The Big Picture: A Disturbance In The Force

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Sylveria:
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.

Actually, I found MovieBob's rant to be fairly frank and well-reasoned. He even admitted he may have overreacted. At no point did he say he "hated" J.J. Abrams, and he went of his way to explain exactly what his feelings were toward Abrams's output and why he felt that way. Now, you can disagree with his assessment of Abrams - after all, it's a matter of taste. But you don't get to do is try to paint it like MovieBob is being frothing-at-the-mouth irrational here, and paradoxically, it seems as though your cheap attempt to easily write him off as unwilling to properly respond to something he doesn't like in a reasonable and thoughtful manner betrays your own lack of willingness or ability to respond to something in a reasonable or thoughtful manner.

_______

As for MovieBob...Interesting take. I wouldn't have thought much either way about Abrams as director of the new Star Was movie, though I guess that's part of the problem. For one thing, I don't have much of a horse in this race, since I'm not that big into Star Wars. For another thing, this movie is to me a naked cash-grab until proven otherwise. As I see it, Disney could've done much worse than to recruit Abrams to direct. LOL @ Bob's naivete in thinking Disney bought Star Wars to break the mold and do something dangerous, interesting, or even just fun in a new way.

MI 3 was the closest to the original TV series, and it took JJ Abrams to stand up to the other powerhouse that is Tom Cruise to make that work. MI4 came a touch more in that direction, but had less of the soul in it. Both are very good movies. I would argue that Abrams and Bird both outdid de Palma by a long shot.

Not that de Palma didn't have a good vision. Because he certainly did. But it was ultimately a forgetable Clancy-esque espionage picture about a guy in a mask, whereas MI 3 and Ghost Protocol were about themes that made the original series great - teamwork, for instance.

Were they "safer". I think that they were.

I was bracing for yet another angry fanboy rant, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I agreed with you. I've been struggling to put my finger on what was wrong with putting J.J. Abrams behind the camera on Star Wars. I liked his Star Trek, and I'm looking forward to the next one (mainly because, as a Sherlock fan, I would watch Benedict Cumberbatch read the phone book); I even enjoyed Mission Impossible 3, though I can't really tell you anything that happened in it (apart from brain-bombs). Bob hit the nail on the head this time by pointing out Abrams' problem: he is technically proficient, but not exceptional; good, but not great. And Star Wars is the kind of property that needs a visionary. It doesn't even need to be remotely like Lucas' vision - KOTOR 2 showed us that - it just needs to be behind your story.

Yeah, just a little foam mad ranting but the premise is still sound. JJ is a very mediocre director. if they wanted a movie that just doesnt suck they might as well give it to Paul W S Anderson, at lease he has some feeling. JJ Abrams movies all remind me of real Japanese robots, very uncanny valley.

No. The biggest science-fiction universe is still Perry Rhodan. That one is even still lacking a movie adaptation.

I'm not really sure how to feel about this. I enjoyed all three of Abrams movies but when you put it that way .. they were good, not great. That makes me worry a bit because I don't want to shrug off episode 7 like it was just a "movie". I want it to be like an actual epic movie (not expecting it to be the best star wars movie ever but still) I just want it to be incredible is all.

Then again, the writer for Toys Story 3 is taking part in this and I really, really enjoyed Toys Story 3. So I have optimism going for this movie and surely my girlfriend and I will be seeing it ether at the midnight premiere or the next day.. because we all know it's going to be crazy packed even more so then for the Dark Knight Rises movie.

Also, please ... please, let it be a safe night. I pray no one gets any ideas of going to the theater to do anything evil.

Well, I never like it when people are brought in to provide sequels for things that would be better if they just drowned in nostalgia (see my love of Halo crushed by 343 Industries), but I can't see too much wrong with JJ Abrams as a writer/director for Star Wars. With something like Star Wars, there's been far too much time for people to imagine how the story begins and ends, filling in those plot points now just seems like a really bad idea. Like when I enjoyed Halo because of the religious undertones about a zealous alien alliance trying to destroy the very thing they held sacred because their leadership was fooling them into fighting a war to increase their political power, much like what happened with the Crusades. When the story of the Forerunners got told, suddenly that all changed as the focus shifted from humans to Forerunners, who had at one point been alluded to as the same thing. Suddenly it wasn't a cautionary tale about blindly following your religious leaders, but instead a generic space opera about aliens that died and then came back again, like Mass Effect, Prometheus, and so many others. It was the ability for new writers to come in and put their own spin on the franchise that watered down its meaning and ruined its original greatness.
Just like with Star Wars. When the prequels introduced midichlorians, it killed the mystical nature of the Force. When they made Anakin an asshole, everyone stopped feeling bad for Darth Vader. I don't like knowing that we won't get something new and exciting from the new Star Wars trilogy, but I would like to come out at the end of it with a shred of love left for the originals, and the only way I can see that happening is if JJ Abrams treads very lightly on the subject matter.
And anyway, why not get the guy who made District 9 to make something new and exciting, like he did for District 9? I wouldn't want to waste that creative talent reiterating an old universe, no matter how much potential that universe had.

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

You know, he would probably churn out a nice Halo movie. I'd see that.

I was initially against Abrams directing Star Wars but after further thought, and once seeing seeing this, I think he's a much better match for Star Wars than Trek. My objection had nothing to do with the fact one man helming two major geek institutions, but more on the fact he did a pretty poor job on Star Trek. Once I recognized that the story forms for the two are so different it's pretty obvious that he's more suited to Star Wars than Trek.

Trek needs something great to propel it into another strong TV series and extend the franchise. On the other hand Star Wars just needs something that is "pretty good", or at least doesn't completely suck. Really, at this point, Star Wars would benefit greatly from a movie where stuff happens and the viewers are just taken along for the ride without being hit in the head by stupid. I hate to say it but a jump to the middle, at least until someone with real passion for the story can be found, might be be just be what Star Wars needs.

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

Nolan's vision was dark and realistic, that's not too far off for Batman

I'm not getting into the whole J.J Abrams question since the only thing of his I've even watched and that I lost the will to continue watching before the end of the second episode, so I'm really not qualified to comment.

However, in answer to the closing question, as far as I can see, no, audiences, fans, humanity, etc. are most definitely NOT afraid of director driven films, of films which are alive, which have significance beyond the broad beats of their plots and/or action sequences. Indeed, films like Avatar, The Avengers, the Lord Of The Rings films, Nolan's Batman films and so on all demonstrate that brilliantly, not only by having raked in so much cash, but having done it at rates or times of year that convention wisdom would pronounce impossible.

The problem is that those audiences don't own Hollywood. They might ultimately pay for it to exist, but they don't own it. The money-men do. And that's fine and dandy, and hey, I don't see any other way to work it that wouldn't be open to horrific abuse.

However, ever since the financial fuck-ups of 2008, those self-same money-men have been terrified of their own shadows, trusting only in the results of their risk-return analyses and modelling programs. In industry that's fine, production rates, profit margins, even product consumption rates are reasonably easy to predict accurately and easily reducable to numbers that those programs can crunch nice and easy.

But film? Hell, more broadly speaking, the entire entertainment industry?

Not so easily quantifiable. Smash hits can come out of nowhere, some films expected to do well become mega-hits, while others bomb spectacularly, and precisely none of it has the slightest bearing on how much money was spent on it, or on when it came out or anything. Yeah ok, there are broad rules (like how summer films are expected to rake in the cash while late year films are expected to rake in oscar nominations for example), but even those don't always hold up.

The response that Hollywood seems to have settled on as a result is to force the artistic content into nice safe boxes in the hope that, even if the return on it isn't fantastic, atleast it's DEPENDABLE. It's safe. Even they know that the chances of them hitting monetary home runs like The Avengers in such cases are limited at best, but hey atleast they're also likely to make something, and due to the parlous state of the world economy, the people in charge rarely have the testicular fortitiude to greenlight anything that's particularly risky, atleast not on that sort of AAA level.

Note that I'm talking about money here solely. Yeah, that's because these aren't ascended directors/writers/actors/composers/animators we're talking about. We're talking about financiers and producers who only got into the business for the money (the other sort being too busy actually producing films to run these sorts of massive corporations). As a result, if the art suffers for their bottom line, all to the good.

Neither Star Trek nor Star Wars is that important to me. I don't really care for either, and that may make an atypical nerd somehow. it doesn't matter. However, I do see the qualities in both and, if anything, the problem here isn't Abrams directing Star Wars, it's Abrams directing Star Trek. His vision of Star Trek is rather different than the universe before it, yet its tone fits rather well with Star Wars, as a whole. From the directors Bob mentioned, Neill Blomkamp is much more of a fit with the themes behind Star Trek and away from the tone in Star Wars. Let Abrams have Star Wars, he might just make it watchable again.

I don't really trust Abrams as a writer. Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe all start fairly strong then loose their way. Lost is even more notable because when he was actually truly involved was phenomenal (first season) and then Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff went to crazy town. I attribute Damon Lindeloff's terrible influence to the non-sensical Prometheus script. Alias was much more Abrams and it also went to crazy town by the third season. It was all too jumbled up. Felicity only went strange in the last episodes but its setting prevented it from going odd, except for the ocassional oddball episode (like Megan's box Twilight Zone tribute). Fringe...haven't seen that much, but they can't seem to capitalize on its promise. As a director, however, his not that bad. I agree with Bob, they reek of commitee safeness, but he can put a well looking, exciting, readable movie. It's the script you have to worry about, and that one seems to be in good hands, for now.

Ironically enough, Abrams stole more than one plot line from Star Wars when making Star Trek. Although when they made the joke, Cracked overlooked that it was the Heroes Journey subplot they were following.

That being said, Star Wars should be ejected into the dustbin of history, but it will never be.

uanime5:
They don't want another Django where some pressure group prevents toy sales because they didn't like the movie.

i thought the stupidity of this was that all those calling foul on the toys DIDN'T watch Django :P

Meh, at the end of the day, it's the general public (not us) who are in powers seeing how it was the general publics that love Star Trek and Lost (well the first season or two).

every time I hear about star wars I hope we get this but with more money

Let me get this straight, Bob is upset JJ is going to be director because he's an artist but not a Michaelangelo or Picasso level of artist? He's not famous enough or he doesn't have enough of a style? What he has is experience and while he doesn't make great movies he doesn't make bad movies either? Capable of emulating other directors styles but doesn't have his own defined style?

He sounds perfect for Star Wars. It's something that'll write itself and it has a relatively strict lore to adhere to. It sounds like JJ works well when given a set of parameters he needs to adhere to. He's a safe bet.

I'm happy with a safe bet for Star Wars. I don't want to risk the movies being terrible at a chance of them being super amazing. I just want a trilogy of live action Star Wars films.

All the other potential big names in the industry are otherwise occupied with their own projects or would be incompatible with the Disney model - Peter Jackson comes to mind what with OWNING his own studio and CGI business, what's the point of hiring a direction who has those things, would be most comfortable using those things when you're Disney and are also known for having those things yourself?

It's Star Wars, the fanbase has been bitten and now they're twice shy. It's a good call to play the safe bet.

I'm sorry, but I HAVE to disagree on some things. I agree that I don't know much about J.J. Abrams from his films, but to say that he is without a vision, or that the examples Bob points out are somehow driven by vision, is a discredit to both.

Peter Jackson has spent the last DECADE adapting someone else's work, someone else's vision, through the lens of his own interpretation of the material. It's a great interpretation and adaptation, but it's not exactly a mind-blowingly unique vision(like District 9, to use Bob's example). Sam Raimi's Spider-man borrowed HEAVILY from pre-existing material, almost beat for beat; as a comic fan, I can point out exactly what scenes he rips off/pays homage to in the first two films almost scene for scene. Even Avengers, which I adored, relies heavily on pre-existing ideas, relationships, characters, and even Joss Whedon was a "safe" pick for an ensemble movie with heroes. When he was picked, NOBODY thought he was going to drop the ball on characterization between the heroes and villains. Nobody. It was as safe a pick as you can imagine (even if it was, initially, an unlikely choice given his limited success elsewhere).

Even then, George Lucas, well... I'll go ahead and say it. George Lucas was a "visionary" but he ALWAYS had a terrible vision. The version of Star Wars that came to theaters was NOT his vision. It was a vision altered, distilled, butchered, and modified by people and editors and storytellers much more gifted and driven by much stronger vision than Lucas ever had in his entire life. Lucas was the spark, but the blazing inferno of Star Wars was created by people with much more fire and talent in their hearts and imaginations, and there's a very good reason Lucas wasn't "satisfied", and never will be, with what these people did to his originally awful conception.

Would I have picked J.J. Abrams? Probably not, but I don't think he's a bad choice. You're right, Bob. He's "safe". But, well, "safe" isn't what you think it means in this case. He's "safe" because he's NOT safe. He's unproven, like you said, in this regard. Star Trek had its faults, but it was widely divergent from ANY Star Trek ANYTHING that came before. It was both respectful to its history yet modern and dynamic. It ushered in new ideas and supplanted old ones. It was daring and brave, yet also "safe" and familiar to old Trekkie fans. It was the best mix of gamble and assured success, but that's what made the movie, and J.J. Abrams, a good pick for it.

You give Star Wars too much power, Bob. You ask "who is this man who has the gall to influence billions of people"? Well, let him make the movie and then find out. You could've asked that about ANY director at some point. "Who is this guy directing Empire Strikes Back that's not Lucas? Who does HE think he is?" "Who is this James Cameron making Aliens after Ridley Scott changed sci-fi horror forever in the original?" "Seriously? We're giving Lord of the Rings to the guy who did Dead Alive/Braindead?!" "Hey, let's give Spider-man to the guy who did EVIL DEAD! Are you KIDDING me?"

Speaking of which... DAMN, I'm so utterly sick of Bob being chronically unable to move past The Amazing Spider-man movie. He just won't let it go. It pops up every bloody time and has been going on almost non-stop for a year now. Seriously, most people LIKE THE DAMN FILM. Bob complains about a lack of risk and falling back on "safe" ideas... what's "safe" about replacing the entire cast of an original film series less than five years after the last, doing a total reboot of an origin story people already think they know, changing an iconic costume, dropping the familiar love interest in favor of a new one, and putting many utterly unique new spins on the well-known property (for better or worse)? Like it or not, it was NOT a "safe" thing to do.

Also... Bob, for the record, "mediocre" basically MEANS "average" - "of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate: The car gets only mediocre mileage, but it's fun to drive. Synonyms: undistinguished, commonplace, pedestrian, everyday; run-of-the-mill."

Anyway, I find it silly to judge a decision before we've seen what the man can do with it first. At the very least, seriously, it HAS to be a step up from the prequel trilogy. Even if it's not a homerun, it can't get any worse than "Attack of the Clones" or "The Clone Wars" movies.

I miss oldschool Star Trek, where an episode could be just people talking in a room, but the parallels their story had to real life politics gave it a lot of gravity.

Anyways, I personally think Star Trek and Star Wars both need to just go away. They are both trapped in IP limbo. They aren't public domain and probably never will be, even though they have become a cultural cornerstone, so they will never take on a life as rich as myths of old and become the subject of countless adaptations and retellings. (Imagine someone owned the rights to norse mythology, or the arthurian legend, we'd be deprived of a lot of good stories)

We need new franchises of a similar scope. If the existing universes can never really be set free and become molded by all who enjoy them then real creativity just has to come from doing something new entirely.

Uhm... The Dalai Lama isn't elected.

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's probably the only way to win in this situation.

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.

There does seem to be a lot of entitlement these days. I'm not saying fans of a series should eat up everything produced for them unquestioningly, but people need to accept that their vision, or even the community's vision, of what a property should be is not the only acceptable vision. (To be fair it may not be so much that fans are more entitled in general, just that the internet is a huge echochamber and a vocal minority can seem larger than they are.)

Katatori-kun:
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.

You're also looking at a series that is 30 years old and has been responsible for a fundamental shift in the stories and ways current movies are made. There are a ton of "Grand Messages" within the series and important lessons / morals, if that's what you're looking for. If you're trying to compare it to "philosophical difficulties" that's more Star Trek, and a bit of the reason for all the "Abrams hate".

Also, I'm getting kind of sick of the dismissive "Fanboys will hate everything". What we want is for the soul of the product to remain the same. That's why I don't complain about Insurrection or Nemesis, which are both terrible movies but keep the spirit of the franchise. Star Trek '09 was garbage because it abandoned everything Star Trek (which is a huge cultural icon) and replaced it with "Expendables in Space".

And I'm clad that kids like the Phantom Menace, but should we really be judging things based on what children like? Children like iCarly and Adventure time. Pretty much everything that children like (from music to movies to cartoons) is all crap. It's because kids are stupid. Not their fault, they've not had time to develop like adults. But they'll pretty much like anything that's bright and shiny. Not really a great argument for the quality of a product.

Instead of trying to make the adults and children of the world less intelligent, should we not be trying to encourage constructive thought? That's what I always got from Star Wars and Star Trek, and why I enjoyed it as a child. So, maybe a little less "fans need to let go" and more "we should expect more from our entertainment".

Bob, when you will be proven wrong about this, I want you to eat the script for this episode.

The first few seasons of Lost were phenomenal. Fringe is a great series. Star Trek is one of the best Star Trek movies out there. Mission Impossible III and 4 are the best MI's in the series. And then there's another great series: Alias. So, he has done a lot. And District 9, Bob, was an average as fuck, bland and forgettable movie. You'd want that guy?

Calling "Star Trek" too safe while praising (again) "The Avengers" speaks books to me about how biased Bob actually is.

Because...seriously, i like "The Avengers", very much so, but what risk has Whedon taken on that Abrams didn't.

Both have made a movie based on a risk THE STUDIOS have taken and managed to not piss off the Fanboys (admittedly, Whedon moreso) by delivering a decent Action Flick with some cool scenes, a by-the-books forgettable premise, a fun new look at a well established character (Hulk/Spock) and a seemingly crazy decision that may or may not be fully explored in the sequel.

It just happened to be that Bob liked one more than the other for reasons i reeeeeeeeeeaally couldn't possibly fathom.

Even as for "deserved better", you have to look at how massively skeptical everyone was before Star Trek based on it being a while that the movie series that has always been shaky at best brought up something that actually entertained more people than just the fanboys. It may not have been all the Geeks have hoped for, but it worked out pretty well.

EDIT: And yes i actually like every one of Abrams' MOVIES beyond just finding it "okay and forgettable" and go so far as to say that MI3 is the best of the series, even if it is less clever than the first one.

Trishbot:
I'm sorry, but I HAVE to disagree on some things. I agree that I don't know much about J.J. Abrams from his films, but to say that he is without a vision, or that the examples Bob points out are somehow driven by vision, is a discredit to both.

Peter Jackson has spent the last DECADE adapting someone else's work, someone else's vision, through the lens of his own interpretation of the material. It's a great interpretation and adaptation, but it's not exactly a mind-blowingly unique vision(like District 9, to use Bob's example). Sam Raimi's Spider-man borrowed HEAVILY from pre-existing material, almost beat for beat; as a comic fan, I can point out exactly what scenes he rips off/pays homage to in the first two films almost scene for scene. Even Avengers, which I adored, relies heavily on pre-existing ideas, relationships, characters, and even Joss Whedon was a "safe" pick for an ensemble movie with heroes. When he was picked, NOBODY thought he was going to drop the ball on characterization between the heroes and villains. Nobody. It was as safe a pick as you can imagine (even if it was, initially, an unlikely choice given his limited success elsewhere).

Anyway, I find it silly to judge a decision before we've seen what the man can do with it first. At the very least, seriously, it HAS to be a step up from the prequel trilogy. Even if it's not a homerun, it can't get any worse than "Attack of the Clones" or "The Clone Wars" movies.

Actually, it's not true that those directors didn't add their own vision to those pre-existing works. Making a film is about more than just the plot. You have to factor in so many more elements: pacing, editing, composition, colour pallet, etc. And that's where directors really get to show their creativity. That's what I think Bob meant by the prequels being better than anything Abrams will (probably) make, because "The Phantom Menace" actually excels in all of those areas; it's just that the plot doesn't develop beyond being a backstory for Darth Vader.

P.S. And the acting was bad. There was that too.

P.P.S. With the notable exceptions of Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson.

Honestly i don't think it's particularly Fandom's fault in regards to causing Blandness, we need to remember Star Wars and Star Trek (as well as other nerd franchises) are a niche and where a niche when they first came out. In a time when people wanted variety or at least something new or memorable these things popped up and the niche supported it until the larger public took notice.
Then those in charge seeing it's growing success want to give these movies "broader appeal" and you know what that brings us? Die Hard 4.0(cinema version) and Resident Evil 6 (whether you like it or not it's not survival horror anymore) whether these are good films/games or not they just aren't the same because they changed what made the audience take notice in the first place.

I understand their bottom line is making money that's fine, but don't say the complaints fans have are all butthurt or haters it's not like their's no grounds for any criticism. Look at Dredd, it was more faithful to the source and the fans it did poorly in cinema's but Blu-rays and DVD are doing great and word of mouth is all positive. Who knows, we may get the trilogy it was written for because of it.
The Evil Dead reboot, many where sceptical it was a toothless tiger of a film and many where/are upset there's no Bruce Campbell but he's giving it his blessing and Sam apparently and most of the fans that seen the preview love it despite changes but guess what? it's getting edited to a lower rating and be shown in more places(I think only in the US) even if the film is good it'll probably do bad in cinema or worse by critics. This is all speculation but what are the chances it won't be the case?

Star Trek was okay and i'm not a big fan of the franchise to begin with (i love ST2 though :D) but even I felt it was "empty" of what made the old stuff unique and a reboot shouldn't stop a franchise being unique.

Well, I agree with Bob that none of Abrams' movies are ''great'' movies, but then again, none of them are strictly speaking bad. The trailer for the new Star Trek movie looks pretty neat, so when that comes out, I guess we'll have a definitive awnser to the question what to make of J.J. Abrams as a director.

With that said, I do sincerely hope that every moviemaker working today has learned a valueable lesson from The Avengers: namely that you can make tons of money when you decide to take risks. Some of the best ''franchise movies'' out there are the best and made a ton of money because of that. But it took one massive one to see that even something we've all seen before in Transformers that in can actally be done properly.

My fear is mostly that on the whole, Star Wars is a mostly dead franchise. Or, quoting Yathzee: '' I'd call it the last nail in Star Wars ' coffin, but we won't even be able to put the lid on before people start queuing up to rape its corpse.'' I think that both trilogies form complete stories, I don't really see the whole point of making an Episode VII.

BTW: Bob, seriously now. Pick an accent and stick with it, don't switch all the time. Try just to speak regular American English, because the real stuff will never arrive at your side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the Boston accent sounds fwiggin' ridiclulous.

Bob, I think what you have to consider is how many times our franchises have been burned by people who don't know or care what they were doing with the material. If safe and committee driven movies produce the closest facsimile to the properties we know and love I think a lot more people are ok with that. I think there is also a surge in the number of "fans" and as a result any time you have more people to please the more watered down the material has to be. I think going forward you'll simply see big blockbusters and franchises going to the committees. It's a sime fact that we just don't have as much say in things. The Avengers didn't earn 1.5 billion on the backs of marvel fans alone after all.

its kinda funny and ironic that someone like moviebob who complains so much that gamers, fanboys (etc etc) whine too much does nothing BUT whine himself

Brooklyn Bob seems to be comming out more often. Anyway, I'm normaly a glass half empty kind of guy, and when I heard JJ was going to direct StarWars, I tought at least now it has a better chance to not be horrible. I would love to have the awe of the original trilogy, but life has has repeatedly crushed my hopes and dreams. Now with Michael Arndt writing, the possibility of Abrams doing a good job, and even Disney canning the 3D re-re-re-ect... releases, I feel like things are getting better. I should expect the universes nut-shot to be very painfull.

I am so looking forward to you eating your shoe on this one Bob. Hell, I'm a Baker. I might just bake you a shoe shaped cake and ship it to you.

I think that all your nay saying is coming from a sense of jaded cynicism stemming from the failures and disappointment of other comic book movies (The pre Nolan Batman Movies, Spider-man 2, 3 and Amazing Spider-Man, the list goes on.) that otherwise just didn't live up to their hype.

JJ Abrams is a Good director, he's made Good films, and great TV shows. I loved the last Star Trek movie BECAUSE it was different then the previous established Trek-movie formulaic. Like you said in your video, Star Wars needs new life and new direction, and JJ will give it that.

But I do have to give you something Bob, and I mean this: You at least made your argument. It was well thought out and articulated, which is a hell of alot better then most of the ones I see coming from the Star Trek and Star Wars communities I frequent.

Man, those places are steaming piles of vitriol right now...

So the revelation here is that Disneycorp.. purveyors of all things "family" and the company that defines status quo and safe to such an extent that their very non-offensiveness is offensive in how blatant it is.. got a "safe" director to helm a movie that's going to cost their investors hundreds of millions of dollars?

I'm sorry, but the sun rising in the east is more momentous than that announcement -- because there's at least a chance, one far off day, that it might not rise at all. Expecting anything else.. hell.. hoping for anything else reveals a person to be little more than a dreaming idealist, completely out of touch with the world. Be happy it wasn't given to Michael Bay.

I mean, no argument with anything that was actually said about Abrams, I just think that expecting anything better is ludicrous.

Frybird:

Because...seriously, i like "The Avengers", very much so, but what risk has Whedon taken on that Abrams didn't.

many more.

Both have made a movie based on a risk THE STUDIOS have taken and managed to not piss off the Fanboys (admittedly, Whedon moreso) by delivering a decent Action Flick with some cool scenes, a by-the-books forgettable premise, a fun new look at a well established character (Hulk/Spock) and a seemingly crazy decision that may or may not be fully explored in the sequel.

Star Trek wasn't much of a risk considering how many there are and how bad the last ones where. The Avegers is a type of movie no one has done before (properly), it took other IPs and fused them in one congealed universe. Star Trek is reboot, bigger risk? Not really. And really the Hulk in the Avengers isn't new, it's about the same as it's always been a troubled scientist and a green monster with a big heart. (simplified, i know)

It just happened to be that Bob liked one more than the other for reasons i reeeeeeeeeeaally couldn't possibly fathom.

you mean other than it being the first movie Avengers ever that was more than decent, clever dialogue, awesome visual, great set pieces, and more memorable scenes.
The only Major criticisms of the Avengers i can say is that the plot was too simple, the idea of those people in the dark controlling shield and nuking New York is silly and the overall solution was a rip-off of Independence day which was a rip-off of war of the worlds. A rip-off of a rip-off i'll admit is just sad ;)

Star Trek's writing was more complex but I honestly could tell you what the story was about (excluding the Top Gun thing)

Even as for "deserved better", you have to look at how massively skeptical everyone was before Star Trek based on it being a while that the movie series that has always been shaky at best brought up something that actually entertained more people than just the fanboys. It may not have been all the Geeks have hoped for, but it worked out pretty well.

i think it goes both ways, in one sense it's a bunch of kids not wanting to share their toys but going deeper it's the fact the small fanbase that support the franchise in begin are being left behind so everyone can enjoy. I'm all for sharing but if people aren't going to enjoy what you get out of it give them something else don't just change it.
Don't get me wrong they can and they will regardless for their money but it's going to suck the life out of our little neck of the woods.

EDIT: And yes i actually like every one of Abrams' MOVIES beyond just finding it "okay and forgettable" and go so far as to say that MI3 is the best of the series, even if it is less clever than the first one.

that explains a lot... but i kinda agree with you with the MI franchise, i'm struggling with MI1 and 3 because both have equal pros and cons IMO.

Kwil:
So the revelation here is that Disneycorp.. purveyors of all things "family" and the company that defines status quo and safe to such an extent that their very non-offensiveness is offensive in how blatant it is.. got a "safe" director to helm a movie that's going to cost their investors hundreds of millions of dollars?

I'm sorry, but the sun rising in the east is more momentous than that announcement -- because there's at least a chance, one far off day, that it might not rise at all. Expecting anything else.. hell.. hoping for anything else reveals a person to be little more than a dreaming idealist, completely out of touch with the world. Be happy it wasn't given to Michael Bay.

I mean, no argument with anything that was actually said about Abrams, I just think that expecting anything better is ludicrous.

Uh... Buena-Vista Entertainment, the publishing Uber-Arm of Disney, has produced many violent, offensive movies. Many of them Rated R.

You're forgetting that Disney currently owns Touchstone Pictures, and Marvel Studios Pictures, and formerly owned Miramax, Dimension, and Hollywood Films, all of whom do not make all family movies.

Your logic is flawed. Just because Disney owns them, does not mean that Disney will sanitize them into family-friendly-ness.

Hell, look at Avengers, that was not a family/child friendly movie. I would never dream of taking my 8 year-old nieces to see a movie like that because it would scare the crap out of them.

trty00:

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

Nolan's vision was dark and realistic, that's not too far off for Batman

Albeit for parts of 1 and 2 it might as well been a new IP. >>

It's an odd thing, I agree with a lot of what you have to say on the subject but in this case I don't think it's as bad of a thing as you make it out to be.

Right now this topic is sitting at about 3 pages and I'm willing to bet that if you go back and read the comments you'll find a small handful of folks who have stopped caring about the franchise as a whole or have had their once fanatical devotion to it dulled. On a more personal although anecdotal level you have guys like me who actively stopped buying Star Wars merch of any kind because they were tired of paying into a company that was just actively kicking them in the teeth in thanks for their patronage. I have two friends who were die hard fans of Star Wars from when we were kids who have had their devotion to the series completely soured by the prequels and the Clone Wars animated series.

Yes, people are still talking about how bad the prequels are years after they were made, but not in the good way that some movies are fun to pick on and pick apart even though you actually really love them (like the original Star Wars movies) They talk about them the way you talk about your ex after a particularly bitter break up.

In short, Star Wars has burned out a lifetime of good will from their older fans in record speeds while failing to capture the same fan base in a new generation. Compounding that is the fact that Disney, while making exceptionally great strides to correct its tarnished image, is still having some from the exact same PR problems leftover from the Eisner years.

The problem is that the Star Wars franchise can't take much more abuse right now and I can see that from a certain viewpoint what it needs is a "safe bet" to make a movie that reminds folks, at least on a superficial level of how good it used to be.

I commented in a different thread that I personally would have loved to have seen Zack Snyder take the helm. Or Gore Verbinski or Guillermo Del Toro because on a personal level I would have loved to have seen their take on the franchise. As you say, I would have loved to have seen their signature styles brought into the universe to see a setting I still really love explored by directors with unique styles.

Still, given the current state of affairs, that's not what Star Wars needs right now.

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