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We could peg this to the publication last weekend of Pat Jordan’s fine New York Times profile of William Shatner, or to the fact that today is the day after Labor Day — the first day of classes when I was coming up through Fairfax County, Va.’s exemplary public school system back in nineteenninetyneveryoumind. I was a big sci-fi nerd, you know, back then.
And it would appear that Mike Stoklasa was, too. The 32-year-old Milwaukee wedding videographer and comedy-horror-film auteur has racked up nearly 2.5 million YouTube views of his hilarious, sharply edited, and not a little creepy 70-minute (!) review of Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Stoklasa’s review begins thusly:
Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace was the most disappointing thing since my son.
Admittedly, that opening sentence doesn’t quite muster the epic sweep of, say, A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, but one must consider the delivery. Stoklasa administers his critique in the character of Plinkett, an aged, palsied superfan whose own psychological peccadilloes emerge in harrowing glimpses as the review goes on. (And on.)
The video-essay hit the web back in December, more than 10 years after The Phantom Menace pissed all over over the fond childhood memories of an entire generation. The video’s popularity would seem to suggest we have none of us gotten over it. Plinkett’s equally painstaking dissection of the follow-up prequel, Attack of the Clones (“the worst thing ever made by a human, except for the bagpipes”), arrived in April.
AND NOW, Plinkett has brought his canny critical eye and Ted-Levine-in-The-Silence-of-the-Lambs drawl to bear on J.J. Abrams‘s sexed-up, generally beloved Star Trek reboot from last year. Presented in two parts, the review clocks in, once again, at 70 minutes — only 56 minutes shorter than the film it examines, and yet the time flies by at warp speed.