Why I Like JJ Abrams For Star Wars


When Star Trek ended it’s long run of spin-off series after something like 19 years the movie franchise had already gone down in flames. People were saying it was the end of Trek. Rick Berman, the man who took over for Gene Roddenberry, had simply refused to break too far from the formula he felt still worked after all these years. The problem was the formula was making it increasingly more difficult to ever begin watching Star Trek without starting from the beginning. 

Many years of non-stop television series, ten movies over twenty five years, and constant complaints…even from the most die hard fans meant we may have seen the end of Star Trek. Thankfully Paramount wasn’t ready to accept it. They wanted a way to make Trek accessible to the masses. So they said, “To hell with the fan’s Prime Directive. We’re gonna shake things up.” And shake them up they did. After creating the best Mission Impossible up to that point Paramount was highly impressed with JJ Abrams and wanted to extend their working relationship with the man. Soon after they announced he would be taking the reigns of one of the most beloved franchises in the history of media. 

Let me say something here – I hate remakes/reboots/prequels or whatever other name they spend more time coming up with than the actual scripts of the remakes/reboots/prequels Hollywood makes. For some reason, though, after seeing Star Trek in 2009 I was completely satisfied. It was sort of a remake/reboot/prequel/sequel all rolled into one. And it worked. Abrams was not really a fan of Star Trek but two of his good friends and frequent collaborators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were. He tasked them with the near impossible – make a script that marries all of Trek together and changes everything to make it fresh and new. Abrams used his love for Star Wars by creating some great fights and seriously cool space battles, something more epic than we had seen in any of the previous Trek films. 

Star Trek Into Darkness is coming this Summer. I have seen the 9 minutes of footage they played in front of the Imax version of The Hobbit and let me say I was seriously impressed. Some say it’s a betrayal of Trek franchise for Abrams to leave it. I don’t see it that way. He has a proven history of laying the groundwork for other people to expand on the worlds he creates. With Alias he took a backseat after a couple years and allowed others to continue it on. With Lost he allowed Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse to make it into the show that became event television for six years. Fringe was left in the hands of others as well. He continued to stay on as executive producer for all of them but nurtured others into taking these shows and moving them in exciting new directions. Even after Mission Impossible III he stayed on as producer, hired a couple of writers he’d worked with in the past and entrusted the directing duties to Brad Bird. He took the fourth film and made the best one in the history of the franchise. So when it comes to Trek I have faith that Abrams will find the right person to replace him and take the franchise to new heights. 

As far as Star Wars is concerned I am very excited. Abrams has a very fertile imagination, a great eye for dynamic shots, and the ability to pace a story very well. The problem with George Lucas was that he felt bored. It was like he felt obligated to make the prequel trilogy but didn’t really want to. So he loaded it with boring stuff about trade embargoes and the inner workings of the Imperial Senate. It was like the odd numbered Star Trek films and how they were slow, boring movies with little action.

Between hiring Michael Arndt as the writer, bringing in Lawrence Kasdan to consult on the script, and hiring Abrams as director I feel like this new Star Wars film could be the best on since Empire Strikes Back.

Now, let the casting rumors begin. 

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Ghostbusters 3 Back On?


Rumor has it that Ghostbusters 3 is now going to happen by summer. I don’t want to say I am opposed to the idea. I’m not. I just don’t like that Bill Murray doesn’t want to come back and they still plan to move ahead with or without him. If they can’t get the main four guys there’s no point.

Ivan Reitman, the director of the first two films, had another movie in pre-production at Paramount that just got put into turnaround. Supposedly the reason Paramount did this was to allow him to make Ghostbusters 3. I don’t see Paramount and Sony working so well together to allow Reitman to bail on them for a higher profile project. I have a feeling they didn’t have enough faith in him or the script and that’s why it happened. I think Paramount and Reitman are just trying to save face. In the last 15 years Reitman has been floundering as a director making bad movies like Evolution and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. That’s greatly diminished his clout. He needs Ghostbusters to get back on top. Dan Aykroyd has been pushing to make this happen for years. That’s not a good thing either. He did the sequel to The Blues Brothers, sullying the memory of John Bulushi, and now is considering making an third Ghostbusters without Bill Murray. I say no.

Sure, I have faith in Etan Cohen as a writer but without all the pieces this could very easily fall apart. I would rather have no new Ghostbusters than an inferior sequel too many years after the fact. Let’s just hope it all comes together right or not at all. We don’t need another Star Wars or Indiana Jones type screw up. If it could be like Rocky or Rambo I would be okay with it.

At this point I guess it’s just a wait and see kind of thing.

Oh Dear God! – A Reboot Of The Brady Bunch!


Somehow Vince Vaughn and CBS think it would be a good idea to bring a new version of The Brady Bunch to the small screen. And if that wasn’t bad enough it’s not just a reboot…it’s also a sequel!

According to the release I just read it states that the new series would focus on Bobby Brady’s blended family. He and his wife will both have kids from previous marriages as well as one they share together. The big change this time is that the exes will be part of their lives.

The Brady Bunch is one of those shows that never seems to die. After the run of the original series it had a variety show, a spin-off about Marcia and Jan, a couple TV movies, a new hour long series in the 80’s, two theatrical features, and another TV movie.

Sure, I have a fondness for the original show just like most people do. Maybe that’s why I want to let it die. Please, Hollywood, let it die.

A Reboot I Can Get Behind – Fantastic Four


I was most definitely not a fan of the Fantastic Four movies. I thought they were poorly cast and terribly written. Aside from Chris Evans I have nothing nice to say about these movies.

Fox doesn’t want the rights to slip away on this property so they are moving along swiftly with a reboot of the films. The good news is the new movie will be helmed by Chronicle director Josh Trank. I enjoyed Chronicle quite a bit and hope he can bring the same energy to this film.

This can go both ways. Bringing a young director with only one or two credits onto a project can be amazing or fall apart. Marc Webb did a great job with The Amazing Spider-Man but then there’s Mark Stephen Johnson who made Daredevil and then went straight to Ghost Rider.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this. Hopefully he doesn’t leave the project. Fox has had a hell of a time holding on to a director and starting a comic book movie. X-Men 3, The Wolverine, the Daredevil reboot (it just lost David Slade) and who knows what else. Let’s hope this happens with little interference from the studio and Trank knocks it out of the park.