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STUDIO: Ryko Distribution
MSRP: $25.99
RATED: UR
RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Additional Sountdrack CD
• Short Film
• Blooper Reel








 

The Pitch

It’s My Dinner with Andre meets the worst messageboard thread imaginable.



You don’t say.


   
The Humans

Andy McCone, Brittany Quist, Carol de Salles, Dan Heinrich, Danielle Reierson

The Nutshell

In response to his “profound disappointment” with the Star Wars prequels, director Patrick Beacham gathers eight fans for a roundtable discussion of Lucas’ new trilogy.  The discussion veers into sensitive territory, leading to a violent outburst that threatens to end the panel.  Regrouping after the incident, the discussion group passes judgment on Lucas, but not before tackling various subjects like religion and politics. 


For the answer to this question, examine the numerical score at the bottom of the page.


The Lowdown

Star Wars prequel angst is dying out.  Indifference gradually replaces disappointment, as evidenced by Clone Wars‘ box office returns; however, there are still a few people who aren’t willing to end the debate and move on.

Enter The Audience Strikes Back.  According to the box description, Audience is a genuine prequel discussion panel that proved interesting enough to sell as a low-budget DVD release, but this is a lie.  Audience is a scripted panel.

You read that correctly.  It’s a two-hour-long SCRIPTED panel.  With actors.  It isn’t even a genuine discussion, which would have been a pretty bad idea to begin with. Bafflingly, Audience is a work of fiction.

It’s as if someone decided to create a film based on CHUD’s “I Don’t like Star Wars Anymore” forum thread, but dumbed it down and used hand puppets (Incidentally, there are a few CHUD forum members who might actually enjoy doing this).  In the end, it’s an insulting, uninteresting, and overlong rant that doesn’t contain a single novel observation. 


I don’t know what’s scarier – his hood, or
that he has a fifty-year-old married woman’s hand.


It might have been watchable had the acting been a little better.  Every “discussion” and “argument” feels planned and static; there’s no interrupting, stalling, or real-life affectations that might bring the viewer into the illusion that Audience isn’t a scripted farce.  It’s a jarring and wholly unbelievable 111 minutes.

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Sample phrases I yelled at the television while watching The Audience Strikes Back:

“This is bullshit.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“Why are they talking about abortion now?”

“WHAT AM I WATCHING?”

———————————————————————-

It’s difficult to find a single attribute of Audience that works well.  There’s an argument about religion that brings a little heat to the table, but it’s fleeting, and feels far too much like the writer’s attempt to shoehorn in his uninteresting observations about fundamentalism.  It does nothing to redeem the film.


Carl didn’t take kindly to Bob’s assertion that Darth Vader was a more interesting
unlockable character than Yoda.



For whom was this stale echo chamber intended?  It’s 12 Angry Men for drooling internet fanboys who miss prequel threads; maybe we’re looking at the first DVD release intended specifically for trolls.  That might make it somewhat notable.
  
It’s rare for a film to lack a single merit, but this one is just a humorless and useless anomaly.  What I learned from The Audience Strikes Back: The prequels could have been better, and that abortion is a volatile subject.  That’s right – the group actually makes the jump from Jar Jar to Abortion.  Unintended hilarity ensues when one of the pro-life panel members accuses a woman of aborting a baby, which she ultimately confirms, much to the shock of her husband. 

Not a single interesting idea comes out of the discussion. 


The Package

Audience‘ creators actually had the balls to include a separate audio CD containing The films original soundtrack.  Why anyone would want to listen to Audience’s terrible pseudo-world-music outside of this film is a mystery.

There are plenty of extras, including commentary, a short film, a blooper reel, and a deleted scene.  




1 out of 10