J-J- Abrams

Speculative Fiction Movies Dominate top 25

Get your copy of The Dark Knight on DVD and help support the project IMDB presented their top 25 searched for films of 2008.  They wanted to go for a ranking that was not based on box-office performance or critical assessments.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how many speculative fiction movies were on the list.

  1. The Dark Knight (2008)
  2. Twilight (2008)
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
  4. TR2N (2011) Tron 2, I still don’t really care for the name
  5. The Expendables (2010)
  6. Iron Man (2008)
  7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
  8. No Country for Old Men (2007)
  9. Juno (2007)
  10. Transformers (2007)
  11. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  12. There Will Be Blood (2007)
  13. Sex and the City (2008)
  14. Into the Wild (2007)
  15. Superbad (2008)
  16. Cloverfield (2008)
  17. Terminator Salvation (2009)
  18. Wanted (2008)
  19. Dragonball (2009)
  20. Quantum of Solace (2008)
  21. The Departed (2006)
  22. Star Trek (2009) This is J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek
  23. The Godfather (1972)
  24. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
  25. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

SF moves took up 60% of the chart with only 1/3 of those movies being ones that have not been released yet.

I find these search reports to be fascinating like a snap shot of what is on peoples minds and what they are curious about.

(via IMDB)

J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek on IMAX

ST_crew_banner_121508 Star Trek Reboot Crew

Paramount Pictures and IMAX Corporation announced that Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III”, "Lost" and "Alias”), will be simultaneously released to both IMAX® and conventional theatres worldwide on May 8, 2009.

Star Trek will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Paramount Pictures will be the exclusive distributor of the film to IMAX theatres worldwide.

“We’re excited to share the enhanced IMAX version of this film with the millions of dedicated fans who have been anticipating this release since production began,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. “The IMAX Experience adds that extra level of excitement to an already action-packed film, giving moviegoers a premium ‘event’ at the multiplex.”

I am not sure “anticipating” is the right word, “dreading” might be more appropriate.  I would love to see it in an IMAX theater though.  It would make you feel more like you were a part of this Hollywood polished reboot.

J.J. Abrams said, “I’m thrilled that audiences will be able to experience this new, epic world of Star Trek – with an incredible cast and mind-blowing visual effects – on what is, obviously, the most remarkable film format in the world.”

I get the feeling that this is a move designed to benefit the relationship between Paramount and IMAX.  While this announcement does very little to excite me about the movie, but it is at least interesting.

Star Trek After Roddenberry

generoddenburry-240x320 As the news about the new Star Trek movie dips out, including Kevin Smith’s recent reviews about the flick he is not saying that he has seen, I find myself thinking a lot about how Star Trek has listed since the death of Gene Roddenberry in 1991. With the exception of Deep Space Nine, all of the Star Trek Series and Movies have drifted further from Gene’s vision for the series.  They no longer focused on issues and ideas, and instead devolved into nothing more than a generic Space Opera with little under the surface to hold onto.

Voyager and Enterprise, not to mention all of the Next Generation movies continued to drift further away from brilliant series that so many of us fell in love with.

Gene’s genius was to discuss complex social and philosophical issues through the action, adventure, and mystery of the series.  He also created archetypal characters who were so personable the viewer longed follow the twists and turns of their lives.

After Gene’s death, The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine struggled to stay on course, and fortunately had to compete with Babylon 5 for viewer.  This competition forced them to deal with issues more often and the probable cause for the Dominion War.

Once Babylon 5 was no longer on air to challenge Star Trek, the show quickly fell into little more than action adventure space opera.

On film, First Contact and Insurrection flirted with depth, but erred on the side of action and adventure.  As Star Trek drifted from the storylines and motifs that made it popular, the studio questioned why the audience was falling away.  Their solution: forget the original fans, add more spectacle and hopefully we can attract a new audience.  The tactic failed…

Now, J. J. Abrams is making a new Star Trek film, rebooting the original series:

Paramount synopsis: From director J.J. Abrams ("Mission: Impossible III," "Lost" and "Alias") and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci ("TRANSFORMERS," "MI: III") comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, "Star Trek," featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no man has gone before (IMDB).

Since very little has been said about the plot of the upcoming film.  What we do know is that the Enterprise in Unchanged and they are spending more on this movie than any other Star Trek film has made, but I would not be surprised to see them follow the same formula that has not served the franchise well to date.  I hope I am pleasantly surprised.

I know I have been accused of taking Star Trek a little too seriously, but it annoys me when a company corrupts such a good idea.

Star Trek XI First Draft Done

J.J. Abrams announced that the first draft of Star Trek XI is done.

'On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying,'' Abrams said. ''For people who've never seen it or know it vaguely, I think they will enjoy it equally, because the movie does not require you to know anything about Star Trek. I would actually prefer [that] people don't know the series, because I feel like they will come to it with an open mind (STARTREK.COM : Article).''

Ugh... why do I need to have an open mind? Gerrold may have convinced me that a rework of The Original Series might be a good thing, but with the writer and director of some of the worst TV shows and movies I have ever seen tell me I am going to need a open mind... I am worried all over again.

Star Trek XI: the final sell out?

I love Star Trek, and I always will. I pray that it will one day be freed from the purgatory it has found itself. So, this is a hard subject for me, but I can't stay quiet anymore about the upcoming Star Trek film. Let's start from the beginning: 4.21.06

J.J. Abrams, producer of hit shows Lost and Alias, as well as director of the upcoming Paramount film "Mission: Impossible III," is slated to produce and possibly direct the next Star Trek feature...it will be the eleventh in the franchise. (Until a title is selected, we will usually refer to the project as simply "Star Trek XI.")... it is a confirmed project under development with a 2008 release date targeted... According to Variety, the proposed story will focus on the early days of James T. Kirk and Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first mission in space. UPDATE 04.27.06: Abrams has since indicated this may not be the case; see this article [below] for his recent comments... Rick Berman... is not involved in this project (Star Trek.com).

The afore mentioned update:
Fans around the world whooped for joy... at news that the Star Trek franchise was being resuscitated with M:I:3 director JJ Abrams... News that it would adopt the long-mooted concept of Kirk and Spock's youthful adventures at Starfleet Academy provoked a more mixed reaction... "The whole thing was reported entirely without our cooperation," says the director with a hint of regret. "People learned that I was producing a Star Trek film, that I had an option to direct it, they hear rumours of what the thing was going to be and ran with a story that is not entirely accurate."...Abrams... is a confirmed Original Series fan so don't be surprised if his take on the series does indeed take place around the era of Kirk and co, or if some of the established characters do make a reappearance. "Those characters are so spectacular. I just think that… you know, they could live again (Empire Online.com)."

I didn't whoop for joy. I bit my nails and hoped that the worst would not happen, but Abrams' words did make me feel better... and then...

Matt Damon told SCI FI Wire that he's open to assuming the role of Capt. James T. Kirk in the proposed 11th Star Trek movie, but denied previous rumors that he is already in line for the iconic role, which was originated by William Shatner. "If the script was good, I'd do it," Damon said in an interview while promoting his latest film, The Good Shepherd. "But, yeah, I heard that [rumor]. I think J.J. Abrams or somebody said that at [a] press junket or something, and it got picked up [by the media and Star Trek fans] (SciFi Wire)."

And let me guess, Ben Affleck will play Spock?

Ok, it is all just rumors right now anyway, but I am getting really nervous about all this. At least if they hire Damon, he is too old to play an academy Kirk. That's it. I have played in the rumor mill. I'm out.