PT Rebuttal: RLM's Attack of the Clones Review

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Luukeskywalker, Feb 29, 2012.

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  1. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    Ok, here it is. As mentioned in the other thread, I think it is a good idea to start a sort of running rebuttle to both the RLM AOTC and ROTS reviews. Obviously we are starting with AOTC. Here is how it will work. I will start out in this post giving the first point given in the AOTC RLM review, and we will all discuss it and rebut it over the course of the next 48 hours. We will leave out any "fluff" parts of the review for the sake of just getting down to the nitty gritty. In other words, if the review simply states an opinion like "the acting was bad here" or "the characters were uninteresting", those parts will be ignored. Those are clearly one man's opinion and cannot be refuted or denied. The parts we will tackle are the aspects where Plinkett tries to present an explaination as to how something written into a scene or the story is illogical and doesn't make sense. For instance from the TPM review, when he talks about how it was poor storytelling to have Sidious insist that a treaty be signed to make the invasion legal or him suggesting that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon attack the entire army of battle droids instead of stowing aboard seperate ships, while 3 droidekas just had made them run 10 seconds earlier.

    Since this is being started after 7pm eastern standard time here in the United States, the next "point" from the review will begin approx 48 hours from now, when I get home from work. (Since I am the one who came up with the idea I will take it upon myself to be the person to bring up the new "point" to discuss every 48 hours). If something happens on a given evening and I am not around at that time, someone else can feel free to start the next discussion/rebuttle point. If not, I will do it as soon as I am able to get back online.

    Also, I am not sure how the mods feel about this, but I would like to try to keep this only to comments from people interested in helping to rebut the review, and not for argument, so therefore if people want to debate the rebuters, may I ask we keep that out of this thread? Mods, if you could please confirm or deny if this an okay rule, I would appreciate it.

    Everyone good to go?

    That being said, let us touch upon the first point of the AOTC review....

    The review starts with about 3 minutes and 45 seconds or so of general comments, some comedic onelines while taking jabs at the movie and at Lucas, rehashing a few thoughts on TPM, and just giving some general sentiments.

    It then makes the accusation that "like the last movie" it still doesn't have a main character and instead now it's got two, Anakin and Obi-Wan, and "I'm still not sure which one we are supposed to relate to...I would think people could relate more to Obi-Wan because he is basically a good guy who doesn't murder people, but at the same time he is also very distant because he is like a wierd monk without any personality....so take your pick idiots. It doesn't really matter at this point, does it? Anakin is no longer an 8 year old and is basically a whole new character at this point because it's been so long since we have seen him and we barely knew Obi-Wan in the first place because he didn't do anything in the last movie, so they might as well have just started the entire prequel saga here. I mean why not? QUi-Gon died and Anakin and Padme just kind of met each other. So then we are given 60 seconds in an elevator that Obi-Wan and Anakin are friends. And please notice how this is not established by how they act as friends, but rather it's by them recounting things that happened in the past...things we never see.....it establishes an important presidence in the way the films are written. We don't see or feel characters or connections with each other, we have to be told about them."

    He goes on to talk about how this wasn't the case in the OT and how Luke and Han had a real friendship that grew, etc. He also makes mention that when old Ben says "he was a good friend", you get a sense that they might have been close friends. But goes on to talk about how Obi-Wan and Anakin always argue and Obi-Wan always gets irritated
    Komodo9Joe likes this.
  2. OBI-GYN_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 3
    You know, I never heard of this dude ~ and never will again...

    In his day & age when controversy sells and media over-hype is in hyper-drive, there's an outlet for anybody who wishes 15 minutes of fame.

    And, you're not going to get it by gushing at movies.

    [face_dancing]

    So, I take this crap ~ in plain English, with a grain of salt.

    For example, since when does a movie have to have one main star?

    Has the reviewer ever heard of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid?

    The Sting?

    The Great Escape?

    Heck, The Magnificent SEVEN?

    The Dirty DOZEN?

    Who's the star of that?

    Lee Marvin? John Cassevettes? Jim Brown? Charles Bronson?

    So, I don't see that as a problem in these films, and as a classic movie fan from all the way back to the 1930's, never have.

    Next Point.....

    There's way too much comparison between how great the OT was & how bad the PT is...

    Example: the terrible dialogue in the PT...

    Anybody who bashes the bad dialogue in the PT is a scruffy looking nerf herder!

    As for Obi-Wan & Annikan's relationship in AOTC & ROTS, it SHOULD be strained ~ after all, Annikan does have some non-Jedi characteristics in his personalities that lead to the dark side ~ and that should cause some tension, no?

    There is some freindship in there too though; it's a good mix that helps lead to the fatefull storyline fallout in my opinion.

  3. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    Nice list. I will add to that list with a title that isn't out yet, but just occured to me tonight due to its trailer just making waves this evening, The Avengers. Talk about a movie that many of the prequel haters and also probably Stoklasa is going to gush about when it is released. How many main characters is it going to have? 10? LOL

    As for the other point, I would like to add that his assertation that the friendship is only refered to in the past tense, yet they experience the entire Coruscant chase together, save each other's butt a time or two in that and generally act as a team in chasing down Zam despite a bit of bickering. Seems like a couple of buddies that have been hanging out for years to me.
  4. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    It's spelt "Rebuttal".
    V-2 likes this.
  5. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    Crap, I can't believe I did that. Mods, can we please have that changed? LOL

    Also it's spelled, "spelled". ;) Just giving you a hard time...
  6. CuppaJoe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 4
    I understand a lot of his criticisms. But I don't get the "it doesn't have a main character" argument. Look at The Exorcist. Amazing film. Who's the main character? Certainly not "the Exorcist".
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    You asked for it - http://grammarist.com/spelling/spelled-spelt/

    (I'm from Australia, which tends to follow English spelling)

    SO THERE! ;)

    Anyway, back on topic - putting aside my own opinion of the RLM reviews, I think it's something of an uphill battle, bordering on futile, to attempt any sort of genuine rebuttal against them due to their satirical nature. Although RLM segments like 'Half In The Bag' confirm that Stoklasa and his sidekick actually are bitter, whingeing fanboys, the Plinkett reviews are parodying the very fanboy nitpicking they contain. As such, any serious rebuttal could be said to miss the point. It's not all parody - he's quite serious in a lot of his criticisms, but there is that fall back position.
    In the TPM review he immediately qualifies his claim that a film has to have a protagonist by quickly saying "Unless it's by Jim Jarmusch, Robert Altman, Stanley Kubrick" etc. It's half joking, as if to emphasise what a ridiculously broad, sweeping statement he's just made, while also clarifying that he's just talking about the sort of genre SW fits in.

    Storytelling and filmmaking aren't exact sciences, the quality of a film isn't an objective fact, it's going to work for some people and not for others. You can attempt to identify various reasons why a film didn't work, even if the same elements work fine in other films, and that's what his criticisms come down to. A film doesn't have to have a specific protagonist, but it's also the case that a particular film may suffer if it doesn't. Depends on the movie.

    It doesn't help his case that he makes these criticisms in a manner which so many have found offensive, but there's the satirical aspect. Shows like Family Guy and South Park do much the same thing when they deal with controversial issues like abortion, politics, war, racial intolerance and so on.
    V-2 likes this.
  8. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Anakin is the heart of the film, while Obi-Wan is the brain. That's what I've always felt.

    Regarding their friendship, I do sense it in the elevator, before and during the speeder chase, on Geonosis, heck, even when Anakin says "It's all Obi-Wan's fault"!
    The movie clearly establishes a long standing Master/Apprentice friendship that withstands quarrels and general frustration. They depend upon eachother and even though Anakin tends to be hotheaded and arrogant, Obi-Wan has high hopes for him.





    Movies - they establish things
    LM
  9. JimRaynor55 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 3
    I pposted these points on another forum way back, when I responded to the first few minutes of RLM's AOTC review. This was before I wrote my 108-page rebuttal to his TPM review, and I didn't go further into the AOTC review than this.

    There's really very little in the way of actual points in this first part of the AOTC review, which is what initially drove me to go back and examine his TPM review. It spends its first few minutes setting the stage by smearing Lucas's image with subjective and extremely vague points.

    2:14
    This is a subjective opinion. I'd argue that even though it's subjective, it's quite wrong because the prequels show a ton of character nuances and thematic ambition that the RLM reviews never mention (as I said in my TPM review, he doesn't even seem to be aware of the basic themes of the SW series).

    But my problem with this part of this claim is that he says it while selectively showing a behind-the-scenes clip of some LFL employees calmly sitting at a table for a couple of seconds. Sure, you can say that it's presented in a "humorous" manner, but good propaganda is about creating impressions and feelings in people. The clip is shoring up RLM's accusation that the people who worked on the movie supposedly didn't care.

    Not unusually, RLM's own selective clips betray him, since there's a glimpse of one employee smiling as he works on some models. But that won't be enough to change people's minds. Mission accomplished.

    Oh, so that's who cares! The low-level "craftsmen and artists" who are working on little things like the models. Note the use of loaded language here. He says that Lucasfilm's paid employees were "exploited." These poor little people are the real "artists," not the supposedly soulless billionaire who directed the movie.

    3:09
    Another unspecific, unprovable statement with an anti-business slant, playing on people's emotions and painting Lucas as a heartless corporate villain. This statement is said over some second-long clips of various battledroids at the Battle of Geonosis. As if the movie is somehow in the wrong, or doing nothing but advertising toys, for showing robots and weapons in a scifi war movie.

    3:47
    Oh no, TWO main characters! As others in this thread have pointed out, there have been many movies with more lead characters than that. Ensemble casts are not unusual.

  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Wait for it...

    Yeah, and Ki-Adi-Mundi thought the Sith had been extinct for a millennium. Forgot about that one, eh?

    I guess they're all really really old "ex-Jedis".

    And one more thing:

    The plural of deer is deer.

    The plural of sheep is sheep.

    The plural of Jedi is... ?

    That's your homework problem, "Plinkett". Remember to show your work.
    EmSeeSquared likes this.
  11. Anakin_Darth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 2
    As I've said many, many times, RLM is a worthless whining fanboy who's upset because the prequels weren't exactly how he wanted them. This is a fantastic thread idea, by the way. As someone who has debunked his ENTIRE TPM "review" against his fanboys and himself personally (causing him to block me hahahaha), I can do this all day.


    First, the main character issue. Like others have stated, how many movies have NO main character? Pulp Fiction, a highly respected movie, doesn't have one. Star Wars has always, ALWAYS been an ensemble kind of movie. Even the OT - without Obi Wan, Luke wouldn't have become a Jedi. Without Han, they never would've gotten to Leia. Without R2, they never would've gotten the plans, etc etc. Yeah, you can pinpoint one specific character and say that he/she has the most screen time, or the movie revolves around them, but SW isn't just about one person, and the prequels especially are about an entire galaxy of characters.

    And about the whole friendship complaint - I find it hilarious that, while RLM says it's terrible to tell not show about their friendship, and recounting events is bad, when the EXACT same thing happens in Empire Strikes Back (Lando and Han talking about their past history/disputes), it's lauded as genius storytelling. Double standard b.s. that I just laugh at now. It's comedy to me how some people contradict themselves. We see plenty of times in AOTC (and even in TPM, I mean there's Obi Wan standing in front of the head of the Jedi Council and basically telling him he's gonna train Anakin no matter what his superiors say) that their friendship is genuine, from their banter in the elevator, during the speeder chase, the Arena, etc. You don't ONLY have to show friends being nice to each other, that's not how friendships work, there's always sarcastic moments, moments of doubt and sadness, etc. That's ALL shown in AOTC.
    EmSeeSquared likes this.
  12. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    Did ANY of them respond to your points in some substantial way? I'm guessing they either started cussing you out, or started in with that weird cult-like repetition of quasi-mantras. Am I close?
  13. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    OK, on to the next part:

    Plinkett goes to to say, "apparently anyone can replace a senator, pose as a senator, and propse sweeping legislation in place of a senator....even a cartoon rabbit who sounds like a retard. Apparently Jar Jar did it all on his own without consulting anyone after being obviously guilted into it."

    He then goes on to say that, "all we know about the sith is that they are bad guys. That's pretty much it. Are they all ex-jedis? What is this prophecy about? What does it say? Who wrote it? When? what does bringing balance to the force mean exactly?" He goes on to talk about how this is when a main character/protagonist comes in handy and how the characters in AOTC know all those answers, but they don't talk about it, but there should be a scene where the answers to the "balance of the force" and issues of the "sith" are explainated to him, so that the audience can care about it. He even goes as far as saying that there are very few scenes in the prequels where someone explains what is going on. He says we need a scene where they explain who the enemies are and why they are the enemy, and even show them doing something bad so we "don't like 'em".
  14. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Are you going to post similar threads about the OT movies?
  15. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    No, just for AOTC and ROTS. Jim Rayner already did a fantastic rebuttal for the TPM review, and RLM has not done any reviews for the OT, so there is nothing to rebut for those. No one bashes the OT anyways except for a few of the SE changes.
  16. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    I would just like to throw my two cents in for this one.

    1. RLM is either not paying attention to the movie or is conveniently forgetting that Jar Jar is ALREADY a senator before he stands in for Padme while she is gone. RLM acts like Binks is just some fool who happens to be in the senate building and Padme just happens to ask him to take her place while she is gone. It would be akin to her asking me to represent her in the senate given that I am currently not any sort of political figure and am just a private citizen. She clearly refers to him as "Representative Binks" in AOTC as she is packing her suitcase. Yes, Jar Jar is a bit on the niave and incappable side, but of course that is part of the humor in it I suppose. Not to be taken too seriously.

    2. As Jim mentioned above in his post, the sith are the main baddies in the OT (Vader and Palpatine), but yet the OT never ONCE gives the sith any history or backstory, let alone mentions the name "sith", which at least the PT does. RLM clearly accepted that in the OT, so why is he giving the PT crap for it? ALso, his accusation that the PT never explains what is going on, is not true. There are plenty of scenes in which it is explained what is going on (maybe not in terms of the villians, but at least in terms of other story points). Also, RLM has conveniently left out the fact that the jedi and the politicians DO NOT KNOW exactly what is going on in terms of the villians. The sith are hiding in the shadows and pulling the strings unbeknownst to any of them. WHat they are aware of in terms of what the sith are doing is a big mystery to them, with Mace even refering to Maul as a "mysterious warrior" and the "mystery of the sith" given that the attacker which QUi-Gon confronted appeared to be a sith based on his force and saber skills, but not much else was known about him. In fact, they weren't even 100% sure it WAS a sith. The sith are even more mysterious in AOTC as Dooku is posing as merely a disgruntled jedi and a seperatist, and even refers to the sith as if it is someone else (not him). TPM and AOTC are all one big mystery concerning the true villains, so why would the jedi (Mace, Yoda, etc) know enough of what is going to be able to explain it for the audience?
    EmSeeSquared likes this.
  17. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Very true. Besides, the premise for the plot in AOTC is very simple: Someone is trying to kill Padmé and Obi-Wan is sent to find out who while Anakin protects her.
    Everything else is just fluff until it starts to really matter.
    Sure, the main premise takes a backseat once the clone army is discovered and Anakin goes to Tatooine, but I really don't believe that that makes the movie difficult to follow. It's possible that the viewer forgets about what their original mission was (I know I usually do), but that doesn't matter, since bigger things are clearly at stake. Now and again, though, we are reminded of their primary objectives:

    - I have a strong feeling that this is the assassin we are looking for.
    - Do you think these cloners are involved in the plot to assassinate Senator Amidala?

    - I know I'm disobeying my mandate to protect you, Senator, but I have to go.

    - It is clear that Viceroy Gunray is behind the assassination attempts on Senator Amidala.

    - Protect the Senator at all costs. That is your first priority.

    Once they all go to Geonosis, however, the main objective switches over to helping Obi-Wan and stopping the Separatists. From them on, the Saga is all about the war.





    Cloners - they clone
    /LM
  18. gobalicious Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2010
    star 1
    Exactly this. If you are trying to refute RLM's reviews point by point, you've entirely missed the point. To me, the primary purpose of the reviews is entertainment. If you can't appreciate that type of humor, fine. We all have different senses of humor. If RLM were to release overwhelmingly negative reviews of the OT in the same style, I would be laughing just as much.

    The reviews aren't meant to be logically sound. In a way, the review is a parody of itself. You can't use logic to debate someone who doesn't abide by it. And even if the review were made in a logical style, it would accomplish little to rebuke it point by point. Film is too subjective to adhere to such standards. Making your own independent points is the best you can do.

    That said, I do think the sentiments expressed in the review are genuine. There's little doubt Stoklasa thinks the PT was awful. And that's fine. Some legitimately good points were brought up against it, and it's good to think about such things. The only thing that truly bothers me about the reviews is how people regard them as an ultimate debunkment of the PT. Obviously, this can't be so given the style of the review. People should take it as an amusing stunt, think about some of its points, and make up their own mind after reading multiple reviews.

    If you want to fight the negative impact it has had on the overwhelming amount of irrational PT hate, doing this rebuttal won't help. You can only point out positive things in your own reviews and posts. Reading this forum has made me appreciate many of the finer details of the PT I didn't notice before. It's a shame so many people have become close-minded to such things as a result of the reviews.
  19. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    On the TPM protagonist issue, isn't it obvious that Amidala/Padme is the protagonost? I mean, the movie is basically about her planet being invaded and how she deals with that.

    Theres a strong character arc where she goes from a pacifist who wants to avoid war at all costs to an aggressor, willing to go to war with the Trade Federation to save her people.

    The antagonists (Sidious and the Trade Federation) put various obstacles in her way like invading her planet, forcing her to go to Coruscant, etc....

    She is very clearly the protagonist of the movie as far as I can see?
  20. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm taking part in this because it's an amusing way to solidify my love for these films and assure myself that I'm being honest about my opinions.
    Even if the reviews are humorously exaggerating their points, the points are obviously made with sincerity and, as you said, many fans have needlessly turned on the movies as a result of watching the reviews, which is a sad development.
    The most effective way to counter this would probably be to do the same thing with the OT. That might open some eyes to the fact that these are all flawed, yet wonderful, movies.





    Points - they're exaggerated
    /LM
  21. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4

    THANK YOU!!!

    Finally, someone else who understands that it's not a "you're with us or you're against us" situation regarding the RLM reviews - any more than it is with the PT vs OT situation.
  22. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Who ever said it was?





    /LM
  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    How convenient.

    A lot of people, when cornered, rely on the tactic of "I was just joking and you have no sense of humor".

    But that doesn't necessarily mean they were just joking. It's a tactic.

    Yet they are constantly held up as logically sound by their supporters. Thus, refutation of the reviews is really a refutation of their portrayal by RLM followers as the pinnacle of "devastating" logical criticism - not "devastating" parody. Or are RLM's followers, when they defend the reviews on logical grounds, also engaged in a form of "parody"? Just how far does the parody excuse go?
  24. sith_rising Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2004
    star 4
    I used to have an RLM rebuttal up on Youtube, where I approached the OT from his point of view, and ripped them to shreds. It was to show that it's not the Prequels, but all of Star Wars, that has bad acting, awful dialogue, some poor effects, inconsistencies and the occassional plothole.

    It didn't go over well with audiences, lots of hate mail, so much that my inbox would be full when I got home, mostly from the haters on IMDB that I invited to view it lol.

    But, I've been thinking of redoing them and putting them back up. The success of TPM in 3D has shown that the haters are running out of breathing space, and that the older and younger fans are still keeping Star Wars strong.

    However, I do agree with many of points, mostly about CG Yoda. But, I'm not going to pretend like the OT is perfect. Rose-colored glasses and all that, especially with my generation (those that were in their 20's when TPM came out, all screaming about raped childhoods).
  25. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    ^ Please do that, sr! And don't ever take them away again, hate mails be damned (as they are just a sign of people's insecurity anyway). You've got my support!
    I've always been a fan of TPM, but when I saw the 3D version, I had the revelation that Star Wars must be viewed on the big screen. It elevates the experience to mindblowing heights!





    Experiences - they are elevated
    /LM
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