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Red Letter Media Reviews (Plinkett & Half in the Bag)

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45 minutes ago, kaseykockroach said:

They can still be funny now and then, but I'm pretty burned out on their inherent dismissal of any mainstream popcorn blockbuster. It just feels cynical for the sake of it.

 

Yeah this has become a bit of a problem over the last few years. Not sure why but they seem to be pandering to a small section of their base; the more intelligent, analytical side to their reviews seems to be vanishing.

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I reckon RLM have been very selective of the films they choose to review, films that are the trashy blockbusters. They reserve the more formal insightful criticism for their re:View series.

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Overall, I like them, and think they can be very insightful in their critiques ( though frankly, that trend of looking at films from the viewpoint: "If I were a filmmaker, this is how I would approach it" or "This doesn't work for me, and using film theory I'm going to explain to you exactly how", has gotten so common to where it seems every movie review person on the Internet is a repressed filmmaker).  

 

However, there's a certain snarkiness and flavor to their humor--the "What?" awkward humor that especially Jay is guilty of--that has become more and more unpalatable to me as I watch them. And Rich's shouting and screaming, contrary to the whole of Reddit, is so annoying, no one should've told 'im it was the funny the first time he did it so he can save the trained seal act.

 

In short, RLM is tailor-made for Internet culture...and I feel very at odds with Internet culture.

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4 minutes ago, Horner's Dynamic Range said:

Some of their humor isn't funny at all, like screaming Aids, joking about homosexuality, 9/11, homelessless etc. They can be hilarious when they're just watching bad movies.

Those are funny, you Grinch!

Just now, Norma's Corpse said:

Aren't Plinkett and Jay Susan getting married?

A volcano god interrupted their wedding.

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I can see why some people don’t like them. Their style of humor isn’t for everyone. 

 

I find them entertaining and well-informed. Every once in a while they’ll articulate something about a movie in a way that accurately describes something I was thinking but couldn’t put into words. I think that is what they do very well. They’re just average joes who like movies. 

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Was going to bring up the JW part of their review, but they seem really jaded now on the whole Star Wars franchise which is sad. Mike incorrectly mentions it as a 'John Williams exclusive score' which means he probably didn't realise Williams scored the last two films!

 

5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Its fantastic!

 

TROS really doesn't have anything like it, sadly.

Does every Star Wars score have or need a march like MOTR? I feel that was one that was introduced in TFA and was great, but TROS is concerned with the more elegiac tone of the film, especially the two Skywalker themes.

 

5 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

I feel like these scores may fade from the mainstream more than the prequels, which have "Duel of the Fates" really propping those up in public memory.

 

The main thing I am curious about is how kids today are responding to these soundtracks. Sometimes it's hard to remember what it was like to not have heard music like this and I think these should be quietly stirring a new generation of soundtrack fans.

 

If nothing else I think pieces like "Rey's Theme" and "The Rise of Skywalker" will evoke nostalgia in the same way that a lot of Horner or Broughton or Goldsmith's kid film scores from the 80s and 90s are held dearly by soundtrack nerds, even if they don't have much cultural cache. 

Every YouTube comment section since The Force Awakens has been flooded with complaints like 'Where's Duel of the Fates?' or 'This is the weakest score, clearly Williams has lost it'. Only the nearest and most compassionate film music fan will be seeking out these scores, at least single themes. 

 

It's sad, but it's just the sensibility of the younger generation to see these scores as boring background music if it's not EPIC ZIMMER DRUMS. I saw a comment the day the OST was uploaded to YouTube saying how TROS was a weaker score than Dark Phoenix - you know, the score that took a whole production company to score only to sound like it was an afterthought...

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2 hours ago, Arpy said:

Was going to bring up the JW part of their review, but they seem really jaded now on the whole Star Wars franchise which is sad. Mike incorrectly mentions it as a 'John Williams exclusive score' which means he probably didn't realise Williams scored the last two films!

 

Interesting how they were enthusiastic about TFA, but they've been down hard on SW since Rogue One (what did that movie do that hit them so hard?!). Makes me wonder what's going on in Mike's real life where he still feels compelled to nitpick these movies. I like it when he's in-character as Plinkett, but as himself he seems just crotchety and unpleasant.

 

Rich Evans would be infuriating to watch movies with.

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Jay is definitely the most agreeable. He's like the Ebert to Mike's Siskel. Mike occasionally praises weird shit like Independence Day: Resurgence and seems to have flip-flopped on TLJ, being mostly positive when it came out and becoming increasingly negative towards it as the videos went on. I agree most with Rich on the Disney movies, where he just doesn't really care about this shit anymore 

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Yeah, but I think Jay seems to be in tune with film scores to be able to talk about them, and yeah he can sometimes be more agreeable. In one of the recent podcasts RLM did with Macaulay Culkin, they said the production of the films was great, having no issue with that side, but rather the unfocused plots. I think they really don't care about them one way or the other, but for the sake of their work they have to talk about them.

 

 

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You are mischaracterizing the audience a bit if you really think the lukewarm reactions are beacuse of it not being Zimmer / Trailer Music, instead of it not being OT / Prequel Williams.

 

"Experimental", "mature", "elegiac", "streamlined", and similar expressions are an aunt's tea party politeness, a retirement age vocabulary, a rationalizing Boomer-speak. These 3 new scores will not dethrone the OT in the inevitable polls, and on average likely not even the PT---not even on this very board. To the world outside, the music is inaudible in the theater, and not catchy enough even when heard a second time / separately, i.e. not even when "given a chance". More chances cannot be expected to be given to it over world's thousand other riches.

 

But of course, the situation is hyperbolically worse between the ears of those who are unappreciative of music in general, like Mike Stoklasa is...

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I heard several friends of mine who are not unfamiliar with Williams state they couldn't hear anything beyond all the old themes/cues references. And it is true these are given the most attention in the sound mix. And even if we argue 90%+ score is brand new it is still not catchy enough for an average person. There is no time for memorable setpieces because the film is too preoccupied with: a) speeding at breakneck speed b) nostalgia. And Williams does his best to keep up with its madness at 87.

 

Karol

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The argument could be made that JW's sequel trilogy writings are far more complex, with denser orchestrations and less direct melodies, that contributes to this phenomena. Only March of the Resistance and Kylo Ren's theme have the type of "directness" of themes like Vader's, where they really cut through the orchestration to an overt melody.

 

Rey's Theme is a stunning piece of music but I can understand why the layman would have a hard time recognizing her theme and remembering it. The initial statement is quite buried in the mix/orchestration on the OST as well, as is the opening statement in TFA.

 

And of course, none of this factors in the score itself being buried in TFA's mix.

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7 hours ago, crumbs said:

The argument could be made that JW's sequel trilogy writings are far more complex, with denser orchestrations and less direct melodies, that contributes to this phenomena. 

Yes, and if you explain that to an audience it wouldn't make any sense to them. "Surely if it's so good I should be able to remember it?"

 

Karol

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9 hours ago, crumbs said:

 

Rey's Theme is a stunning piece of music but I can understand why the layman would have a hard time recognizing her theme and remembering it. The initial statement is quite buried in the mix/orchestration on the OST as well, as is the opening statement in TFA.

 

When we first hear the melody, the bloody speeder noise covers it! I couldn't believe how annoying that was when I went to see it after listening to the score. 

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

It's the equivalent of trying to find a melody in a two hour symphony, versus remembering a TV commercial jingle. :P

So now we devaluate past work of Williams - music that created this fandom and this forum - because "directedness of melodies" is suddenly meaningless?

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