The Big Picture: A Disturbance In The Force

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A Disturbance In The Force

MovieBob give us some insight concerning the choice of J.J. Abrams to direct the next film in the Star Wars franchise.

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Well bob, on that last part on fanboys, I agree with you.

But I think fanboys have not only affect the movie industy, they have affect the game industy too, just look at ME 3, just ugh.

Since when did fanboy become another word for hater.

Yeah you did overreact but I agree with the whole 'in control of Star Wars and Star Trek' thing. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I heard this news. Those are so heavy burdens to carry and I don't think he has the stamina to do it. Maybe one but not both.

When you put it that way the prospect of Abrams directing the new Star Wars is even more terrifying than I initially thought, but you know what? I just don't care about Star Wars anymore.

I do find it odd that they picked the same guy who did Star Trek to do Star Wars. They're two almost entirely different franchises that share only a word and a target audience demographic.

Think about that: other than the general "sci fi" genre, what exactly do the two series have in common from a content perspective?

Aparrently Matthew Vaughn was close and Chloe Moretz was apparently pitched as the lead for episode 7. Spielberg was the first choice but turned it down and pushed for Abrams.

JJ Abrams: the HALO of film directors.
But still, do we know who the producer is?

I'm surprised you didn't mention Zack Snyder as a more interesting choice anywhere in your video(Yeah, I know, in practice that can't happen, due to him being with WB and all that, but still, just imagine how interesting it could possibly turn out to be with him helming the film).

Overall... yeah, you do have a point.

It's an unfortunate turn of events, really...
Let's hope it doesn't end up being as bland as it probably will.
But even if it does end up being just as bland as expected...

canadamus_prime:
When you put it that way the prospect of Abrams directing the new Star Wars is even more terrifying than I initially thought, but you know what? I just don't care about Star Wars anymore.

That sentiment applies to me as well.

I forgot what Super 8 was when he showed the three posters, and then I remembered "oh yeah I saw that movie didn't I."

The Cameron shot got me laughing more than it should have.

I always enjoy watching Bob rant, usually because he throws out some interesting ideas. I like the "what is driving these writers" thing because it made me go back and reflect on my own drives for my work. So thanks for that.

Initially I was fine with Abrams because a decent movie with lightsabers seemed good enough but Bob's Big Picture has made me rethink that.

Maybe good enough isn't good at all and we should still hold out for great; but as for the idea of Abrams vision dominating, I think the point is well overstated. His star trek has, in no way, obscured or replaced either the original or TNG and however excellent the sequel may be it will not rewrite that mental template either. He can contribute and I think he still might be able to contribute something good to that star wars epic (provided somebody hides his lens flare in a bin somewhere) but maybe that's still not good enough... its just so hard to hold up anything but mediocre expectations for anything star wars related anymore... and Abrams does fit that bill.

Its just a tired out old franchise, find something new and move on.

DVS BSTrD:
JJ Abrams: the HALO of film directors.
But still, do we know who the producer is?

Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson were going to direct the Halo movie.
Then made District 9. :D

Wouldn't the decade long knee jerk reaction into safeness be a symptom of the more chaotic world and older demographic that now exists?

Posit that as the generation that grew up in the late 1970s and early 1980s now reach the age of real responsibility of being 30-something?

As well as on going global economic pantie twisting and the "War on Terror" (surprisingly apt name for this idea) pushes the popular culture away from radical new ideas, like Tim Burton's Batman, and towards touch-stone issue movies like the Christopher Nolan vision.

Neither are 'bad' but the latter is arguably more 'safe' than the former.

Andrew Stanton?

You really think Disney was gonna let him near a big budget effects movie after the soul crushing borefest and disatrous box office bomb that was John Carter? It's pretty obvious Stanton can't handle this type of movie.

All I'm getting from this video is you saying, "Abrams is okay, but I still just don't like him."

For my money, Blomkamp would better serve the Star Trek universe than the Star Wars universe. Star Wars is meant to be light and breezy, and Trek to be slower, deeper, and more thoughtful. I can only imagine what Blomkamp would do with 200 million bucks and free reign to reinvent Star Trek.

Holy Boston Accent Batman!

Something must be tweaking a nerve in Bob...can't imagine what...

JJ Abrams made the best Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi when he made Star Trek Reboot.
Maybe we will finally get the best the Star Trek Movie since First Contact.

Anyways, the fact that people care so much about these two Franchises is part of the problem with movies today. Where are the new ideas today. They have both been around for so long and been thoroughly explored that what would get me excited is something that at least pretends to be original. Personally I am looking much more forward to Oblivion or Pacific Rim.

And I have seen a consistent theme in most of Abrams stuff. There is the superficial sci fi ideas of time travel and the alternate worlds that this creates. But there is also the deeper exploration of how regrets effects us and how unintended consequences can bite us in the ass. Mind you I have never scene Alias so I don't know if it fits.

Bob's rant starting at... 5:40~ perfectly described the current state of video games.

Bob... just promise us you're not going to troll this film for the next two years, like you did with Amazing Spider-Man. That kind of behaviour kind of hurts your credibility as a critic.

It is worth remembering that Abrams isn't actually writing Episode VII, he's just on board to direct. Michael Arendt, the guy who wrote Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, is in charge of the script. Which has got me feeling optimistic about the project (what can I say? i like those movies). Sure, Abrams will have some input, but it's Arendt holding the pen at the end of the day.

Plus, we have absolutely no concrete word on how long Abrams will be involved in either of the franchises; we don't know if he'll be directing Star Trek 3 (or should that be 13 now?), all Paramount have said is that he'll definitely have a producing credit and that's it, like he did with Mission: Impossible 4 (a film which was, through-and-through, Brad Bird's). We don't even know if Abrams has signed on for Episode VIII.

Let's at least wait until Star Trek Into Darkness before we throw this guy under the bus, shall we?

Disclaimer: I hate JJ Abrams and I'm going to bitch about it and will unconditionally hate the new Star Trek AND Star Wars movies based purely on this notion regardless of their quality.

I still think Bob is being too generous in regards to Abram's Star Trek. As a dumb sci-fi/action movie, it's average at best, but as a Star Trek movie it's terrible. Empty is the perfect word to describe it. It felt like a movie masquerading around in a Star Trek skin suit, not unlike the bug in Men in Black.

Bob does touch on an important point, one which Jim Sterling has also commented on - this apparent rise in the acceptance of mediocrity. I think part of the problem is that there appears to be an increasing number of people out there who don't appear to understand that it is possible to like something while simultaneously criticising its flaws, and yearning for better (it certainly explains why some people think that Yahtzee hates everything). Another possibility is that people are increasingly afraid to be seen as complaining too much - the trouble is that if you don't complain at all it creates the false belief that all is well and perfect (when it clearly isn't).

As long as its all original in story, concept and characters. An its filmed dirty and real and on film sets and mostly in real world area. A desert, a forest or whatever. No green screen. JJ could do a good job if its set in reality, the originals were good because of the fact that even though it had robots and aliens, the setting was real. The prequel trilogy everything looked fake and it was difficult to believe anything and also all those three movies were just nods and winks to the original trilogy. Any original stuff in it sucked badly. Although the emperor was awesome......he is like freddy krugar in space. lol

If Abrams want to do this right he should just fill the theaters with poison gas. It will the world a better place. (My First one was Empire Strikes back, and this is the answer to Bob's question in PM review)

Unfortunately, none of it even matters. Abrams could create the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with Episode VII, and people would still complain about it. Star Wars has become too romanticised by the fanboys. While the critics might call it a technical masterpiece, many will whine that it's "just not Star Wars". I love and still care about the franchise. It's a part of my childhood and adulthood, but I'm prepared for the internet to collectively gather their pitchforks when Episode VII is released.

Okay, I can understand not liking the choice of Abrams because he will make a good-not-great film. Everyone wants their beloved franchise to have a film that becomes the year's best.

I was neither happy nor angry to see Abrams announced as the director for Star Wars VII and I wondered what had Bob in such a row over it. Now I understand why. As a movie I really liked Star Trek, but as something part of the Star Trek mythos it fell pretty flat, with only the pitch-perfect casting being its saving grace (especially Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy). Not even that could stop the feeling of betrayal I felt as a long time Trek fan.

DVS BSTrD:
JJ Abrams: the HALO of film directors.
But still, do we know who the producer is?

Kathleen Kennedy.

Well the longer episode version of your displeasure was certainly more insightful and reasonable than the short burst rant version. Can't say how I feel really. Never was into Star Trek and I haven't even seen the Abrams one, let along most of his other work.

You know what Bob, you don't often do this, but you convinced me.

I'm one of the few who really, really liked Star Trek as a fun Sci-Fi movie, but you're absolutely right. It's safe.

Safe is the last thing I WANT Star Wars to be and it doesn't have to be. As you said, hundreds of millions of people will see it on title alone. Thus, you could put Uwe Boll in charge and it would STILL make obscene amounts of money.

It's such a beautiful chance to do something new and interesting, but from a business standpoint, Abrams makes perfect sense.

After all, there's nothing massive companies like Disney love more than safe, shallow and marketable.

Dammit Bob, now I'm sad.

Though I do have to nitpick what you said at the end. I don't think it's US that accepted mediocrity. The nerds, the fanboys, the people that make up our culture NEVER accepted that. The people that DID are the normal movie goers that outnumber us 100 to 1.

I'd love it if you could come up with a solution, but I don't see one anywhere...

ALSO: I have to say I am still fairly hopeful because of the writer. The guy who made my entire childhood cry at once in Toy Story 3 could do some interesting things with Star Wars.

The answer to the last question is a resounding: yes.

But it's not just limited to films, it's a problem in almost every creative industry and indeed virtually all industries. About the only area anyone is seemingly willing to excel at these days is making money.

He left out Armaggedon which JJ wrote with a few others

Ultra-Chronic Monstah:
Unfortunately, none of it even matters. Abrams could create the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with Episode VII, and people would still complain about it. Star Wars has become too romanticised by the fanboys. While the critics might call it a technical masterpiece, many will whine that it's "just not Star Wars". I love and still care about the franchise. It's a part of my childhood and adulthood, but I'm prepared for the internet to collectively gather their pitchforks when Episode VII is released.

And do you know why those fanboys still say it's not Star Wars regardless of how perfectly OK any other films might be...it's because the first trilogy had a unique spirit all of its own even if it was marred by various production issues.

That's the difference between something great and something that's just good...unique creative energy.

The Gentleman:
I do find it odd that they picked the same guy who did Star Trek to do Star Wars. They're two almost entirely different franchises that share only a word and a target audience demographic.

Think about that: other than the general "sci fi" genre, what exactly do the two series have in common from a content perspective?

They're both sci-fi nerd franchises which have seen their best days and are in desperate need of revamping for the sake of new audiences, if they hope to survive beyond an old cult status?

I don't have a problem with Abrams. I really don't. I don't put enough significance on either Star Trek or Star Wars these days to really worry about the idea that they are being helmed by the same guy. Other directors, such as James Cameron, has managed to contribute to multiple sci-fi franchises without corrupting them or ruining them, so I know for a fact that multi-tasking can be done pretty well. As for Abrams directing Star Wars...I think it will be the writer that will make or break Star Wars, rather than the direction. Abrams knows how to paint a scene, how to create tension, how to do action shots etc. Mechanically, I think he's fine for the job of making an exciting family orientated space opera - as he already did with Star Trek.

Bob wants Star Wars to be something more than a good film. He wants it to be memorable, but Sci-fi and geek movies are dime a dozen. A director's personal signature only helps so much in making a movie last the test of time. Joss Whedon could never have made Avengers more than just a movie I watched once, and never bothered with again. Who knows if Avengers, as good as it is, will stand the test of time?

It's not the directors or fanboys who want movies to be safe, it's the people who own the rights to the merchandising. They want a safe movie that won't alienate people so they can sell t-shirts, games, and toys to as many people as possible. They don't want another Django where some pressure group prevents toy sales because they didn't like the movie.

I agree wholeheartedly with Bob about "nerd" movies being too safe and I agree that we, as fans, are part of the problem. We don't want people to screw with our favorite fandoms so we bitch and moan until the only thing directors feel they can do is put on the most blandest, middle of the road tripe that will hopefully not offend too many people.

BUT! I also feel that there's a bit of "we have to make sure this has mass appeal" thing too. I mean come on, the transformers movies...I don't feel that was made for transformers fans, not really. It was made for what I believe most people call "bro-douches" who want to see a giant robot piss on a man and another giant robot with wrecking balls for...well...balls. Those were made because everyone knew the transformers nerds were going to see at least the first one, so they got their money there, but then they made it not appeal to them so they could get even more money elsewhere in other demographics.

That or Michael Bay is just a total idiot...or both...yeah...yeah I like both.

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