plague" and were waited for "space medicine," rather than because it was, y'know, AN ACT OF OPEN WARFARE.

Either way, I sure as hell didn't make it to the part where he said that Midichlorians were a disease, and that Yoda was strong in the Force because of "space-AIDS." I didn't get that until I read the excellent rebuttal.

Here's the problem with Mike Stoklasa, DBA Plinkett: there are unquestionably problems with the pacing and story of the prequels. That fact is thrown into sharp relief when you watch some of the fan edits, particularly The Balance Of The Force by Magnoliafan, where, with just a bit of judicious editing and sound mixing, it plays like a whole new movie. Clearly, Lucas needs a Gary Kurtz; someone who isn't afraid to question him, and to help translate his ideas from Lucas-to-English.

(Side question: could George Lucas be autistic? Discuss.)

But Stoklasa isn't interested in what's right and wrong. He's made a blanket declaration that EVERYTHING about the prequels (and apparently, everything LFL does now) is not only unredeemably bad, but outright evil and malicious. He hates it all uniformly, and when you start from that place of hate, you're not going to be able to speak rationally or objectively.

That extends to the people who are so excited by his rants; they're not interested in a rational discussion either. They just want their hate validated, which Stoklasa gives them in spades. And anyone who points out that "no, what he said there is incorrect," even if, as I said before, that person agrees that there were plot and structure problems, gets accused of having Lucas' dick in their mouth.

The whole exercise becomes like arguing with an Obama-hating Fox News viewer; you can hate Obama all you want, but when the reasons you state for hating him (death panels, Kenyan-born Muslim, etc) are repeatedly proven to be factually incorrect, then I just can't take you seriously, and it becomes clear that you just want to hate, and you reject any logic that gets in the way of that.

So, no, I won't be watching any parts of this. I'll just wait until Stoklasa's followers tell me that Marion was stuck in a time loop, or that Mutt Williams can't be Indy's son because Shia The Beef is the wrong age, or whatever weird leaps in logic he's spewed out this time. In the meantime, "PIZZA ROLLS! HAHAHA!" Am I doing it right?
posted by mgrichmond at 12:52 PM on December 24, 2011


Didn't say Cruise was a Streep-level talent. Just very, very underrated. Samey? You could say the same thing about many top-level actors that reach the point where their extreme fame and sheer ubiquity makes it difficult to disentangle their fame from their character. Even Tom Hanks can strike me as "samey" if you really start to break it down. Al Pacino's been playing variations of the same character since Scarface.

Cruise ... well, I believed he was both a hyper-competent cop with a drug problem in Minority Report and a blue-collar schmuck in War of the Worlds, and that was the same director, same crew, etc.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:57 PM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I honestly think that he's very astute and an excellent editor and has a lot of worthwhile things to say (emphasis mine)

You've got to be kidding, right? Plinkett deliberately has crappy editing, cutting off his own words and chopping together images to give a level of unprofessionalism that makes the video seem more authentic and heartfelt. He plucks things out of context, and presents his own, deliberately misleading, situation to reinforce what he's saying.

And he makes that stupid "Shut up movie, I'M talking!" joke too many times. It's so disingenuous.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 12:58 PM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I doing it right?

I'd say, overall, making assumptions about someone's online content based on your unwillingness to actually consume even a single part of it in its entirety and then embarking on gross assumptions about anything and everything not only that person has ever said but also what anyone who would appreciate what they have to say, that's... well....

Yeah, based on what I know about the internet, you're probably doing it right.
posted by hippybear at 12:59 PM on December 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


the assumption that The Trade Federation was some kind of regulatory body within the Republic (rather than one of the states governed *by* the Republic, which is why they were called the Trade *Federation* rather than, say, The Republic Office Of Trade Management).

Plinkett's point is: Who freaking cares!!

But, again, I don't blame anyone who can't get past the humour. I'd like to see his stuff bowdlerized, because it's good criticism, but it's hard to recommend to people because of the terrible nauseating parts. Which is a shame because there is a lot of actual funny stuff in there.
posted by Trochanter at 1:03 PM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sheesh, someone in this thread managed to compare this to death panels and conspiracy theories about Obama? You win the internet.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:41 PM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


someone in this thread managed to compare this to death panels and conspiracy theories about Obama?

I'm more astounded that he thinks that 108-page pile of egregious point-missing fanboy spittle-flecked ranting is an "excellent rebuttal".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:10 PM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Am I doing it right?

I thought the part where you pretended to care about the trade federation was pretty funny, if that's what you were going for.
posted by empath at 2:20 PM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Really, it's ridiculous to call the rebuttal "spittle-flecked ranting" when it's compared to the Plinkett review it's criticising. If anything, it's level-headed and well written in the face of one of the most provocative fanboy attacks on the internet. And it's only "egregious point-missing" if the point of the Plinkett reviews is to make dick and murder jokes.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 2:25 PM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find him very samey.

Cary Grant was very samey in most of his roles, and thank the gods he was. Wanting all actors to be Streep or Day-Lewis is the film equivalent of rockism.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:28 PM on December 24, 2011


Something that starts off calling itself "a study in fanboy stupidity" and calls fans of the Redlettermedia reviews "sheep-like followers" is level-headed and not a rant? Yeah, okay.

As for missing the point, I'm not going to descend into hypocrisy by sitting here and dissecting the entire "rebuttal", but one thing that keeps happening over and over is that the author seems not to recognize hyperbole when he encounters it:
But the audience doesn't meet Anakin until 45 minutes into the movie.

Wrong. Anakin shows up at almost exactly 32 minutes into the movie.
In addition, he often reads his own motivations and exposition into things that should have been explained in the movie, but aren't--he spends an entire page (over 500 words) speculating on the role of the Trade Federation and what the taxation of trade routes might mean to them, completely oblivious to the fact that something like this that sets the entire plot in motion should have been made clear by the movie itself.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:47 PM on December 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


And it's only "egregious point-missing" if the point of the Plinkett reviews is to make dick and murder jokes.

It's "egregiously point-missing" because the movie spent 100 pages defending is a pile of shit.
posted by empath at 2:48 PM on December 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


(movie that he spent)
posted by empath at 2:48 PM on December 24, 2011


Speaking as someone who finds the Plinkett character super off-putting and the "I like to kill and rape women" routine beyond awful, his reviews are well thought-out, supported, and presented.

And that rebuttal is absolutely ridiculous, with it trying to insert digs at any conceivable opening ("it abruptly cuts to the first section"), pointing out his specific, deliberate mispronunciations (with phonetic spelling, no less), an opening explaining the methodology of his rebuttal, etc.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:44 PM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


trying to insert digs at any conceivable opening

That, um, sounds like someone else...
posted by Artw at 3:55 PM on December 24, 2011


Sorry if I missed someone else saying it upthread, but I admire Plinkett's ongoing pushing the envelope with horrible jokes. I don't know if he's reacting to internet opinion or not, but after the serial killer bits he put in the prequel reviews, he did his penultimate review with a bit about killing a kitty to make some horrible dish, complete with cute kitty and buzz saw and fake blood and fake raw cat meat.

The Olsen Jiizz Fountain seems like a logical next step.
posted by angrycat at 4:23 PM on December 24, 2011


Am I doing it right?

Nope.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:10 PM on December 24, 2011


I think that there's an interesting, and maybe intentional, parallel to the movie that Plinkett is reviewing and the metafictional parts of the review itself.

As he mentions, Indy is a character that's more about his utility in the film (being a stand-in for a healthy sort of viewer power fantasy) than his actual character. The hat and the whip are more important than Harrison Ford, is a summarization of the idea from the review. But, really, even if this was a straight-up reboot with LeBeouf as the title character, would this film need to be made? Indy had 3 (for some people, 2) great adventures. He did pretty much everything the character could do, rode off into the sunset, and entertained millions. KOTC shouldn't have been made.

I think Plinkett is the same sort of character. I don't know that 6ish hours of critique centered on the prequels would've surfaced in the same way if not for the murder and mayhem that it was wrapped in. Plinkett allowed the Red Letter Media guys to do the more traditional Siskel and Ebert styled Half in the Bag. Plinkett had his time in the spotlight, did a handful of very competent take-downs of poorly mad films, and maybe it's time to put him to rest. But, as Sxwwhateverfan66 at the start of the review says, "get off your fat homo asses and do more plinkett reviews."

It's what the fans want, and it's what gets eyeballs on screens, but maybe it's best to let Plinkett roll off into the sunset like he did at the end of the review. The Olsen twins jizz fountain strikes me as purposefully over the top and unfunny, and it's surrounded by much less shock-value humor than in previous reviews (there's no Nadine arc, for example). It seems like Mike is finished with the character and wants to move on to other stuff, like Lucas should've done.

I feel like the Plinkett frame story always reflects some point that they're trying to make in the larger review, and that they couch it in a vulgar and juvenile way to make it slightly more subtle.
posted by codacorolla at 5:11 PM on December 24, 2011


That, um, sounds like someone else...

Only superficially. He does talk about scenes and elements in movies that he thinks were well done.
posted by neuromodulator at 5:12 PM on December 24, 2011


It's "egregiously point-missing" because the movie he spent spent 100 pages defending is a pile of shit.

Pile of shit or not, Plinkett made a feature-length criticism of everything wrong he could see. Why can't others do the same for him?
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:49 PM on December 24, 2011


6ish hours of critique centered on the prequels would've surfaced in the same way if not for the murder and mayhem that it was wrapped in

For me it was the anger at Lucas. I liked that he was shaking his fist at the insulting laziness. Still do.

Where I most disagree with Plinkett is that he seems to like LeBeouf, which I can only put down to the Stonecutters. I can't believe that guy's getting work. I can't believe there aren't a grip of young, handsome, reasonable actors out there waiting for the roles he keeps scarfing up.
posted by Trochanter at 5:52 PM on December 24, 2011


Pile of shit or not, Plinkett made a feature-length criticism of everything wrong he could see. Why can't others do the same for him?

People are perfectly free to waste their time doing whatever they want, and the rest of us are free to point and laugh at the nerds.
posted by empath at 7:51 PM on December 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


it might have been when he went on the assumption that The Trade Federation was some kind of regulatory body within the Republic (rather than one of the states governed *by* the Republic, which is why they were called the Trade *Federation* rather than, say, The Republic Office Of Trade Management)

The prequels are made for kids and anyone who criticizes them is just bitter about not being kids anymore like they were when the first movies came out.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:38 PM on December 24, 2011


Yes, the prequels are made for kids, what with their talk of trade route taxation, and multiple severed hands, and bisected Darth Maul, and beheaded Jango Fett, and...mutilated and on-fire Anakin...wait a minute. Here, let me do this:

...anyone who criticizes them is just bitter about not being kids anymore like they were when the first movies came out these shit movies and their convoluted nonsensical scripts being created by someone who no longer has anyone to say no to his ideas, and is more concerned with sitting in his director's chair drinking coffee and being comfortable than actually, y'know, directing actors.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:20 AM on December 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Captain America:

It's very Rocketeer.

Same director. Also did Jumanji, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. In my humble opinion, Joe Johnston is very under-rated.
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:08 AM on December 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


The prequels are made for kids

He picked that argument to pieces in his reviews.
posted by empath at 7:19 AM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe I should've used the sarcasm font.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:55 AM on December 25, 2011


Maybe I should've used the sarcasm font.

Is it too late to declare HERP DERP on myself? No? Okay, then. HERP DERP
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:24 AM on December 25, 2011


I got some questions:

Why does the author of the brilliant rebuttal call Plinkett a fanboy?
Why does the author of the brilliant rebuttal use such an anal retentive way to share his essay?
Why does the author of the brilliant rebuttal do the silly Trade Federation argument? Could he do a more fanboy thing?
Why does the author of the brilliant rebuttal point out as errors what are obviously joke mispronunciations?
Why does the author of the brilliant rebuttal use such an ambiguous title? "A Study in Fanboy Stupidity."

In short: Is there a whole lot of hamburger going on?
posted by Trochanter at 10:03 AM on December 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wish it were hamburgerish, but if you go over to the forum where the original 108-page PDF got posted, you'll see that the author (who calls himself "Jim Raynor"--possibly his actual name, but more likely taken from the Starcraft games) is very, very SERIOUS about Star Wars and Plinkett.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:27 AM on December 26, 2011


I'm just brimming with giggles that some fucking fanboy out there decided to defend the Trade Federation.
posted by Chekhovian at 3:27 PM on January 10, 2012


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