The Big Picture: A Disturbance In The Force

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I'd say we are pretty damn close to accepting mediocrity if not already doing it. I may be off base when I say this, but I also think it has to do a lot with geek culture becoming more accepted by the mainstream. Instead of using the newfound public eye to push the envelope, studios and some directors would rather appeal to them. Play it safe, don't do anything to scare away your new cash cows. They keep raking in the dough at the detriment of the fans who got them there.

At least that's my two cents on the matter.

Chris Mosher:
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.

I'm coming late to this, but yes it fits. Not the time travel, but the rest...

Also Alias is good, like really good, you watch Alias (and Suddenly Thirty...don't judge me!) and you realise why Jennifer Garner got cast in everything for a while there in the right role and with the right director, she is brilliant. It is the Timothy Oliphant story though, seemingly great actors who only work for one character and one creative talent.

Plus Victor Garber and Carl Lumbly are awesome in Alias, like Michael Ironside awesome. Middle-aged menace for the win!

grey_space:
snip

Now that is fucking depressing.,
As to the above post,while I generally agree with Bob, I LIKED the latest Spiderman movie.

It was way better than Raimi's third one.

Which sucked donkey balls

Not Raimi's fault really, the studio interfered and forced him to include Venom. I guess Raimi could have walked away. Raimi wanted to focus on just the Sandman...that would have made a better film, it wouldn't have been the bloated mess it turned into.

ZippyDSMlee:

RedDeadFred:

ZippyDSMlee:

Its a simple action trope that is easy to do its just not cloned to ad nasuam like everything else.

I know this is going to sound condescending but you really should take some time to play this game. Heck, even Bob prefaced his video by explaining that it was just his opinion.
http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/factsopinions/factsopinions.html

LOL

I dunno everything in media these days is about the safe route and screwing over the fiction(or mechanics/depth for games) to make it more pliable to the public. It dose not always result in something being very bad but it tends to degrade the content harshly.

For me Batman 3 was as bad as Batman and Robin only it was more boring....which is a shame since I had to sit through the Gorilla suit scene wondering WTF. Bane didn't hurt brains as much since I snoozed through it.... LOL

But seriously boil batman down, what are its main plot points? Gadgets, Quasi detective/mystery work, Costumes, Big explosions, Action scenes I mean its 1 point away from Mission Imposable. Mind you Batman has a larger more devise mythos to pull from as dose most comic series but when they toss it out to do "something new" I get ticked off because they missed the point of the fiction they are trying to make a film from.

/rant
/ramble
/rage
/wonders off to cry in corner...

See I liked it because it explored the idea that Bruce Wayne might be able to do more good for the city just as Bruce Wayne than as Batman. I thought they raised some really great points. I guess it's hard to put my finger on it but for me, what puts all of the Nolan's Batman movies above all of the generic action movies (or even good action movies) is the emotional impact it has on me. Maybe I just have an easier time connecting with these movies but every time I see any of the 3, I always feel emotionally drained afterwards (in a good way).

I guess I don't mind how much Nolan deviates from the comics as much as others. I do see that as being a common complaint but I really don't mind. Nolan set out to tell his own story that is influenced by the comics. In my mind, he succeeded rather spectacularly. I can see how it could bother you though.

Also, thanks for taking my jape in such a lighthearted way. After I posted that reply I thought: "hmm, maybe that wasn't the best idea." I figured I was either going to get the response you gave me or pure rage.

I don't think we will do a bad job but as he is directing the Star Trek movie, not sure if there will be a third, I'm not sure if he should be doing this too. Was actually hoping Whedon would get it I think he would do well on it and if not him Favreau. Also I just watched that episode of Futurama!

Funny, the scuttlebutt from friends that follow these things more than I do is that no one wants this gig. It's the franchise whose fans have spent 15 years bitching about an alteration of a a split second of blaster fire. It's not a project for anyone not wanting to get flayed alive for any little fault.

I suppose I could go on at length about how people with no skin in the game are complaining about the "safe" choice, but I'm honestly very tired of it. Short version: not your money, company, reputation, or anything else on the line here so you don't get to get too up in arms that the people putting up the cash for this don't want to risk a flop, on endless bad press from red letter media as just about any geek movie is made with sequels in mind. This is true for everything, not just Star Wars.

No, the larger issue is that we really don't know what king of story they even want to tell, hence the condemnation of the director choice is somewhat premature. Particualry for adapted projects, the choice of the director can have drastic implications. Joss Whedon for example was the perfect choice for the Avengers given his history with comedic personal interplay. He might have made an interesting Lord of the Rings, but I think the epicness would be neutered somewhat. He;d be rather inappropriate to touch something like 300, or inception, or Watchmen. Sometimes while "safe" you have to go with the director that will handle your material in the matter intended without going off on weird tangents, or missing the point. You don't need someone that's going to insist on a swing dancing number in the middle of your space opera Spider0Man 3 style, or has no idea what they're doing a la Green Lantern. I mean, no, I'm not thrilled with the choice myself having been bored to tears by just about everything he's done (particularly on TV) but he's fitting, and until script leaks show things are trying to go in a direction he's not good with, I'm willing to give him a shot.

bringer of illumination:
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

Heh, looks like MovieBob called you out on Twitter:

Bob Chipman @the_moviebob

Wow, someone in the Big Picture comments went all the way back to Other M for why I'm not worth taking seriously. That takes dedication.

I think he kinda missed the point with that one...

I'm pretty much with you here. I don't think that Star Trek was a particularly bad movie. In fact, I felt it was a middling to better action flick. It did not, however, feel like Star Trek (my big complaint) and it certainly didn't feel like science fiction.

wyldefire:
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.

Blomkamp doesn't even need 200mil. He can do an excellent job on a quarter of that. Just look at the budget for District 9. Man's a regular Robert Rodriguez when it comes to spending.

Well done Bob. Did a good job of not only giving my thoughts on the matter, but articulating it better then I ever could. This right here is why you amaze me from time to time.

"corporate blandness" translation "here, here's a live grenade, you hold onto that". There's a phrase that instantly induces rabid emotion.

I don't really think that a director alone can repeatedly create the lighting in a bottle that is good art. Some are better at it, but it's still a fluke when something really good comes along. The best you can do to try and create it is to throw the best you can at a piece of art and hope it comes together. I don't think fanboying one director or another is going to help anything. They got a popular director who did Star Trek. Companies tend to do get popular directors who did related movie genres to do their movie. I don't begrudge them for that.

I do however think the idea that people are actively moving towards safe and mundane entertainment is stupid. It's a bit more complex then that and it involves not only movie but also games (and probably other media but I know those two for sure). It's very wide spread and i don't think its as easy to diagnose as saying people are artistically timid.

I DESPISE J.J. Abrams for what he did to the Star Trek franchise. He's a hack of a movie director. His " Star Trek " was like listening to science fiction sound effects while staring into the damn sun. He shouldn't be anywhere near the directors chair let alone STAR WARS. Do you really want Star Wars to look like this ??

image

While the thought was do the fans " deserve " a good movie is heavily implied I for one would have to say yes. Keep in mind we are talking about fans that buy the toys , video games , books , movies , hell even the crappy animated series just because they like the content. While yes some people will see anything they aren't the target fan base they are just looking for escapism. Thats fine by me but don't punish the fan base for it. The sad thing is thats just what the studio is doing by putting J.J. Abrams at the helm. When J.J. Abrams arrives expect a science fiction franchise to die.

( I'm not going to reply to " Quotes " ).

I'm fine with Abrams directing star wars. I just don't want him having a hand in the cinematography, story, art direction, music or casting.

Abrams is perfect for the new Star Wars movie. Disney is going to want something with tons of space battles, high drama, and lightsaber fights - space opera - because that's what sells big both here and internationally. Particularly on the "international" markets, where all manner of cultural subtleties tend to get lost in translation (not to mention that raising political issues potentially means trouble with the Chinese film censorship board).

And you know what? Star Wars and Star Trek movies are at their best when they stop being so goddamned serious and just embrace the drama and cheese of full-blown space opera. It's why I enjoy Star Trek 2009, even though the plot is full of contrivances and plot holes. It's why the best and most entertaining Star Trek movie is Wrath of Khan, which is the closest that Star Trek gets to Space Opera Incarnate. I think Abrams can do that kind of film.

Well that's that.

I am so sick of the lack of dedication to these video's Bob. Do you even watch the final version? Your accent once again comes and goes. You can't pick which you're gonna use, or you can't be assed to fix it. That's fine.

I'll just stop watching in the hopes you've gone full accent or no accent.

Pretty disappointing I did love your stuff.

The Gentleman:
I do find it odd that they picked the same guy who did Star Trek to do Star Wars

In interviews, he said he wanted to bring some of that 'star wars' vibe to 'star trek'. So. =)

TheRealGoochman:
I completely disagree with MB, I personally am pretty content with JJ Abrams. Star Wars is a (amazingly done, and I will sell my soul to the original 3 and many of the expanded universe stories) Science Fiction adventure movie nothing more nothing less.

Star Wars is fantasy space opera.

I pretty much can't agree considering what you said about Lost. It is easily one of the top 10 best TV shows ever created. Fact. The ending wasn't so great, but that sure doesn't kill the rest of the journey.

Wait, you just bashed Fringe?
Shame on you, that was the best thing JJ Abrams ever done.

Aetrion:

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)

I will guess you haven't read the starwars books, played the starwars shooter/RTS/MMO. I think the star wars universe is exactly as expanded and diverse as older mythologies. Do some googling and you will find a timeline and score of characters so immense that it could literally contain ANY movie you would want to make. Sure not everything is exactly cannon but it has spawned an immense amount of content and depth. Or is that not what you meant?

My answer to you is this. Who the hell cares who is going to direct the movie? whant matters is who wrights the damn thing! Is J.J. going to wright it too?

Wesley Brannock:
Do you really want Star Wars to look like this ??

image

i thought no one was going to make the stupid lens flare joke, well done :)
Zack Snyder = Slow Mo
JJ Abrams = Lense Flare
Joss Whedon = Banter

Oh and who defended Lost? Maybe the first couple of seasons sure but it turned to crap by the finale, hell many plot points and explanations were BS even for the premise.

Sol_HSA:

In interviews, he said he wanted to bring some of that 'star wars' vibe to 'star trek'. So. =)

see this is what i don't like (not that what i like is important) Star Trek and Star Wars are supposed to be different, starkly different but by melding the two what's the point (other than the obvious $$)? they're doing just enough to make them all the same without people not knowing the difference.

TheDrunkNinja:

bringer of illumination:
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

Heh, looks like MovieBob called you out on Twitter:

Bob Chipman @the_moviebob

Wow, someone in the Big Picture comments went all the way back to Other M for why I'm not worth taking seriously. That takes dedication.

I think he kinda missed the point with that one...

HAHAHHAHAHAHA

Oh my poor sides.

I can't say I'm not a little honored, this is the second time he replies to some I've said somewhere on his twitter.

I mean sure, both were smug dismissals of my opinions, but you take what you can get.

Raiyan 1.0:

TheRealGoochman:
I completely disagree with MB, I personally am pretty content with JJ Abrams. Star Wars is a (amazingly done, and I will sell my soul to the original 3 and many of the expanded universe stories) Science Fiction adventure movie nothing more nothing less.

Star Wars is fantasy space opera.

Star Wars is most definitely science fiction. Space opera is just a subgenre of science fiction and many, many others fall into the same category (including Star Trek and Mass Effect).

I've been trying to form into words why i was doubtful about Abrams taking over star wars and Bob basically one UP'd me perfectly.
While i like abrams he doesnt seem to be a guy who make an epic film. and thats what star wars is, Space Epics, Space Operas. Even the bad ones have that glorious feel to them of being epics.

really only a handful of directors could have handled star wars in my opinion, and i preferably would have put someone like Ridley Scott in the seat.
Why?
Because Ridley's 'weakest' movies are still amazingly directed. And those films are not written by him. Films written by RIdley did to be fucking oscar worthy, especially directors cuts.
Remember Alien? fucking epic.
Prometheus? not as epic but it was fucking cool looking.
Blade Runner? hand me a pink cigarette.

or at the very least get the guy who directed Thor and tell him: Shakespear in Space, go for it.

Sovereignty:
Well that's that.

I am so sick of the lack of dedication to these video's Bob. Do you even watch the final version? Your accent once again comes and goes. You can't pick which you're gonna use

Get off the guy's accent. Who the hell are you to dictate when he can and can't use his natural way of speaking?

How desperate are you for criticism?

Trishbot:

Farther than stars:

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.

You are correct, but you're also right in saying that a film is rarely one person's "singular" vision. A great film is backed up by the vision of many people, from the actors to the editors to the director and screenwriter and musician. The original cut of "The Godfather" was deemed unwatchable until a talented editor salvaged the film through amazing editing. The original 2001: A Space Odyssey tossed out its entire soundtrack in favor of the one audiences now recall as forever linked to the visuals on screen. Little details all collaboratively shape a film's "vision", so no director has "one unique" vision.

But on that same subject, I would argue that the prequel trilogy (let's say The Phantom Menace in particular) is filled with areas where it FAILS to excel in nearly every area. The pacing is incredibly bad, plodding, and meandering. Entire subplots are brought up and dropped. Minor scenes take up massive chunks of screentime. The finale itself alternates between the epic and tragic battle of Darth Maul and the Jedis and the wacky shenanigans of Jar Jar and the giddy cheese of 8-year-old Anakin accidentally blowing up a star ship. The composition of shots is largely lacking due to an over-reliance of CG that prevents proper staging to take place and forces actors to, by and large, just stand around or sit down, or they'll throw in copious amounts of CG that your eye struggles to follow. The CG, itself, is very bad, not in terms of technology, but in terms of violating a very important rule CG artists (like myself) are taught, which is to make a world look "lived in". That means make it dirty. Make it scratched and rusted and grimy and worn and lived in. The original Star Wars is a world that looks lived in and worn in, while the new one has everything pristine and clean and flawless, fresh off the factory floor no matter where they go. It looks fake because the artists didn't take the time to add in the little details that make it look real and believable.

Couple that with bad writing, several bouts of bad acting, a bad story, a lack of any central protagonist whatsoever, and it's a mess of a film that had more wrong than just its director (though he was certainly the one most responsible).

The only thing I can safely say that is "good" about the film without fail is John William's musical score.

I concede that "excel" was a poorly chosen word on my part. Although I still think that the film tries out some interesting visual ideas. Contrasting different settings, such as an underwater city with a desert planet is almost as aesthetically palpable as the techno-organic contrast between the Death Star and Endor. So for all the film's faults it's not as if it was entirely without creative ideas.
But your "lived in" theory is pretty interesting. I'll keep an eye out for the floors if I ever watch The Phantom Menace again (which won't be on purpose, let me tell you).

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?

A large ensemble of great characters like, for instance, "Lost". (Though, Star Wars, if done right, will concentrate almost totally on brand new characters while Star Trek re vitalized old ones.)

I think he can do this. He may blow it.

Bob mentions some names he thinks better, but they, and just about any other big name, have delivered mixed bags (especially the Hellboy director).

The best point Bob makes is that this guy may leave us thinking, "wow! That was a totally C+ to B -! Not a D! But no one thinking, "home run!"

But he re-sparked interest in Star Trek. That was no small feat. I hate his time travel and quantum physics stuff, but he is like the anti-Cameron. He is terrific with his characters, actors and dialogue. He may really do great in this!

I've read the writer of Toy Story 3 will write the next Star Wars. A buddy of mine was dismayed thinking that just a kid movie. I insisted he watch the following and appears to have changed his mind.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/1809-Toy-Story-3

I don't think it's the fans who want the movie to be safe (though they certainly haven't shown themselves to be open to changes in "their" franchise). In all fairness, a lot of fanboys - as you've pointed out - are STILL griping about the prequels. It's understandable if Disney wants to use a director who's not bad but doesn't have any vision. That puts him on the level of George Lucas in terms of ability (face it, his action sequences were awesome), but he doesn't have the same "This is my franchise" motivation that pissed off so many entitled, self-centered twits... I mean, fanboys.

I'm okay with Abrams directing it, honestly. He knows how to do action sequences, that's for sure, and that's what brings me back to the Star Movies whenever they're shown in theaters. What I'm hoping is that the writers will do a much better job than George Lucas. THAT was his major shortcoming. "Scruffy-looking nerf-herder" is why I believe the prequels were no worse than the original trilogy.

Sovereignty:
Well that's that.

I am so sick of the lack of dedication to these video's Bob. Do you even watch the final version? Your accent once again comes and goes. You can't pick which you're gonna use, or you can't be assed to fix it. That's fine.

I'll just stop watching in the hopes you've gone full accent or no accent.

Pretty disappointing I did love your stuff.

I agree, it is really annoying when he keeps switching accent, you would think his editor would get off their ass and catch things like that if Bob himself couldnt be assed to do it.

daibakuha:

Sovereignty:
Well that's that.

I am so sick of the lack of dedication to these video's Bob. Do you even watch the final version? Your accent once again comes and goes. You can't pick which you're gonna use, or you can't be assed to fix it. That's fine.

I'll just stop watching in the hopes you've gone full accent or no accent.

Pretty disappointing I did love your stuff.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe this is his natural way of speaking and that you should just grow the fuck up about it?

Did it ever occur to you that he could just talk in his natural boston accent for the whole clip instead of bouncing in and out of his standardized accent instead of just being lazy?

RedDeadFred:

ZippyDSMlee:

RedDeadFred:

I know this is going to sound condescending but you really should take some time to play this game. Heck, even Bob prefaced his video by explaining that it was just his opinion.
http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/factsopinions/factsopinions.html

LOL

I dunno everything in media these days is about the safe route and screwing over the fiction(or mechanics/depth for games) to make it more pliable to the public. It dose not always result in something being very bad but it tends to degrade the content harshly.

For me Batman 3 was as bad as Batman and Robin only it was more boring....which is a shame since I had to sit through the Gorilla suit scene wondering WTF. Bane didn't hurt brains as much since I snoozed through it.... LOL

But seriously boil batman down, what are its main plot points? Gadgets, Quasi detective/mystery work, Costumes, Big explosions, Action scenes I mean its 1 point away from Mission Imposable. Mind you Batman has a larger more devise mythos to pull from as dose most comic series but when they toss it out to do "something new" I get ticked off because they missed the point of the fiction they are trying to make a film from.

/rant
/ramble
/rage
/wonders off to cry in corner...

See I liked it because it explored the idea that Bruce Wayne might be able to do more good for the city just as Bruce Wayne than as Batman. I thought they raised some really great points. I guess it's hard to put my finger on it but for me, what puts all of the Nolan's Batman movies above all of the generic action movies (or even good action movies) is the emotional impact it has on me. Maybe I just have an easier time connecting with these movies but every time I see any of the 3, I always feel emotionally drained afterwards (in a good way).

I guess I don't mind how much Nolan deviates from the comics as much as others. I do see that as being a common complaint but I really don't mind. Nolan set out to tell his own story that is influenced by the comics. In my mind, he succeeded rather spectacularly. I can see how it could bother you though.

Also, thanks for taking my jape in such a lighthearted way. After I posted that reply I thought: "hmm, maybe that wasn't the best idea." I figured I was either going to get the response you gave me or pure rage.

You can do that and still do a normal batman world, trying so hard to warp the fiction around quasi realty is never a good thing IMO. It has its own world no need to go out of your way to make a new one. Even more so since most of the characters 2 or 3 variations.

I tend to post harsh,fast and crazed first then if anyone one responds try and explain myself in a reasonable manner.

All in all Bane was just a horrible mishmash, IMO it would have not got my back up if they called im anything else. Then again Bane was some sort of master stagiest so 2 out 4(make that 5 pooky bear lulz) things is not so bad I guess.... I guess when it comes down to it I try and like the things they do but they make it so hard too.

Eloquent. And in my opinion, spot on. Good show Mr. Movie Bob.

daibakuha:

Raiyan 1.0:

TheRealGoochman:
I completely disagree with MB, I personally am pretty content with JJ Abrams. Star Wars is a (amazingly done, and I will sell my soul to the original 3 and many of the expanded universe stories) Science Fiction adventure movie nothing more nothing less.

Star Wars is fantasy space opera.

Star Wars is most definitely science fiction. Space opera is just a subgenre of science fiction and many, many others fall into the same category (including Star Trek and Mass Effect).

I dunno, Star Wars to me definitely falls into the fantasy genre more. Star Trek and Mass Effect at least uses a bit of handwavium to explain their fictitious tech, but Star Wars goes full out space magic when it comes to The Force.

FelixG:

Did it ever occur to you that he could just talk in his natural boston accent for the whole clip instead of bouncing in and out of his standardized accent instead of just being lazy?

You act like bouncing in and out is two different things. I live in New England, it's much more in and out, like it is here.

Raiyan 1.0:

I dunno, Star Wars to me definitely falls into the fantasy genre more. Star Trek and Mass Effect at least uses a bit of handwavium to explain their fictitious tech, but Star Wars goes full out space magic when it comes to The Force.

The "hand-waving" is there, it's just not the focus of most of the material. I would even argue that in Star Trek and Mass Effect that the "hand-waving" is just as de-emphasized.

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