The Big Picture: A Disturbance In The Force

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I notice during Bob's rant his accent started to slip in here and there. Specially when he said certain key words like Star Wars. I do not think this would happen unless Bob was emotional meaning to be he truly believes what he is saying and this J.J. Abrams thing is really bugging the hell out of him. I just hoping that Bob's emotions is a driving force and not just clouding his own judgement.

It also made me rethink the choice of J.J. Abrams for Star Wars and I would think Disney would pick a director who better or worst pick a director with a clear and exciting vision.

Bob is right Abrams is good but he kinda blah as well, other than bad lens flare in the Star Trek reboot their nothing that really made it really great compared to the older trek films.

I also notice TV, Movies, Video Games and even books has gotten blah or mediocre lately.

This at least wasn't a foray back into the "I don't like lens flare" category of criticism.

I don't deny that Abrams might be getting a bit more geek cred than he deserves, but frankly, I enjoyed Fringe and Alias (which seems conspicuous for its absence in his list of TV shows in the video), and MI3 was the best of the lot.

I would love to see Whedon or Bird or even Snyder helm one of these pictures. I think Martin Campbell would have been a great choice also; I love his visual style, and he showed in the Zorro movies that he can make a fun, light action-adventure with humor and heart. But I suspect that after Green Lantern, nobody will let him within 12 parsecs of a geek movie again, which is too bad.

I can't say I would be in favor of throwing it to someone like Blomkamp or Aronofsky or Fincher or Insert Your "Auteur" Director of Choice Here. The movies they make are excellent but they carry a different vibe. Star Wars was never thinly-veiled political satire, or a stark psychological drama, or noir-style pervasive moral darkness. There have been times when Lucas thought he would be clever and liken the Empire to Republican presidencies, or make us feel the dark descent of Anakin into the Dark Side, but they never fit well into the mythos he himself created.

And maybe it's wrong to assume Blomkamp couldn't shift gears, that he would necessarily try to draw parallels between the Star Wars universe and the African diamond conflicts, or whatever. But no more than to assume a director Bob regards as pedestrian couldn't do the same job. Clearly I would feel more comfortable with one of my aforementioned preferences, if only because I can mentally connect their style to my perception of the Star Wars universe. But Abrams made Star Trek 09 a fun romp with characters I loved to see on screen. If that's all he does for Star Wars, it will still be exactly what the franchise needs to recover from the Lucas hubris.

Like Bob, I don't claim my opinion as certain. Like he reserves the right to be pleasantly surprised, my view of Abrams is best described as cautiously optimistic.

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 mean, has Bob forgotten that fanboys don't own the industry? J.J. Abrams is what makes sense to a Disney executive who hears "Star Wars" and thinks "that's that Jar Jar movie, right?"

I don't mind Abrams taking a shot at this, though. If anything, the visuals used in Abrahms films are great and dynamic (even if they sadly get forlorn by everybody who thinks they're masters of cinematography because they know what lens flare is). I do wish that he breaks out of his comfort zone, because even though I liked Super 8 and Star Trek, he needs to take the franchise in a new direction that still has it's soul.

Everyone wants safer that's why it sells. What about the Noland Batman films, his vision was a bit off....

I see what you say about this, yet I can't seem to muster up any strong feelings one way or the other. I haven't been able to since the whole Star Wars continuation was announced, and I'm a guy who practically worshiped Star Wars no more than five or six years ago. It's like Star Wars had its time and place for me and now I don't really care what happens to it, it's a strange feeling, or at least alien to me :-/

I have to agree I slumped in my chair a little when J.J. Abrams was announced. He's so tame he will end up making a boring Star Wars movie. I was really really hoping Brad Bird would sign on. He really seems like the best fit.

I love the choice, after all, he's the one who directed the ONLY Star Trek movie I really enjoyed, and Super 8 was just beautiful in my opinion.
But I do agree that "fanboyism" overprotects properties that it sees as belonging to THEM (as in, Mass Effect belongs to us, not EA or Bioware or whomever; that is ultimately a lie, fanboys just took it hostage), in a retarded and childish, albeit well intentioned, way of maintaining, for instance, the fidelity of a given character. However... Mister Bob is guilty himself of that behavior...

Some nice thoughts that mirror my own fairly well

Though I will say that your spiel at the end about "Fanboys preferring rote mediocrity" is absolutely HILARIOUS coming from you after you never-ending Nintendo apologetics in general, and your defense of Other M in particular

I have trouble seeing how the original Star Wars had any vision.

It was certainly fun, but the biggest achievements I saw were purely aesthetic: the special effects, the dirty sci-fi look. When you look at the actual content of the original Star Wars movies, there is no grand message or unifying idea- there's just a fun way to spend the time in a dark room while eating popcorn.

Which is why I don't understand the Abrams hate. He'll bring to Star Wars exactly what Star Wars began with. What's missing isn't talent or vision, what's missing is our (meaning adults') enthusiasm for the franchise.

It's time to let it go. Let Star Wars be bland but fun for kids. Let children enjoy Star Wars the way we did. I used to watch relatives with children sit down and watch the Phantom Menace at our house, and they were just as wrapped up in it as I was in A New Hope at that age. So, yeah. The fans need to let go.

Also... I'm not sure I buy his rant at the end about what "we" deserve. If movies are less ambitious today, I think it's less a consequence of fans' tastes changing, but rather fans' demographics changing. Part of the fictional bastions of nerd-dom being accepted by the main stream is the inevitable transition of those bastions to be something that appeals to a mainstream audience.

In a way, Bob's rant reminds me of the "Fake Nerd Girl" "controversy". It's not the same sort of sexism, but it is the same sort of exclusionary judgment.

Yeah, a bit off topic here but, does anyone know whte name of the cartoon at 5:13? Bob always puts in the old cartoon references and some i can remember. THe ones i don't always stick with me until I can figure it out. I know those animal totems came out of their chests to help beat the bad guys, but i can't remember the name.

OT: I have never liked or disliked JJ, I always had a feeling of "meh". Realistically I just don't anticipate a sense of wonder and awe from the pending Star Wars films. I really hope that changes...

edit: nevermind I found it,

This is the reason why I watch movies for fun and don't get too into good/bad/mediocre or other movie related stuff so I can enjoy the films.
I liked the new spider-man except for how they made Lizard
I still like phantom menace and the new movies, well the third one was a bit... meh, but still
I have a friend who started studying movies a year ago (he studies writing scripts) and I'd hate to do that, he can't enjoy movies anymore, well I don't think he can, he reads too much into everything
I know a bad movie when I see one or then I just don't like it due to not being my type of movie but the only thing I've actually hated so far as a whole was DBZ evolution because I was such a huge fan as a kid and teenager

Orks da best:
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.

This might be a mini rant but fanboy has turned from meaning "hardcore loyal fan of the game" to the connotation that "You are a blind mindless sheep".

Why would people change the connotation of the word fanboy to a negative one? Well the answer is quite simple (at least to me). People who are considered fanboys go against the grain these days and normally don't care if others don't agree with them because they are enjoying said games/franchises. However, the increase of trolls and their desire not only to start fights but also to make sure that people should hate the games/franchises as well have actually become the social norm.

Really it is quite disturbing to me. I think about all the classic games that came out during the NES, SNES, n64/ps1 era and there were 0 trolls and fanboy terms were rarely used and if used was meant in a positive way. Now it is just another social norm to hate on something but if you are still passionate and a hardcore loyal fan you are looked down upon and insulted with terms such as fanboy to get you to conform to their social standards.

I agree with Bob about nerd movies. I loved Kick Ass and Scott Pilgrim Vs the World not just because of violence and nerdy atmosphere, but because it had such rich depth that I enjoyed discussing months later.

LOST was meh.
Cloverfield was al right. I enjoyed it but don't remember it much. I enjoyed the speculation before hand a lot more.
Besides it is possible to have a Monster movie with depth; like Host. That's a monster film that chills me. It's the best example of "family values" plot of any movie I watched and it's not even a western film.

I would like the Director of Pan's Labyrinth to do Star Wars. He seems able to balance fantasy and the harsh violence of human nature and make parallels that are enthralling. And create characters that you care about. You care about the little girl in the film not because she is a child, but because she is a human.

I was originally irritated by the choice of Abrams too, but then I read John Scalzi's take on it. Interestingly, he comes to the same conclusion as Bob--i.e., the fans don't actually want "interesting", they want "entertaining". But basically, I'd already written the franchise off years ago, I'm willing to at least see what happens with it.

And I'm not the biggest fan of Abrams' Trek either, but I also acknowledge a corporate committee had already run that franchise into the ground years before he got his hands on it. At the very least his jumping up and down on the corpse gave it the semblance of life. We'll know soon enough if Abrams was doing CPR or just pumping air into a dead horse.

Star Trek was a decent reboot of the franchise.

The problems with Star Trek has always been that it suffers from a "White Knight" of Socialism complex. Even when you take what they did with DS9 they could never dirty it up enough to make it anything other than "Clean". The reboot clearly dirtied up Star Trek in a Star Trek way "Time Travel" and removed Vulcans as a Power and damaged the Federation. That opens up things up for some interesting plots. Into Darkness may or maynot be good, but on the surface it looks like they are reusing Kahn, but taking it to a much more grand stage. It might be a new plot with an old villain, or it could be like Superman Returns, Same Villain Same Plot.

The Complaint of "It's jut X Story" is also to be ignored. It's a tried and true argument against every story ever told. Example: The Matrix is just an modern version of Plato's Cave. Every story ever told has already been done. I only use it myself when it's done within the same story (Superman Returns). But it can be done very well like the James Bond Formula.

Will Abrams do with with Star Wars? Maybe. There are other factors at play. Who's responsible for the Script?

I'm surprised you didn't mention Zack Snyder as a more interesting choice anywhere in your video

This was my first thought, too. I think Snyder would kick some ass here.

As I said elsewhere, I'm also concerned about JJ Abrams taking on Star Wars, but for different reasons than Bob. My problem with Abrams in the context of something like Star Wars is that the films always depended on a sense of a lore that was far bigger than the stories themselves, a lore that we weren't seeing all of when we saw Luke learning to use the force or Calrissian overseeing the Cloud City or heard that Leia was a princess. The more the "pre-trilogy" tried to sew pieces of that lore back together into something tangible that could tie into those prequels, the more painful it was to watch. "Midichlorians"? An elected queen? Everyone conveniently forgetting that the proto-Stormtrooper was alive and well and working as a bounty hunter in their midst...?

If there's one think I'm not confident about Abrams doing well, it's handling that kind of lore. There are still people trying to make Lost make sense, and I pity them the wasted effort. I fear the director of movie VIII coming to Abrams for the notebook that explains how all the hanging threads he put into VII were supposed to come together and getting a book full of empty pages.

Still, it could be worse. If Michael Bay had gotten the helm, I'd be there to hand out torches and pitchforks.

Best part of the video? Visionaries screenshot.

Bob asked a really good question at the end. Unfortunately, I think that nerd culture has it's answer with the various forms of reboot rage that are going around. I need only look to Devil May Cry to see exactly how adverse to change/risk fans are.

Lucas once said that the original Star Wars was a huge gamble, and it almost never got made without the help of 20th century fox taking a chance.

I don't follow the movie industry, but I'd wager they were just as interested in profit then as they are now. In that spirit, I don't think one can honestly expect them to take too many risks on this franchise. Even if they did, I don't think they could ever recapture the 'magic' (for lack of wanting to spend 10 pages trying to describe the trilogy) of the first 3 movies.

I'm expecting a movie that hopefully addresses issues laid out by the Plinkett reviews of the last 3 movies. If that alone was done, I'd be incredibly stoked for these future Star Wars movies.

Will there ever be such an influential franchise again? Probably, but it would have to hit all the technical, thematic, and visionary innovations the original Star Wars brought. I cannot say whether the industry is heading in a direction that supports such a goal, who knows. Every director MB mentions seems to have no problem getting work in the industry (except maybe kevin smith?) But who knows. My hope is the next Tin Tin movie is so good it destroys the planet.

I want to see Abrams make a movie where his only goal is to, you know, make a movie. MI III he had to make a Tom Cruise action flick. Star Trek he had to reboot the entire Trek universe. I feel like Super 8 would have been a lot better if he wasn't making a mid-80s Spielberg tribute out of it, since that seemed to keep getting in the way of an otherwise interesting movie.

Am I the only one that remembers the first season of Lost (when Abrams was involved) was amazing? One of the best seasons of any television show ever. Lost's only problem was that it kept going, and as it kept going it kept getting worse.

So I keep wondering, what would happen if Abrams was given a movie, and told to just make a movie. Or even just given the right kind of movie to make. Bob complains that Abrams doesn't have any vision, but I assert that Abrams' vision is obscured by his constraints. If you watch Abrams' TED talk, you'll find that Abrams loves mysteries, and that's why he got into film making, and is also why the first season of Lost was so great. His problem is that he hasn't had a film where mystery is important.

I'm hoping Into Darkness, removed from the restraint of rebooting the Trek universe, allows Abrams to play with the mystery. And, since his first one was such a success, hopefully he has more leeway with the producers and can make more than just a standard action flick. (Also, Benedict Cumberbatch.)

As for Star Wars... no man should helm both Star Trek and Star Wars, I just think it's unfortunate that Abrams was attached to Trek first; Star Wars seems a better fit. Yes, the slick "Apple future" is not Star Wars, but we know Abrams can do desolate, and the themes fit better.

A Neill Blomkamp Star Wars, though? You couldn't keep me away with tanks. But I doubt Disney, particularly with their "we're not going to be violent" PR stance at the moment, would attach a director famous only for his R-rated examination of racism and apartheid to their new family-friendly space opera franchise right out of the starting gate.

It's money. The more money, the more 'safety' is built into any project. Star Wars had no money going into it: when it made bank, you had the first reaction: Holy cow, we can do whatever we want, so SUCK IT (Empire) and then the second reaction: Oh shit, X,Y,Z people stand to lose a fuckton of money if anything goes wrong (Ewoks).

That the Avengers was made in defiance of this logic should still blow everyone's mind.

That said: I'm always more interested in who's writing the story than the director. Everything starts there. You know how I knew that Transformers was going to be a fucking wreck? When I saw an interview with the writers who were talking about how to bring the humans into it and make them the focus. Who were those writers?

And who were the writers on the Star Trek movie?

So what we have here are two guys who have been responsible for mediocrity. As opposed to the people who wrote District 9, Hellboy, ET, Empire Strikes Back, Looper or Avengers.

It all starts on the page. Give Abrams a better script AND someone who can tell him no (like they should have with Super 8, a movie with a brilliant start and a letdown close) and maybe there will be something to celebrate.

Visionaries belong doing their own works, when it comes to playing with an established property you want someone who is going to do the property right, not change it around to the point where it isn't the same thing anymore. This is especially true when you take source material with a message, and then have a film maker come along and make a version of it that has a totally differant message that might be more popular for the moment. "V for Vendetta" would be an example of this.

To be honest with you I think JJ Abrams has plenty of style, he's very good of working with "of the moment" referances, points of view, and creating some pretty "hip" works. Lost for example might have turned out badly, but it was a pop culture phenomena because he knew all the buttons to push for the people watching it right then and there, it fell apart when he wound up having to answer the questions he posed and actually wrap up a storyline, since he really didn't set out to create much other than a giant "of the moment" pop culture juggernaut which he succeeded on.

To be honest this is the wrong approach to take with "Star Wars" because it's not a current, hip, or "of the moment" thing, it's a fantasy world, intended to get away from all of that. What "cool" it has, it gets from not being anything like the conventions you'd expect.

While his version of Star Trek was a good movie, it failed at being a STAR TREK movie because he pretty much sacrificed the entire vision in exchange for trying to make it approachable to kids. Star Trek at it's core being a piece of military adventure drama, set in the future. The kinds of immature kids he presented might be something kids could in theory identify with, but not something that fits the theme or the setting. The whole "Top Gun" thing doesn't really work with Star Trek, and they really had to push the envelope of believability to even try and go there, because on a real military vessel (including one in Star Trek) Kirk would have probably been executed on the spot for half a dozen offenses including disrespect to a superior officer, stowing away (under a very weak, stretched pretense), insubordination, and other things all under combat conditions (which makes all the differance). Simply having walked on the bridge under those circumstances should have probably gotten him locked in a cell. The thing is that this isn't an attempt to "pick" at the movie, it's something that anyone who is familiar with the source material is going to pick up on immediatly, Star Trek is a show that at it's core involves a lot of decorum, even among Kirk in TOS (he was arrogant, but from a position of already assigned command, and everyone under him generally followed protocol which is why it stood out when there were exceptions). Star Trek is not about a bunch of rowdy new milenium space liberals going for an adventure cruise in their funky space jalopy, and that is what JJ Abrams did to it. Perhaps popular with younger kids and those who aren't series fans, but generally dismissed as a wreck by fans. There is already a divide between the Abramsverse and the "Prime" Star Trek universe which includes pretty much everything else, a divide which exists largely to acknowlege that Abrams movie didn't suck, but had no business being Star Trek.

The problem I have Abrams taking over Star Wars is that his style is one where he's liable to try and introduce hipster Jedi that act a lot like kids today wish they could be. In short people who would probably wound up being severed from The Force and kicked out of the Jedi Order (or even The Sith). Star Wars being something that involves heavy themes of something bigger than yourself, and giving yourself over entirely to fate (which I could go into heavily) something that sometimes bothers people who truely understand the universe and how it works. You don't generally get to join the Order as an idiot and then "grow up" doing missions, you have to possess a degree of decorum to even focus enough to use The Force seriously (and that includes Anakin who represented a singular very special case that would be hard to duplicate as occuring again with any credability).

I'd disagee with Bob on a lot of the meaning of Star Wars and what it's rooted in (but that would be a long discussion in of itself). But the bottom line is Star Wars is it's own universe, not Abram's universe. Given his style I fear it being turned into attempts at being current-clever foder with hipster jedi running around all over the place, and thinly veiled analogies to current politics and issues which are the kinds of things we watch these movies to get away from. JJ's style is good for a lot of things, I like a lot of his work, but he's the wrong guy for this.

Bob, I think I love you. This is the perfect summation of why I'm not a particularly big Abrams fan. I like his films in the "They ain't bad" sort of way, but he's never really made anything that has made me leave the theater cheering with a massive filmographic erection the way Zero Dark Thirty, The Avengers, or even Looper did this year.

The plan will be to 'remake' Star Wars without letting on that they're for all intents and purposes 'remaking' Star Wars.

J.J. Abrams will deliver their nice, safe and somewhat bland version of Episode IV : A New Hope, because with a 4.05 billion dollar gamble riding on the outcome Disney does not need to hit a home run out of the ballpark. Their most important task is to definitively shutdown all the lingering hate at the heart of the Star Wars fan base that was created after the relationship between George Lucas and his fans first soured, and then turned mutually antagonistic. And like it or not, Abrams fits the bill.

Although if I were J.J Abrams, and lets assume that I wanted to keep the director's chair between Star Wars movies, I'd be preparing to pull out any and all the stops to make this chance count.

Otherwise.. Well, they changed directors for, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

*Bob doesn't like the production of movie, creates negative bias*

That awkward predictable moment when Bob loses all credibility or qualification to review a movie. Shame really, he was spot-on with Tron Legacy. And no, your "disclaimer" at the beginning doesn't mean shit, by the way.

Also, from now on I'm going to count how many times you reference the Avengers as if it's the pinnacle of filmmaking from this point onward. Count: 1

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?

Precisely my sentiments.

It's hard for me to think that this "one man" has control over kids imagination with these two sci-fi franchises when, nowadays, there are tons of 'em out there. All of the Avengers movies, plus whatever's Marvel's going to do after, the DC movies that are going to follow, the Tolkien/Jackson franchise, and whatever original works are going to pop up by shear virtue of nerd culture becoming pop culture. And that's not even stepping into animation, which is seeing a huge boom these days. Star Trek and Star Wars may be big names that'll make a ton of money, but these days they're not so big a franchise to anyone other than the people old enough to have loved the older movies/tv shows.

As for Abrams and not having a fire driving him, yeah, I'm a little worried about it. But at the end of the day everyone was expecting a decent movie from Star Wars and is prepared for the disappointment. Next to nobody was really expecting them to knock it out of the park.

The last bit I disagree with less because the Avengers came out this year, so if we've become afraid of that type of film, thats a rather recent development. But I was on the fence with Abrams and you've persuaded me that you're probably right there.

Also appreciate all the qualifiers, it seemed to be sincere and fair which is always cool

Jesus, what's with the hyperbole on this site lately. First Jim says DLC will bring ruin to the gaming industry and now Bob's saying directing Star Wars and Star Trek makes Abrams some sort of demi-god in charge of two aspects of nerd culture. For fuck's sake, just what kind of power do you think these two franchises have? What kind of power does any movie franchise have over anything except pop culture? Oh no, the choices Abrams makes might affect what people are wearing to a sci-fi convention. Or the internet will roundly make fun of another set of Star Wars movie series.

I've got another question for Bob. What the hell do you think these series are? "The Star Trek movie wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, and it deserves better." Have you watched the movies in Star Trek and Star Wars. At best, at best, they're mediocre hackfests with deus ex machinas that rely heavily on visuals. The original Star Wars had exactly three good actors, and only two of them were in all three movies. The original Star Trek movie runs had no good actors until TNG and Patrick Stewart. These are not some paragons of movie franchises that deserve only the best. If you want more for them, fine. But that's every movie isn't it? Every movie deserves better. There's nothing special about either Star franchises.

Although I agree with Bob and many of the comments that fans are too scared to let anyone work on certain projects, such as Star Wars, and Star Trek, with a fear that they will destroy their "baby", I must also point out that we fans really don't have much of a say in who directs what, and which big company controls what nerd franchise. I love creative movies with a soul to them, and I know we nerds keep going back to this but what Joss Whedon did with the Avengers was perfect and this passion is what the film industry should be about! Sure we go out and watch the newest Michael Bay movie, but did we really enjoy it? With what little time we seem to have nowadays is it fair for it to be wasted on mediocre films? I'm not saying that we shouldn't have middle ground films but what I am trying to say is that their are too few amazing works. The kinds of movies you will watch over and over again and still love each time! I think it is so sad that the movie industries are more willing to push out one shot cash grabs then true master pieces which will be talked about for ages!

When I heard JJ Abrams was directing Star Wars I wasn't sure how I felt, but I think Movie Bob said it just right when he referred to Abrams as just mediocre. Remembering his previous works is kind of a challenge, I know I've watched Fringe, Super 8, Star Trek and others, but I really can't remember anything other then that one fact that I had watched it. Which is disappointing especially for a franchise like Star Trek, which I, and I'm sure other fans, would have loved to see reborn and become a whole set of fresh new movies to enjoy, instead we have a one shot cash grab that will be forgotten.

Star Wars has had it rough lately, and I really hope that JJ Abrams directing it will not be the final blow to end one of my favourite stories. It was part of the reason I became the nerd that I am today, and despite set backs like Episode 1 I will always love it!

Bob, you raise some good points that I haven't considered. Though I can't say I fully agree, I don't fully disagree either. ...Tell my wife I said, "Hello".

Anyway, let's keep calm and remember that it isn't Abrams writing the thing, and lot of the negatives that you railed against him also could have been said about Irvin Kershner, whose most notable films were all sequels that he had only professional investment in. And Richard Marquand... I don't even know who that guy is outside of Jedi.

Sheesh, somebody finally explained to me about J.J Abrams's quality of a director without screaming "LENS FLARE RAAUEHSSRGHHH".

Ok, "director who plays it safe" is a good complaint.

I really like Abram's Alias. At least first season, never have a chance to see next ones. His Star Trek was... Ok. Never was fan of Star Trek franchise, but introduction to setting was good and I had at the moment desire to try to go deeper in ST story. May be some day...
As for him to be ep.7 director... Don't know. He could make definitely good movie on his own, but I guess he can't make a stand (as I recall, MI3 was weak mostly because it was Tom Cruise movie, not his, but I could be wrong). I guess I would like to see someone like Zack Snyder or Joss Whedon to be director. Love both of them for their creativity. That would be interesting and intriguing. I could say Matthew Vaughn would be ideal choice but... Well... I love his Kick-Ass and Star Dust films but First Class disappoint me a lot (it is not a bad film, just not ideal and some flaws and inconsistencies do not help and this is pains me). Hope Days of Future Past return my faith in him.

Well, mention of Spider-man movies puzzled me. They are weak, besides some really good action moments. Well, may be just not my cup of tea. But new SM movie... It has many flaws (and I guess does not having distinct style is one of the them, never thought about that actually), but at least characters more believable and appealing to me so I prefer new one. At least this was the first time I liked Spider Man as a character. But again, may be just me.

As for the whole point of video... I guess overall quality of film matters, not just how cool director's vision looks. I mean, does Joss Whedon's 6th season of Buffy lacks of his creativity? No! But I still find this season weakest in series.

Oh well. Now with this news I have an urge to rewatch Star Wars movies. Even new trilogy. May be I like them this time more.

I went in to watching this video (as I do every Tuesday), but this time I just knew I was going to vehemently disagree with your argument. I stand at least partially corrected, in that I can't say I don't agree with the fact that J.J. Abrams is the safe choice. But where I might disagree, is that yes, it might just be okay to have a "safe" director for the first foray back into these Star Wars waters. We had 3 dismal, terribly written prequels that were controlled (entirely) by one man. In this next installment, we have a director that is controlling the story, but we have separate and very talented writers coming up with the original story. I for one am hopeful that Disney will rotate different directors to get a crack at the franchise, and future installments will have the luxury to take chances. I just want a Star Wars Movie that I can watch without cringing at the protagonist whining and forgettable and otherwise cringe worthy dialogue.

Abrams won't have total control over this movie, and having a safe, decent Star Wars movie we want, but the movie we deserve.

Okay, sure, nothing he's made sound that spectacular, but come on, are you really going to cry foul just because the new Star Wars movie might turn out to be merely average? Like you said about The Phantom Menace? Oy... Granted, I probably would have liked to see someone else more creative than Abrams direct the movies, hence why Zack Synder intrigues me, but still, the way Bob's been acting about it, it feels like he's reacting the same way if Michael Bay was put in charge. Explained here, it makes a little more sense why he's disappointed, but like I said, it's not THAT BAD of an announcement, and ESPECIALLY not as bad as he's made it sound since the announcement.

Bob is basically wrong about this in that Star Wars has always been at its best when directed by mercenary guys without that much interest on the property to begin with.

The ONE time an aggressively personal director worked on the franchise we got the second trilogy and it was... dull. Star Wars has deep roots on mercenary properties, and it deserves a mercenary director.

The question is whether there's a strong producer with a drive to make this cool. I genuinely thought Lucas would resort to a director like Abrams for Episodes 2 and 3, and by not doing that, the films kept getting progressively worse. All Star Wars needs is aggressive mimicry of the original film, maybe with a touch more visual flair thrown in there. Abrams delivers this.

Also, Bob is overreacting massively by seeing an industry-wide pattern in enjoying these mercenary works. Not sure you can defend Whedon as a visionary director and whine about an industry wide apathy on viewers when his film was the highest grossing last year.

Oh, and don't think I didn't notice Bob redefining Amazing Spider-Man from a sinfully terrible movie to a "decent but soulless" status to suit his needs. I disagree less with the second point, and I do think Raimi's versions were the same kind of terrible but driven films the Star Wars sequels were, but it IS a bit of a cop-out, in retrospect. Also, ASM was a pretty good movie by all standards.

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