Robin Bland

EW on Trek films

157 posts in this topic

Couldn't you call Ron Moore a "copyist," too then?

No, Abrams doesn't just ripoff ideas; nor did Moore.   JJ Abrams' style is such a crystal clear reflection of his influences (most notably Spielberg & Lucas) but I don't say that to demean his own achievements.   Abrams brings an energy and an affinity with actors that is uniquely his.   And one of his gifts is that he IS so chameleonic;  it's arguably not easy to make a Lucas movie BETTER than George Lucas...

As for Ron Moore?   He is very much his own thing.   His Battlestar Galactica, while admittedly a loose remake, is NOTHING like Glen Larson's (which was clearly inspired by Star Wars).   And the seeds of Moore's BSG were clearly carried over from his work under Berman on DS9 (when he had to work with cuffs on).   Comparing Moore's BSG to the original is like comparing Scorsese's "Mean Streets" to Sesame Street.  

Yes, they both involve streets, but...

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We forgot about Mr Franich this week! Must be the excitement for Beyond.

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/07/19/star-trek-darkness-decadent-los-angeles-panorama

 

 

He's also given us his very own list of rankings! Whoo-hoo!

http://www.ew.com/gallery/star-trek-movies-ranked

And there's a Pegg interview on similar, by way of balance. I haven't read any of these yet, but I'll be back later to rebuff or rejoice, I'm sure.

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/07/21/simon-pegg-star-trek-original-movies

 

 

 

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Can't say I agree with his order at all!  But to each their own. 

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Can't say I agree with his order at all!  But to each their own. 

Same here. He has managed to rank the Old Trek movies just so that they don't match my ranking AT ALL, in no way whatsoever. Impressive, almost... in an unsettling way. But not surprising, given how his "reviews" of the TNG movies in particular were rather eccentric/erratic at times.

I think this guy and I would end up at each other's throats in not even one minute. That is ALSO impressive in an unsettling way. :P 

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Couldn't you call Ron Moore a "copyist," too then?

No, Abrams doesn't just ripoff ideas; nor did Moore.   JJ Abrams' style is such a crystal clear reflection of his influences (most notably Spielberg & Lucas) but I don't say that to demean his own achievements.   Abrams brings an energy and an affinity with actors that is uniquely his.   And one of his gifts is that he IS so chameleonic;  it's arguably not easy to make a Lucas movie BETTER than George Lucas...

As for Ron Moore?   He is very much his own thing.   His Battlestar Galactica, while admittedly a loose remake, is NOTHING like Glen Larson's (which was clearly inspired by Star Wars).   And the seeds of Moore's BSG were clearly carried over from his work under Berman on DS9 (when he had to work with cuffs on).   Comparing Moore's BSG to the original is like comparing Scorsese's "Mean Streets" to Sesame Street.  

Yes, they both involve streets, but...

Sorry I didn't respond to this earlier, but Sehlat said it, really. Moore's kind of a TV auteur - everything he does has his paw prints on. Even if you just take his work as a writer, it's uniquely, recognizably his. 

Abrams also seems more at home on TV, and arguably that's where (to my mind) you see his freshest work. Um, the pilot for Lost, for example. It's goofy as hell, but draws you right in. Maybe because there aren't as many cultural signifiers to make it instantly comparable to other movies or TV out there, it feels and views as original. It's certainly fun, even if it goes (as a pilot and as a series) ultimately nowhere. This is why I asked if anyone had seen the new Cloverfield movie - which I still haven't - as mystery seems to be the genre he's most comfortable with and routinely makes his own. He'd probably make a fantastic Agatha Christie adaptation. 

I don't mean to demean his achievements, and maybe "copyist" isn't a fair term in hindsight. It doesn't always apply to his TV work, but I struggle to find ways to describe what he does in movies, as nothing he's done goes deeper than visual. In case I didn't make it clear, I like a lot of what he's put out there - and of course, movies are primarily a visual medium - but most of his dissolve under analysis, especially his two Trek films. 

To get back to Franich, he seems to be saying something similar in the STID essay. It looks fantastic. It is an amazing looking film. Take a frame and pause it - looks amazing. And yet, every time I watch, it feels ever more amorphous, more like cotton candy. I'm at a loss to really explain why, except to theorize, and Franich also meditated largely upon the look of it, the roots, the odd juxtapositions*. Maybe the best way to approach anything JJ does for the big screen is as a vast music video.

I say that, but then to my mind he infused TFA with a lot of feeling and got incredible performances out of his leads. Is it just synthesis? Will TFA stand the test of time? I dunno. All felt like much more than that to me, but maybe this is my Achilles Heel and I was so agog at his ability to manipulate me/us I just went with the flow of the river of cultural experience. 

So, there you see - there's just no hard and fast rule you can apply to him. So maybe his best film work is yet to come, and we just haven't seen the full measure of JJ Abrams' talents yet. 

 

*Franich made a great point about the weird Starfleet dress uniforms looking like the Empire in SW. They always didn't work for me, but I never nailed why, and didn't make that association. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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Couldn't you call Ron Moore a "copyist," too then?

No, Abrams doesn't just ripoff ideas; nor did Moore.   JJ Abrams' style is such a crystal clear reflection of his influences (most notably Spielberg & Lucas) but I don't say that to demean his own achievements.   Abrams brings an energy and an affinity with actors that is uniquely his.   And one of his gifts is that he IS so chameleonic;  it's arguably not easy to make a Lucas movie BETTER than George Lucas...

As for Ron Moore?   He is very much his own thing.   His Battlestar Galactica, while admittedly a loose remake, is NOTHING like Glen Larson's (which was clearly inspired by Star Wars).   And the seeds of Moore's BSG were clearly carried over from his work under Berman on DS9 (when he had to work with cuffs on).   Comparing Moore's BSG to the original is like comparing Scorsese's "Mean Streets" to Sesame Street.  

Yes, they both involve streets, but...

Sorry I didn't respond to this earlier, but Sehlat said it, really. Moore's kind of a TV auteur - everything he does has his paw prints on. Even if you just take his work as a writer, it's uniquely, recognizably his. 

Abrams also seems more at home on TV, and arguably that's where (to my mind) you see his freshest work. Um, the pilot for Lost, for example. It's goofy as hell, but draws you right in. Maybe because there aren't as many cultural signifiers to make it instantly comparable to other movies or TV out there, it feels and views as original. It's certainly fun, even if it does (as a pilot and as a series) ultimately nowhere. This is why I asked if anyone had seen the new Cloverfield movie - which I still haven't - as mystery seems to be the genre he's most comfortable with and routinely makes his own. He'd probably make a fantastic Agatha Christie adaptation. 

I don't mean to demean his achievements, and maybe "copyist" isn't a fair term in hindsight. It doesn't always apply to his TV work, but I struggle to find ways to describe what he does in movies, as nothing he's done goes deeper than visual. In case I didn't make it clear, I like a lot of what he's put out there - and of course, movies are primarily a visual medium - but most of his dissolve under analysis, especially his two Trek films. 

To get back to Franich, he seems to be saying something similar in the STID essay. It looks fantastic. It is an amazing looking film. Take a frame and pause it - looks amazing. And yet, every time I watch, it feels ever more amorphous, more like cotton candy. I'm at a loss to really explain why, except to theorize, and Franich also mediated largely upon the look of it, the roots, the odd juxtapositions*. Maybe the best way to approach anything JJ does for the big screen is as a vast music video.

I say that, but then to my mind he infused TFA with a lot of feeling and got incredible performances out of his leads. Is it just synthesis? Will TFA stand the test of time? I dunno. All felt like much more than that to me, but maybe this is my Achilles Heel and I was so agog at his ability to manipulate me/us I just went with the flow of the river of cultural experience. 

So, there you see - there's just no hard and fast rule you can apply to him. So maybe his best film work is yet to come, and we just haven't seen the full measure of JJ Abrams' talents yet. 

 

*Franich made a great point about the weird Starfleet dress uniforms looking like the Empire in SW. They always didn't work for me, but I never nailed why, and didn't make that association. 

^
Yep, pretty much all of this.

And I thought the dress uniforms of STID were a bit scary.   Especially the fascistic-looking caps; something very 'now-boarding-the-Imperial-star-destroyer-Executor' about all of it.   Maybe the new dress uniforms were a deliberate choice, as a reflection of Kelvin Timeline Starfleet's retreat into reactionary thinking (?).

And also a good description about the odd lack of cohesion about STID; it's a beautiful, but amorphous blob of visuals with no spine to hold it all together.   It's like someone cobbled together a bunch of post-it notes about cool scenes/moments rather than a coherent story ("gotta have Khan" "a big scary Starfleet ship" "evil admiral" "Klingons" "gotta see the ship underwater" "Kirk and Khan work together" "Spock in a volcano... Vulcan... volcano... right?" etc).   Ironic that they had MORE time to develop this script than they did for ST09 (which was filmed during a writer's strike, and no revisions were allowed). 

But Abrams is a talented filmmaker, no question.   I never placed the failures of STID at his feet; yes, he may have signed off on the script, but I'm guessing he thought he could flood the movie with so much energy and style that no one would notice its story shortcomings (and it almost worked on me, till I saw it a 2nd time without IMAX or 3D crutches). 

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