Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by brian577, Dec 25, 2012.
Can't believe that Anne Rice didn't sue Trek for that episode.
Perhaps it isn't generational but 'denominational'. I did not grow up going to Church but I went enough to have the dangers of listening to "false prophets" imprinted.
Re: Greg Cox. At least you could stay up past bedtime, and choose what you watched.
And bring her own crime to light?
IIRC, one of her old pseudonyms was credited, so she was probably paid for that P.O.S.!
And it will be Lucas' story, so it wouldn't be entirely Lucas free at any rate.
Ah, Highlander. How can such an awesome movie produce such a franchise of crap?
Honestly, IMHO, every Highlander production that followed the original movie was painful. H3 improved slightly over H2, but tried too hard to be the original movie instead of moving forward. The rest of the theatrical releases were so forgetable as that I literally cannot remember anything about them.
I know the TV series has its fans, but I'm not really one of them. It had its moments early on, but soon became predictable. The Raven was pure mediocrity. And does anyone want me to remind them of the animated series?
Have you seen the original movie recently? It's full of potential, but it's not very good. I think it got the franchise it deserved.
You're right. I loved it as a kid, but it does not age well.
Reading the whole thread would be too punishing, but the news confirming Abrams seems to be a slightly more promising avenue for discussion than the Highlander franchise.
Abrams can be disposed of pretty quickly. Directors as such, despite the conventional wisdom, are not the primary creators of movies. This is fortunate, because Abrams, desite his buzz factor, is at best second rate. People who say otherwise just aren't thinking.
The really interesting news is the screenwriter who has been hired. His name is Michael Arndt. His resume includes Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3 and the unreleased Oblivion, an SF action movie with Tom Cruise. And Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which I think is the sequel to the uncolonized Hunger Games.
Obviously the ability to write dialogue displayed in Little Miss Sunshine and the ability to handle positive emotions and ideals without sniggering displayed in Toy Story 3 are quite positive signs in regard to handling a Star Wars movie. Arndt getting fired, with this track record, would be a very bad sign.
But Oblivion should be very interesting in regards to showing how Arndt can combine world building and plotting along dialogue and theme. The original trilogy I think worked so well because it had Luke Skywalker/Mark Hamill (yes, yes, a dissident opinion) and the prequel trilogy suffered because it focused on the villains. Given the contrast the way for them to go is to center any new film on a hero. A real hero, not an Abrams figure.
Also, whether the new movie is a sequel to the original trilogy or an interstitial untold story, either the story has to be so dramatically tight, taking place within a few breakneck days. Or it has to make a believable background, build a Republic, old or new, that make the characters' actions meaningful. This will be difficult, because Star Wars is a notriously soft version of scifi. It caused problems in the prequel trilogy when Lucas needed to have real stakes for the characters, and they were flailing around a fantasy instead.
I disagree almost completely.
Sure.. having a good writer is key to having a good movie but who selects the writer? It's the producer and director.
Who has influence on the script? The producers and director.
Who directs the actors according to the script and puts another layer on top of it? The director.
The director is equally important as a good writer.. without a good director who manages the set and pulls everyone together to make a good movie the whle thing falls apart and not even a good script may save it.
In these cases i like to compare Spielberg and Lucas. Spielberg is almost universally agreed to be one of the best current directors/producers.. to my recollection he's not written a major movie. All of his films were written by someone else but Spielberg put it on the screen which is why he got several Oscars for his movies and not all of them also won the Oscar for best writing.
And now take Lucas.. in the prequel trilogy he got world class actors with Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor and many agree that their performances were just underwhelming to downright terrible. So what happened there?
In Abrams case he will be the main driving force behind the movie (especially if he's got a producer role too) and the whole movie rests on his shoulders. He will make sure he gets a good writer whom he can work with well and focus everybody on the task to deliver a good movie.
So no.. Abrams is not disposable. While he may make mistakes here and there and things don't turn out as intended (Star Trek's lens flares for example for which he has publicly admitted that it was a mistake) he still knows how to put together a good movie which makes him a near indispensable person for this movie as mich as Joss Whedon was responsible for Avenger's mega success or all the other Spilebergs, Scorseses, Tarantino's out there who make movies in their style and are successful.
Creating the movie and having power are not the same thing.
PUt aside the shock and outrage than someone dissents from the obvious truth that the director is the primary creator of the movie. For me the possibly the most important thing is that everything with Abrams' name on it is something I don't care about, or even dislike.
I'd rather focus on the positive, Arndt.
I think you are letting your personal preference cloud your judgment and dismiss Abrams as unimportant.
There'll always be people who dislike popular people for whatever reason and they have the right to but presenting your biased opinion as the truth and the only fact is also disingenious and plainly wrong.
And let's not forget who is in charge of EDITING a movie... the director.
In today's Hollywood system... the director IS the one who is most in charge of a movie... especially a name director...
They say movies are written three times.
1. By the screen writer (who, in reality, has been fired, rewritten, rehired, written some more, and then fired again... it all goes into arbitration for credit...)
2. On set. Where the director is in charge.
3. In editing.... where the director is in charge.
Now, Disney will probably have a lot of weight in how the final cut goes down... but... let's not kid ourselves... in Hollywood, the power isn't mostly in the hands of the screenwriter... not in the movies.
There is a reason why a director is considered the "author" of a film. Directors are critical to a movie's production. A good director can make a mediocre script shine, can elicit a strong performance from mediocre actors and use editing skills to set an overall tone that can make or break a film.
On the other hand, great actors in the hands of poor directors are almost always disappointing. A great script suffers from poor execution in the hands of a poor director. And if a film's pacing is off, it is the director's fault.
No director is perfect (even Hitchcock made a few less than stellar films) but the single most crucial person working on a film is the director (or, a behind the scenes de facto director if the official one cannot do the job).
One can certainly dislike the work of a director but it is absurd to consider a director unimportant to a film's production.
It really varies from movie to movie. I'd wager heavily that Abrams will have FAR less influence on Wars than he did with Trek. Disney are gonna be keeping a very close eye indeed.
Nobody even mentions Richard Marquand when discussing Return of the Jedi.
If he has control over release date, I'd wager he has quite a bit of control. Seems like maybe Disney wanted him on Episode VII and may have made some concessions to make it happen.
Whether or not its a good thing... we'll see.
I don't entirely agree; I think the writer(s) are the most important people - but then, this is fungible, as directors can usually order rewrites, and new passes from different authors. Ridley Scott, for instance, bought a revisionist script about the Sheriff of Notthingham and ordered massive rewrites until it became Robin Hood Begins.
In the case of, say, episodes of Aaron Sorkin TV shows, the directorial presence is often negligible; their main duty being to orchestrate the walk-and-talks that balance out the massive dialogue dumps. This is the main difference between TV and movies - in TV, directors have little to no control over the script, and are often discouraged from getting too flashy, especially when a house style has already been established.
Ergo, the extent of Abrams' influence will likely depend on how much creative input the producers allow him. Star Wars movies also have a very classical style, with very little of the handheld-heavy/you're right there verve of MI:III and Trek XI. It'll be interesting to see which influence will win out - but then again, the ultra-propulsive feel of Abrams' movies are in large part due to the intensity of their scripts.
Indeed. I've seen scripts that have gone through at least seven writers.
It all depends on the contract between the director and the studio. In films like the ones we're talking about, it's really the producers that shape the movie. Abrams is hardly an auteur.
I've seen every existing film Alfred Hitchcock directed (I wrote my university dissertation on Freudian themes in his work and got the only A in the class!), and very few of his 50+ films are serious misfires. Stuff like Murder, Secret Agent, The Paradine Case and Torn Curtain are weak but when you make that many films you're bound to go wrong sometimes. Hell, Torn Curtain contains one of the finest murder scenes of his career.
Aye. But, in a case when the only scriptwriter's work was respected, who was more important to Juno, Diablo Cody or Jason Reitman?
It's entirely possible that Disney was more interested in Abrams' name and reputation than in his creative input, and it's entirely possible Abrams agreed to be more or less a director-for-hire because he just couldn't resist the Star Wars glory. Time will tell...
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