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May 16, 2013


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Noooo, they've got Glenn Kenny too. critics everywhere are lost in a blinding fog of lens flare, which seems to have brainwashing properties in it. I feel like that guy in invasion of the body snatchers. I'm gonna turn around and lens flare will be coming from the eyes of all my friends, and they'll start screaming, and then, I too will claim that Abrams is the new Spielberg.


Shane: I'd always found the lens flares irritating, but to learn that they have brainwashing properties? It's all coming together for me now.

I agree, Glenn, that Abrams and company's master stroke was sticking with all of the original characters. For me, at least, that was the aspect that I most enjoyed about "Star Trek," even if it did leave me wanting even more. I guess that places me squarely in the fan-boy camp. I prefer to think of it more as a love of nostalgia. I suppose that's not much different than the fan-boy mentality, though I am definitely not so immersed in Trek lore that I'm pedantic about obscure details. All of which is to say I'm looking forward to seeing "Into Darkness."


Imagine an amateur YouTube fan film with a massive budget, and you've pretty much got Into Darkness.


"I too will claim that Abrams is the new Spielberg."

Whenever I want to experience modest cinematic schadenfreude, I remind myself of the time people were saying that about Shyamalan. (Also when Jeffrey Katzenberg insisted 'Pocahontas' stood a good chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar, but I digress...)

By the time Spielberg was Abrams' current age he was already shooting 'Schindler's List'.


Is being "the new [insert artist name]" actually a good thing? Can the new Spielberg and the new Star Trek and all the other "new"s ever be more than clever variations on a preexisting theme?

Also, it's been like...13 years, can't we all just get over the 20th fucking century already?

Grant L

Is this the same thing as me cringing every time the word "visionary" is used in a review of a Christopher Nolan film?


to be clear, I wasn't suggesting he was the new Spielberg, merely playing off some of the more enthusiastic reviews. Personally, I think he's a b-grade Michael Bay, at best. the Spielberg comparisons can only be related to box office success surely. As far as form and craft go... well I'm not entirely sure Abrams knows what those things are. Rather worryingly, the only review I've read of this that makes any sense is by Devin Faraci???

Jeff McMahon

Yeah, remember when, in order to be given the director's chair on a studio tentpole, you had to have some experience/skill in visual craftsmanship? Instead Abrams is a mediocre TV director overcompensating with camera tricks and production design.

Of course, none of that would bother me if Abrams seemed like he had any interests whatsoever in life beyond love triangles and nostalgia. At least Michael Bay and Shyamalan have some pretensions to drive their movies, Abrams is maybe the shallowest big-budget filmmaker working right now.


Don't quite understand the thinking in Hollywood: "Hey,that guy helped produce a really successful TV show, and directed a couple of episodes that you couldn't pick out of a line up. Lets hire him to make a big budget blockbuster: (also see Peter Berg)

Jeff McMahon

At least Berg, Abrams, and Joss Whedon had more experience than Marc Webb, Josh Trank, or the dude directing the next Godzilla movie. I assume in their cases the studios were going with an attitude of "Let's hire somebody we can push around and not pay an A-list salary."


Those guys proved themselves by making memorable films though. They had a calling card saying 'look what I can do with NO money'. All of their movies are better than the whole Abrams filmography so far. I have no desire to watch any of JJ's films a second time (i tried with Star Trek - got as far as Simon Pegg then had to switch it off)but I've happily watched Monsters and Chronicle again. And Joss Whedon has been brilliant for decades, just woefully unlucky. Serenity is a vastly superior film to Star Trek in every conceivable way. He deserved 'Avengers'. Whedon is the guy JJ Abrams thinks he is.


At least Webb and Nolan are making a point of shooting on celluloid; at least the "visionary" Nolan is better than the "visionary" Snyder; at least none of the above is Carl Rinsch or Marc Forster... I may be getting desperate (not to mention off-topic) here.


To go away from the Trek talk, lovely review Glenn on Frances Ha. Adored it myself and for me it sets up a very interesting future for Baumbach; one of my favorite American directors working today. Showing his ability to show a lighter, breezier touch, he has shown natural growth without throwing away his particular voice.


I got all excited when I saw the reference to Joss Whedon getting the Avengers film. That was one of my favorite tv shows as a kid and I think Whedon would be just the guy to do it right. Eliza Dushku could make a great Mrs. Peel. Then I googled it and saw it's yet another stupid fucking superhero movie. It's sickening that he's wasting his unique talent on that crap.


Yet all these guys are millionaires and we're all sitting at a computer.

Christ, people, times change, people move on, and people process shit differently in 2013 than they did when HI MOM was the cutting fucking edge in filmmaking craft. This is some Wells-worth GET OFF MY LAWNING, and fucking McMahon's at least 4 years younger than me. Also a fair bit of anti-TV snobbery here; Not that I care or watch much TV, but every wannabe Mubi guy all screening his FAN FAN LA TULIPE RARE 16MM PRINT on a bedsheet like when Tommy Lee Wallace saw Precinct 13 for the first time, but somehow you dudes never caught an episode of ALIAS.

Also JJ always has SATURATED COLORS which is more than I can ever fucking say for the Coen Brothers or Noah Baumbach.

Also kinda bullshit that Glenn reviewed these two movies but nary a mention of BLACK ROCK, which is THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN this weekend for anybody who's awesome.

D Cairns

"British cheekbone virtuoso" is good.


I do wonder if 'Fanfan la Tulipe' (which I've never seen) could possibly be as entertaining as the open scorn for it over at the Criterion Forum.


"To go away from the Trek talk, lovely review Glenn on Frances Ha."

I guess I don't know the audience here. I'd have assumed there would've been more Baumbach comments than Trek comments.


And off-topic, but someone decided to actually DO the De Palma Femme Fatale caper, though in a less cinematic fashion.


Jeff McMahon

"It's sickening that he's wasting his unique talent on that crap."

He being Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a supernatural superhero. Chortle snicker snort.

Also, and apologies to Glenn for this, but Lex, go fuck yourself.


It's no secret why TV guys like Whedon and Abrams are being hired to direct franchise films. They have experience with ensemble casts and the endless subplots of a typical modern TV series. (TV shows with lone-wolf heroes are rare today.)The studios want them to bring this expertise to movies that have continuing characters.

Haven't seen "Into Darkness," but I liked Abrams' first Trek film. I liked the first half of "Super 8," until it collapsed into cliches (with an ending that tried its best to be "E.T."). And I liked Whedon's "The Avengers" a lot.

Kevyn Knox

I too would like to veer away from the Trek talk (and I thoroughly enjoyed JJ's vision...and lens flares) and tell the world how happy I am that others have enjoyed Frances Ha as much as I have. Okay, I'm done.

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