Join 3,562 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I mean, how much more could you possibly fuck up the entire backstory to Star Wars?
December 16, 2009 11:16 AM   Subscribe

The best Star Wars: Episode 1 review ever (via techland, possibly NSFW, 7LYT, eponysterical)

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi (112 comments total) 105 users marked this as a favorite

 
needs "eponysterical" tag.
posted by ardgedee at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is a recap of Star Wars: Ep 4. It has the dual benefit of being much shorter and not making me want to stab my eardrums.
posted by now i'm piste at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


It has the dual benefit of being much shorter and not making me want to stab my eardrums.

But it lacks the lady locked in the basement!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2009


Wow, just when I thought I moved on...
posted by samsara at 11:35 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love this.

"Queen Amadala"
"That's gonna be fucking impossible because she has no character."
posted by Navelgazer at 11:36 AM on December 16, 2009


She's... um...

She's Natalie Portman.
posted by e.e. coli at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ahhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. It gets funnier and funnier. Awesome. Thank you.

"Damsel in distress. The wise old sage. Gay robot."
posted by e.e. coli at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


But it lacks the lady locked in the basement!
Which one of the 7 clips is that in? There's 70 minutes of a guy mumbling like a rejected Homestar Runner character complaining about a bad movie from ten years ago. and I'm hesitant to watch the remaining 55.
posted by now i'm piste at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've only watched the first link, but the quad-screen split illustrating examples of the hero getting the girl includes Willy Wonka embracing Charlie Bucket. Magnificent.
posted by Ritchie at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


He won me over with the split-screen Tremors/Gremlins squirting-malfunction-as-illustrator-of-protagonist-luck example.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2009


While I agree with Star Wars fans that the prequels suck, I disagree with them that the original trilogy doesn't.
posted by DU at 11:50 AM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Which one of the 7 clips is that in? There's 70 minutes of a guy mumbling like a rejected Homestar Runner character complaining about a bad movie from ten years ago. and I'm hesitant to watch the remaining 55.

The second or third--I forget which.

My feeling on the length is that it could have been maybe 10 minutes shorter to retain more of the funny, but it's actually a really, really good analysis of the movie's failings, apart from the funniness, anyway.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agreed with everything he said, but his slow, nasal, droning everyman voice killed it for me. It was like being trapped in an SNL sketch.
posted by fatbird at 11:55 AM on December 16, 2009


I love 'em all. But then I'm not a miserable old nerd.
posted by i_cola at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy god this is great so far. I'm about to watch part three. There's so much other stuff I ought to be doing instead.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2009


this is really funny, thanks. The end of part 2 cracked me up...
posted by ts;dr at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2009


Really? Ten years on and people are still trying to be internet-cool by hating Episode 1? I got about two minutes in before this guy's voice/approach/existence made me want to stab my eardrums. I'll just have to miss all his devastatingly clever and original Jar Jar jokes.
posted by mgrichmond at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is there a version somewhere that has cleaned up narration? Perhaps in a crisp British accent?
posted by fatbird at 12:09 PM on December 16, 2009


During the last bit of Part 2 I was laughing so hard I my cheeks started to hurt.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2009


I understand it's a schtick, but I'd be a bit more careful about the Ambien references when your voice makes me fall asleeiw999999999999999999999990-
posted by Plutor at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2009


The real Strongbad would have done this in 3 minutes with 4 drawing and made it 1200% funnier.
posted by GuyZero at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2009


Ten years on and people are still trying to be internet-cool by hating Episode 1?

Wait. You think the reason people hate Episode 1 is that they're trying to be "internet-cool?"

I got about two minutes in before this guy's voice/approach/existence made me want to stab my eardrums.

By "this guy," you mean every character in Episode 1, right?

I'll just have to miss all his devastatingly clever and original Jar Jar jokes.

When you sarcastically nod to the fact that there is nothing clever or original about jokes regarding one of the three central characters in the movie (who is, really, the closest thing that Episode 1 has to a protagonist), I think that says something about the movie. I'm not sure what.
posted by The World Famous at 12:20 PM on December 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


"Fuck you Rick Berman." ... "What is it with Ricks?"

Awesome.
posted by Science! at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's actually pretty funny. I liked the comparison between people's description of the characters in the first one. I don't know if I'm going to watch all seven, though :P
posted by delmoi at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2009


It's very funny. I don't think I'll watch all of it right now but suitably drunk with friends after the pubs have closed at some point over the holidays I can imagine this being great fun.

As for the haters that didn't go beyond 2 minutes, you are missing out.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 12:37 PM on December 16, 2009


This voice is annoying the fuck out of me, but I'll give a real shot after work.
posted by ODiV at 12:41 PM on December 16, 2009


I thought the narrator was handicapped or had had a stroke or something and was trying not to laugh. I managed not to.
posted by therubettes at 12:46 PM on December 16, 2009


Good lord I can't believe I just watched the whole thing. That was awesome! And, in a strange way, redeeming. It somehow validated those three hours of my life I can never have back, that horrible, traumatizing experience that Lucas inflicted on me - not only on me, but somehow retroactively inflicted on me as a small boy. It was like he reached into my childhood and wrecked something amazing and wonderful. This was an hour well-spent and I now feel that I can move on. Like therapy, somehow.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2009 [19 favorites]


I know commenting on YouTube is like shouting into a sewer drain, but I felt compelled to post this there:
SWEET JESUS this affected voice you've decided to use is obnoxious. Normally I would probably pay money to hear someone rip apart this movie for seventy minutes. You? I just want you to go away. What a waste of what's probably some very funny material.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 12:50 PM on December 16, 2009


No links to Patton Oswalt's contribution to the topic?
posted by Shepherd at 12:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


unregistered_animagus: "SWEET JESUS this affected voice you've decided to use is obnoxious"

After half an hour, I decided he's supposed to be Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.
posted by Plutor at 12:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Get the Irate Gamer or, as mentioned above, Strong Bad to repeat what this guy said word for word and I might have gotten past the first 10 minutes.
posted by moviehawk at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2009


Oh god I think I got acid reflux I was laughing so hard
posted by mightygodking at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Really, I wish he'd post the bit where he asks his friends to describe characters from the original trilogy, and then asks them to describe characters from Phantom Menace. The rest is insightful and all, but that segment explains exactly what's wrong with the prequel trilogy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


You think the reason people hate Episode 1 is that they're trying to be "internet-cool?"

To an extent, yes. To put it another way, they're trying to avoid being internet-uncool. If you try to say anything even remotely positive or constructive about Episode 1, even faint praise like "it was a germ of a good story, but badly plotted and paced," you get accused of being a "fanboy," or "having lucASSes dick in your mouth," or any number of oh-so-clever attempts at insults. So the only socially acceptable thing to do is adopt the pose that it's the worst thing civilization has ever produced, and pretend you didn't see it ten times clutching your stuffed Darth Maul. I'm not gonna play that game. Yes, it was far from perfect, but I'm not gonna be one of these whining "Lucas raped my childhood" zombies.

By "this guy," you mean every character in Episode 1, right?

Bazinga.

When you sarcastically nod to the fact that there is nothing clever or original about jokes regarding one of the three central characters in the movie (who is, really, the closest thing that Episode 1 has to a protagonist),

Really? Not Qui-Gon Jinn, or Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Padme, or Anakin? You consider the comic relief who trails in their wake to be "the closest thing...to a protagonist?"

I think that says something about the movie. I'm not sure what.

No, it says that somehow I remain unconvinced that this review is anything other than the usual "HAYGUYZJARJARBINKSDURPYDURPLOL" delivered in a different voice. It's just lazy. I know that snark is the currency of teh interwebz, but seriously, make an effort to put some creativity into it.
posted by mgrichmond at 1:10 PM on December 16, 2009


er, post it separately, I mean.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:11 PM on December 16, 2009


Wow. When I started part 1, I was annoyed by the voiceover and couldn't imagine sitting through 7 parts. But I just finished. It was great criticism of that dreadful film.
posted by birdherder at 1:17 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Really? Not Qui-Gon Jinn, or Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Padme, or Anakin?

That is correct. None of those individuals is the main character or central protagonist of Episode 1. Episode 1 is not about a wise old Jedi who discovers "the one" and then dies (and has no arc). It is not about that wise old Jedi's apprentice (who has no arc at all in the film). It is not about Padme, who again has no arc and is only in about a third of the film. It is not about Anakin, who we don't meet until 45 minutes in and who also has no arc.

Episode 1 is a poorly-written movie about a guy who was cast out from his society for being a bumbler but who, primarily through bumbling and dumb luck, transforms into a military leader and hero of that society, becoming the catalyst for not only victory in a war, but for a new alliance between his people and one that had previously been hostile. Episode 1 is a movie about Jar Jar Binks, and everyone else is a secondary character - because Jar Jar is the only character in the film who is in the movie from roughly the beginning until the end and who actually has an arc.
posted by The World Famous at 1:19 PM on December 16, 2009 [47 favorites]


Is there a transcript I can skim? Im not about to waste time watching this.
posted by subaruwrx at 1:30 PM on December 16, 2009


I am really enjoying these and think they're a great primer on how stories work - but having watched the first two, I have to be a humorless scold for a second and say that I could really do without the constant jokes about killing women.
posted by moxiedoll at 1:32 PM on December 16, 2009 [18 favorites]


No, it says that somehow I remain unconvinced that this review is anything other than the usual "HAYGUYZJARJARBINKSDURPYDURPLOL" delivered in a different voice. It's just lazy. I know that snark is the currency of teh interwebz, but seriously, make an effort to put some creativity into it.

Hmm. I actually watched the whole thing and considered it a fairly astute deconstruction of the film's major failings. His points on protagonists, characterizations, structure and pacing (not to mention plot) are intelligent and consistent (even if the jokes grate). Seeing as you've failed to rebut any of them and are simply taking refuge in snark yourself, I'm not sure where you're coming from.

I have to be a humorless scold for a second and say that I could really do without the constant jokes about killing women.

Agreed.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2009 [12 favorites]


This is really funny and well made.
posted by fuq at 1:34 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm no kind of Star Wars nerd but this was really well done.
posted by chococat at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remain unconvinced that this review is anything other than the usual "HAYGUYZJARJARBINKSDURPYDURPLOL" delivered in a different voice.

Pretty obviously written by someone who didn't watch the full review. Why not just say "tl;dw" and move on?
posted by hippybear at 1:48 PM on December 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


This is very funny, and further validates my decision to not watch the three new Star Wars films when they were released

That's right, I've never seen any of them except in snippets, and the three original films remain intact as a wonderful piece of cinema unsullied by those bastard prequels. I feel so lucky right now.
posted by Sova at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


No, it says that somehow I remain unconvinced that this review is anything other than the usual "HAYGUYZJARJARBINKSDURPYDURPLOL" delivered in a different voice. It's just lazy. I know that snark is the currency of teh interwebz, but seriously, make an effort to put some creativity into it.

You didn't watch it then?

It's an honest assessment of The Phantom Menace's failings as a children's film. It then clearly dissects these failings by demonstrating through illustration all the rules that The Phantom Menace didn't follow that make a mainstream film aimed at children great (or at least coherent and watchable). It is obvious that it is someone that has thought about why the film doesn't work and attempts to answer the points creatively. It is about as far away from LOLpish as anything on youtube gets.

Yeah, the schtick about the narrator being a serial killer tired very, very quickly though.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:56 PM on December 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


Where's that behind-the-scenes material from?
posted by Anything at 1:57 PM on December 16, 2009


There is some very funny material here. Like this:

"Now I've analyzed this film with a team of cheerleaders. They came up with one unanimous conclusion: that if I let them go, they promise they won't tell nobody."
posted by MegoSteve at 2:00 PM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's like this guy was listening to my friend and I when we get into our "what was george thinking" rants down at the pub.

Seriously. There is nothing this guy mentions that isn't a sad fact about those terrible movies.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:07 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, I didn't watch the whole thing; as I said in my first post, "I got about two minutes in before this guy's voice/approach/existence made me want to stab my eardrums."

It occurs to me that there's already been a major examination of the storytelling flaws of Episode 1, as well as an attempt to correct some of them: Star Wars Episode 1: The Balance Of The Force.

There were a wave of fan edits since the first "Phantom Edit," but this one by "Magnoliafan" was the most extensive; right from the beginning, the opening crawl dumps all that tax dispute stuff and makes the blockade about the abolition of slavery in the galaxy. Magnoliafan redubbed Jar Jar and the Neimoidians with alien-gobbledegook and subtitled their dialogue to make them less obnoxious - and to strengthen their story arcs. There are lots of edits, both heavy-handed and subtle, that improve the flow of the story. It's like a different - and better - movie.

The difference here is that rather than jump on the "me too" pile, Magnoliafan actually did something creative that improves on the original immensely. If you have the means (i.e. if you can find a working torrent) I highly recommend checking it out.
posted by mgrichmond at 2:14 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


No, I didn't watch the whole thing; as I said in my first post, "I got about two minutes in before this guy's voice/approach/existence made me want to stab my eardrums."

So why are you talking about it then? I mean, how on earth can you complain about the lack of creativity in something you haven't watched? I watched the first two segments and there was quite a lot of creativity, and certainly a lot effort put into it. Obviously not everyone will like it, but you seem pretty ridiculous, complaining about stuff that doesn't even exist in the review.
posted by delmoi at 2:40 PM on December 16, 2009 [17 favorites]


The difference here is that rather than jump on the "me too" pile, Magnoliafan actually did something creative that improves on the original immensely.

Actually, the difference is that the person who did this review of Phantom Menace wasn't trying to improve upon the original, but instead was offering a very detailed primer on why this movie failed, and actually spends ZERO time criticizing Jar Jar other than calling him a "cartoon rabbit" a couple of times. Mostly he talks about the lack of characterization, the failures of the plotting, the incomprehensibility of the story, and the really stupid decisions which were obviously sacrificing clarity for cool visual moments. He goes to great lengths to back up his points, and does so with a great sense of humor.

If you have the means (i.e. if you can find a working torrent) I highly recommend checking it out.

And don't forget owning an original video copy of Phantom Menace on either VHS or DVD. Because, as has already been made clear once by the shut-down of Fanedit.org, the legality of the fan edit is highly questionable, even more so if you don't own an original and in theory couldn't have made the same new version with your own copy.
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't understand your role in this story, mgrichmond. What's your motivation? Are you the villain? You seem rather one-dimensional, endlessly insisting that something you haven't seen is bad, while other characters who have seen it say it's good. On second thought, maybe you're comic relief.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:30 PM on December 16, 2009 [18 favorites]


That was pretty much awesome. The last video offered a theory that the quality of the prequels was partially due to the "fact" that he wasn't challenged. The original Star Wars movies were "plagued" with problems, things not working, low budget etc. In turn the lack of resources challenged him to create a better story to make up for it.

This actually had me see a little bit of humanity in Lucas as he struggled to complete these films, so I actually don't hate the prequels as much as I did. They are still crap, but if he really was surrounded by a bunch of sycophants who weren't willing to point out bs when they saw it then he needs to find new people to be around when he makes movies.

Most of us have seen episodes 4 5 and 6 and we know that he worked on them too, so it's obvious that he's fully capable of creating good movies.
posted by bam at 4:06 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


He sounds like Dax Shepard in Idiocracy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZHCVyllnck
posted by tresbizzare at 4:13 PM on December 16, 2009


What's wrong with your FACE???
posted by Dirjy at 4:19 PM on December 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


FUCK YOU RICK BERMAN

...and that's when I lost it.

Seriously, this should be shown in every film class, with the serial killer stuff edited out.
posted by effugas at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2009


After half an hour, I decided he's supposed to be Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

Only tangentially related, but you just reminded me that years ago Mrs. Example found a blog that purported to be movie reviews as done by Jame Gumb/Buffalo Bill. I can't remember what it was called, but there was one entry that ended with "IT WATCHES MEMENTO AND EXPLAINS THE ENDING TO ME!".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2009


Mr. Example: looking for this?
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on December 16, 2009


Get rid of the random profanity and serial-killer backstory, and that would be an amazing review that I would show to everyone I know.

As it is... meh.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:13 PM on December 16, 2009


I love this guy. His take on NuTrek is very different, but also spot on. (Much shorter and doesn't have the narrator character, if the voice or length on this one put you off.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:15 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not bad, but replace his voice with the Comic Book Guy and you have a winner.
posted by bwg at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love this guy. His take on NuTrek is very different, but also spot on. (Much shorter and doesn't have the narrator character, if the voice or length on this one put you off.)

But apparently the same hatred of women?
posted by bitslayer at 5:43 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't understand your role in this story, mgrichmond.

I'm the plucky comic relief :)
posted by mgrichmond at 5:43 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, this was great and insightful (nthing except for the femicide so called humor) and in many ways the voice over made it funnier.

I am still terribly disappointed at the prequel movies, and this review hit every reason why, and also pointed out problems I hadn't seen before. In addition, the last segment asks some insightful questions about why there is such a huge quality gap between the 4, 5 and 6 movies and the prequel series, and for once I think I may understand. Which in turns helps with accepting and at last moving past the disappointment of the prequels.

Thanks for the post, love the eponysterical aspect of it too.
posted by bearwife at 5:46 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the guy's fifth review, and part of a story arc with the reviewer as protagonist. It's definitely worth checking out his reviews of Star Treks 7-10, which are on his youtube channel.
posted by kafziel at 5:54 PM on December 16, 2009


Look, anyone who saw the Phantom Menace lost 3 fricking hours of their lives. It don't matter how funny this video is. YOU CAN'T GET THE TIME BACK.
posted by storybored at 6:15 PM on December 16, 2009


Where's that behind-the-scenes material from?

There's a (rather interesting) documentary on the second disk of the Episode I DVD called "The Beginning." Most of the behind-the-scenes stuff comes from that.

It's an interesting look at the decisions that break the film as they happen. Watching Lucas decide on the casting of young Anakin is a prime example of the "nobody tells him no" syndrome that is alluded to in the FPP video.
posted by Uncle Ira at 7:04 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


"But apparently the same hatred of women?"

Um, we're supposed to identify with the woman there, so no.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:47 PM on December 16, 2009


gold.
posted by ilovemytoaster at 8:05 PM on December 16, 2009


I don't understand your role in this story, mgrichmond. What's your motivation? Are you the villain? You seem rather one-dimensional, endlessly insisting that something you haven't seen is bad, while other characters who have seen it say it's good. On second thought, maybe you're comic relief.

Oh man, every thread needs to be deconstructed like this, with a fucking arc and everything. Genuis!

Have we climaxed yet? Did we break the fourth wall too soon?
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 8:50 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIWKMgJs_Gs&feature=related

The 7th movie, 1:15 minutes in, shows the entire room (including Lucas) realizing the movie sucks.

It's incredible. There's more pathos in this very scene than the entire movie.

Did I really spent 70 minutes today seeing exactly how Phantom Menace went wrong? Wow.
posted by effugas at 8:57 PM on December 16, 2009 [16 favorites]


Just want the best four minutes of lightsaber duel analysis? Then jump right into part 12. OBI-WAN GETS MAD AND THEN I DO.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 9:31 PM on December 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


This was excellent, and hilarious. Thanks for pointing it out.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:36 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the record, I'm actively pissed about the serial killer shit. I want to send these videos to everyone but guess what's not happening.
posted by effugas at 11:28 PM on December 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


I want to send these videos to everyone but guess what's not happening.

I doubt anyone watching those videos is going to believe that the man making them is actually a serial killer. In fact, I found it quite simple to overlook that aspect of the entire project. It takes up, what? Fewer than five minutes out of a seventy minute piece? I'm sure anyone you want to send them to can be advised not to take the persona of the reviewer seriously and be able to enjoy the main content of the piece on its own merits.

I agree, it's a strange hanger upon which to display this perceptive analysis of a troublesome film, and I wonder why that choice was made. But I don't think I can throw out the message simply because the messenger is taking the piss with his persona.
posted by hippybear at 12:08 AM on December 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Thanks for posting this.
I'm a bit annoyed I've just watched it all in one go instead of doing something productive, but it IS totally awesome.
posted by debord at 5:11 AM on December 17, 2009


Okay, I watched it last night and it was pretty spot on as everyone has said. Not only does he hit on several problems I found with the film, he highlights some I hadn't considered.

Asking people to describe characters in the films is a great idea and I would've liked to see more of that.

The voice was fucking annoying and so was the serial killer shtick. How did he even decide to do that? Did he try the whole thing without and then think, "You know what this needs?"
posted by ODiV at 7:18 AM on December 17, 2009


I finally got over the awful voice and the squicky rape-and-murder jokes and watched the whole thing, and I'm glad I did; there's some insightful analysis in there... but man it was hard to get past the rape-and-murder jokes. Not entirely because of the content; mostly because they were so clumsily done.

F'rinstance: If he'd just panned past the woman tied up in the basement without comment, that would've been mildly amusing. But he has to pan back to her, and then do it again, and then have his little conversation with her, and on and on until it's just WE GET IT ALREADY, MOVE ON.

You'd think a guy who was this good at analyzing movie plots would realize that telling the same punchline three times in a row doesn't make it three times as funny.
posted by ook at 7:22 AM on December 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


What everybody complaining about the whole "serial killer" background of that review doesn't seem to grasp is that he postulates no good movie can be told without emotional involvement, interesting characters and a story arc. He then provides all three in the review itself, ending with the narrator's dramatic death. It's a both a review and a demonstration ;)
posted by Nightwind at 7:25 AM on December 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


Really? Ten years on and people are still trying to be internet-cool by hating Episode 1?

No idea about trying to be cool. I'm not cool and I don't care about cool so I can't speak about cool.

But 10 years is not a long time in terms of discussing how utterly awful Episode 1 (not to mention pretty all the films) are. Jim Lahey would be a great source of entertainment if he were to review this film. Few can use the word shit as effectively.

That said, I've always thought the audio in Star Wars was wonderful.
posted by juiceCake at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2009


It's a both a review and a demonstration ;)

Exactly what my wife said about it - I kept asking why the serial killer shit was in there because it made no sense. She said that was exactly the point - he was paralleling the movie by including shit that made no sense.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:08 AM on December 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know what to do.
posted by originalname37 at 8:27 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was pretty much awesome. The last video offered a theory that the quality of the prequels was partially due to the "fact" that he wasn't challenged. The original Star Wars movies were "plagued" with problems, things not working, low budget etc. In turn the lack of resources challenged him to create a better story to make up for it.

This actually had me see a little bit of humanity in Lucas as he struggled to complete these films, so I actually don't hate the prequels as much as I did. They are still crap, but if he really was surrounded by a bunch of sycophants who weren't willing to point out bs when they saw it then he needs to find new people to be around when he makes movies.


It seems like Lucas took away exactly the wrong lesson from the experience of the first Star Wars movie. He went through this incredibly long, taxing process with all the endless revisions and constant opposition and lack of understanding from studio heads, and when it hit and was massively succesful, he felt rightly vindicated - but rather than recognizing the way in which that process had shaped and maybe improved on his initial ideas, he got locked into this mindset where he believed all his instincts were golden, and that he should never listen to anyone who questions him ever again. And he ended up with the power and money to actually do that. That's my armchair psychoanalysis, at any rate.
posted by anazgnos at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2009 [14 favorites]


Adversity resulting in a better film is one of my favourite aspects of filmmaking.

I had a friend who made a film about an ex-high school student who returns to her hometown. While in school she had fallen for her teacher. She went to visit this teacher because he was the only one who understood her, but he lets her down hard and tells her to leave. We see her enter the house, leave the house, and she talks about it afterward, but we never once see the teacher. After seeing the film I commented to my friend that I thought the choice to leave the teacher out of the film was a great one. His emotional unavailability is underscored by his complete lack of screen presence. The specifics of the encounter are left to our imagination and ultimately it's the way the main character feels about the encounter that's the important thing.

My friend then said that even after auditions she didn't feel anyone was right for the part of the teacher and ended up having to cut the scene.
posted by ODiV at 10:26 AM on December 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Encountering a problem that requires you to change something about the film forces you to think about the characters, setting, and plot to determine something else that will work in place. More problems means that you are actively thinking about these things more and constantly coming up with new ideas and justifications for why they are "right".

If everything works, and you've already got funding, then you never really have the same process which makes you re-examine these elements.

That's my theory anyway. I'm sure there are filmmakers who constantly re-examine things even when everything is going well, but it must be a lot tougher.
posted by ODiV at 10:33 AM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was a very in-depth, justifiably lengthy, and insightful criticism of the movie, unfortunately marred by the unfunny serial killer stuff. (I thought the bit in Part 7 where he discusses the confused/fearful looks on everyone surrounding Lucas in the behind-the-scenes videos was particularly great.)
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2009


Exactly what my wife said about it - I kept asking why the serial killer shit was in there because it made no sense. She said that was exactly the point - he was paralleling the movie by including shit that made no sense.

Yeah, that's kind of what I figured too. I also wondered if it was a carry-over from the guy's other videos, which I haven't watched yet.

When the camera first pans over the tied-up woman, I laughed out loud. It would have been much funnier if it hadn't been addressed at all.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:48 AM on December 17, 2009


This made me so happy. I'm watching his Star Trek ones now.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:54 PM on December 17, 2009


Never a better example of being the victim of one's own success. It;s decadence pure and simple.

Of course, he made a shit load of money from all the films, but that is a decadent justification.
posted by leibniz at 1:11 PM on December 17, 2009


That was awesome.
posted by seanyboy at 5:00 PM on December 17, 2009


Screwing up mashed potatoes eh? Like, using the word "packet" in conjunction with the preparation of mashed potatoes.
posted by pompomtom at 11:35 PM on December 17, 2009


I tried to watch the first one and was chased away by the voice. God. Then I followed effugas' suggestion and went straight to video 7, which captures beautifully the precise moment when Lucas had no choice but to accept the desperate crapulence of his masterwork. He started rationalising almost immediately, but still. Plus I'm almost 3 minutes in and there has been no mention of serial killing.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:11 AM on December 18, 2009


Yeah, video 7 was fascinating. I'd never seen any of that behind-the-scenes footage before. I closed the page when the serial killer lulz started up again.

I do wish people would think about their audience more; the extraneous woman-killer stuff added nothing to the criticism and will just make some people turn it off altogether: one person's wacky, referential schtick is, in this case, another person's triggering nightmare. Why put off viewers like that?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:02 AM on December 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


I do wish people would think about their audience more; the extraneous woman-killer stuff added nothing to the criticism and will just make some people turn it off altogether: one person's wacky, referential schtick is, in this case, another person's triggering nightmare. Why put off viewers like that?

Yeah, I cringed at that in the original, watched the guy's older Star Trek movie reviews and enjoyed them, but couldn't even watch the new Star Trek movie thing. These definitely work best when he minimizes the violent stuff.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:33 AM on December 18, 2009


Screwing up mashed potatoes eh? Like, using the word "packet" in conjunction with the preparation of mashed potatoes.

I think that was the joke.
posted by grubi at 11:40 AM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's right, I've never seen any of them except in snippets, and the three original films remain intact as a wonderful piece of cinema unsullied by those bastard prequels. I feel so lucky right now.

Sounds like a paradise. I have dreams of a perfect world where I had never seen the prequels and somehow that magic, that feeling of wonder that the original movies engendered in my pre-teen self was still around.

Then I wake to this world where I don't even want to watch the original films anymore.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2009


Then I wake to this world where I don't even want to watch the original films anymore.

I solved that problem for myself when they released the IV-V-VI 2-DVD sets a while back where one of the DVDs was a transfer of the absolute, this-is-what-you-saw-in-theaters-opening-day versions of the movies. There is no chapter number or subtitle for Star Wars, Han shoots first, etc etc etc, across 6 hours of glorious nerdgasm viewing. I've never watched the tweaked versions of any of the three since, and I couldn't be happier.
posted by hippybear at 11:59 AM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


What prequels? There were no Star Wars prequels, nor Matrix sequels.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:17 PM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]



Screwing up mashed potatoes eh? Like, using the word "packet" in conjunction with the preparation of mashed potatoes.

I think that was the joke.


As indicated by the several varieties of ramen he apparently intended to incorporate into his potatoes.
posted by anazgnos at 12:28 PM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]



What prequels? There were no Star Wars prequels, nor Matrix sequels.


And there were only 2 Godfather films and no one has, of yet, made a Hellblazer movie.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:28 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was planning to eek these out over several days but ended up watching it in one hit... genius stuff.

Though I'd have liked stuff on the Queen and her maid servant who looks like her as I remember spending the whole movie utterly confused by that

I'd recommend Darth & Droids if you know something of role-playing as it makes the film make much more sense with, for instance, Jar Jar created and 'played' by a little girl.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:57 PM on December 18, 2009


Though I'd have liked stuff on the Queen and her maid servant who looks like her as I remember spending the whole movie utterly confused by that

He addresses it a bit in the part where it's totally strange because fake queen orders real queen to go clean a droid.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:36 PM on December 18, 2009


(Ha: I loved the analysis, but someone needs to do a Phantom Edit on THIS, cutting out the painfully hack serial killer schtick and re-dubbing the narration.)

Okay, obviously the guy's doing a character, but did anyone else get the sense that he was a little more "inside" than just a "a guy with iMovie doing a funny voice?" At first I thought maybe Lindelhoff might have been directly or indirectly involved, but then I got to Part 7... 

So I have this silly little theory, probably wrong but it makes me happy: in Part 7, when the narrator is telling us how the editor of the film tried to carefully give Lucas a hint about the film's pacing problem, the narrator's tone got oddly personal, or at least to my ears. Then, about twenty seconds later, in a different scene, the narrator says "I mean, I wasn't there, so I don't know..." and the only person on the screen is the editor. Coincidence?

Yeah, probably...but like I said, it makes me happy to think the editor of Phantom Menace is getting his revenge ten years later...
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:30 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Take a peek at the lower right frame when he says, "Often, too, they'll get the girl in the end as icing on the cake."
posted by olaguera at 8:51 PM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I love reviews like this. Nothing hits the spot better than a really insightful movie review. I didn't mean to watch the whole thing. I finally feel like the Phantom Menace chapter of my life is closed.

And there was very little about Jar Jar Binks in the review. He doesn't even imply that Jar Jar is a bad character.

Some of my favorite bits:

- Anakin making a protocol droid to help his mom in her chores around the house. And Decoy-Amidala sending the real queen to wash a droid while the decoy stays and discusses the important matters with the Jedi and her forces.

- The way the characters seem to forget so many things, like the Jedi going to planet Naboo to warn the people of, err, Naboo (the city), but then getting immediately sidetracked. Or Mace Windu promising to get to the bottom of whoever attacked Obi/Qui Gon and then immediately sending them to do that.

- The Trade Federation thing, which still makes no sense to me. But the larger point is how useless that was for a children's movie.

- I loved the part about light saber duels. Luke hacking at Darth Vader still gets to me (I kept rewinding the clip over and over).

- Amidala is just a soul-sucking character, she really is. Even watching her clips in the review bored me silly.
posted by Danila at 10:48 PM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The reviewer is most definitely co-opting Matt Chapman's Strong Bad voice and humor from Homestar Runner (not completely, but obviously enough). It does detract from some of the funny parts and good criticisms, in the same way a bastardized Beavis or Cartman impersonation is like nails on a chalkboard.

I can't wait for the 21 part, 3 hour Cornholio review of Spider-Man 2.
posted by dgaicun at 1:36 AM on December 21, 2009


Awesome.
posted by billysumday at 11:01 AM on December 22, 2009


Nattering Naboo of negativism.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:43 AM on December 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I came in late on this but yeah, this would be a lot more hilarious if there wasn't a rape-and-murder joke every five minutes. It kills what otherwise would have been something incredibly intelligent.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:12 AM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I finally got around to watching the entire seventy minutes. It's movie night tonight, but we forgot to grab a movie.

Holy crap, did that pay off in the end. I, personally, loved the voice character, but I'm a coarse man. [shrug]. And there were some stupid bits that had nothing to do with the actual review, and were some sort of gross humour about murdering whores, oh, ha-ha, how fucking funny. But we plowed through that offensive bit, and it got nicely back into the savaging the film bit, and in the end it payed off to the point we were stopping to catch our breath, rewinding to hear again, and are gonna launch into another review.

Good television, that.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Attack of the Clones Review coming soon!
posted by anazgnos at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older Every Christmas since 1966, the Swedish town of Gä...  |  River County, Disney's first w... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments