At the NUART Theater in LA on 5/13

Attention LOS ANGELES! We’re coming for you 😉

Starting this Friday the 13th (!), The People Vs George Lucas will be showing at the famous NUART Theater in Los Angeles.

With multiple showtimes, your weekend will certainly be much more exciting after a good healthy dose of Star Wars debate (or comedy, according to some people).

Call all of your friends to see People Vs George Lucas!

The Official Details

TPVGL opens at the NUART Theater on May 13th

Showtimes and Ticket info available HERE

Check out TPVGL In The Press

With our upcoming theatrical run in the United States, the press has written a lot of cool new articles about the film. It’s an honor to list them on the site.

3rd Party Validation

Because we’re obviously biased towards the awesomeness of our film, it’s good for you to check what other people have been saying about it.

Take a moment and check all of The People Vs George Lucas reviews

What I Like About the Prequels

Ok, I realize that you read the title, and you were probably thinking “WTF? You guys just wrote a post on why they suck, a review of reviews of how they suck, not to mention a MOVIE about how they suck! You can’t just like them all of a sudden!!!” Patience, young Jedi. There is no betrayal here. Continue to read, and perhaps when you finish, you’ll like the prequels a little more as well. Not to mention, making fun of the prequels is almost too easy, and I wanted a challenge.

1) John Williams

John Williams is like the Richard Wagner of our day. Personally, if every movie was scored by him and Danny Elfman, I wouldn’t argue. Hell, I might even watch 8 Mile then. His musical scores in the Original Trilogy were so perfect, that I would credit him for being a large part of why Star Wars is frequently referred to as a “space opera”, a title that certainly does it justice. Apparently, when George decided to make the prequels, he had at least one moment where he pulled his head out of his- err, the clouds and took that brief moment of fresh smelling lucidity to bring back John Williams. And John Williams, at least, was able to do his job right. The music in the prequels is a worthy successor to the original score.

You know, this kind of makes the prequels even more of an opera than the originals. Much like a real opera, the best part of the prequels is the music.

2) Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman isn’t really that great a reason, I know. She is a very talented (V for Vendetta) and natural actress (The Professional), and I really like looking at her in the snow bunny outfit. Is that reason enough to watch the prequels? Not even close. Thank god for still shots.

But, the prequels did make a lot of money, somehow, and other movie studios use that sort of thing to judge an actress’ appeal to movie audiences. So being in the prequels was a boon to her career, and this year alone I can think of at least two movies she’s in, Hesher and Black Swan. And to quote Ben Affleck, “You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture.” Even as crap they pulled in a dollar amount that was just obscene, so the prequels were the safe film, and now she can go on to make movies I do like.

3) A New Appreciation

Watching the prequels gives me a new appreciation for the originals. This shouldn’t be taken as they were so bad it makes me love the originals more. Even though that’s true, too. No, the prequels make me see a few things in the original in a new light that does add depth.

The best example of this is the fight in A New Hope between Vader and Obi Wan. I knew intellectually that they had been friends back in the day, because Obi Wan tells Luke they were early in the movie. But I wasn’t thinking about that when I watched the scene; I was thinking that’s a cool little lightsaber duel.

Now when I watch A New Hope, I think about their relationship because I’ve seen it in the prequels. That makes their duel in A New Hope a much more powerful, and touching scene to me now, and it’s because of the prequels. We’ll ignore the fact that I am also now constantly reminded how they fight like geriatrics compared to the way they did in the prequels. And yes, they were older in A New Hope, but in the prequels old people were bouncing off the walls. Never mind, I’m supposed to be talking about why the prequels are GOOD. Next topic!

4) Return of the Franchise

Before the prequels, Star Wars had become more of a geek thing. Granted, it was a “geek-lite” if you will. If the extent of your “geekiness” was Star Wars in high school, girls would still date you, and the jocks wouldn’t shove you in a locker. Of course, as soon as you mention Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica, they’d turn on you like a pack of rabid wolverines, but I digress.

But Star Wars had left mainstream culture. I still know a guy who has seen the prequels but not the originals. But my point is, the prequels brought Star Wars into the limelight again. There could be no KOTOR without TPM. And KOTOR is one of my favorite games ever. I have a LEGO Death Star that’s enormous. If not for the prequels, I wouldn’t. So many great things related to the originals came out only because the prequels re-sparked the public imagination. And that is a great thing.

You Like Them, Too

We love reading your comments, and I know many of you like the prequels a lot more than we do. Feel free to tell us why. Also, the next post is coming straight from the comments and I will be quoting some of you in it, so if you’ve commented on the blog before, make sure you don’t miss the next post.

Oh, and hey, make sure you hit us up on Facebook and Twitter. We love to talk to you guys on there, too. And we put some great stuff on those sites that doesn’t make it to the blog.

See you guys next time!

Okay, You Got It – The Red Letter Media Reviews Reviewed

Let’s start by being perfectly clear on one point: There are a LOT of fan made videos related to Star Wars online. There are probably more Star Wars videos on Youtube than cat videos. There are even Star Wars cat videos. Seriously. But after much thought, we decided to start with the Red Letter Media reviews of the prequels.

Here comes the Nasal Pepperoni

Maybe not a lot of thought. It was actually a pretty easy choice, because they are, without a doubt, some of the funniest videos on the internet, much less Star Wars related videos. I laughed so hard, pizza shot out of my nose. Do you know how hard you have to be laughing for a piece of pepperoni to come out of your nose?

A lot harder than with milk.

Before I descend into some sort of fanboy rave of Mr. Plinkett’s reviews, there are a few things worth mentioning. One, these reviews are not short. The first is close to 60 minutes, and the second and third are well over 90 minutes each. This is not a simple undertaking. Also, Mr. Plinkett is more than willing to use strong language, frequently, so those with sensitive ears may want to watch a Spongebob marathon instead. You have been warned.

redLetterMedia - Darth Maul

Prequels & Garbage Bags?

Now for the raving. These reviews are brilliant. Mr. Plinkett, the reviewer of the video, makes numerous, excellent points with a fantastic sense of humor. Humor based on both brilliantly sardonic observations, as well as some crazy random weirdness. The second review has a subplot (yeah, a review with a subplot!) that involves clips of some woman he has in his basement whom he eventually plans to drop off downtown in several garbage bags. Yes, it’s a little twisted. Yes, it seems completely off topic. But he does manage to somehow tie it into Star Wars, even if loosely.

Aside from the humor, which never stops, Mr. Plinkett also points out some details of the prequels that even diehard fans might miss. And the things he draws attention to are all valid points. He has an unerring knack for picking out every plot hole, of which I never realized there were so many and I bet you didn’t either. And though the reviews are almost comically long, every minute of them is necessary. Not once in the four hours I spent watching them all did I ever grow bored. In fact, I had initially only meant to watch one, but it was so good, I ended up watching them all in one sitting.

A Refreshing YoDa Lesson

His understanding of the things that make Star Wars work is amazing as well. For example, he explains very clearly why Yoda was misrepresented completely in the prequels, and how his diminutive shape in the originals was actually a lesson about the Force for both Luke and the viewers. I never thought about it the way he did, and I doubt that even George Lucas did, but his reasoning is perfect, and I immediately realized he was 100% correct.

After watching the reviews, I was almost tempted to start watching the prequels again. I just couldn’t believe that there were so many things even I missed. But as the Red Letter Media Star Wars reviews make perfectly clear, the prequels really, really, really suck. So I flipped on Empire and called it a night.

What do you think of Red Letter Media?

Dear George Lucas (An Open Letter)

Dear George Lucas,

Open Letter To George Lucas

First of all, allow me to tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve done to advance the film industry. Your innovations in storytelling and the advancements in special effects your movies helped usher in have left an indelible mark on the industry as we know it. Not to mention the franchises that you created that left their mark on me; namely, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Many a fond hour of both my youth and adulthood have been lost in the worlds those movies created.

I was thrilled when you re-released Star Wars in theaters in the 90’s. Less so when I saw the edits, but I still saw each one multiple times over. I was just thrilled to see Darth Vader on the big screen again. That easily negated badly rendered escapees from Jurassic Park being present in A New Hope.

When I first heard of The Phantom Menace, it was like all my dreams had come true. Finally, a Star Wars movie for MY generation. Pre-release photos of Darth Maul made me so excited, I almost lost bladder control.

And then the big day came. I waited in line for 12 hours to be the first to see it. Granted, I lived in a backwater town that had barely heard of Star Wars, and consequently, there was no line for 11 and three quarters of those hours, but it seemed appropriate at the time. And then the STAR WARS THEME began to play, and the intro text began to crawl, and the first official Star Wars movie in like 16 years was beginning!

I sat and I watched, and I said “WHAT THE F—?!”

I refused to see Attack of the Clones in theatres on moral grounds. Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me and all that jazz. I eventually saw it on DVD and was glad my hard earned money went to other, more interesting pursuits. Like car insurance. You turned Yoda into a frog. Really, George? He was, what, 900 years old when he died? But a mere 20 years or so before his death, he was a super gymnastic, lighsaber wielding, ninja frog?

I was on vacation when the final travesty appeared in theatres, and while I was reluctant to go, my friends pleaded and the promise of seeing Darth Vader on the big screen one final time certainly did appeal to me. So I went.

I laughed, I cried, but not at the times you wanted me to. At first I laughed because it was so bad, then I cried for the same reason. Look what you had done to my beloved Star Wars. And the ten seconds of Darth Vader couldn’t overshadow this mess. I lost hope, and there is no new hope on the horizon. When you announced Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I didn’t even care anymore.

So while you were my childhood hero, I’m sorry to say that I’m moving on. I hear the Lord of the Rings is nice.

Top 5 Reasons the Prequels Suck

We love Star Wars.

The amazing story of Luke and the rebel forces is more than enough to satisfy all of our Star Wars film needs. If we wanted more, we had the books. We had toys, we had movies, we had the Christmas Special to ignore; life was good. We even had Muppet Star Wars.

But then someone at the Ranch thought, “Hey, if we make more Star Wars movies, we’ll make more money!” and the whole damn thing came spiraling down. With so many great books and comics to draw upon for inspiration, this should have been an easy task, but somewhere it failed during execution. While there are plenty of reasons the movies were…less than ideal, shall we say, here are the top 5 reasons the prequels sucked.

Reason 5 – Midi-chlorians

What? What the hell is a midi-chlorian? Well, let’s see what George has to say:

“Midi-chlorians are a loose depiction of mitochondria, which are necessary components for cells to divide.”

Thanks for clearing that up.

It seems George decided that because Star Wars is science fiction, the force needed a scientific reason behind it. Hey George, you were wrong. The Force was an effective plot device specifically because it brought mysticism to a world that was pure science. As any magician knows, once you explain how the trick works, the magic is gone. “May the Midi-chlorians be with you.” Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?

Oh, and does anyone say “May the Force be with you,” in the prequels? I didn’t hear it.

Reason 4 – The Plot

Wow, this is a subject that could be explored all day. Basically, the problem is this: The original movies had a very simple plot. The rebel forces are overthrowing the evil empire, and some kid from a backwater planet accidentally becomes the great hero of the rebellion. Easy to follow, and still plenty entertaining.

The prequels? Not so much. Watching any of those movies is like watching C-Span coverage of a Senate debate cut with 10 minute scenes of lightsaber fights. I still have no idea what’s going on half the time in those movies. I know the plot for Star Wars had a big political background, but it was in the background. Where it should have stayed.

Reason 3 – The Realism is Gone

In the originals, the worlds and settings of the movies looked real. Part of that is because they actually were real, but part of it is the attention to detail. Everything in the first three movies looked like it had existed prior to the movies. The Millenium Falcon is a heap and looks like it’s three more hyper-space jumps from permanent retirement in a Detroit junkyard. Yoda’s home is messier than the swamp it’s located in. The cantina looks like a dusty bar in Nevada somewhere.

But apparently before the Empire took over, everyone was a clean freak and washed and waxed their starships every week. There is nothing realistic about it. Everything is so…pretty. It’s not how things are in real life, and for movies that are prequels to ones that got it right the first time, it’s a bit disappointing.

Reason 2 – Forced Re-Edits of the Originals

Once the prequels were done, George felt that to maintain continuity throughout the series, he would go back in and re-edit the originals. Yet again.

Why, George? Why? Why couldn’t you just leave the originals be?

He put the actors from the prequels into the original trilogy. Now at the end of The Return of the Jedi, we don’t see a jovial Sebastian Shaw relaxing with Yoda and Obi Wan, we see Hayden Christensen.
Was he even born when the originals were made? I’m no closet fan of Sebastian Shaw, but it’s his face that I think of when I picture an unmasked Darth Vader. Hayden Christensen is not Darth Vader. And for me, he never will be. Many other prequel actors were inserted into the originals as well.

Of course, the insertion of a Gungan (celebration scene, at the end of Jedi) that is most idiotic leads me to…

Reason 1 – Jar-Jar F-ing Binks

Jar Jar Binks - The Godfather reference

Yeah, you knew this was coming. Is there really anything I need to say past “Meeza”? I don’t think so.

The best scene with Jar-Jar was in Robot Chicken when Vader throws him out an airlock.

And there you have it, folks. Those are our top five reasons the prequels suck. Is it any wonder we made The People vs. George Lucas? Somebody needs to be held accountable for this travesty.

Why do YOU think they suck? Or do you?

Do You Really Like Star Wars? Introducing The PVGL Fan Video Contest

Hey, do you like Star Wars?

Of course you do, that’s why you’re here. You either love it, or you did love it until the prequels, anyway. They pretty much blow. And, as luck would have it, they’ve been the target of much fan mockery. Maybe even you’ve parodied the prequels, yourself.

Well, if you have, we want to know!

Let’s see it!

That’s right, we want to hear from you! If you’ve made a fan video that makes fun of the prequels, we want to see it. If we like it, we’ll feature it right here on the blog, and share it with Star Wars fans around the world. This is YOUR chance to show us how you feel about George Lucas’ attempts to continuously profit from our childhood love of Star Wars.

But there are some rules, naturally.

  1. First: It has to be your video. Don’t just send us some clip you found online. We want to feature YOUR work, so we can give credit where it’s due.
  2. Second: You can either post your video to our Fan page on Facebook, send a Youtube or Vimeo link to us at pvglextra[at]gmail.com or reply to our twitter account
  3. Third: Make sure it’s about the prequels. This isn’t The People vs. A New Hope. A New Hope may be one of the greatest science fiction films ever made, and is not to be subject to mockery. Even we have our limits. Unless it’s really good. Then we may reconsider.
  4. Fourth: If you want us to feature your film, make sure it’s good. And by good, it needs to be entertaining. Don’t send us a 10 minute rant about how “George Lucas is a sellout”. We debate that in the film already. We want prequel parodies. Fan vids that make fun of the prequels and are humorous and entertaining.

And that’s about it. Once we have a few submissions, we’ll be putting them up regularly each month. Once we’ve featured several, we’ll let the fans vote for the best one.

So keep checking back; you never know whose video will be up here next!

Exciting News About People Vs George Lucas in the US

Hey everyone! There are some great things happening! I know we haven’t updated the blog in a while, but your patience is about to be rewarded: The movie’s distribution has been kicked into high gear, and there are a whole slew of new cities and towns where it will be showing.

And to make sure everyone out there has the latest news about the release of The People Vs. George Lucas, we’re going to start interacting with fans a lot more!

The Fans Keep the Dream Alive

Fans are important. What makes Star Wars thrive is its community. Our dedication and willingness to spend money en masse every time a new Star Wars product is released is what made a 70’s science fiction saga blossom into the juggernaut that we now know and love.

We know we have a responsibility to our fans, and by extension, Star Wars fans everywhere. So we are going to continue our mission of reaching out to the Star Wars community and making sure they’re heard. We started with The People Vs. George Lucas, and now we’re reaching out online.

The most notable change will be the blog. We’re going to start updating it at least twice a week with different Star Wars debates. We’re also going to be reviewing fan made and public videos based on Star Wars. And each week we’ll feature a video chosen by you, the fans. So if you have a Star Wars video you want us to feature, fill us in.

Let’s Get Social

We’re going to start being a lot more active on Twitter and Facebook, updating and, more importantly, responding, every day. We’ll be talking with fans and we encourage you to talk back. We’ll also be holding contests and giving away prizes in the cities where the film is showing.

All in all, there are a lot of new things happening, and we’re really excited about it all!

How about you? Excited about the new US screening dates?

Strasbourg photo album

Because pictures are worth a thousand words (my excuse for opting out of a lengthy blog entry in between flights), here’s an extensive photo album of our French premiere at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival–by far, one of our most memorable festival experiences to date. They had it all: a Village Fantastique, a massive Lego Star Wars exhibit (with vintage French posters and press clippings), Jedi Knights and Sith Lords… Not to mention the amazing Alsatian food and wines (choucroute au saumon, filets de sandre au riesling, Gewürztraminer vendanges tardives)! Oh, and mega collector Greg Gence invited me to his house, and you’ll find a couple of pics of his collection, which puts mine to shame.

HUGE thanks to Daniel Cohen, Consuelo Holtzer, and the entire SEFFF team for putting Strasbourg on the map of fantastic film festivals in a big way! They were also kind enough to put me on the jury with Brian Yuzna, Axelle Carolyn and Manlio Gomarasca; and, as a side note, I’m happy to report that our pick for the Silver Méliès–BURIED (by Rodrigo Cortés)–was just awarded the Gold Méliès at the Sitges Film Festival. Congrats to Rodrigo for an amazing filmmaking achievement!

Pics from Sitges coming up. Back in Denver now for 36 hours. Off to Hawaii bright and early on the 21st!

AOP

Le Village Fantastique - Window Display
























PvG ‘Unplugged’ – Part II: from Jake Lloyd to John Williams (via Kevin Smith)

The redeye flight to Chicago was brutal. We landed at 4:40am, and basically had to stay up the entire day. We kicked off the proceedings with a brief early morning interview with Big John and Amy on AM 560 WIND, and headed to the convention center for a lunch interview with Elliott Serrano and Jose Melendez of RedEyeGeek (how appropriate). We shook hands with Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT, CENTURION) and his wife Axelle Carolyn–who will be on the jury with me at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival later this month–and since we had plenty of time to kill before our screening, we proceeded to indulgently roam the convention floor. There were definitely tempting toys galore (I’ve lately become a serious kaiju addict), but I’m proud to say I restrained myself (although I will live to regret a rare 9″ Japanese 1992 Godzilla meltdown figure), and instead chose to simply revel in the atmosphere of Wizard Con, which, I was told, has become one of the strongest challengers to the San Diego Comic-Con in recent years.

My favorite sticker at Wizard Con this year.

My favorite sticker at Wizard Con this year.

Jake Lloyd was on the floor (imagine young Anakin with a stubble–no, I’m not joking). The poor kid looked so unhappy to be there–unlike Richard LeParmentier (a.k.a Admiral Motti), who’s clearly an old pro at this. If my memory serves me well, their booths faced each other, and they were flanked by a bunch of retired Playboy bunnies, porn stars, and pro wrestlers. Adam West and William Shatner were there. Even Rod Blagojevich made an impromptu appearance to sign autographs for $100 a pop. I must admit, comic conventions never cease to amaze me. They’re not really about comics–more like the proverbial box of chocolates: you never know who you’re going to see.

This guy must have a Mothra or two in his closet.

This guy must have a Mothra or two in his closet.

Introducing... the Maui Trooper.

Introducing... the Maui Trooper.

The screening itself was a blast. This was our first non-theatrical screening, and it was a refreshing experience. Convention ballrooms certainly aren’t as cool as, say, the Bloor Cinema in Toronto or The Paramount in Austin; but if you fill them up with hundreds of fanboys and fangirls, they somehow come to life in unexpected ways. The evening started with a George Lucas debate, moderated by Ain’t It Cool’s own Capone, and concluded with possibly our longest Q&A to date. Jason Seiler, the amazing creator of our official poster, came to see the film for the first time; and so did Michael Ramova, whose SW Grindhouse short (‘Don’t Go In The Endor Woods’) is featured in our film. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mike Stoklasa (a.k.a. Plinkett–creator of the wonderful SW Episode I-II reviews that were all the rage on YouTube a few months ago), who apparently drove a considerable distance just to see our film and say hi. Overall, the evening was ‘aces!’, as they say in England.

Recreating the poster with Jason Seiler and the actual model used for his 'angry fan'.

Recreating the PvG poster with artist Jason Seiler and the actual model used for his 'angry fan'.

The Wizard Con audience during the Q&A.

The Wizard Con audience during the Q&A.

Mike Stoklasa (RedLetterMedia), who drove all the way from Michigan to watch the film.

Mike Stoklasa (a.k.a. Plinkett), who drove all the way from Michigan to watch the film, came to say hi after the screening.

I caught another redeye flight to San Francisco the following day, and drove to Los Angeles in the middle of the night. Arrived at 10am absolutely destroyed, and slept most of the afternoon. After a few days in LA catching up with old friends and PvG participants, we capped our mini-tour with a killer screening at Kevin Smith’s own Smodcastle–easily the most awesome black box theater I’ve ever been to. It might be that I’m slightly biased, because Kevin Smith did show up to introduce and watch the film, and he was SUCH a gracious host! But let’s be honest here: do you know of another theater in LA where you’re welcome in your jammies on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and eat cereal in the company of Kevin Smith?! I mean, seriously!

The site of the crime.

The site of the crime.

Darth Cohen, who made it all happen.

Darth Cohen, who made it all happen.

The Smith & Mosier Troopers.

The Smith & Mosier Troopers.

Several familiar faces showed up to the screening. Daryl Frazetti was there, and so were Hot Waffles. Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the evening was their live acoustic performance of ‘George Lucas Raped Our Childhood’, with a little comedy number by Kevin. Our good friend Matt Walsh shot the performance for us (along with the three other songs they performed), and we fully intend to post that slice of improvisational stage magic on YouTube and on our website in the near future for everyone to enjoy.

George-Lucas-Raped-Our-Childhood/George-Lucas-Raped-Our-Childhood/George-Lucas-Raped-Our-Child--Hood--

All together now: George-Lucas-Raped-Our-Childhood/George-Lucas-Raped-Our-Childhood/George-Lucas-Raped-Our-Child--Hood..!

Bear hug. Way nicer than Lotso.

Bear hug. Way nicer than Lotso.

The following day, Matt Walsh (and his wife Kerri) treated us to John Williams’s annual performance at the Hollywood Bowl, and what a perfect day to end the trip! We could see the Ford Amphitheater (site of our Los Angeles Film Festival screening) in the distance, and I got the chills before the show even started. Matt kept telling me that every true Star Wars fan had to experience this at least once; and now that I’ve seen the show, I understand exactly what he meant.

Lightsabers in the night.

Lightsabers in the night.

The program, ranging from themes to Sunset Boulevard, Jaws and Psycho to Raiders and Superman, was capped off by several popular pieces from the Star Wars Saga. Hundreds of lightsabers suddenly lit up the darkened auditorium, and started moving to the rhythm of the music. The Imperial March encore, if you can imagine it, was nothing short of spectacular.

The Imperial March finale at the Hollywood Bowl.

The Imperial March finale at the Hollywood Bowl.

Not everyone came for Star Wars, of course; but, as Matt put it, people came armed with their lightsabers to watch a classical concert primarily featuring songs from other movies. There were no whips there, no Norman Bates costumes. It wasn’t about Star Wars, but the spirit of the saga (The Force, if you will) permeated the entire evening, and all 17,376 of us felt its energy. It was unmistakable and inescapable. And that, right there, is the amazing legacy of George Lucas and his once perfect team of collaborators, who graced us with a strip of celluloid that I’ll argue any day is far, far more than just a movie.