Roger Ebert, step aside. There’s a new movie reviewer in town who is grinding all others into dust. Or perhaps chaining them up in his basement and skinning them alive would be a more accurate description. His name (or at least his character) is Mr. Plinkett, his website is RedLetterMedia.com, and his method is to create scathingly brilliant video reviews of movies such as James Cameron’s Avatar. As soon as I heard him describe Avatar as “Dances with Wolves in space,” I knew I would be a fan.
To understand Mr. Plinkett as a movie reviewer, try to imagine Jame Gumb in his basement with a videocamera creating lengthy and highly analytical reviews of major movies, while pausing from time to time to scream at prisoners in his homemade dungeon. For those who don’t remember, Jame Gumb was Buffalo Bill, portrayed by Ted Levine, in the movie adaptation of Thomas Harris‘s novel The Silence of the Lambs.
I first learned about Mr. Plinkett and his movie reviews earlier this week when Musetta, one of the ex-wives of one of my ex-business partners, posted a Huffington Post story to her Facebook account. The essence of the article was to say’ “look at this great movie review of Avatar,” which was embedded into the Huffington Post story without a direct link back to the source. Fortunately, the video itself displays the web address at the end of the clip, so I was able to rush to the website to spend the rest of my day watching brilliant but demented movie reviews.
The Avatar review is divided into two parts of roughly 10 minutes each. Speaking with the voice and mannerisms of a cross between Jame Gumb and Walter Matthau, Mr. Plinkett dissects Avatar with the precision of a skilled surgeon or serial killer, peeling the skin off the movie to reveal the weak flesh and fragile skeleton inside. The review of Avatar is simply too brilliant to be summarized in a blog post, because no description can do it justice. You have to watch the clips to fully appreciate them.
One criticism I have of the Red Letter Media website is that the design prevents linking to any specific page in the site. No matter which page the reader is on, the url always displays http://redlettermedia.com. This made clear why the Huffington Post decided to embed the video into their own site, and consequently I chose to embed the Plinkett review of James Cameron’s Avatar into this article as well. Parts one and two are below:
I’m surprised that more people writing about this review have not recognized the numerous subtle references to the Silence of the Lambs, but then again I may have watched that movie a few too many times. Watch this site for future articles about Plinkett’s movie reviews and the geniuses behind them.