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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Thumb Wars
Thumb Wars
Image // Unrated // October 16, 2001
List Price: $9.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Phillip Duncan | posted October 12, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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Thumb Wars is not a movie without its merits, but it is definitely not a movie you can review. Either you will like or you won't. Keeping that in mind, in order to write something resembling a review, I will explain why I came to this conclusion.

Created in 1999, Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle is a parody of Star Wars with a little of the Empire Strikes Back thrown in for good measure. It is not related to The Phantom Menace, as the title would have you think, but was more than likely named this to coincide with the film's release and it's release on DVD as well.

It quickly rehashes the plot of the original film and strictly focuses on the action contained within. Each character is an extreme characterization of the original, displayed especially well by Loke Groundrunner. He constantly whines and grimaces all the while being mocked for this trait by the others around him.

Almost everything in the film is related to a thumb, or body part, in some way. Upside-down chins, feet, hands and other parts make cameos as background characters and all of the ships are basically a variation on a thumb.

The technique used to make the film is called Thumbation and it is quite hilarious by itself. Thumbs that have been dressed in costumes have enormous eyes and mouth computer animated onto them. It's a process that works quite well, looks rather strange, and provides several of the films laughs.

This short does not try to win you over with subtle humor; it's a full on farce or bad jokes and sight gags and therein lies the reason this will work for some people and not others. If you have ever downloaded a Star Wars based short from the Internet, then you like this movie. If anyone has ever told you that you know too much about Star Wars, then you will like this movie. Face it, you're not going to pick this up thinking it might make for an interesting evening of cinema, you'll pick it to see how terribly good it is and enjoy it for the thirty minutes it lasts.

The Video: The video is bright and crisp, almost too much at times. It was obviously filmed on digital video or something other than standard film stock. This causes the video to look overly crisp the way computer animation does at times. It is presented in the original Full-Frame aspect and has no real noticeable flaws.

The Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix sounds nice and bright. There are a few moments of action on the rears and sub, but nothing comparable to a real film. Nice sound for the program and it doesn't distract in the least.

The Extras: Several extras are included on the disc and all of them are pretty funny. There are trailers for Thumtanic (Titanic) and The Blair Thumb (Blair Witch). It says that both of these are coming soon, but I don't know if they actually are. The Thumbtanic is quite hilarious, but the Blair Thumb lacks the inventiveness of the others. Also included is an interview with intergalactic thespian Gabba the Butt, who is an upside down talking chin. It's basically the creators just having fun and improvising for a few minutes and worth the watch. A storyboard gallery shows off the detail that went into planning the film and there is also a commentary with Steve Oedekerk and Paul Marshal. It's a little less informative than I would have liked, they mainly crack more jokes over the film. I guess there isn't really that much you could seriously say about the movie.

Overall: You knew of you would rent/buy this or not before you read the review. If you have a copy of Hardware Wars, why not add this to the collection. It's a perfect companion. If there's any doubt, pick it up and enjoy yourself for thirty minutes.

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