At work today, I was listening to Red Letter Media’s (RLM for short) Mr. Plinkett Reviews and when I was coming home from work it got me thinking about a live chat question: is RLM this generation’s Siskal and Ebert? When this question was posed the YouTuber who was hosting the chat, thought that while he loved Mr. Plinkett’s reviews were excellent, RLM’s Half in the Bag was considered taking the piss out of cinematic criticism by maliciously ripping movies apart.
On the ride home from work it got me thinking about making a video about this. However, taking into account the other projects on my plate and the amount of time it would take to record, draw, animate, composite together assets, make the music, and other things that would involve making a video, I wanted to write my thoughts down in case after taking all that into account I decide not to make a video. I believe, it does need to be recorded because I believe that the legacy of RLM and by extension Mr. Plinkett’s Review (in particular the documentaries about how the Star Wars prequels suck) on YouTube has yet to be tapped. Also, has the success of Mr. Plinkett’s Reviews on the (Star Wars) Prequels lead to the demise of that show.
Now for those of you who don’t know who RLM is, or what Mr. Plinkett’s Reviews are here is a link to their YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrTNhL_yO3tPTdQ5XgmmWjA). Go binge watch some videos. Now, while I don’t believe they are this generation’s Siskel and Ebert, I don’t think they are harmful to cinematic criticism, I do believe that the series of videos were so successful, inspiring countless other YouTubers, that they made Mr. Plinkett obsolete.
Comparing RLM to Siskel and Ebert, in my not-so-humble opinion, is an insult to RLM. Now, I’ll be honest, I have a bias against Siskel and Ebert. Even as a kid, Siskel and Ebert always came off as pretentious (kind of like Movie Bob). Half in Bag is would sum up as Siskel and Ebert meets Clerks, Mike Stoklasa (who voices Mr. Plinkett as well) and Jay Bauman review movies within the premise of being 2 employees of a VCR repair shop. They drink, they get into antics drenched in black humor, they brutally make fun of movies that they find are stupid. However, they don’t hate movies. You can tell behind the shlubby veneer that they have a passion for movies of all forms.
If you ever saw Siskel and Ebert’s show, they were represented as authorities on film. They seemed to have a distain toward the joys of B-movies. This is contrasted in Half in the Bag by their glee in B-movies. They show genuine affection for cinema (especially genre films), for example their episodes reviewing The People vs. George Lucas and Annihilation. They also genuinely don’t take themselves too seriously. When you hear Siskel and Ebert respond to when people make fun of them, they come off (in my opinion) as disingenuous. For example, when the director of the 1998 Godzilla movie made a parody of them as the bumbling mayor and vice-mayor, they force laughter and joke about how they should have had Godzilla step on them, it all seems as plastic as the theater armrests they sit on.
Mr. Plinkett’s Star Wars Prequel reviews are often referenced from the RLM test of how good a character is, to the dry, sarcastic, delivery as seen in YouTube channels like I Hate Everything, CinemaSins, Ralph the Movie Maker, Voxis Productions’ Prof. Tosspot, etc. Now, while this is just a hot take (actually I would say more of a warm take) I would say that due to the amount of creators they inspired, maybe Mr. Plinkett isn’t needed.
Sorry, but I have to end this post. I’ll write a better for Monday promise.
Stay hustling my friends.