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After seeing The Last Jedi, JJ Abrams stock up or down?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by stencil, Dec 18, 2017.

?

After watching The Last Jedi, my opinion of JJ Abrams has gone...

  1. Up

    39 vote(s)
    45.3%
  2. Down

    10 vote(s)
    11.6%
  3. Stayed the same

    37 vote(s)
    43.0%
  1. Pawek_13

    Pawek_13 Jedi General

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    This is my opinion on the matter as well.
     
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  2. perrymoon

    perrymoon Rebel General

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    [​IMG]


    His timeless friend Greg Grunberg said in 2015:

    “He read it (episode VIII script) and said something he never, ever says. He said: ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it. He may have said something one time on ‘Lost,’ with Damon [Lindelof, the co-creator], but I never hear him express regret like that.”

    As we know the script that went into production was the first draft Johnson presented to Lucasfilm. Therefore what he read was the actual script.
     
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  3. SKB

    SKB Force Sensitive

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    stock? stocks and shares? gravy stock?

    umm....?
     
  4. Meister Yoda

    Meister Yoda Your Little Green Friend
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    TLJ didn't change my view on JJ. I only hope he doesn't shy away from some things just because people would see it as a rehash.
    I don't want to see another DS but I'm sure if he redeems Ben a lot of people will scream rehash no matter how good it would be executed and fit into the story he's telling. Don't get me wrong. Forsake if the story demands it but don't rewrite a good story only because some people might see similarities somewhere.
     
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  5. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    JJ's stock is up as I wish they just let him do the whole Trilogy. We all watch SW movies for different reasons, so I can only speak for myself. Part of the appeal of the OT to me is the characters and the movies have heart. The Prequels just lack any heart as the characters never really resonated with me, yet the story was very interesting by Lucas. JJ somehow found that magic with TFA again in terms of characters and the movie having heart as it really resonated with me. Now I will have to see TLJ a few more times to really give a hard opinion, but the movie just lacked heart and the characters didn't resonate like they did in TFA.
     
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I'm going with up, but not because of TLJ. Because JJ's BACK!
    PARTY!!!!
    [​IMG]

    And yes, I'm an Abrams fanboy!


    I really enjoy both Abrams and Johnson's styles, but I'm far more an Abrams style for cinematography.
    When I think of arranging shots, that's along the lines I think - Spielbergesque.

    Johnson is more like Kubrick in terms of cinematography.
    You get more breath taking shots that are just drop-jaw beautiful out of Johnson and Kubrick and their films are like moving paintings, but you get more motion and continuity out of Abrams and Spielberg.

    In TLJ we get these wonderful shots that you could hang up on the wall, and make for truly epic moments.
    In a way, somewhat like famous anime; where you have these shots that are the key moments along the film and stick out in the mind.
    I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson outlined his shooting that way, either - thinking of a scene, imagining it as a shot, and then another scene and its key shot, and then setting up all other shots in between them to link the two key shots together.

    But one thing that Johnson doesn't do, out of style, is use the full range of spacial motion.
    It would entirely destroy his style to really do that a lot. He's making a grand painting on film, so it has to be framed and to do that, you really need a fixed vantage point to see that grand image from, otherwise you just don't get a grand painting out of it.

    So in most scenes, what you'll get from Johnson is a 180 degree amphitheater set up.
    You won't generally cross that 180 degree range and move to the other side of the scene.

    An example of what I mean is the throne room scene.
    It's almost entirely shot from the front and front sides of the room.
    We don't swing around all over the place with steady cams tracking in hand-off to hand-off to hand-off all over the place in fluid motion, nor do we really see the room from behind the throne area, or anywhere from that angle. When we do see the reverse, it's kitty-cornered in the extreme upper-left of that 180 degree amphitheater set up such that the entrance is seen to the right, or the direct reverse facing the entrance is done from well in front of the throne.
    But we don't travel around and through the room as the camera.

    Instead, we have shot after shot of beautiful shots, all contextualized by their 180 degree relationship to the master shot, which is the big painting.


    Conversely, Abrams is all over the place in all of his films.
    His camera moves more like its our head - immersed in the scene, even when what it's doing is physically impossible for us to have done, it's still treated as if it's a personal vantage point that's right in the mix of things.
    I do not mean that it's POV style; no.
    It's rarely POV style shooting - it's very controlled and never reckless in its movement. It's never trying to break the cinematic weight (like POV aims to do - make it feel more gritty and "street").
    But Abrams constantly weaves a visual narrative between characters, their motion, and objects.
    I don't think anyone uses the hand-off as much as Abrams at this point. He loves tracking one character in, passing another, swinging character (A) around to look at character (B), along with the camera, and then following character (B) in a sweep motion as well.
    He uses a ton of steady cam and crane work. He uses tracks as well, but by far more steady cam.

    And this carries over even into his direction of CGI. In both Star Trek and Star Wars, he has ships treated by the camera as if they're in dialogue with characters, and he even does hand-off's during chase scenes between ships.

    The result is a very fluid set of shots that often are hard to pluck apart as one divisional shot from another.
    Sometimes he even blurs the lines between scenes - you might be inside between two characters, one looks out a window at a chasing ship, and then end up looking outside tracking backwards at the character looking out the window, then swiveling to the left to see the chasing ship, cross in front of it, swivel to follow it, now you're on the left of the chasing ship looking over its "shoulder" and seeing your protagonists.
    Even when it's not a direct true hand-off, he continues the geometry of the motion of one shot into an adjacent shot even if the camera broke between the two.
    For example of this last, when you watch the below video, take note of the Falcon's motion and BB-8's subsequent motion.

    Further, when you are running, the camera moves like its on the ground most of the time. You're either a bystander as the camera, or chasing alongside the characters, swirling around.
    If you are in a flying scene, then the camera moves as if it too is flying and bound by the physics of flight. It doesn't tend to just sit still and pan left or right, up, down, and move shot to shot on a stick point.
    You're upside down for a moment because you twisted around with the ship, and then it corrected faster than your flight, and then you drift right-side up gradually following the motion. You swing left while panning right, and drift that left motion until you catch up with your momentum to change direction, and if it's really impactful, you'll suddenly fast zoom far ahead to point something important out as if you just punched the pedal to the floor after sliding around and burning rubber, or strafing the air.

    So you really feel the motion in Abrams.
    Just rewatch the Falcon chase and keep this all in mind.


    Compare that against the way that Johnson treats chase scenes - it's much more a sequence of really great framed pictures. Motion of the camera is typically independent of the motion of the action of characters or objects.




    (I don't have TLJ to work from yet, so those previous films will have to suffice, but it's roughly the same style in TLJ - just way more pretty and clean since he has far better equipment and teams to work with in Star Wars than he did on Looper and Brick.)

    So while I love Johnson's just awe inspiring grand paintings, I'm really excited to get back to Abrams' wonderfully energetic and highly motioned style.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  7. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    You, good person, just described how I feel about JJ's style far better than I could even dream of doing. I too am stoked for JJ's return.

    I also feel like he sets up characters well. When the 2009's Star Trek came out, I originally wasn't a big fan. My dad is the Trekkie in the family, and I had barely watched an episode of any series. Yet I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and felt connected to the crew as they came together. In TFA, JJ had to introduce a new cast to carry on the story, and he passed with flying colors. I really hope he can elevate the trio he helped create to new heights, and introduce a few more awesome new characters.
     
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  8. NotQyteNeo

    NotQyteNeo Force Sensitive

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    I'm in the "mixed bag" camp for TLJ. I LOVE most of the movie, but hate what they did to Luke and - to a lesser degree - Yoda. But I did like how he left off with Rey and the Jedi. I am cautiously optimistic that Abrams can close out the saga nicely building on TLJ's mostly good ending.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    On a further note...I'd like to say one more thing about this comparison between Abrams and Johnson.

    I REALLY....nope...that's not big enough...

    I REALLY, yep, there we go...

    I REALLY want to see a classic Western done by Johnson.
    My god his style is just SOOOO ripe for that genre...how they haven't met yet is a shame!

    I mean, just watch those scenes I linked above, especially the Looper one, but both really...watch them and just reskin them into Westerns in your mind's eye.
    GAH! It's like the super-glossed form of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

    That's not something I'll likely be saying about Abrams anytime soon (though...that would be interesting...but kind of interesting like wondering what David Lynch's Star Wars would have looked like...knowing full well it would be weird and an odd fit).

    Cheers, :)
    Jayson
     
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  10. stencil

    stencil Rebel General

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    I can absolutely see that, though I doubt he would ever go as far as to call it a Western, he could definitely utilize the western style. Especially since I have always imagined the Old Republic jedi to be more like wandering ronin or "the man with no name" from a western. A "jedi with no name" trilogy could be amazing!

    As for JJ, this trilogy is really in his wheelhouse. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he finishes this trilogy.
     
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  11. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    While that's an interesting idea as well, I was referring to a non-Star Wars classic western. ;)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  12. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    Rian would be great for a rebooted The Searchers
     
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  13. stencil

    stencil Rebel General

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    Haha that went right over my head. Sign me up, I would love to see it!
     
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  14. zazeron

    zazeron Rebelscum

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    #54 zazeron, Feb 3, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  15. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Guest

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    I think JJ could have made a better Ep8 with contributions from RJ. RJ had some good ideas, but also needed to be reigned in some, imo. If JJ would have been at the helm, with RJ his right hand man, we probably could have gotten more or less the same story but without the issues in continuity, pacing, tone ect.

    I'm up on EPIX, but reservedly so. I think JJ has a tough task ahead of him and as many have written, he's not well known for strong endings. So there's definitely some trepidation there.
     
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  16. stencil

    stencil Rebel General

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    Can you imagine? Part of what made the OT so special was all of the extremely talented people collaborating. Having RJ and JJ working together on one movie would be incredible. Sadly I don't think we can expect to see two directors of their caliber collaborating on a movie in that way. The only chance of something like that happening is if a young unestablished talent agreed to work with JJ. Big directors are not likely to agree to something like that.
     
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  17. KyloRen1981

    KyloRen1981 Rebel Commander

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    TFA is my favorite Star Wars film. TLJ is my most amazing/awful Star Wars film. So, yea, my JJ stock went up. =)
     
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  18. Darth Simple Jack

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    LOL....master craftsmen? JJ Abrams? Granted his films make money, but Francis Ford Coppola circa 1972 he is not.

    A more accurate comparison would be Michael Bay. Sylish and fast paced film-making, that's completely devoid of substance.
     
    #58 Darth Simple Jack, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  19. stencil

    stencil Rebel General

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    Sorry but I couldn't disagree with you more. I stand by master craftsman. Not genius but expertly crafted. Coppola fits more into the "brilliant auteur" category, and Michael Bay I would call a "glossy schlockmaker".
     
  20. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Coramoor

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    I love JJ, but I feel most of this trilogy's issues are with decisions JJ made in the first film. I don't like the idea of the First Order. It's simply a poor man's Empire. He also gave us the Starkiller Base. That base is far stronger and did more damage than the Death Star. JJ did a great job creating characters and he's a great idea guy (BB-8 is all JJ).

    I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job, but my biggest issues with this set of films were decisions made for TFA.
     
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