I read through all of Jim Raynor’s “Red Letter M*dia’s Episode I Review: An Exercise In Fanboy Stupidity” last night (it didn’t take that long). Here are some of my thoughts on the essay.
1) I haven’t seen the videos that inspired the Raynor essay and I don’t care to, but it seems to me that based on what Bryan Young wrote about the TPM video and what was in the essay, a lot of the filmmaker’s criticisms are opinion presented as fact and are the sort of nitpicking you could apply to any movie to make it look bad. Granted, what I’m looking at is biased on one end but I also can’t help but think that the videos don’t so much as “destroy” the movies as they give people who already dislike them further justification for their stance. As both Young and Raynor point out, the filmmaker more than one time either misunderstands what’s going on or flat out gets facts and details wrong.
2) Raynor’s piece is entirely about refuting the video’s arguments. There’s an interesting part where he talks about Padmé and her character arc, but if you’re expecting an essay that argues TPM’s merits, that’s not what this is about.
3) Raynor is at his most effective when he uses humor to question the logic of the video’s arguments. I particularly liked the “comic strips” of scenes of the film to advance his points.
4) He’s not so effective when he spends a lot of time on name-calling. It’s not an internet post where emotion can take over the keyboards, it’s an essay he spent a year writing.
5) He also has a tendency to assert his opinions as fact, assuming everybody or almost everybody agrees with his own criticisms of the film, i.e. “(f)ew people will disagree with the idea that Anakin wasn’t handled as well as he could have been.”
Still, it’s one of the few times I’ve seen where a fan has gotten off the couch to give this kind of support to any of the prequels.