No Right Answer: What's Our Deal With J.J. Abrams?

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

What's Our Deal With J.J. Abrams?

Do we like him? Is he a hack? Guys, as geeks we need to sort this out before someone gets the wrong kind of naked at his birthday party.

Watch Video

Shout out for Star Wars Action Fleet. Probably some of the best Star Wars toys ever made.

"The internet hates J.J. Abrams because he's middle of the road, and the internet does NOT like middle of the road."

Holy shit, did you guys nail it perfectly this week.

I don't dislike JJ Abrams because he loves his material and he's successful. If I hated people for that I'd also hate Quentin Tarantino. I dislike JJ Abrams because he made a films that are a bastardization of a series that is very dear to me, and because those shitty films were successful, they have set the course for the franchise to be shitty for years to come. He has ruined Star Trek for the foreseeable future. And since he's just a shit writer and director in general, clinging to one stupid gimmick (His bullshit mystery box), he's going to fuck up Star Wars too.

If you didn't notice the lens flare in Star Trek, you need glasses.

But for the record, that was never my problem with Star Trek anyway. My problem is yet another time travel pile of nonsense, yet another director who has talent but no real love of the property (same as Nemesis), and frankly a pretty dull story all things told.

That said, I've liked more JJ than I've disliked. I liked ALIAS, I liked LOST, I liked his Mission Impossible. Even Super 8.

Oh the other list though. Cloverfield was horrendously bad. But I can put that on the hate list because I don't like shakey cam found footage films.

As for the upcoming Star Wars, I'm cautiously hopeful. And hell, it's not like it could be as bad as the prequels, right?

The first time I saw Star Trek Into Darkness was in 3D...yeah. The only thing worse than constant lens flare is the constant lens flare that feels like it's trying to dig into your eyeballs.

I'm sure the Abrams Star Wars movie will be just fine...and that's about it. And I'm not sure if Star Wars really deserves just that up to this point. Then again, after the Prequels, I'm sure a lot of people are willing to take "good enough."

We'll really just have to wait and see!

TheDrunkNinja:
"The internet hates J.J. Abrams because he's middle of the road, and the internet does NOT like middle of the road."

Holy shit, did you guys nail it perfectly this week.

Well someone's trying to become our best friend! (It's working)

I kind of oppose Abrams on principle because there's nothing separating him from Michael Bay as far as I'm concerned. He doesn't make movies as art or even as entertainment. He makes movies to make money, and that's the only reason he makes movies. He's a huckster. He's an advertiser. He's a businessman. He's not a filmmaker.

Nice vid, guys. I kinda like his stuff (Star Trek, Super 8, and Into Darkness - I haven't seen MI3, but I heard he resuced the franchise), and what we've seen so far (all the practical effects!) make me hopeful.

Conner42:
I'm sure the Abrams Star Wars movie will be just fine...and that's about it. And I'm not sure if Star Wars really deserves just that up to this point. Then again, after the Prequels, I'm sure a lot of people are willing to take "good enough."

I feel the same way. I'm not opposed to Abrams in principle- he's a decent director with a talent for action scenes built on spectacle, but not some visionary or magnificent force. He made Fringe and Lost, both of which I enjoyed at the time, but neither of which are worth rewatching on Netflix. He'll do alright with the prequels as long as he hires a decent screenwriter (not his strong suit in the past), but they are not likely to be anything worth remembering for it's own merits in 10 years time; if they weren't part of Star Wars, I'd put good money on them being the kind of sci-fi movie that Space buys the rights to air and shows a couple times a month for eternity.

However, I really think this should have been a No Right Answer (as opposed to discussion) because there are valid criticisms to be made. For instance, should one guy be in charge of both Wars and Trek? He has a distinctive style and, love it or not, I don't feel it should be applied to both of those franchises.

Also, surprised NRA didn't mention his role in making the theoretical Half-Life and Portal movies. If I was going to get angry at Abrams, it would be for invading as many properties as possible.

Firefilm:

TheDrunkNinja:
"The internet hates J.J. Abrams because he's middle of the road, and the internet does NOT like middle of the road."

Holy shit, did you guys nail it perfectly this week.

Well someone's trying to become our best friend! (It's working)

If you want, we could pretend there's a passive aggressive emphasis on "this week", like I'm some sort of shounen rival conceding a job well done while implying that I still think you're all a bunch of amateurs.

Well, the lenseflare thing DOES actually kind of bother me, but not for any good reason. I just heard people always taking about how much lenseflare there is in his movies, and after hearing all that I couldn't NOT notice it when watching the Star Trek movie, and it really bothered me there X3.

And there is an incredible amount of it... Nearly every shot, it's unbelievable. I don't think it would have bothered me as much if people hadn't made me so aware of it before I saw the movie though...

This is me typing while watching this video:

Nobody liked Super 8 when it came out...and only MovieBob liked the Star Trek reboot when it came out, everyone I know agrees that they were all terrible films. Visual spectacle does not equal a good story. Abrams does not have talent and marketing does not make the movie good. You can blame the writers all you want but he's still the director....THE DIRECTOR.. it's his job to interpret the script in anyway he sees fit to make the vision come out and he's even allowed to tweak the script. You cannot blame writers for this when a director has the ability to alter anything to make it work for the final product.

Final Thought:
Abrams sucks and we should all be worried for Star Wars. Also spread this image, and we'll all see if this anon was right.

image

The 'secret box' thing always brings to my mind the Battlestar reboot. "And they have a plan."

The writers never bothered to make a plan.

Bothered me to no end.

Hm. Honestly I liked Cloverfield a lot, and the first of his Star Trek movies (and I'll stick with this but the second one was instantly forgettable).

Personally, I'd never put Abrams on the same level as Joss Whedon, though. That dude has done more with less (material / budget / ip / etc) than anyone. The man could film paint drying on a wall and I'd give good odds that it would be more engaging than anyone else's take on the subject.

This message brought to you by the coalition for sanity on the internet

I noticed the lense flares in Star Trek because they blinded me and my dad. ;p
Seriously. I don't mind lense flares being there, but take it back a notch.

As for Star Wars, I think it will be alright. Hopefully.

I'm a bit worried seeing as Ford got hurt, so they may be making changes.

We'll all see when it's out I guess.

I didn't even watch this video before noticing Ghost Protocol in your front page preview.

Guys? Abrams produced Ghost Protocol. Brad Bird directed Ghost Protocol. Brad "I directed The Incredibles/The Iron Giant/Ratatouille" Bird. Not Abrams. Just throwing that out there.

Elijah Newton:
The man could film paint drying on a wall and I'd give good odds that it would be more engaging than anyone else's take on the subject.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Paint The Town Red, a story about red paint taking the place of the white paint that came before it.

ACT I: The film starts out with the coating of the first wall, where the White paint is shocked and outraged about being completely covered with a new color. Some parts of the wall are accepting of this new paint color, who try to teach the new paint the world it has known, whereas other parts of the wall are hell-bent on rejecting it, calling it "unpure" and a "perversion," saying their time is better spent on trying to preserve how white the wall is.

ACT II: Throughout the painting of the wall, parts of the Red wall try to learn from the White wall, while other parts wonder why he had to be painted into existence, and what his purpose as a wall should be, while other parts taunt the white wall, taunting its last few moments it has. The White Wall, on the other hand, simultaneously tells the Red wall of all the things it witnessed: people coming and going, laughing, playing, crying, feeling betrayal, love. By the end of this speech to Red, White breaks down in grief, expressing the five stages.

ACT III: By the end, White finally accepts that, despite its long years of being a wall, its time is up, and now is the time to let the new paint color settle in, and while other parts of the wall that have been opposing the wall's recoloring have totally faded into obscurity and oblivion, only the wise, progressive parts of the wall remain to give the last pieces of advice and the best of luck, right down to when the final coat of red is applied over the White. Red reminisces of the time spent with White, and asserts all that he's learned, as well as mourning the passing of White.

END

I enjoyed Star Trek and STID. Lost was an okay show whose ending I've never really cared enough to see. Cloverfield was largely meh. I don't know if I've watched anything else he's done.

The thing is, Abrams has made some products I've enjoyed despite many, many flaws. Mostly the Star Treks. I could spend hours and thousands of words describing issues with STID, but in the end I found myself enjoying it. Even if the end was a cop-out. Even if the "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" moment was laughably bad. Even if Abrams tried to hype things with a "the bad guy is totally not Khan" crap.

I mean, it's like I just can't stay mad at them.

Are they good movies? Well, I consider anything I enjoy to be good, unless I'm explicitly reveling in its badness. Is it brilliant or deep or anything like that? God no.

I guess I'm not too invested in JJ Abrams. I don't think he's a hack, but I think he's got way too high an estimation of himself. Which, in fairness, puts him squarely in the majority of filmmakers in Hollywood.

ehsteve88:
This message brought to you by the coalition for sanity on the internet

Which the internet will definitely not stand for.

Disney payed well over 4 billion dollars for the Star Wars franchise.

In recent years Disney has repeatedly grossed enormous profits from purchasing the rights to franchises (such as Marvel, of course) then putting serious thought and effort into making them work.

When Disney (and George Lucas) announced that Lucas had already sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney (after 1 solid year of negotiations with absolutely zero leaks) they immediately announced the next trilogy would be made as well as several stand alone Star Wars movies.

People whine and bitch about J.J. Abrams but the inescapable truth is that he is not--by any means or measure--working in a vacuum. There is executive oversight involved, yes, but---in a VERY rare show of professional restraint--this experienced executive oversight is not trying to strangle the creative juices of it's directors and writers; they're simply keeping an eye on the overall project in order to make sure nobody screws it up (like Lucas did the Prequels because he was surrounded solely by 'yes-men'.

J.J. Abrams was and is a major fan of Star Trek (despite what some folks who hate him/his work claim). He's also a major fan of Star Wars.

Last Point: Everybody keep in mind that Lucas introduced a "Lens Flare" in Revenge of the Sith!!! You see it when the camera focuses on Obi Wan as his ship leaves the world he fought General Grievous on and tries to contact friendly forces. That's when he gets a call from Senator Organa and meets up with Yoda.

Don't forget the Revenge of the Sith lens flare, folks. Especially not with J.J. Abrams making the next trilogy. ^_^

Copper Zen:
J.J. Abrams was and is a major fan of Star Trek (despite what some folks who hate him/his work claim). He's also a major fan of Star Wars.

Being a big fan != knowing the aesthetics that made the original work a fan hit in the first place, LET ALONE being the best person to direct. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO OPERATE?

Last Point: Everybody keep in mind that Lucas introduced a "Lens Flare" in Revenge of the Sith!!!

image
"BUT HE DID IT!" is not an argument.

I say the problem with JJ is is that he's almost there. Almost a really good director. He know how to make a movie look and feel good. Good pacing, good action, good characters. But there's just something missing. What that is is good story. The stories and the actual plot suck most of the time. Look at LOST. in the end it was all about a damn smoke monster, and happy reunions in the afterlife. The last Star Trek movie was a weak rip on Wrath of Khan. Cloverfield is one of his better films because it had hardly any plot at all. I thinks.

All in all, JJ Abrams is the master of polishing a Turd to a mirror shine.

Mcoffey:
I don't dislike JJ Abrams because he loves his material and he's successful. If I hated people for that I'd also hate Quentin Tarantino. I dislike JJ Abrams because he made a films that are a bastardization of a series that is very dear to me, and because those shitty films were successful, they have set the course for the franchise to be shitty for years to come. He has ruined Star Trek for the foreseeable future. And since he's just a shit writer and director in general, clinging to one stupid gimmick (His bullshit mystery box), he's going to fuck up Star Wars too.

I agree with you that he's destroyed Star Trek. BUT he made Star Trek that way because he really wanted to make Star Wars and I think he'll be better suited to it. I disagree with NRA though, JJ Abrahms has absolutely no love for Star Trek and it shows. In my mind the single most annoying thing he did wasn't the action, it was turning the Enterprise crew from professionals with doctorates into emotinally immature love sick playboys that do everything on guts and heart. Professionalism and respect for science and knowledge was one of the few things that every iteration of Star Trek had to one degree or another and his movies have none of this. And than there is of course after that everything else.
I don't hate abrahms he's just not the sort of director that gets me excited and hopeful beyond the fact I think he'll probably do better with Star Wars. Abrahms star trek aren't bad action movies, they're good to decent even, but they are abominations of Star Trek movies. They are called Star Trek movies only because of name recognition.

I don't quite consider LOST to be a JJ Abrams property - he didn't really have much to do with the majority of the show beyond "Executive Producer", that wonderful catch-all term for "Someone who's powerful enough to get money from us." So I don't hold the end of LOST against him. Cloverfield I refused to go see due to shakey cam and that the trailers gave me nausea (not normal for me), I didn't see Super 8 because it just didn't appeal to me. Looking over his IMDB page, there's a few things of his I've wanted to check out but just never did - Alias, Fringe, Person of Interest and Revolution. And I did enjoy Felicity, back when I thought Kerri Russel was drop dead gorgeous.

However, I've actively disliked his take on Star Trek since I saw the movie in the theatre. There was never a point where I like it, and I've been called a troll (not here, not on this issue) because I've actively criticized his take on Star Trek, which I see as essentially him making sub-par Star Wars movies. Which, ironically, is what makes me actually enthusiastic about his take on Star Wars.

Star Wars don't give a crap if you promote some Rebel from Barely Trained Recruit to Captain Of The Flagship in just a few days. Star Wars don't give a crap if you say "Use the Red Matter!" and leave it at that. Star Wars don't care if you gots the Magic Blood that resurrects peoples. Star Wars don't give a crap about using a sword to fight people probably armed with laser guns. Star Wars don't bat an eyeball at a laser that implodes planets. Star Wars don't care nothin' 'bout hiding a fleet of ships behind a rock. Star Wars don't know no geography, so you can be fightin' on Tattooine one minute, jump to hyperdrive then not be able to finish the expository dialogue before gettin' shot out of hyperspace outside Naboo. These are the things Star Wars says "Yeah, we did that - so what?". And we Star Wars fans go "Booya!" then laugh at the Star Trek fans who are having apocalyptic fits as our Star Trek gets this dumbed down idiot treatment.

So while I hate, loathe, dislike, gnash my teeth over his Star Trek crap, I'm going to go see his Star Wars in the Theatres because as Star Wars films, I've actually kind of liked his Star Trek stuff.

I certainly know I don't have a problem with him. I haven't seen a J.J. movie or television show I disliked (that obviously doesn't mean such things couldn't change)

Maybe a problem some people have with him, is that he's doing a lot of work, and increasingly with properties that have very loyal and interested fans. It might be similar to disliking anything when you've had too much exposure to it (pizza not included)

It might just be nerd's inherent touchiness as well, who knows.

Given my relative illiteracy when it comes to Star Trek pre TNG, I didn't have the unfortunate displeasure of having to compare A to B and was instead able to just enjoy the story.

I've gone back and watched Khan however, and I liked Into Darkness's take on it more.

Copper Zen:
J.J. Abrams was and is a major fan of Star Trek (despite what some folks who hate him/his work claim). He's also a major fan of Star Wars.

If this is true, then it might be accurate to say that JJ Abrams loves Star Trek in the same way that Tea Party Conservatives love the Founding Fathers of the USA.

I like most of the TV JJ has been to some extent involved in but only 1 or 2 of the movies.

Anyone whom I've ever talked to that didn't like Abrams did so simply to be a contrarian. They had to disagree with the consensus or they didn't feel like the smartest person in the room. No one has ever been able to articulate WHY Abrams sucks, only THAT he sucks because of 'reasons'.
I know lens flare was brought up and yes that can be annoying, but Abrams is far from the only director to use that. It seems like everything Abrams does 'wrong' other directors also do but get a free pass on.

Why is Abrams hated but Tarantino isn't hated for his lack of originality? Or Joss for recycling characters and dialogue between his projects? Or Lucas for being bland and predictable? Or Spielberg for be contrived? Or Coppola for being boring as shit?!

Mcoffey:
I don't dislike JJ Abrams because he loves his material and he's successful. If I hated people for that I'd also hate Quentin Tarantino. I dislike JJ Abrams because he made a films that are a bastardization of a series that is very dear to me, and because those shitty films were successful, they have set the course for the franchise to be shitty for years to come. He has ruined Star Trek for the foreseeable future. And since he's just a shit writer and director in general, clinging to one stupid gimmick (His bullshit mystery box), he's going to fuck up Star Wars too.

Face it, Star Trek was dead in the water when JJ picked it up. The last 2 Star Trek films before the reboot were commercial and critical flops, as was the prequel tv show. You may not like the new direction of the series, but at least it HAS a direction and possible future now. Before Abrams' reboot it was just a tired old franchise that was rapidly losing it's relevancy even within the geek culture that had sustained it for so many years.

On top of that, you can hardly call Abrams' 'shitty writing and directing' below average (much less a low point) for the series up until then. Star Trek has always had it's highs and lows. Perhaps the biggest mistake of Into Darkness was that it was trying to be a remake of one of the franchises better movies rather than one of it's more embarrassing ones.

My main experience with him is the Star Wars films and they were great action movies, mediocre at best Star Trek films though. I don't mean that in the "Star Trek isn't supposed to have action" sense but there really is a mood and an aesthetic to Star Trek that he didn't capture all that well. Plus, Star Trek primarily focusing on Earth and its solar system is just a waste of all the possibilities that there could be in a Star Trek setting. Though, bringing his sensibilities to Star Wars, possible terrible script (going off purported leaks) aside, might not be a terrible idea.

Also the Lens Flare jokes will stop once it stops being a fairly routine things in his movies, they're stupid jokes but completely fair.

The reason that opinion of his Star Trek movies started dropping when they came out on dvd is that its all spectral. Once people start to sit down and watch it at home they realize that its just a bunch of action pieces strung together by a poorly written plot, but that isn't a surprise since the writers are the same people that wrote Transformers. I have not really like any thing he has done so far so I don't have any big expectations for the new Star Wars, but its got to be better of with out Lucas.

Tono Makt:
I don't quite consider LOST to be a JJ Abrams property - he didn't really have much to do with the majority of the show beyond "Executive Producer", that wonderful catch-all term for "Someone who's powerful enough to get money from us." So I don't hold the end of LOST against him. Cloverfield I refused to go see due to shakey cam and that the trailers gave me nausea (not normal for me), I didn't see Super 8 because it just didn't appeal to me. Looking over his IMDB page, there's a few things of his I've wanted to check out but just never did - Alias, Fringe, Person of Interest and Revolution. And I did enjoy Felicity, back when I thought Kerri Russel was drop dead gorgeous.

Abrams is in charge of Person of Interest? I always forget that, since I associate it with Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher).
But check out Fringe; it's not as weird as Lost, since Abrams had a couple of other guys pull back on his chain so its more focused, and there's the novelty of a sci-fi series that was on FOX and not cancelled within 2 seasons.

He's not really amazing, he's not terrible, he's middle of the road. Does this mean that he's the perfect person for Star Wars? Because only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Good video. I didn't actually realize how much Internet hate there was for Abrams, and I thought the point about this hindsight criticism of his films was pretty compelling.

My own view is this: I'm a lifelong Star Trek fan. I eat, sleep, and breath Trek. And I love both of Abrams' contributions to Trek. Absolutely adore them. The 2009 reboot is a fantastic movie, and the best thing to happen to the franchise in more than a decade (maybe First Contact or even All Good Things...). And while I get a lot of the criticism of Into Darkness (a rehash of ST2, a predictable plot reveal, etc.) I personally thought it was great, as did pretty every NON-Trek fan that I know. And maybe that's the catch with Abrams -- he's never going to satisfy a lot of the hardcore Trek folks for a variety of reasons, be it lens flares or rewriting Trek canon or whatever. But whether you like the rebooots or not, it's a fact that Abrams brought Trek more to the mainstream and made it "cool." And I'm not going to fault him for that. I'm going to applaud him.

What do you mean "After the fact"? My friends and I were actively angry about Into Darkness WHILE THE FILM WAS STILL ROLLING!!! If I hadn't been sitting next to an 8 year old kid, I would have yelled out a number of obscenities right there in the theater.

That said, I did and still do think that the original reboot was solid.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here