Sunday, 25 January 2009

Why JJ Abrams Sucks


It started (although I didn't know it at the time) with Armageddon, a film from 1998 that sucked. It dealt with the subject of the earth being struck by a meteor, and it came out about 8 seconds after Deep Impact, which dealt with the same theme but was a much more interesting, sensitive, and well-thought-out film. 

JJ Abrams was a writer on Armageddon, from there on he made the TV series Alias, which featured Jennifer Garner looking like she was trying to suck milk out of a diamond, and then he went on to make Lost.

The next slew of episodes has just hit UK television, and it sucks. Now, I know I'm saying nothing new here, but here's the thing:

THERE WILL BE NO ANSWERS, AND THERE WILL BE NO PAYOFF. EVER.

EVER.

Thing is, I can PROVE THIS. 

Series One of Lost was one of the most exciting things ever. We all watched, chewing our knuckles, wondering what it all meant, what GENIUS masterplan was at work, what MONUMENT of televisual EXCELLENCE was being built on these EXHILARATING foundations?

And the answer is none. None monument. In series one, we had to endure the unending flashbacks to the characters' lives before they crash landed on the island. We sat patiently through them for the 90 seconds of gratifying plot advancement each episode afforded. 

And so it continued with Series Two. More mysteries! Lordy, it sure would be nice to have something explained, or some mystery revealed at some point, but gosh darn it, it's all so exciting!

Then JJ Abrams started making Cloverfield, and then we realised he was a fucking liar and a bullshit merchant and a substanceless piece of sucky fuck. Don't believe me? Click on this link and watch:


(Incidentally, don't let it put you off www.ted.com, which is one of my favourite websites)

And there it all is. Let me save you the precious minutes of humanity - I'll paraphrase his little talk. What he basically says is "I think it's way more exciting when you don't get to find out what's going on. And Macs are way cool." 

Oh, SUPER. Well, sorry, but isn't that part of the contract between the creator and the audience? We agree to watch your film or TV show or read your book, and you promise to give us some kind of fucking payoff.

Around Cloverfield time, Lost started doing flash... forwards, instead of flashbacks. A fantastic move, that suddenly made the time on the island, formerly the exciting part, the boring part. And in fact, we all started not to care about any of it, because nobody was really telling us anything about anything anymore. 

And this evening's episode, after a year's hiatus, is the most incomprehensible mess of bollocks I have ever seen. At any given time you don't know if you're watching a flashback, a flashforwards, a 'time-loop' on the island, or the delusions of Hurley, the mentally-disturbed fat guy, who must surely be on danger money for maintaining that weight for so many years. Dude, just looking at him makes me feel a little... Hurley.

The whole thing smacks of a play mounted by two six-year-olds who are frantically trying to raise the stakes as they sense the endgame of bedtime approaching:

"And, then, er, and then, a THING comes out of the trees and it's made of SMOKE!"

"No, come on JJ, it's bedtime, isn't it...?"

"No, and then... And THEN! They discover they are travelling in TIME!" (Starts bouncing on sofa.)

"Come on JJ... Teeth"

"But, no, and then, then, one of them's DEAD but he's not!" (Leaps off sofa.)

"Teeth and bed."

"No, TWO of them!" (Smashes into brand new DAB radio with iPod dock.)

"Right. That's it."


Getting into a mess is a piece of cake. Getting back out of it without losing your audience is the hard part. JJ Abrams, you SUCKY PIECE OF COCKING SHAFT. 



Oh, and isn't it awful what's going on in the Middle East.


19 comments:

  1. Excellent use of the word cocking shaft. Sums it up rather well. Lost lost me by second season's end and I'm ashamed I kept with it that long.

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  2. This writeup was correct all along, fuck all the JJ Abrams fans, the dumbasses watched the final episode and true enough, the retards were disappointed at how they never got any of their answers solved.

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  5. Gee, I knew he sucked since Alias. All the plot twists and double-backs on characters. One week someone is an evil spy, the next he is a double agent, the next he is a triple agent, the next he is actually his own father masquerading as his mother working for the Russian CIA doing dirty work for the Cubans in order to discover who really killed Tiny Tim.

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  6. I totally agree, every single movie that's come from J.J. Abrams has *zero* artistic value... i.e. no really deep story or character development, always appealing to the lowest common denominator, lot's of explosions, lot's of effects and lot's of frenetic scenes to cover up for the childish storyline and underdeveloped characters. Hollywood has made movie watching akin to drug taking, people just go to get their impulsive fix and toss it it down the pan and completely forget about what just happened afterwards until they get their next fix, just horrible.

    I have to say even the last Star Trek movie suffers from this, it could have been done so much better in very inexpensive ways... develop a deeper story and more detail into the characters, make the movie longer (gasp) yes people can truly pay attention for well over 2 hours regardless of what stupid and greedy Hollywood executives say (about appealing to the lowest common denominator :-/ )

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  7. great, now hes directing star wars.

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  8. Why doesn't any see the unoriginal ideas??? Was it just me or did the romulan space ship look similar to the film Black Hole years ago? What about Lost being similar to Gilligans Island??? Gilligans Islanders went back to the island too!!! What about the Shatner scene on the ice planet in the cave??? Wasn't that similar to Skywalker in the cave upside down????

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  9. 'Fringe' almost caused me to blow my own brains out, but I stopped watching just in time.

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  10. I'm actually on Season 4 of Fringe, mostly because I currently lack a decent work environment to progress my coding projects. I'm typing this while 'watching' Season 4's first episode.

    Just to set the contrast, I ripped through Orphan Black, which was a true delight in the brilliance of its characters, the intelligence of its developing storyline and the fantastic performances from the unreasonably talented cast, most of whom I hadn't encountered before.

    For throw-away lightweight entertainment, I seriously dug 'Lost Girl' - it's shallow and the special effects are comically bad, but it has serious charm and the characters sparkle (thankfully, not like Twilit vamps). Ksenia Solo's quickfire repartee is a big contributor to my love for this show, but it stands on its own, unpretentious merits.

    And, then, there's Fringe. I'd not seen many offerings from JJ Abrams before; I'd watched Armageddon but it was sufficiently unmemorable that I'd forgotten who directed it. I saw the JJ Abrams Star Trek and frankly, I thought it sucked - a shallow action movie with expensive special effects and lip-service attention to the science-fiction formula.

    Fringe is a joke. Its 'scientists' are a lot like the pseudo-intellectuals you bump into on Youtube - you know; the guys who champion the the cause of Creation Science. They trot out glib, shallow baseless phrases like 'The infant human brain is infinite in potential', and everyone else on the set takes their oracular declamations as axiomatic - cribbed from Noah's tablets. Their 'reasoning' is as full of logical fallacies as warts on the genitalia of a rather non-picky sex addict. The science is what we British call 'total bollocks'.

    For some background, I spent years reading up on fringe science on the net - it's interesting from a technical and anthropological standpoint, and it's a little like dumpster diving - you wade through acres of trash but you never quite know what you'll find and there's always the lure of treasure to keep you motivated. For instance, Tesla turbines turned out to be interesting - they may not be as efficient as conventional turbines but they *are* substantially more efficient than current car engines and would make a good, mechanically simple generator drive for a full electric drive hybrid. Whatever, I digress.

    Fringe has less intellectual depth than does the majority of actual fringe science. Its plotlines are shallow, its characters are often poorly drawn, although I *did* like Walter and his immediate circle. In general, most of what transpires in Fringe has the feel of something that JJ Abbrams fished out of his colon.

    I have a horrible feeling that, at the end of this series, I'm going to lose it and declare a fundamentalist fatwa on JJ Abrams and his ilk. He's exactly the kind of dumb, substance-free git who'd buy Apple's style offensive without considering the price or understanding the sheer power he could wield by considering alternatives.

    Just for reference, I love the way Apple's gear looks, but I tend to build my own desktops.

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  11. Coincidently I stop seeing Lost at the end of 1st season, Alias at the end of 1st season, Fridge at 4th, Armageddon at the very beginning and so the Star Treks.
    The common place for JJ is that he can make interesting scenarios turning out crap.
    After 10+ year as a director, JJ still sucks.

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  13. Funny article! Loved the dialogue between the kid and his mother. I'm sure JJA is talented - but it's unfortunate that he wastes it on working on rehashed projects. He should do something original.

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  14. I tried watching "Fringe" because of all the rave reviews, and stopped it after a few minutes. "Lost" was a clusterf*k too. I hate the 2009 JJA Star Trek - it felt so empty. SO glad I waited until it came out on Netflix. I wouldn't be surprised if he sh*ts allover Star Wars too.

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