« Leonard Cohen in Spain and/or Germany | Main | Throwback Thursday: "Bjork's Big Adventure" »

July 01, 2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Oliver_C

Doing a volte-face -- or should that be, 'doing an Anne Rice'?

Don Lewis

I love Kevin Smith and the guy has been SUPER inspirational to me over the years. Granted, I kiiiinda reached my saturation point with him via his podcasts, but now I just don't listen to them as much (duh). What I love about him, aside from the DIY stuff and his movies (they're not all awful, just a few) is the pushback he gives to the bloggeratti © bullies who get up his ass for every little thing he does or says. Those guys are truly jealous, pathetic hacks and their online digs at Smith are the lowest form of hit-whoring because they know his minions will come to his defense. When the teary eyed Smith tweet about episode 7 came out Beardo Faraci actually had the nerve to tweet "why does anyone care what Kevin Smith says about anything" which was rich irony to say the least. Should been reposted in that Ed Champion entry a few down.

Anyway, I too am psyched Smith is psyched.

Mark

I still don't understand why replacing the director of THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars with the director of Mission Impossible 3, Super 8 and Star Trek 11 and 12 is considered a good thing.

lazarus

Agreed with Mark. Personally, I'm not excited about losing Lucas' great compositions just so we can get better acting and "real" effects, whatever that means.

jack

I always enjoy how George Lucas' defenders will cite the films he made over 35 years ago rather than the four he's directed in the last decade. I'm not entirely confident that JJ Abrams will be much better than George Lucas at directing new Star Wars films, but God forbid that George Lucas is giving anymore opportunities at the franchise. I value acting, dialogue, and narrative as much or more than I do "great compositions." Regardless, if Abrams has repeatedly and consistently done anything well, it's composing beautiful shots and sequences.

george

I read that Lucas was stung by criticism of the STAR WARS prequels -- especially the ones from fanboys who said THEY could do a better job of writing and directing those films.

Don Lewis

I'm not thrilled with the Abrams choice either (too safe) but I AM thrilled by the Rian Johnson choices, that's badass!

And- I was just talking about this on a podcast the other day; George Lucas' problem was that he hadn't written or directed a film for over 2 decades when he did the prequels....and it showed. You don't just retake up writing and directing a major film after a 20 year layoff.

Michael Dempsey

"You don't just retake up writing and directing a major film after a 20 year layoff."

Terrence Malick did -- rather successfully, I believe.

Grant L

To me the prequels are much better with the sound off, and have long thought that fans with extra time on their hands could have a great time constructing alternative audio tracks with much better-written dialogue. Because for me the dialogue is the only huge sticking point for the most part the films have a good story with some resonant themes, and, oh yeah, great compositions, which doesn't deserve to be put in ironic quotes they're an essential partof many, many great films.

Grant L

Sorry, I posted before fully editing:

To me the prequels are much better with the sound off, and have long thought that fans with extra time on their hands could have a great time constructing alternative audio tracks with much better-written dialogue. Because for me the dialogue is the only huge sticking point. For the most part, the films have a good story with some resonant themes, and, oh yeah, great compositions. Which doesn't deserve to be put in ironic quotes they're an essential part of many, many great films.

Grant L

And then forgot to insert "because" between "quotes" and "they're" in the last sentence. Done now.

lazarus

Thanks, Grant. Obviously it's not just the compositions but Lucas' ability to tell his story visually through images. I wonder if people in non-English-speaking countries have the same issues with the films as we do since they might not be as hung up on the quality of the dialogue.

In addition, Lucas still stages and cuts his action scenes a lot better than Peter Jackson and other genre directors (Cameron is another guy who does it really well). I don't think J.J. Abrams is an improvement in this regard based on his track record. Of course, I'm sure he's going to get a free pass on the first one just because the acting and dialogue will be superior and it will give people another chance to thumb their knows at the prequels.

Rian Johnson might be better. But I would have loved to see what Guillermo del Toro or Bong Joon-Ho could do with the material.

george

I wonder if Smith ever retracted his comment that he doesn't need to watch foreign films because he's getting the influence through Jim Jarmusch movies.

"Rian Johnson might be better. But I would have loved to see what Guillermo del Toro or Bong Joon-Ho could do with the material."

Just be glad the job didn't go to Michael Bay or Zack Snyder!

Mark

@Jack: Four films Lucas has directed over the past decade? Just three surely? I actually love the prequels, bar the odd childish poo joke and curious artistic decision, so i'm happy to say that the three prequels are far superior to anything JJ Abrams has directed, his entire filmography (which consists of three sequels to other peoples ideas and a 'homage' to Spielberg) is basically TV on the big screen.

@Grant L: Lucas has said many times that the Star Wars films are essentially silent movies, where if you turned down the sound you would still be able to follow what was going on.

Mark

@Lazarus: Exactly. You get it.

Mark

@Lazarus: At least Rian Johnson has a voice, Brick, Brothers Bloom and Looper are all original films by him, in stark contrast to the remake/reboot/sequel career of Abrams.

At the end of the day Lucas is Star Wars. Disney might get some okay films out of this process but I don't think they will really be Star Wars, more a photocopy of the genuine article. Anyway, we all know that Disney view Star Wars films as a selling point for toys, that's why they bought it from Lucas, not some desire to create magical and memorable cinema. The new Star Wars films will more likely be along the lines of Maleficent, Raimi's Oz etc - vapid eye candy designed to sell toys in Disney shops across the globe.

Tom Russell

"At least Rian Johnson has a voice, Brick, Brothers Bloom and Looper are all original films by him, in stark contrast to the remake/reboot/sequel career of Abrams."

Not contesting Johnson's originality-- like many, I really enjoyed LOOPER especially-- but I'm going to be "that guy" who is tired of remakes, reboots, and sequels being touted as argumentative shorthand for "bereft of value/ideas". I mean, no one gave Shakespeare shit about his source material; synthesis and iteration are perfectly valid forms of creativity; it's not what story you tell, but how you tell it-- and we may have legitimate disagreements on how well Mr. Abrams tells his stories (cf. tv on big screen, vapid eye candy), and that's fine and those arguments are perfectly valid.

Joel Bocko

I'm not a big fan of the prequels. That said, I find it weird and disappointing how casually Star Wars fans can juggle their love of the franchise with an apparently visceral loathing for the filmmaker who invented the universe they adore. Maybe it's the auteurist in me?

The overjoyed reaction to Lucas handed the reigns of his personal project over to a corporate committee (JJ Abrams may be directing the films, but for better or worse he's a hired hand not a director-as-author) is really kind of offputting.

It's almost like people want their entertainment to be impersonal...

Arizona

@Mark Certainly the original Star Wars trilogy is the pioneer of movies as a means to sell toys, right? I don't necessarily mean that as a knock on the quality of the original films, but I don't know if it's fair to blame Disney for merchandising Star Wars. Lucas seems to be the definite culprit there.

I think your evocation of Maleficent/Oz is totally on the mark, for what it's worth.

george

Looks like you've found a way to draw more traffic to this site, Glenn: Write about Star Wars!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad

Categories