The Phantom Menace Review (Video 2009) Poster

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Hilarious, informative and thought-provoking, "The Phantom Menace Review" is definitely an entertaining look at a film that left many people dumbfounded...
MaximumMadness12 September 2014
Before I start this, I feel the need to reflect and marvel at the very concept of what I am currently doing with my life. I am currently writing a review... about a review... by a fictional character... about a fairly flawed (and real) film.

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.
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Informative and entertaining film analysis
MissSimonetta20 April 2014
Though the dark gallows humor and occasional (but intentionally) tasteless jokes may not suit everybody, this review and the two which follow it are the best analyses available of this ill-begotten trilogy.

Its examination of the Star Wars prequels is thorough, not merely comparing it unfavorably with the original trilogy, but also revealing how they fail on their own merits as films. The reviewer uses film history, Star Wars history, and behind-the-scenes footage to dissect these movies. He leaves no room for improvement with his examination. You also feel like you've learned more about cinema as a medium when you are through with it.
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A near perfect analysis of the one of the most disappointing films in history
mrdjx26 September 2014
All things considered, 1999 was indeed one of the best years for film in recent memory. The Matrix shot into the vocabulary of pop culture like a bullet. M Nyt Shamalon's The Sixth Sense delivered one of the most famous endings in history. David Finch's Fight Club quickly obtained cult status. American beauty went on to sweep the Academy, and the sorely missed Stanley Kuberick delivered his final work with Eyes Wide Shut.

In hindsight, it can be seen that all of the goodwill for movie-making on display that year was undone by a film, considered so disappointing that it permanently turned one of the most powerful men in the world into a publichate figure.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, is one of those films that really showed a lot of promise in the years leading up to its release. All three films in the Original Trilogy (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi) were landmark films that forever changed the filmmaking landscape when it came to blending storytelling and special effects. Between ROTJ and TPM, were monumental leaps in CGI, courtesey of films like Toy Story, Jurassic Park, and Terminator 2. With CGI rapidly advancing, taking it back to the series that rapidly spearheaded the development of special effects- seemed like a natural idea. In the years following TPM, fans have constantly argued about its racist characterisations, the ever-so annoying jar jar binks and the ruining of the Force with scientific explanations.

But few have ever been able to look at it through a filmmakers eye, and that is where the beauty of Mr Plinkett's The Phantom Menace review begins. Mr Plinkett is actually a character written and portrayed by Mike Stoklasa who was a film school graduate and boy does it show. Right off the bat when you watch the reviews opening segment when Plinkett describes just how disappointing The Phantom Menace is , you'll know you're in for something special.

Let it be reiterated here that Stoklasa is from film school, and uses the character of Plinkett to voice his expertise on filmmaking with horrifying spades of dark humor. During the first 10 minute segment, Plinkett deals swift blows to the films narrative structure, revealing the Phantom Menace's lack of relatable characters, and more importantly the lack of a protagonist who can act as a bridge between the audience and the films political plot. This is only the beginning of the review which lasts for 70 minutes in length. Combined with Plinket's reviews for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, makes for a 4 hour undertaking. Rest assured though, not a minute is wasted. Ever wanted to know what was wrong with the films plot. Plinket quickly points out that it is never revealed to the audience why The Trade Federation is following Palpatines orders. More to the point though, he argues that Palpatines entire plan constantly foils itself- to the point where his eventual success in overthrowing the republic is just one gigantic fluke made out of flukes- not his own cleverness.

Perhaps the bizarre aspect of this review is how Stoklasa creates a narrative within Plinket's reviews and ever so cleverly, Plinket's development reflects his own critiques on TPM's narrative. I now know its possible to have more sympathy for a schizophrenic murderer then any of the characters in the Star Wars prequels. Plinket himself is a joke on the length of the reviews. To analyse and understand Star Wars enough to do three feature length videos of film criticism, you must be a psychopath. One Star wars fan missed the joke and sadly wrote a 108 page rebuttal over the course of six months, defending the films internal logic but completely ignoring its narrative problems.

When Plinket discusses the film's climatic sequence wherein Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi fight off Darth Maul, he shows just how forgettable the fight is, and compares it against the iconic duels featured in the Original Star Wars trilogy. This is actually a very moving moment, when you realise that the best fights in films are not about the fighting but the internalisation of the characters. ITs points like that make Plinkets reviews special, they absolutely transcend being reviews of the Star Wars prequels and make for an eye opening lesson in film criticism and movie making.

A must watch for any film fan.
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The only good thing to come out of The Phantom Menace
you_savvy3 March 2014
This ninety-minute review of the disaster that was The Phantom Menace carries more entertainment value than all three of the soulless, joyless prequels combined. I watched The Phantom Menace once and that was more than enough. I've come back to watch this review about once a year since it was released. Hilarious every time, dead-on accurate every time, exposing George Lucas for the bloated ego-sotted tub of cloistered hackery he has become every time. The "Plinkett is a serial killer" angle of the reviews started to wear thin with the sequels, but it's not overdone in this one and adds some good, if tasteless humor, on top of the criticism.

The only way it could be better is if it came with a deluded fanboy that you could force to watch it.
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Worth giving a shot.
jdog818293217 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I would like to start by saying I enjoy these reviews and the productions the company makes. First the bad things are the tone the narrator uses during the reviews, and the volume of the voice in them. Unless you have a higher volume, its usually hard to hear and sometimes intensely quiet or loud without warning. Most people have trouble understanding whats being said, and tend to get annoyed with them because of this.

I really only decided to leave my opinion after seeing that unfortunate review about how "The star wars prequels are works of art" above me with 3 stars. Its obvious this review wont be winning any awards, but you can at least take note to how many times fans have seen this review; compared to the actual star wars prequels.

The review itself is based in sections, such as characters, story, ending sequencing, tone, and so on. He uses a lot of facts and examples from successful movies in the past and compares them to the style The Phantom Menace was created in. If you saw the prequels when you were younger, and can't tell what you don't like about them, then you might enjoy these reviews. They do a great job at carefully helping people understand the short comings of the script, filming, directing, editing, and screen writing of these movies.
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Best Film Review of all time
Dabnation17383 March 2017
Although there is a lot of humor, which can often been extremely dark, you can tell very clearly that the main goal of the review isn't to make you laugh, it's to inform you. The humor serves as an effective way of keeping you interested and engaged for 70 minutes.

Stoklasa clearly has a great knowledge of film and he displays it here by thoroughly breaking down every element of the film to convey why he believes it was so awful.

It's entertaining and informative.
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Funniest review I've ever seen and worth the view
imdb2-516 May 2018
How do I describe this piece of brilliant lunacy. I remember seeing Star Wars I with all the hoopla on the evening it opened. Excitement was in the air, hundreds of people dressed up like characters of the movie and afterwards, most of the audience left with.... a WTF look on their faces. This film skewers The Phantom Menace in hilarious fashion. What's scary is how accurate most of the points are and how difficult it must have been to make a movie this illogical, sloppy and lazy.

This is like MSTK3000 but using an analytical approach to the entire movie, including some hilarious sideshow bits from time to time. Clearly a great deal of time was spent preparing this lampooning of a very poor movie. While you might think it would get boring quickly... it doesn't. The jokes mostly hit and there is a remarkable amount of hilariously bad material in this film to easily fit into 100 minutes but this film is only about 70 something in total.

It's no fluke the other reviewers gave this film such a high grade. There is no commercial motive. It's just damn hilarious.
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