There seems to be some mild backlash over the announcement that J. J. Abrams will be directing the next Star Wars movie (example here). But did anyone else hear that and think “total disaster”? I wasn’t thinking that when I first heard about Disney buying the franchise. I was hoping for an enjoyable if unsatisfying on reflection movie like The Avengers. But as far as I can tell, J. J. Abrams is just a completely crappy director.
Granted, the only J. J. Abrams I’ve ever seen is his Star Trek, plus the bit of Alias that a friend involuntarily exposed me to once. But I thought his Star Trek was an unambiguously terrible movie. It seemed that its main premise was that in order to make Star Trek appeal to the younger generation, it was necessary to do a contrived reboot that would allow Star Trek to be about young people. As someone who enjoyed watching the adventures of old man Picard in grade school I found this profoundly insulting. And the villain was a forgettable, generic-guy-with-a-doomsday-machine.
It may seem unfair to judge Abrams without having seen much of his other work, but from what I’ve heard about it, I think I’m glad I never wasted my time on it. When Lost was in the middle of its run, I heard a lot of good things about it. It sounded like a really smart show, one I’d enjoy, I just never got around to it. Then it had its repeatedly mediocre final season, during which the creators admitted they never actually had an explanation for the show’s mysteries.
That struck me as cheating the show’s fans–selling them an intelligent puzzle show for many seasons, while they were really faking it all along. I’ve heard the story behind Alias was similar. Makes me glad I never wasted much time on either show.
[Edit: As his TVTropes page explains in somewhat painful detail, Abrams' involvement in Lost is widely exaggerated. But apparently everyone makes this mistake, so it's not my fault! And he also apparently kinda abandoned the other TV shows he's widely credited with. So he's off the hook for Lost, but that reduces his resume to a bad Star Trek movie and Mission Impossible III, which some people apparently liked but I've never heard anyone rave about.
Confession: I mainly wrote this post because I hated Abrams' Star Trek.]
Oh, and I’m sure there’s no way Abrams’ take on Star Wars will ever be as good as this movie, even though it doesn’t exist (HT: James McGrath):