Wow. I can safely say my mind has been thrown for a loop.
Created by Mike Stoklasa of Red Letter Media, "The Phantom Menace Review" is a thoroughly informative, in-depth look at George Lucas's "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." Mainly focused on exploring and explaining the various issues behind the film and its production, and delving into why it was such an unsatisfactory experience for many movie-goers and fans of the "Star Wars" franchise. However, unlike many internet-based reviews, this one comes with an intriguing and generally hilarious set-up- the review is being performed by the fictional character "Mr. Plinkett." (Voiced by Mike Stoklasa) A disturbed elderly individual who embodies all sorts of "colorful" quirks, including murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, an affinity for pizza-rolls... you know. The usual.
The charm and appeal here comes from this character, and his logical deconstruction of the film alongside of consistent hints of his psychotic nature. The review is filled to burst with not only valid arguments against the film, but plenty of gut-busting humor thanks to Stoklasa's expert delivery of dead-pan dialog and witty writing. It's really no wonder that Stoklasa's take on "Plinkett" (a character who also appears in other incarnations, and even portrayed by a different actor, in other Red Letter Media productions) has become such an icon of the internet age. He's a well-defined character that is endlessly likable and enjoyable to watch, even when he's such a ludicrous, perverted, violent nutcase.
The review itself is also incredibly solid from the standpoint of healthy debate and reasoning. Every point brought up has a purpose, and there's always plenty of logic behind the arguments put forth. Whether it be pointing out the ridiculous nature of Jar-Jar Binks as a character, to the deconstruction of the way specific scenes are shot, to in-depth explorations of dialog and scene-order, this review really gives the audience a sense of not only how the film went wrong, but also how films function in base, fundamental ways. I easily see this review (and its two follow ups) becoming essential viewing for indie filmmakers, first-time writers and even experienced directors, because the information contained is not only valid- it's valuable and gives great insight into the very idea of "filmmaking" as an art form.
What Stoklasa has done here is commendable and quite genius. While internet critics are quite popular these days, and there is a lot of wonderful humorous work being done in the area of film and television reviews (just look at the brilliant work of people like "The Nostalgia Critic"), Stoklasa does things his own way, and it makes the final product all the more important and valuable for it. There's nothing else out there quite like Stoklasa's Plinkett reviews. And I'm glad I discovered them, as well as Red Letter Media's other content.
This is easily a perfect 10. And it's worth seeing for many people, for many reasons. It has and will continue to draw debate over the film, and the art of filmmaking as a whole. And it has and will continue to supply some of the best laughs available online to audiences again and again. Phenomenal.
Now, I just gotta get me some of those pizza-rolls. Those things look pretty good.