Saturday, November 29, 2014

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Insanity

Am I really writing a post about a movie trailer???  Yes, it seems I am, and sadly, it seems I'm not the only one.  I write when I have something to say and I'm tired of repeating myself.  And I most definitely have something to say about this.

For over a month now, people have been eagerly anticipating the release of this trailer.  And after all the hype and repeatedly being rickrolled, and forced (no pun intended) to watch some nice (and some not so nice) fan trailers, here is the moment you've all been waiting for:

Looks kind of cool, right?  Of course it looks cool!  It's a Star Wars trailer!  Nothing about that should ever suck!

Now, let's put things in perspective.

Good or bad, people love Star Wars.  It has embedded itself so deeply into our culture and we all feel it is an invaluable part of our lives.  We want it to be fun, and expect great things, but often we are disappointed.  We all have this collective vision of what Star Wars should be.  And on some rare occasions, we get our wish.

But seriously, movie trailers are designed to be freakin' awesome!!  Have you ever watched a trailer that sucked?  I doubt any director is going to create a teaser with the worst parts of their movie to showcase.  And how often have you eagerly anticipated a movie based on an amazing trailer, and the movie was the biggest waste of time and money ever made?  So this teaser truly is a teaser.  It shows you one minute of footage from a movie that will most likely have 120 minutes total running time.  It's like hearing one note from a song and making the blind assumption that it will be the worlds greatest song ever.  It doesn't say much of anything really.

And now, let's explore the dark side...  J.J. Abrams.

A while back, I wrote this whole rant (here) on how I dislike Christopher Nolan's style of directing and can't understand his success.  I should write a similar rant on Abrams.  Maybe I sort of did here when I complained about him ruling two equally important nerd universes.

Abrams has admitted himself, he uses too much lens flare.  It's his signature style.  He's also proven he loves his shaky cam during fight sequences, preventing us from actually seeing any of the action.  And he's shown he prefers dark drab lifeless colors in his movies, (as he took every chance he could to get the Star Trek cast out of their traditional red, blue, and yellow uniforms), filming dull dark colorless scenes.  Will he suddenly change his methods for the Star Wars franchise?  I can't imagine he will, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

It's also important to note, there is a huge difference between a director and a screenplay.  Alfred Hitchcock said "To make a great film you need three things - the script, the script and the script".  It's the directors job to film the story, and as long as the director has half a brain, and isn't trying to be too artsy, they usually can't screw that up.  But for a movie to be memorable, I look for something more.  A film should be like a moving painting for my eyes.  I'm not expecting EVERY shot to be a work of art, but I look for something visually entertaining.  

And in the interest of credit where credit is due... Abrams proved from Star Trek that he knows how to film ships in space.  He made that cool, and by showing X-Wing fighters, and of course, the Millennium Falcon here, he definitely proved he can still do that (so far).

So for me, this trailer only showed the movie is still being made and will be released next December 2015 (which I already knew).  If it's a good script, and Abrams lets me see the action, without any lens flare and shows me a decent color palette, it could be a good movie.  I can't be as 'pee my pants excited' as many people are, because Abrams is still the director, because I don't think he's that good.  But I will admit to being apprehensively curious.  I sincerely hope I can enjoy it, otherwise The Force Awakens might as well go back to bed (I doubt I'll be the first or last person to use this phrase).


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