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DID YOU READ

The Ultimate “Star Wars: Episode III” Video Review

The Ultimate “Star Wars: Episode III” Video Review (photo)

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I love Mike Stoklasa’s video reviews, though perhaps “video reviews” isn’t a generous enough term for this man’s borderline heroic work. Stoklasa uses carefully selected video clips, smart observations about the language of cinema, and deranged humor from his videos’ narrator — a grumpy and cruel old man named Harry Plinkett — to critique the movies he hates. His eviscerations of “The Phantom Menace” and “Star Trek: Nemesis” are the stuff of Internet legend. Just in time for New Year’s, Stoklasa released his astoundingly in-depth “Revenge of the Sith” review. It is over 100 minutes long, longer than some feature films and almost as long as the film it is critiquing.

Stoklasa’s videos are crude, and the Plinkett storylines interwoven through the commentary of some of them play masochism for laughs in a way that makes me uncomfortable. Still, there is some legitimate and very perceptive film criticism. The final montage in his “Revenge of the Sith” review ingeniously juxtaposes the famous “Use the Force, Luke!” moment from the first “Star Wars” — where Luke chooses human feeling and emotion over computer assistance in order to blow up the Death Star — with behind-the-scenes footage of Lucas on the set of his lifeless, CGI-driven monstrosities. It’s a brilliant and utterly damning argument against not only “Star Wars: Episode III” itself, but against the entire computers-first approach Lucas pioneered and that most of Hollywood now uses to make their big budget action films.

This is easily Stoklasa’s best review yet: his most thorough and his least sidetracked by queasy Plinkett sketches. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure (assuming your name isn’t George Lucas):

With all the “Star Wars” prequels’ reviews complete, I’m not sure where Stoklasa goes from here. There’s a couple sideways jabs in the “Sith” videos at Michael Bay and “Transformers,” a film that seems to fit the mould of Stoklasa’s targets: soulless, overblown visual spectacles devoid of emotional content or compelling human characters. But I honestly don’t care what subject he tackles next. I’ll watch any review he makes. You can find all his work on his website, RedLetterMedia.com.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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