This Christmas, if you’ve asked Santa to deliver George Lucas and Steven Spielberg a verbal lashing that would make Indiana Jones’ whip look like a kids toy, you can rest easy: The man behind the Star Wars: Phantom Menace review from God has returned, with a 70 minute withering review that leaves Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull shattered.
If you’re not familiar with the Mr. Plinkett character, it must be noted that although he’s disturbing, his reviews are generally the work of genius. And, while I generally feel that Christmas is a time where we should rejoice and be glad instead of dwelling on disappointments and holding a grudge, George Lucas is The Grinch Whole Stole Star Wars’ Greatness.
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are both case studies in what happens to great men—visionary men—when they become isolated by their success. They are essentially the CEO who sits on the top floor alone, making decisions without ever getting honest feedback from the foot soldiers they oversee. Steven Spielberg’s slow decline is generally more forgivable, since he’s responsible for some of the greatest movies of all time. Lucas must be brow-beaten because what he did with his masterpiece was the equivalent of Leonardo da Vinc painting the Mona Lisa, hanging it up for the world to see, and then taking it down so he could pop a squat, spray it with diarrhea, and call it modern art.
Mr. Plinkett’s Crystal Skull review is a verbal thrashing of two titans from the Hollywood industry seldom seen. It’s glorious. In 70 minutes he exposes the world to the sad state of affairs two once-great directors are in. They are victims of their own success. How so?
- Young gun filmmakers set out to change the film industry as they know it. They push the envelope, but because they’re young they’re still questioned along the way (and they also happen to question themselves). There’s push-back, and they must think through their creative decisions and be able to defend them.
- Young gun filmmakers succeed in changing the industry as we know it. They amass enough power to do whatever they want, without having to answer (rarely, if ever) to their skeptics.
- Old filmmakers no longer seek to change the industry, but to relive the successes of their youth. In Lucas’ case, he appears to be more interested in making money off of toys than telling a good story… Surrounded by yes men, their worst ideas are met with nods of approval and two thumbs up. Jar Jar Binks and Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull are born.
So what’s the moral of the story? The moral of the story is to always ask questions. The moral of the story is to surround yourself with friends who will be honest with you, who will push you to defend your positions, and who just might be better than you at what you do best. If Lucas and Spielberg were smart, they’d surround themselves with the best and brightest young people in the industry—kids with a reputation of being tactful, yet tenacious. They would hire young writers and directors who respect the genius of Jaws, but seek to transcend it with their own stories yet to make it to the big screen.
At some point in time the CEO Suite becomes self-imposed solitary confinement, a rubber room that allows men to be driven mad by their own genius. Or was that driven “sad”? Either way, Mr. Plinkett’s reviews are a public service to any up-and-comer who thinks that their creative endeavors will bring them fame and fortune. When success comes—and it will—don’t lose sight of the kind of environment that honed your skills to begin with. Ask questions, seek out advice, be willing to admit you’re wrong, and hire the type of individuals who could pick up your job at a moment’s notice. If you do, you just might change the world long after conventional wisdom says you’ve reached your expiration date.