Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2013 by Angie Han
It’s more or less impossible to reboot a massively popular franchise for the big screen without drawing the ire of a few fans, but one major criticsm plaguing Star Trek Into Darkness in recent days has nothing to do with J.J. Abrams‘ Klingon redesign or use of parallel timelines. Midway through the film, there’s a brief scene in which the character Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) strips down to her underwear for no apparent reason. Some fans called filmmakers out for being sexist, and so far writer Damon Lindelof has stepped up to offer his apologies.
The minor controversy was fresh in my mind when I went to go see Fast & Furious 6, which, as you’d expect, outdoes Star Trek Into Darkness‘ tiny sliver of cheesecake on every level. All of the female stars of Fast & Furious 6 are conventionally attractive to begin with, and none shy away from wearing form-fitting outfits or showing off a bit of cleavage. Additionally, scantily clad female extras are used in several sequences as little more than set decoration. And yet I walked away from Fast & Furious 6 thinking that director Justin Lin and his crew could teach the Star Trek team a thing or two about portraying female characters on screen.
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When the subjects are good, no amount of time is sufficient to do an interview. That goes double when you’re speaking with two producers of one of the summer’s closely scrutinized films: Star Trek Into Darkness. Preparing to speak to producer Bryan Burk and producer/co-writer Damon Lindelof, I prepared two dozen questions for a ten-minute interview. I asked three.
Thankfully, the answers were illuminating. Mainly, we talked about the process that the pair went through to decide on the film’s villain, along with director J.J. Abrams and co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The pros and cons of the choice; how Star Trek: The Next Generation influenced that decision; and how the reveal changed the selling of the movie all came up. Finally, I asked Burk would repeat that process for his next film, Star Wars Episode VII. Read More »
Two Star Trek writers don’t think they’ll work on Star Wars, while another one does. Plus the director himself talks all about his fandom. Read about the following in this edition of Star Wars Bits:
- Who does J.J. Abrams think shot first, Han Solo or Greedo?
- Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci don’t think they’ll be working on a Star Wars movie…
- …but Damon Lindelof believes he might by the end of the decade.
- Abrams talks about lessons he learned from Star Trek that he’ll use on Star Wars and how he plans to work on both Star Trek 3 and Episode VII.
- Costume Designer Michael Kaplan (Blade Runner, Fight Club, Star Trek) joins Star Wars Episode VII.
- EA Games teases a brand new Star Wars Battlefront game.
- Famous Star Wars characters danced up a storm at Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios.
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Grantland has an amazing interview with screenwriter/producer Damon Lindelof which you should find the time to read (it is long). He talks about many things in the interview, but I want to focus on his discussion on the origins of Tomorrowland, the upcoming movie directed by Brad Bird and starring George Clooney. There is a lot of interesting stuff here, especially if you’re a Disneyland geek like me. Lindelof, for the first time publicly, confirms that while the story has ties to Walt Disney’s theme park creation, we won’t see Disneyland in the actual movie. Read an excerpt after the jump.
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Stardate December 10, 2012. A group of journalists are invited to Bad Robot in Santa Monica, CA to learn a little bit more about J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek Into Darkness. At this time everyone was still unclear who, exactly, Benedict Cumberbatch was playing in the film. Rumors about his character were relentless. To cut the question off at the pass, Abrams himself led everyone into a screening room to show some footage. He explained this was footage no one would see again for several months, we shouldn’t tell anyone we saw it, but it would clear some things up.
With Star Trek Into Darkness now in theaters, it’s time to talk about that footage because what we saw and what’s now playing are very, very different. This change exemplifies not only the lengths Abrams went to preserve the theatrical film experience, but it opens up the discussion for exactly why secrecy was so important. Read More »
Sequels are a tricky thing. In the best cases, they transcend the original work by adding emotional depth and context, elevating the entire story arc. In the worst cases, they’re a carbon copy of the original with perhaps a bigger “wow” factor. Star Trek Into Darkness, like many sequels, falls into the middle ground. It expands and broadens the scope of the original while duplicating most of the elements that were already in place from the 2009 film.
To follow his first Trek revival, director J.J. Abrams has made a much more visually impressive and exciting action film, and one worthy of the Star Trek franchise. It simply lacks the inspiration that made his first film so special.
After the jump, read the rest of this review and see a video blog with some differing opinions. Read More »
Several weeks ago, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, the current ruler of the Star Wars universe, said the following in regards to exactly how she and her team will approach secrecy be in regards to Star Wars Episode VII:
We talk about that all the time. I think the whole issue of confidentiality is gonna be fascinating as we move into making the movie. If we’re shooting anything outside, it’s almost impossible to not have things end up on the Internet. So my feeling is, you need to embrace that, especially with the fans around something like Star Wars. You need to recognize they’re important to the process and acknowledge there are things you’re gonna want to make sure they get to know. So I think that’s something we’re going to monitor, pay attention to and think differently about.
That sounds like she’s saying “We’re going to be much more transparent when Star Wars goes into production,” doesn’t it? So, when I got on the phone with Star Wars Episode VII producer/Bad Robot co-founder Bryan Burk and Star Wars superfan Damon Lindelof to talk about their latest film, Star Trek Into Darkness, I simply had to ask about this. Was Burk part of these conversations? What had been said? And would Lindelof be hunting for spoilers like other fans?
Their answers were surprising. Burk explained he never had this conversation with Kennedy, but that fans have likely overestimated the statement. Read his quote as well as Lindelof’s reaction below. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 by Angie Han
In theory, there’s no reason a DC Cinematic Universe shouldn’t work every bit as well as — perhaps better, even — than a Marvel Cinematic Universe. In practice, however, we’ve seen Marvel dominate while Warner Bros. struggles mightily to get their non-Batman and non-Superman properties to take flight. The rumors surrounding the planned Justice League movie haven’t been terribly encouraging so far, either.
Plenty of fans and pundits have put forth ideas on why exactly Warner Bros. is flubbing so badly, and today two prominent industry figures have a bit of advice on how the studio could turn things around. After the jump, read Kevin Feige and Damon Lindelof‘s comments on how to solve a problem like the Justice League.
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