Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wow, I'm sure glad that I'm not a fanboy!

I see that the Red Letter Media guy has a new review up, this time of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I have to admit to being, well, kind of sick of this guy. Part of the problem I have with reading a lot of pop-culture, geek-stuff, and F&SF-related blogs and websites is that the RLM reviews tend to be extremely popular with this crowd, which means that every time a new one shows up, there will be links to in on most of the sites I frequent.

It also means that RLM's reviews are now taken as a kind of gospel. Ever since the RLM review of The Phantom Menace went live, nearly any time I see any discussion of the Prequel Trilogy anywhere online, sooner or later, someone will cite the RLM Prequel reviews as the end-all of any debate that occurs. It's an even greater certainty that RLM will be mentioned than Godwin's famous increasing likelihood of a mention of Hitler in any political discussion. The RLM reviews have become shorthand for "The Prequels suck and anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional". I've even seen many an assertion -- made with, I can only assume, complete sincerity -- that the RLM reviews should be required viewing in film schools.

Now, as I've written before, I haven't actually watched any of them, all the way through. I've sampled about five minutes of his TPM review, and a few minutes of Attack of the Clones. I haven't even bothered to look at the Revenge of the Sith one. First, I've found the speaking voice of the guy (who goes by the name "Mr. Plinkett" in the reviews) extremely unpleasant to listen to; second, I was turned off by the bizarre "serial killer" antics that punctuate the videos (I can't even describe this adequately, but the idea seems to be that Mr. Plinkett is a murderer who reviews movies, or something like that).

But most of all, just watching a few minutes of a couple of reviews made pretty clear to me that despite their exhaustive length (for some folks, the fact that the reviews are really, really long somehow makes them more correct or authoritative), there was unlikely to be much of anything new going on. After discussing TPM with people in person and online first in newsgroups, then in message boards, and finally in blogs, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I've heard it all. Sure, maybe "Plinkett" has something new to add, but to be quite honest, I don't think I'm missing much by not checking out for myself.

Maybe, though, there's actually nothing new there, as I thought. The other day I found a link to a very long rebuttal of the "Plinkett" reviews, which I have now downloaded (oddly, it's a PDF) and skimmed through. Assuming that the writer is being accurate in his description of "Plinkett"'s claims, and I see no reason to suppose that he isn't (he provides citations of where in each video each claim comes), there is truly nothing new in the "Plinkett" reviews that I haven't heard before. Even though I didn't read the entirety of the rebuttal, I'm glad it exists, because it's nice to see someone actually say that no, "Plinkett" isn't the very final word in All Things Prequel, and because it's always nice to encounter a fellow traveler.

It's lonely out here, liking the Prequels....


M. D. Jackson said...

I like the prequels. Particularly The Phantom Menace.

Mind you, I'm easy to please. Put spaceships, aliens, robots, rayguns or Liam Neeson into anything and I'll watch it.

I've seen the prequels many times and I've never heard of this "Plinkett" guy.

SamuraiFrog said...

I feel the same way you do about the whole Red Letter Media thing. I feel like his feature-length reviews only show up years later because he's busy aggregating the majority opinion and then simply regurgitating what others have said. Yawn, I say, yawn.

I like the prequels. Always have. But, you know, I'm a Star Wars FAN. (Tell a prequel-hater that and watch their eyes, it's hilarious. And true.)

Does your mention of the prequels mean it's okay now to gently prod you to continue your Fixing the Prequels series? I am also a Jaquandor fan.

Ben Varkentine said...

Heard it all? I'll bet you haven't heard my "fix" for Jar-Jar Binks...