I’ve been looking forward to seeing Star Trek Into Darkness for a while now. Not because I loved the first of JJ Abrams’ Trek movies, not because I’m a big Trek geek (I’m only kind of one), but because it was going to be an IMAX 3-D spectacular that was actually shot with IMAX cameras (for at least 30 minutes anyway, claims wikipedia). Unfortunately, life circumstances required me to wait over a month to see it and a stupid cancellation of the final IMAX 3-D screening near me (to show a sneak preview of White House Down of all things) required me to see it in non-IMAX 2-D. Oh well. It was still pretty good, and thankfully I saw the “first 9 minutes” in actual IMAX 3-D before The Hobbit, so I guess I only missed out on 21 additional minutes.
Yesterday, the word came out that JJ Abrams would be the director for the new Disney Star Wars film, which has been called Episode VII since its announcement. Having read nothing other than headlines on the topic, here are a couple of thoughts on what Abrams is working with and what he might bring to the franchise.
First, a few thoughts on Abrams. I’d consider myself something of a mid-level fan of Abrams work. I’ve enjoyed most of his TV work (that I’ve seen), including Lost, Alias and Fringe. Abrams does have a habit of handing off his creations to other showrunners who make it their own thing, so it’s hard to tell how much credit he deserves for making Lost awesome, or how much blame he deserves for the decline in quality of Lost and Alias. Still, he puts a unique stamp on his work and he’s given some new life to genre TV.
I’m a fan of his debut film, Mission: Impossible III, though I’d still rank the original and M:I-4 above it. I’m not as keen on Super 8, which worked fine (for better and worse) as a Spielberg homage and featured talented child actors, but was hampered by sappiness in the last quarter of the film. Star Trek falls somewhere in the middle for me. Continue reading →