"The rise and fall of that awful freaking alien we all hate so damn much."
Back in 2000, the rather popular www.ifilm.com had a competition between fan-lensed Star Wars short films. I remember clicking through 6 or 7 of them; a few quite clever and amusing...mostly not. How I managed to overlook this one is beyond me, as it's easily the best of the bunch. Not surprisingly, it won the competition and is now available on DVD.Most fan flicks are so steeped in geek jargon and fanboy minutia that it makes it fairly difficult to decipher where the jokes end and the obsession begins. What's funny to you and your chess club may not be amusing to a wide audience, so it's important to temper the fandom with some actual cohesive humor.
JarJar Binks: The F! True Hollywood Story does just that. Narrated by a pitch-perfect Robert Stack impersonator, this consistently funny short gives us the sordid life of the Gungan we all love to hate - as told through the E! Network's painfully self-serious delivery.
Highlights here include a humorously deadpan Lucas impersonator commenting on the art of acting: "I encourage my actors to improvise...as long as they stick to the script"; a clever compilation of early childhood traumas for "Jerald Binklestein"; a VERY funny look at a pseudo-Natalie Portman; and (my favorite bit) the not-so-surprising fact that JarJar is seen as a genius...in France.
But nobody's going to buy a 12-minute short on DVD, right? I was thinking that. Fortunately, there's a large load of deleted scenes (about enough to make two more shorts) and much of the material here is just as funny as what made it into the final cut...including the best gag on the whole disc: JarJar and Lucas in...oration mode. Fairly disturbing; very funny.
You'll also find two separate commentary tracks from the filmmakers, a lengthy (and entertaining) revisit with our witty alternate-Lucas, a short alternate ending that succesfully tweaks the RotJ finale, a goofy reel of outtakes, a collection of 'trick photos' and magazine covers used in the film, a collection of production notes, several trailers, and a handful of oddball easter eggs. All in all, you get about 80+ minutes of material overall...and I'd take 80 minutes of this stuff over two hours of Eddie Murphy's newest dungpile.
So you're not just getting a very funny short; there's a fairly impressive load of footage and goodies on this disc. Released through the Film Threat label, this one is certainly likely to amuse the sci-fi fanboys who love to debate the JarJar issue plus it's broad enough to entertain those with just a curosry knowledge of the SW universe.But make no mistake: this clever little movie was made by and for Star Wars geeks. If you've ever bemoaned the very existence of this tiresome and unlikeable character (admit it), you'll most likely pull some solid laughs from the F! True Hollywood story.