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I would agree with this article. I've always considered Jack White to be pretentious, I've read too many interviews with him saying stupid things that made me roll my eyes and think 'well this guy seems pretty obsessed with his image, to a degree where he's focussing on it more than the actual music'. Just never really thought the white stripes were that great, although I hated Meg's drumming far more than Jack's guitar and vocals, overall I consider him a pretty unremarkable musician. For every White stripes song that I thought was listenable there are three more that are just boring. He's much better in the raconteurs when he has good musicians around to help him up. As for the dead weather, yawn.

jfinster  ·  1848 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, where do you want to live?

That Scandinavian train is the one I want in on. I'm thinking Denmark or Norway, but (yes I'm aware it's not Scandinavian) Germany is enticing as well.

Somewhere to escape from the cultural/political domination of America please, that's left-leaning/socialist and reasonably developed.

I've been learning Danish for about a year now and really enjoying it.

medium.com  ·  #internet  ·  #media
jfinster  ·  1848 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Comic-Con 2015 Reel

Indeed, thank goodness Kasdan is there. I'll try and stay optimistic.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is just not a good film. It had a troubled production history, among other things the script was a re-write of a planned pilot for another Trek series, and suffered from constant tinkering from many different people even during shooting.

To be frank, even as a hardcore trekkie I find it boring, the pace is glacially slow and it has the worst possible influences from it's time (think '2001: A Space Odyssey' style of very long shots of spacecraft slowly moving). It hasn't aged well at all, I would avoid it unless you've seen all other trek movies (although there are some other stinkers out there, e.g. Star Trek: Nemesis is rubbish), it's only worth watching if you're dead set on absorbing all Star Trek, it would be better to watch some TNG, Voyager or DS9.

jfinster  ·  1848 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Comic-Con 2015 Reel

Thanks for the badge!

I'm ambivalent about the Star Wars EU being thrown out, some of it I liked, most of it I didn't. I agree with you that Abrams is a better fit for Star Wars than Star Trek, definitely. I'm still nervous/worried though. I think giving him freedom is as dangerous as asking him to be loyal to pre-existing material. I just don't trust his creative choices and I don't think he's a good director, I think he handles plot and character clumsily regardless of what franchise/universe he's working in. I would trust David Fincher, or Neill Blomkamp, or Guillermo del Toro, but not JJ Abrams.

Since you say you're not a Star Trek Fan but you enjoyed the reboots, if you are interested in delving further (and as a trekkie I obviously think you should :D ), can I recommend these four movies with the classic enterprise bridge crew;

- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

These three make up a loose trilogy that are a great starting point for new trekkies.

- Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country

A good stand-alone movie and effective coda to the Kirk era of Star Trek.

jfinster  ·  1849 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Comic-Con 2015 Reel  ·  

Give me a few days and I'll make a try and write up a separate post going into more detail about it.

But to give you a reply now, I don't think he ever understood the original star trek crew, or the ethos of the franchise, what made star trek unique. He actually says it himself, here's a few clips and some quotes.

JJ Abrams on Star Trek - Interview - Film4

    As someone who was never a fan of Star Trek, when I started working on the first star trek movie we did, I really approached it from a sort of movie-goer's perspective, which is what do I want to see, what would make me excited. I had to do it in that genuine way and not in a 'oh they'll love this', or 'the trekkies will want that' because I don't know.

    I remember as a kid I didn't get him (Kirk). He was too handsome, he was too swaggery, he was too cocky, and you know, full of himself.

    Spock was far smarter than I was, Bones was much grumpier than I was, you know. So my point is that, while, I didn't connect with any of those characters, including Sulu, including Uhura...

J J Abrams discusses Star Trek and Star Wars

    I think that part of it might be that I have a kind of ADD, of kind of, wanting things to happen and sometimes I have to be reminded by people smarter and wiser than myself to just calm down, and to just let something play, you don't need to have another, sort of, thing happening right there.

    Though I was never a Star Trek fan as a kid, since I was eleven years old I was a fan of Star Wars, I feel like I'm one of those fans.

When he was interviewed on the daily show by Jon Stewart, he said that he was never a trekkie and that “It always felt too philosophical”.

So to sum up what he has said:

- He was never a fan.

- Didn't know what trekkies, the fans, would want.

- Didn't 'get' or connect with any of the main characters.

- Had difficulty with the slower, less action-focussed pace. Had to be told when he was cramming unnecessary elements/events.

- Equates being a Star Wars fan to also being a Star Trek fan (They're completely different in tone).

- Didn't enjoy the franchise's thoughtful, philsophical leanings.

I think when you put it all together in one place like this, it's obvious that he was the wrong person to direct the reboots. There was no way he was going to stay true to the original tone, spirit, characters. It was always going to be his re-imagning, that is, the re-imaging of someone who didn't understand or like Star Trek. A recipe for disaster.

This youtuber makes some good points and I'd recommend you watch that clip, but to paraphrase the best bits for you;

It is the philosophy that sets Star Trek apart, without it Star Trek is just another space story.

The philosophy of Star Trek is that humans are capable of creating a fair and just society, so we should do that. We can be better so we should be better.

I would also add another part of it's philosophy is that humans can work together peacefully with alien races who seem completely different to us, but through perseverance we can overcome conflict and better ourselves and others (when Star Trek first came out this was a metaphor for cooperation between different cultures and ethnicities). None of this is apparent in Abrams's Star Trek.

What upsets me the most is that you think the reboot can still be Star Trek if you remove that. If you think movie-goers want movies with huge firefights then that's ok, you can have huge firefights and still have the movie be Star Trek. That's not my problem, but if the main point of the movie is the firefights, then you've done it wrong.

I appreciate that Abrams wanted to make the reboot attractive to new audiences, but he threw away the core of what set Star Trek apart from other sci-fi action/drama. It's because he didn't want to make a Star Trek movie, he wanted to make a sci-fi action movie and the Star Trek franchise just happened to be the one he was given to work with. I feel like he took advantage of a pre-existing franchise that he should have respected instead of trying to re-mold it into his own (non-fan's) vision.

In the process of re-molding it to his own vision, he mangled characters that have been loved for decades. He didn't do justice to any of the characters in my opinion, not a single one, but I'll just talk about Kirk and Spock here because they are central to the original star trek crew, and Abrams got them so badly wrong.

- Kirk is a brilliant and daring starship captain. He's not afraid to break regulations to do what he thinks is right, and not afraid to take risks when the stakes are high. That being said, he doesn't take his position or choices lightly. Abrams seems to misinterpret this as Kirk as always being reckless and having no respect for authority, and instead of portraying Kirk as a unique thinker, he simply skates around on good luck and comes across as flippant and arrogant. Kirk can be a bit of a womaniser, but in Abrams's hands Kirk is just a horny frat boy.

- Spock is half vulcan, half human and an amazing scientist. He usually plays the devil's advocate when Kirk is pondering a problem, and draws the best out of Kirk. An ongoing theme is that his calm vulcan side balances Kirk's more emotional human tendencies. In Abrams's hands, Kirk and Spock are like two bickering kids. Spock in particular seems to have the emotional control of a child, when infact the opposite should be true (Spock is the most calm and composed out of the crew). Yes Spock had internal conflicts between his vulcan and human natures, but Abrams doesn't understand how to portray this with restraint and goes totally over the top with it. Spock stumbles around like a hormonal teenager, throwing tantrums and snogging crewmembers when their minds would have been on the task at hand, bringing an incredibly embarrassing juvenile light to what was a sophisticated intelligent character. His vulcan nature sometimes isolated him from the mostly human crew, making him come across as aloof, but in Abrams's Spock is just self-righteous and possibly slightly racist/species-ist

I don't want to go into plot here, I've already gone on too long, but there are so many ridiculous things from both movies that frustrate me. Military/scientific crew members taking the time during an emergency situation to have a relationship squabble, magical rejuvenating blood that turns up conveniently, a female weapons scientist that is totally useless and gets the most attention when she takes her clothes off, technologies that turn up to solve a plot hole that would break the rules of the universe and are never heard of again, Spock the scientist ends the climax of the movie with a fist fight, old spock happens to be hiding out in the one cave on the entire planet that Kirk is dropped nearby, Kirk becomes captain after smuggling himself on board... The list goes on and on and makes me angry just thinking about it all, I'll have to save it for that other post.

To finish up, I give you ye ole' classic Hitler reacts to new Star Trek movie although youtube is crawling with vids from trekkies who didn't like the reboots.

To me, Abrams's Star Trek movies are just sci-fi action movies slapped with the Star Trek brand. If you changed the names of the characters and made their ship different, there would be nothing to tell you it was Star Trek at all. It is possible to reboot a franchise and make it new and interesting to the old fans while attracting new ones, but I don't think Abrams managed that. Instead of looking at the challenges facing humanity as it ventures into space, he focussed on the action scenes and what felt like adolescent angst. He took what was a thoughtful franchise about humanity exploring the cosmos and turned it into a soap opera with action set in space.

Taking all this into account, I think you can see why I might be nervous about The Force Awakens :) I just don't think the guy has good taste, I don't trust him.