Red Letter Media’s Mike Stoklasa

Mike Stoklasa is one of my internet heroes.

He is one of the few people in the world who has ever made me laugh hard enough to literally lose my breath and hyperventilate.  I have watched his meticulously crafted video reviews of the Star Wars Prequels more times than I have watched the films of the original trilogy and that in itself is an astounding testament to just how entertaining I find his internet films.  He’s not just a dude who disliked the Star Wars prequels though. He’s also produced some incredibly detailed Star Trek Reviews, a number of original short films and a wildly good old fashioned 1980’s rubber puppet monster movie that’s a loving if not severely twisted homage to Ghoulies/Critters and just about every other gory monster horror flick the time period was known for.  When the opportunity arose for me to chat with the guy who invented Mr. Plinkett I jumped at it like a fat dude stalking a Pizza roll…

I am shocked at some of the hate you have gotten on the internet from Star Wars Nerds.  I don’t understand how ANYONE with an honest perspective could watch your reviews of all three films and not agree completely. I mean, you’re not some jerk off on the internet shouting “George Lucas Raped my Childhood”. You took the time and effort to painstakingly point out all the places they failed and wrap it up within the auspices of a ridiculously funny horror film. Can you tell us the stupidest thing any of these “fanatics” has ever said to you (in person or on the internet)?

Yeah it’s weird cause Star Wars to some people is like a religion so they respond to attacks on it as such. “It was the will of the Lucas that it be that way.” ” If you don’t understand what’s going on than you don’t believe in Star Wars or you are not a true fan.”  I just happened to not like the 3 prequels and I’m explaining why in a fun and different way; in terms of traditional movie reviews -it’s as simple as that. I don’t hate people that like the prequels; you can like whatever you want. I’m also doing my reviews in the character of a crotchety old man. I think people calling my reviews anti-Star Wars  “propaganda” is taking it a bit too far. I have no greater goal other than to just get my opinion out there. So far though, just one person I can think of posted that he would punch me in the gut if he ever met me, but other than that nothing major as far as Star Wars fan rage goes. I think most people are pretty rational and understand the Plinkett reviews for what they are, even people that liked the films.
As far as the George Lucas raped my childhood angle, I agree that paints the people that don’t like the prequels into the same kind of category as those that blindly love the movies without question. That was sort of my goal with this review series was not just to shout about how terrible Jar Jar Binks was, but also to really deconstruct the nuts and bolts of the movies. A lot of details are missed and blurred out by the spectacle of it all and if you stop and ask questions the movies really fall apart, even more so than other bad Hollywood films in my opinion.

I have got to believe that your reviews are among the highest watched videos on the Lucasfilm IT network. Have you ever heard from anyone from Lucasfilm directly or indirectly regarding your reviews?

I can neither confirm nor deny any contact by Lucasfilm, but apparently Tommy Wiseau is good friends with George?

I also imagine the Totino’s people are big fans; any chance they send you swag bags full of Pizza Rolls?

I’m sure Mr. Plinkett has made a spike in their sales but those bastards haven’t sent me so much as a coupon! A lifetime supply of pizza rolls would be better, although it most certainly would shorten my lifetime. A contradiction? Yes. But a tasty one!

By the way, I ordered a Pizza Roll Darth Maul T-Shirt and have every intention of making it my new uniform.  I am also recommending that all my readers do so as well so that we can all look equally hip and trendy while hating on bad movies and tying up . . . licensed massage therapists . . . Do you sell a lot of merchandise through Red Letter

We do sell some T-shirts, yes. I have a nice little company that I work with called Viral Prints to handle and process the orders. They specialize in T-shirts about internet memes and viral videos. The T-shirts are more just for fun though. Thankfully a few artists have offered their work to the “Plinkett cause” most notably Mr. Bill Mudron who created the black and white Plinkett cartoon that we use as the standard Plinkett image now. is his site and he’s got a lot of neat artwork there. He’s gonna do a few more designs for us in the future I think. Also Mr. Freddie Williams, who is a comic book artist for D.C., did the art for our Feeding Frenzy poster – which is wonderful. I was really lucky to have some really great artists offer to help and they’ve done some really amazing and funny work.

I have watched every review you have done (including the amazing Baby’s Day Out) and I am consistently amazed at the level of detail your reviews go into. Have you ever been approached to do Movie Reviews Professionally?

A few websites have talked to me about doing reviews, but nothings ever really solidified past the discussion stage.

How long did it take to put together the Revenge of the Sith Review?
What is the process?

Well, it starts with watching the movie, of course, and extensive use of the pause button. My friend Rich will usually watch the movie with me and take notes down as I shout things at him. Rich also serves as a good logic barometer. We’ll talk about a scene and whether or not it made sense to both of us. With the Star Wars prequels I think we paused on almost every line cause nothing made any sense at all. It took maybe 5 hours to watch the whole Revenge of the Sith film I’d say. Then I’ll take the hand written notes and write a script out of it in the Plinkett character. I’ll have two or three pages of notes, just to jog my memory on the specifics, and then I’ll write a 20 or 30 page script from that. Then I’ll record the voice over and the begin putting things together. I’ll always go back and change a line or two here and there, add bits, move sections around, improvise while recording, etc. I go back and forth until I get it the way I want it.

How many times did you have to watch that horrible movie?

I think I just watched it that one time in its’ entirety, but I had seen it before in the theater, of course. When I’m editing I’ll notice a few new things here and there, but it’s not like I go through the movie over and over.  That’s kind of the one misconception is that I take a ton of time meticulously researching everything, reading things on the film, cross checking facts, etc. That’s not really the case and, in fact, I avoid reading or watching any prior reviews on the movie altogether. I just like watching the film myself and using that as the only basis for what I, as an audience member, am expected to understand. That and to make sure my ideas are my own and that something that someone else noticed doesn’t seep into my brain. I’ve also never read a Star Wars book or even played a Star Wars video game. Believe it or not, but the last video game system I owned was regular Nintendo when I was a kid! I literally have almost zero Star Wars knowledge outside of knowing the original trilogy pretty well. Maybe that’s why some Star Wars fans get frustrated because some fact will be explained somewhere else and to them it makes sense, but to me it doesn’t. I don’t know.
I also really like watching the behind the scenes footage too cause I look at the way things play out on the set, the body language of the cast and crew, and how people respond to questions. It’s really interesting to me and it’s important as well cause I like to explore the “hows” and “whys” a movie was made too. I do check a few facts here and there though, like in the Episode 3 review I did Google whether Lucas had plans for a kid Solo or the Millennium Falcon in the prequels. So I was aware that a tiny ship that appears to be the Falcon can be seen in ROTS. Everyone can stop messaging me about that. I meant that they didn’t use the ship extensively in the film. Thankfully the little ship was just a fun “wink wink” thing, like the E.T. aliens in Phantom Menace or Club Obi-Wan in Temple of Doom. One thing I didn’t check into that I wish I did was the face transplant lady! I was like “didn’t she get mauled by a Chimpanzee for feeding it wine and Xanax?” oh well. But then I discovered that the poor woman got shot in the face with a shotgun and survived. So I do try to stray away from the truly tasteless humor if I can, but sometimes it happens on accident. I also don’t condone rape, murder, animal abuse, misogyny, homophobia, or Dexter Jettster.

Do you want to punch Ewan Macgregor in the face as badly as I do when he totally fairies up the pronunciation of “specialty”?

It’s funny you mention that because we once had a discussion about if it was a real word or not. I didn’t know if it was a pronunciation thing or two separate words cause It does sound like it has an extra consonant in it. Someone looked it up and said it was a word though? To this day I’m not sure. Just like I’m still not sure what conditioner does to warrant it being in a separate bottle from shampoo. Either way it’s the least of the concerns in Episode 3. It is odd that he says it like that though. It’s like they’re faced with grave danger from this guy that kicked their asses before and Obi-Wan is clowning around saying “Sith lords are our specialty” with this dumb grin on his face. His arrogance blinds him. So is Obi-Wan a headstrong huckster class clown type that looks danger in the face and laughs or is he a stoic, rigid, disciplined Jedi master? Also, still not sure…

It amazes me that the whole Emperor following Nadine around the house sequence is more suspenseful and better directed than ANYTHING in all three prequels. That’s not a question. Just tossing props at ya.  Here is a question:

Are we going to get an end to that storyline? Where and when?
Who does Mr. Plinkett’s voice?

Thanks! I love shooting the Plinkett/Nadine bits. It’s a lot of fun and Jocelyn Ridgely (who plays Nadine) is a really talented actress and is great to work with. About the voices: I do Mr. Plinkett, The Emperor, and the other minor characters except for the female voices of course. I enjoy doing impressions and voice over stuff. Some people like to complain about the live action bits, but I don’t care. It’s fun for me and helps break up the review. The tied up woman in the basement bit in the first one was just a one time joke, but when time came to review the second film I thought it would be neat to have a little subplot going on and to make it eventually carry over to the third. We shot a ton of stuff for the last one and it ended up being too much for an already long review so when it’s done we’ll release it as its’ own short film.  That’ll happen pretty soon I think.

Is the Feeding Frenzy character of Mr. Plinkett supposed to be the same Mr. Plinkett from the movie reviews?

Not technically, no. It’s an alternate universe Plinkett I guess? The story is that my friend Rich Evans originally played Mr. Plinkett in a short film we did called “You’re Invited” which was a sort of mash-up movie where I inserted Rich into the early films of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. In one of their movies they call a man on the phone named Mr. Plinkus, so we wanted to inter-cut our own angles where they were talking to this delusional elderly man who would say weird things. I think we just didn’t remember the name right and ended up saying Plinkett instead of Plinkus. So you can thank the Olson twins for Mr. Plinkett! Rich also played Plinkett in a few other short comedy films we did after that initial one too. Me doing the voice in the reviews was sort of me just doing that character.
As far as the movie goes, I wrote Feeding Frenzy over the summer of 2009 and we shot It in September/October of 09’.  At that time my reviews were just sort of a little popular, but not a big deal at all to anybody and it was always just assumed that if Rich were to act in another feature we shot he was gonna be Mr. Plinkett again, the connection to the reviews wasn’t even really discussed at that time. Also I didn’t even start working on the Phantom Menace review until after Feeding Frenzy was shot for the most part. People have speculated that we made Feeding Frenzy and had Plinkett in it as a way to sell the movie and capitalize off the success of the reviews, but it was really just the opposite of that. Just sort of happened that way.

So where do his movie reviews fit in the continuity?

Oh. It dooooon’t! There is no Plinkett continuity! Except for many the little story with Nadine. Maybe? But Plinkett’s cat is different in the pictures and in real life. Plinkett’s age has changed a few times. I don’t even think he knows his whole back-story.

Does that question make me sound like a total Star Wars Nerd?

Yes and No. It’s a good questions cause everyone is generally confused about who’s what in where and who’s doing the reviews, etc. I explain it all on the Feeding Frenzy DVD commentary. My friend Rich plays Plinkett on screen in the movies and short films and I write the reviews and do the voice over. Although, technically in the P.O.V shots within the reviews it’s my hands… still confused? I’m sorry…

Were the Movie reviews on your site created to help get publicity for your other projects or has that just been a side effect? HAS it been a side effect?

Nope. Pretty much like Feeding Frenzy it’s just me making things when something inspires me. The attention has helped make people aware of some of the other stuff we do, but in all honesty I didn’t start doing the reviews as a path to video viral-ness it was a side effect of a random idea I had at the time. It just happens to be something that caught on. I just had some free time and came up with the idea of doing a video about why I hated Star Trek Generations and it sort of snowballed from there. I never really had and still don’t have any interest in being a critic.  When I get bored with this I’ll probably move on to something else.

What do you do in “real life” to pay for Pizza Rolls?

I’m currently a videographer/editor. I do whatever kind of work comes my way from events like weddings to corporate videography, music videos, and so on. Right now, I’m trying to get more internet comedy stuff going as well as continuing doing more Plinkett reviews whenever the inspiration strikes. We’re also  planning to shoot another feature in the spring/summer of this year as soon as I can dig myself out of the snow!

What do you want us to know about Red Letter media?

Red Letter Media actually started back to when I lived in Arizona from 2003 to 2006. I created the company name to release some live music DVDs I made under.  I used to shoot a lot of concerts and music videos for work and fun there. Later when I moved back to Chicago/Milwaukee I shot a horror feature called “The Recovered” with Tina Krause and many other short projects like The Grabowskis and other shorts. Also, I started my YouTube account well before the Plinkett reviews so they’ve just been known as the Red Letter Media reviews. They’ve never had an official name of any kind now that I think about it.

Go spend some time over at Red Letter Media’s “webzone” – but be warned – the place is like a time machine; once you start watching videos hours of time just disapear . . .  Thanks again Mike !



About calmixx

Calmixx is the Pseudonym of New York Artist/Writer Brian Mc- - HEY wait a minute. Why have a cool Pseudonym if you're just gonna tell people it's a Pseudonym? Yeah you can just call me Calmixx for now. Maybe if we have a third date I'll give up the last name but not without dinner. Check out my silly little blog and let me know what you think. Because I care. I really do. Really. Honest. Sorta.
This entry was posted in Movies, star wars, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Red Letter Media’s Mike Stoklasa

  1. Dave Davidson says:

    Sheesh you couldn’t suck up to this guy more if you tried. What the hell was up with those questions? Props to Mike Stoklasa for answering in a professional manner, because the interviewer sure as hell wasn’t being professional at all.

    Dave – I’m sorry; did you think you had landed on 60 Suck up? Okat I guess – but the dude deserves it – he ROCKS. LOL – Did you notice that I started the post with “MIKE STOKLASA is one of my Internet Heroes?” Hey thanks for dropping by though. I think there are some new shots of Charlie Sheen’s hat collection over on TMZ today so hurry on over there.

  2. Ian says:

    I think the star Wars reviews were perfect. I actually have friends teaching some aspects of film at university level and forwarded to them also.

    BTW, another interesting thing that was possibly causal in the horrible close field shooting and the tiny areas people are encased in, it was apparently shot on shitty 1080p digital cameras! No wonder the cameras were always a foot or two away from the actors, they didn’t have the resolution to do anything else with them.

  3. Blue Sun says:

    Stoklass is my hero as well!! Very rare to find such wit and talent in one “place” (I was going to say “package”, but that seemed….wrong…). And, yeah, I’ve watched the reviews many times, too, so don’t feel bad…… I’d really like to see him review something he really loves……

  4. Aaron says:

    Excellent article! But would it kill you to hire a proofreader? There are so many mistakes and typos on this page that my eyes are starting to bleed. Seriously, I’ll do it for you just out of a sense of duty that anything associated with Mike should be stamped with quality.

    Aaron – This is what we published AFTER we proofed it. Yeesh. It ain’t that’s for sure . . . but thanks for the offer we just may take you up on it . . .

    • Gamvormozirlne says:

      Did you proofREAD or spellCHECK it?

      Wow. This site attracts a lot of English Teachers.

  5. 17R3W says:

    Plinkett to me, is like Colbert, because Mike can never break character. Half the humor comes from Plinkett’s character and not just from the jokes about Star Wars.

    Something I’ve noticed; there is a subtle conservative streak to his humor, (Space Obama, the phone call from the department of cultural guilt, the army stuff, the senate being idiots) and I’m wondering if that Mike’s politics or Plinkett’s politics.

  6. big mean bunny says:

    “Do you want to punch Ewan Macgregor in the face as badly as I do when he totally fairies up the pronunciation of “specialty”?”

    It’s speciality you moron, god forbid that Obi Wan speak English

    Moron? Really? How do you pronounce that word? It’s Special-tee.
    Obi Wan pronounces it Special-ee-al-i-tee. While technically still English the pronunciation is way the F off. Even for “English”. Don’t come in my house and shoot your mouth off unless you know what your talking about you trolling star wars excuse making Druid.

    • Magu says:

      Special-ee-al-i-tee is the very ordinary British English pronunciation of the word speciality.

      Wow. We’re still talking about this huh? Ok. Fine Magu. YES. That is indeed a British dialect he is using. And it sucks. Why? Because he is not British. He’s a Jedi. My point (apparently very poorly made I might add) is that it does not fit in the flick. That’s all. His inflection in this scene comes off as flippant and borderline . . . ah screw it. Whatever.

  7. Pingback: Feeding Frenzy Leaves You Hungry for More… |

  8. Pingback: Half in the Bag with Jay Bauman | Geekpropaganda

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s