Thursday, June 5, 2014

Let's Call It A Star Wars Preview... Of Sorts

So I finally saw J.J. Abram's Star Trek: Rot in Darkness and I'm trying to figure out if there is enough profanity in our language to let me describe that movie properly in a review. In the meantime, I realized last night that the same pathetic piece of sh*t who royally f*cked up Star Trek will now get the chance to do... the... exact... same... thing... to... Star Wars. Let's see what Star Trek tells us to expect.

Jedi Babies: Abrams has Muppet Baby Syndrome. He's a firm believer in replacing competent actors with young hotties. The average age will be 16 and they will all look like the misshapen creatures in fashion magazines.

F*ck Your History: Abrams derives a sexual pleasure from mocking the history and mythos of the original films.

Soak The Suckers: Since Abrams hasn't yet figured out how to require in-movie micropurchases, as they do in games now, he will instead find other ways to try to drain your wallet dry to see this film. Frankly, product placements are likely.

He Will Insult Your Intelligence: I wish I could say that Abrams tries to stay at the level of the lowest common denominator when he makes films, but he doesn't... he stays well below that. His dialog is mind-numbing, his action sequences are patently fake, and his plots make most summer blockbusters look like Shakespeare.

Unmitigated Gall: Abrams has no shame. He doesn't mind repeating iconic scenes without adding a hint of anything original... or even a competent retelling. Watch for Star Wars to essentially be a meandering remake of the best parts of the first six movies all thrown together with limited connective tissue.

Leftist Shit: Finally, Abrams has proven to be a far-left jerk off. Look for anti-conservative and anti-American statements throughout.

Frankly, I think I may skip it. I should have skipped his rape of Star Trek. Now my mind hurts from remembering it.

50 comments:

Rustbelt said...

Uh, Andrew...

"Watch for 'Star Wars' to essentially be a meandering remake of the best parts of the first six movies all thrown together with limited connective tissue."

The first SIX movies!?! He's making George Lucas look THAT competent!?! What has Abrams done to you?

And though I'm currently picturing you having a classic "Bruce Banner" moment, and, frankly, I probably shouldn't be throwing kindling on the fire...but if you need help in putting together creative profanity to describe the situation, I can always post some links to YouTube videos of the Angry Video Game Nerd for inspiration.

shawn said...

Oh my, tell us how you really feel Andrew.

Babies- I don't know, I thought the casting on most of his tv shows and movies have been pretty good. The characters may be unlikeable, but I think the actors have generally done a good job.

History- Disney owns Star Wars now and I haven't heard that they want a reboot, so I think they will keep him on a relatively tight leash.

Intelligence- Yeah, his Trek flicks are pretty easy on the brain, but I have some hope the Empire Strikes Back scribe, Lawrence Kasdan, can come up with a decent script.

Gall- this depends on how much input he has on the script. But as has been heard many times throughout the Star Wars movies, I have a bad feeling about this.

Lefty- sighs.

I have some hope for this movie. Abrams' Star Trek films felt more like Star Wars to me then Trek. But he needs a likeable protagonist, and his Kirk really was obnoxious throughout most of the two Trek movies. So if Disney gives him free reign, then the likelihood of what you say is high, if they exert some control, it could be entertaining.

ScottDS said...

We’ve already seen his Star Wars - it was called Star Trek!

Babies - He’s hardly the only filmmaker who does this and given that these films are prequels, of course he’s gonna cast young. I’m more bothered by the fact that everyone associated with these films feels the need to make everything “sexy.” (Seriously, someone out there compiled a list of the most repugnant quotes uttered by the STID filmmakers and the need to sex everything up is quite apparent.)

History - Agreed. There was no need to make the villain Khan. It means nothing to the characters (they had never met him before) and the general public and it only pisses off fans, so why bother? I like Benedict Cumberbatch but his performance is anything but subtle. At least Nick Meyer knew to tell Ricardo Montalban when to keep things understated. And the ending… inexcusable!

Suckers - Did you have something specific in mind? Abrams didn’t exactly invent product placement, but again, he’s anything but subtle. If you’re talking about the botched Blu-Ray release, with bonus features spread across three different retail exclusives, then I agree.

Intelligence - His plots are exactly like most summer blockbusters, especially the recent cliche of having your villain locked up, only to: a.) let him out, or b.) have him escape (Skyfall, cough). Star Trek should aim higher than this! Sadly, co-writer Damon Lindelof later mentioned that, when you make movies that cost this much money, the stakes have to be huge, hence the city-wide destruction porn. (His words, not mine!)

Gall - See my comments about Khan above. I’m slightly reassured by the presence of Lawrence Kasdan on Star Wars but if you blame Abrams, then you have to blame his writers. They could’ve done ANYTHING, and they gave us this.

Leftist - Abrams isn’t exactly Michael Moore! Of the gang that made this movie, co-writer Roberto Orci has proven to be the resident conspiracy theorist and possibly a 9/11 Truther as well. For Abrams, I don’t think he goes out of his way to be political. For the most part, his work on TV has been pretty apolitical. And he’s done work for various soldiers’ charities.

Dave Olson said...

Say what you will about the Star Wars films, they all had a certain look. I fear that the new films will be full of lens flares and shaky-cam. (Sigh)

Anthony said...

*Shrugs* Star Trek Into Darkness absolutely sucked, but the Abrams Star Wars movies can't possibly be any worse than the last three Lucas movies.

ScottDS said...

Dave -

That is my fear as well - that they'll look like every other summer blockbuster out there: shaky-cam, rapid-fire editing, the orange/teal color scheme, etc.

Jason said...

Pre-Star Trek, the only Abrams film I saw was Mission: Impossible 3, and I didn’t care for it at all. Too much shaky cam and an uninteresting story.

Re: Jedi Babies and “Muppet Baby” syndrome: The Phantom Menace felt like Muppet Babies version with little Annie Skywalker. With a cast of young hotties, it’ll be more like Star Wars: 90210.

And Benedict Cumberbatch is not Khan.

Tennessee Jed said...

oh wow, Star Wars with ....... (wait for it .....) LENS FLARE

tryanmax said...

Yeah, I find it pretty hard to disagree with that assessment of JJ's Trek. Even giving him credit for putting his Trek on an alternate timeline, thus eliminating the possibility of upsetting canon--a smart move in my opinion--I still feel he squandered it. Into Darkness was pointlessly, needlessly derivative and nodded to its predecessor in all the wrong ways.

That said, I don't necessarily regard all JJ's worst directorial impulses as givens on the Star Wars project, though I can't say my optimism meters higher than "wait and see."

tryanmax said...

BTW, I'm not worried about lens flare. Aesthetically, JJ has shown himself capable of multiple visual styles. He's taken so much guff for the effect in the Trek films that he's become associated with it, but no one was mocking his lens flare before Trek because he never did it before. Okay, he did it to Super 8 but nobody noticed b/c they were too busy convincing themselves that JJ is Spielberg b/c, y'know, Spielberg lens-flared the $#!+ out of Close Encounters. Point being, I have no doubt that JJ will be able to make his film look like Star Wars even if he screws up everything else.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

People like to say Abrams is the next Spielberg... but that's only true if Spielberg's first two movies were The Spy Who Loved Me and Flash Gordon!

And you know Abrams has gone too far with lens flares when he had to ask ILM to take some of them out!

djskit said...

The best 2 word review of Star Trek into Darkness - "offensive and insulting". Dare I say, watching it felt almost like it was deliberately insulting to the fans. "Ha ha fans, you like all this crap? Watch me suck out all meaning just so I can see the looks on your faces when you realize I'm pissing on all your favorite moments and I'll still make millions because of all the other suckers who don't care!"

This really speaks to the complete empytiness in Hollywood that they really thought the best guy for the new Star Wars franchise is the same guy who got the Star Trek re-boot. There was NO BODY ELSE that could do a good job? I'd give my right kidney to see Brad Bird take a crack at it.

Rant off!

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, This one deserved a Bruce Banner moment. This film was stupid and insulting. It proved that Abrams is a shameless ripoff artist.

ScottDS said...

djskit -

You are far from the only one who wanted Brad Bird to do Star Wars! A lot of the geek websites had similar wishes. And hell, he did a better Mission: Impossible than Abrams did.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, They're all the same age now and they all act like they're on some teen soap. It's like a high school movie set in space.

Sadly, I think Disney will give him total control because people seem to think he's a genius... bizarrely.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I concur, except on the politics thing. This thing was packed with leftist politics from start to finish. It's very sympathetic to terrorists, including but not limited to blaming others for forcing them into terror and making the people they are terrorizing out as worse on phony moral grounds.

The oversexed thing is really annoying. You couldn't swing a dead tribble without hitting someone trying to get it on in this stupid film.

The Khan thing adds nothing, but that's the premise of the whole remake. None of this is or needs to be Star Trek except that Abrams is raping the past to try to guarantee that people watch his films. He's just using the names to sell the film. And the ending was despicable. It made me want to savagely beat Abrams.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, The new films won't look at all like the prior ones. They will look like these Trek films.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I wouldn't bet on that. Compared to Abrams, Lucas is a true filmmaker of substance.

Kit said...

"Compared to Abrams, Lucas is a true filmmaker of substance."

Wow! That is harsh.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, MI-3 stunk. And frankly, the rest of his films haven't been very good either. I guarantee you that we'll be dealing with Muppet Baby Syndrome.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Harsh, but true. I at least give Lucas credit for caring about his universe and trying to find ways to explore deep stories. Abrams has shown no evidence of that whatsoever. He's just an image guy... frame by nonsensical frame.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Lens flare will be the least of our problems.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Into Darkness was pointlessly, needlessly derivative and nodded to its predecessor in all the wrong ways.

Bingo. That's the perfect description. Although, let's also add shamelessly stolen, stupid, and provocatively insulting.

I guess we'll see if Abrams can make a film that looks like Star Wars. I have my doubt because Abrams doesn't do long shots or landscapes... he does closeups of characters emoting at each other, over and over.

On the alternate timeline, I agree that the idea would have been smart, but them he mucked it up by changing things that couldn't have changed -- like character ages, and then he killed the real Kirk by introducing Spock to tell us that the original universe has been replaced. F-him!

In this one, the real killer was Abrams shamelessly stealing such iconic moments and just filming them half-heartedly and entirely without emotional content. That not only makes him a thief, it makes him a hack.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The best way to put it is to say that Abrams wants people to think he's the next Spielberg, so he's ripped him off a couple times.

AndrewPrice said...

djskit, That's exactly how I felt watching this turd. I kid you not that I came within a millisecond of turning it off during the death scene rip off.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

This is the most epic take-down of a movie I have ever seen. It's quite lengthy!

And here is a list of the shittiest quotes from these filmmakers.

I would go on a limb and say Star Trek V has more heart and soul and sincerity than any one frame of this movie. And if they were gonna copy, why not copy from the film that could use an improvement? Imagine Cumberbatch as Sybok. (Or Gary Mitchell, for that matter. Alice Eve even had the Sally Kellerman haircut and everything!)

Jason said...

Oh you don’t have to go out on a limb. Even with the problems Star Trek V suffered, it still had the warmth and chemistry of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley. That little moment where Kirk looks on the plaque that reads “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before” is even a little touching. Nothing in ST:ID approached that.

Re: that list of quotes. Yeah, who needs dignity and intelligence in a Star Trek picture? In Star Trek II, Carol Marcus is a respected scientist and a successful mother. In the Abramsverse, Marcus is a walking centerfold who’s only there to look hawt.

Funny thing, I kept hearing rumors that ST:ID was going to do Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner. It’d be cool to revisit the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy with today’s special effects.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, LOLOLOLOL! Oh my God! Those quotes are shockingly damning and super hilarious at the same time. Wow. These guys are shits!!


As for the article, he makes some good points, but I think he obsesses a bit on two points that he keeps trying to wedge into everything. There is much more to criticize than what he fingers.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, ST:V had a lot of heart. In fact, that's probably all it had going for it, and that has shown through over the years. Abram's Trek has no heart... it's the world of a drunken frat jerking each other off for initiation night.

Kit said...

I enjoyed, and still enjoy, the 2009 Star Trek. Star Trek: Into Darkness... had problems. I'll just say that the amazing British actor Benedict Cumberpatch was ill-used.

tryanmax said...

I must be a real sucker for heart b/c I apparently like Star Trek V more than anyone else.

Koshcat said...

I didn't think Into Darkness was THAT bad. It had a lot of problems and Kirk dying and then resurrecting was stupid...there was a lot of lens flare...why were the frozen people in torpedoes...wouldn't they notice there was a problem when the first one went splat instead of kaboom...why such an elaborate method to kill them, why not just turn the life support off...why is someone from 300-400 years ago smarter than everyone else today; I don't think I would trust Benjamin Franklin to drive my car...

ok maybe it had a lot of problems

John Jameson said...

My prediction for SW7: Han will shoot first.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I have come around on Star Trek V over time and I rank it higher than some of the others now.

AndrewPrice said...

John, You are right. Han will shoot first after he loses the street race to Vin Vader.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, This one pissed me off.

John Jameson said...

There are two hopes that SW7 won't be as big a train wreck as STID.

First, the Star Wars universe already makes no sense (I say that as a fan) so there is less to f-up. Secondly, Abrams apparently likes Star Wars better than Star Trek, so if we are lucky, he may expend his efforts on trying to prove he can do it better than Lucas.

Hmmm... that's a thought: I wonder if JJ was motivated (subconsciously or otherwise) to make Star Trek as nonsensical as Star Wars (hence the corrupt Starfleet, the interplanetary and warp speed teleportation etc.).

Kit said...

If this means the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy gets a release, and there are rumors floating around, then I will be at peace with whatever JJ Abrams does.

ScottDS said...

Kit -

Yeah, I've read the rumors, too. Disney would have to work out a deal with Fox (they still own distributions rights on the original film) but it can be done, despite what Lucas has said.

Then you get people arguing about whether or not they should at least clean up things like garbage mattes (those boxes you see around ships sometimes)... or leave it alone, errors and all.

The point is, someone will be disappointed. :-)

Kit said...

Scott,

"Then you get people arguing about whether or not they should at least clean up things like garbage mattes (those boxes you see around ships sometimes)... or leave it alone, errors and all."

Which would not be an issue if Lucas had not been such a putz about trying to destroy all memory of the original versions.

AndrewPrice said...

John, That's possible. It's clear that Abrams has no respect at all for Star Trek, maybe he does for Star Wars. Although, reading those quotes he and his team are obsessed with sex and making everything "sexy." That's a bad sign. We'll see.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, A cleaned up version, maybe with some of the original footage they removed restored would be a MASSIVE hit.

Jason said...

I don’t really care about the bad mattes or other f/x oopsies. They’re a part of cinematic history. I’ve got enough versions of the movie that are all spiffied up; let me see the down and dirty one. BTW, would the original version we’re talking about be the one that doesn’t have the Episode IV subtitle? That was added to later prints.

Count me as another who actually is okay with Star Trek V. I never hated or disliked it. I know it’s not one of the franchise’s best, but it has its moments.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

He should have had Khan quoting Finding Nemo instead of Moby Dick... that would have been perfect.

Kit said...

Floyd,

"Fish gotta swim, bird's gotta eat."

"He touched the butt."

"Mine!"

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I just pulled up my Facebook post from when I saw the film:

I saw Star Trek Into Darkness today and this Jeff Goldblum monologue from Jurassic Park best sums it up: "...it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox..."

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Believe it not, I used this quote in my review (which isn't finished). It perfectly describes what is going on here.

5minutes said...

I'm just going to say it: I think you are very, very wrong, Andrew.

● Jedi Babies: Abrams does trend towards attractive actors, but so what? Every filmmaker tries to hire attractive actors and actresses. I'm not complaining.

● F*ck Your History: Really? Abrams has directed all of 4 movies up until now: Mission Impossible 3 (highly excellent), Star Trek (lots of fun), Super 8 (love letter to the Spielberg youth of the 80's), and Star Trek Into Darkness (his only middling flick), and I never felt like any of them screwed with any of the history they were attached to.

● Soak The Suckers: Yeah, because Lord knows Star Wars hasn't been used to soak the fans for merchandising dollars.

● He Will Insult Your Intelligence: Not yet, but my intelligence is really off the scales, so it's hard to insult.

● Unmitigated Gall: I'm glad he's got gall. aka "balls".

● Leftist Shit: Uh... no. He's never pushed an anti-American agenda. He may be a liberal, but his films have never been political, IMO. The closest was Super 8, but that was less about being anti-American and more about kids knowing more than adults.

KRS said...

Andrew - I'm coming way late to this discussion because I had to go dark for the past week or so, but here goes:

My big issue with the JJ version of the Star Trek universe is similar to your complaints about "Fun with Dick and Jane." To wit: it just isn't believeable. This may seem an odd criticism, considering the subject, but in order for SyFy to really work, the writers have to research and make all the non-fantastic elements as realistic as possible.

This is why the Star Trek ships have inertial dampeners - so the crew doesn't go splat when the ship goes to warp. Even the term, "warp speed" was originally, "time warp speed," to make up for the the rules of the "Einsteinien" universe.

In TOS, Kirk, played by Shatner is a serious, true blue commander with natural leadership skills. Intelligent, inventive, caring, he is larger than life and even good looking. You can imagine such a man working up to command rank ahead of his colleagues and at an early age. And it has actually happened: in the real world, James Gavin was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Major General in less than 5 years (WWII) and he was a helluva hero. You can see that in the Shatner version of Kirk.

But in the case of Chris Pine's version of Kirk, a self-centered, wise cracking snotbag rises to command rank in about 55 minutes because ... well, it's not really clear. How does an Academy upperclassman, who is not part of the crew, gain command over the commissioned officers posted in the chain of command?

And, the fact that Chris Pine happens to possess the most punchable face in Hollywood only makes it worse. Shatner's Kirk cares about his crew and we know the compliment of the Enterprise because he mentions it throughout the series when he worries about their fate. Pine's Kirk never steps up to this plate in a meanignful way.

In STID, the senior officers are bitching about their love lives during an insertion into enemy territory. Riiiiight.

The problem with crap like this is that it takes you out of the story completely - especially when these are the basic tools the director needs to sell SyFy universe he has created. Most likely, this is a product of the times: 60's Hollywood had a lot of veterans on the payroll, I'm sure, so they knew how ships and military organizations were run. Abrams & Co. are clueless so he plays these moments for laughs.

The worst abuse in the first Abrams Star Trek was the treatment of the Kobayashi Maru test. This test had gained an almost mythical quality in fan lore, but Abrams peed all over it. A better director would have found a way to present the test as programmatically restricted and given Kirk a clever way to remove those restrictions and effect the rescue. But instead we have Mr. Punchable sleep with a Greenie, steal the password and munch an apple.

The fact that they redesigned the ship to look like a Hallmark Christmas ornament doesn't help either.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, Welcome back from the dark! :D

I concur. That's a serious problem with this whole remake. Why in the world would anyone take a guy who is barely an Academy cadet (and not a good one from the sound of it) and put him in charge? What happened to all the long-serving officers in line before him? Was the Enterprise a ship of rejects... command leppers? Did they post all their most hopeless losers on the ship so that Kirk becomes the only choice?

And even if we are to believe that Pine's Kirk is some sort of command savant, there's never the slightest hint of that in the films. He acts like you would expect from a guy with discipline issue and severe ADD. No sane, mature human being would follow this jerkoff.

You're right about the love-life crap too. No one who goes into combat or potential combat is going to spend their time fighting about their relationships. That is not the time.

And I think you're right that the problem is realism. Abrams simply has no experience in the real work with these kinds of issues and he doesn't realize how flat out wrong all of this feels to people who have actually held jobs, served in the military, or otherwise had adult experiences.

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