Are fantasies naturally evil, does a director need a plan, does Vin Diesel need a freekin’ seat belt? Plus more letters from other viewers.

Fantasies are evil

Rob, I have been thinking, I think fantasies are evil. Well not really, but I would like to argue they are anyway. Because it’s fun.

When people make up fantasies, and they are idealistic, they make up a world better than the real world, they make up a world that is kind and warm and great.

Are fantasies evil or just impossibly idillic?

HOWEVER, what if people start to think this world that people made up, is real? Expecting the world to be kind, is dangerous, it can make people entitled, and then unable to handle situations where there is harshness and nothing they can do about it. Having a group of people follow an idealistic world separates them from the group of people living in the real one.

This can create a rift and conflict.

But still, a movie cant be realistic, can it? I mean, Batman Begins tried. Man of Steel tried. But are they realistic, are they? Are we as human beings even capable of dreaming up a world that is real? A world without plot holes and with accurate physics?

Would any action movie even exist then?

We don’t have plot armor in real life. Yet we try, we try to make lies believable. And we try to not have science-fiction futures be dystopian but hopeful. And maybe there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I find it hard to argue that point regardless.

I think maybe, the answer is somewhere in between,

Emil Johannson

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But was there a plan? Really?

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

I recently had some thoughts, after J.J Abrams talked about the lack of planning for the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

I know you’re not the biggest Abrams fan, Rob, but I actually don’t dislike him.

So, did JJ have a plan or not have a plan? And if he had a plan, why didn’t he have a better plan?

There was a plan at the beginning, since George Lucas wrote story treatments for a sequel trilogy, but Disney discarded them. That’s how the Disney movies could have gone.

Considering Lawrence Kasdan was hired as a screenwriter, he could have written all 3 scripts from those 3 treatments. J.J Abrams doesn’t always write the movies he directs, since he directed Star Trek movies from scripts by people like Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, so he could have just directed all 3 Star Wars movies based on Kasdan’s scripts. I’m not sure how those movies would have turned out, but they would at least have a consistency to them.

Back when the story came out, where there were 3 directors attached to the trilogy, J.J Abrams, Rian Johnson, and Colin Trevorrow, I’m sure we all thought there was a plan. However, after Last Jedi came out, that’s when things started to fall apart.

Out of the sequel trilogy, the only movie I liked was Force Awakens, despite the fact it was derivative of A New Hope.

I tried, but could not get into The Last Jedi, and I found Rise Of Skywalker to be a little all over the place. You read the original script for Episode 9, Duel Of The Fates, which Trevorrow worked on. Knowing what happens in that script, I think that would have made a better movie than what we got. While I still would have disliked Last Jedi, I would have considered the sequel trilogy mostly successful, since I would have liked 2 out of 3 movies, similar to how I feel about the original trilogy.

I like a New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, but though I’ve tried, even after seeing it several times, and thinking are good moments and scenes, I just personally cannot get into Return Of The Jedi.

Those were the thoughts I had when I saw the story about how Abrams talked about the lack of planning for the sequel trilogy.

Thanks, live long and prosper.

Omar 94

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What is the preferred watch order for ST:TOS?

Hi Rob,

What’s the proper order for binge-watching all of the original series episodes of Star Trek?

I am writing to ask what is your preferred way of viewing Star trek: TOS in production or broadcast order? My preferred way would be production order.

I’ve been watching Star trek since I was 10yrs old with my dad, who first introducing me to Star trek with a Voyage Home & then with the Wrath of Khan. Which have must of seen at least a hundred times.

I’m 23 now & I first saw your vids with heelvsbabyface on the Prisoner reviews & then again with Hawt Toys. Which I am a huge fan of. Since then I have never missed an episode of Hawt Toys or Fully Articulated & I especially love watching you & Dieter every week on Let’s Get Physical Media.

I absolutely love your vids and your personality.

Keep up the great work Rob & Rock on!

Will Woods

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Why is the FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise a train wreck?

Greetings and salutations Rob.

Again with the standing on cars flying through the air? Again? Really?

With the disaster that is FAST AND THE FURIOUS 9, I wanted your thought on why successful franchises take a hard right turn and totally poo the bed.

This isn’t an isolated case in franchise history. The Shane Black PREDATOR sequel was all sorts of wretched, and I’m still scratching my head over THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. These are films that have been a part of great sequels, so where does it all go wrong??

Help me make sense of this, Sensei Rob!!

Yours sincerely,

Martin Lawrence

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Why isn’t hard work better recognized in Hollywood?

Hello Rob,

I just wanted to make sure my review of Free Enterprise that I typed last year wasn’t too critical. I think I gave the film 8.0/10 which isn’t too bad. I didn’t plan to share my review but people in the live chat encouraged me to take the opportunity as they wanted to hear my thoughts on the film. As the website offers submitting reviews I thought: “Alright. Why not?”

Anyway, I’m writing to tell you I may be having an existential crisis.

Of all the places to work – why do so many people spend years trying to break into Hollywood?

It was my birthday last Wednesday and around that time I normally question my career and life, where it’s going and what can I do about it. It’s kind of depressing as I always seem to end up back at square one. Uncertainty at thirty-eight about making the type of progress others have made in their lives already always bugs me.

On Twitter, I recently had to block someone as well as a fan of theirs I spoke about in a previous letter because it’s my birthday and I don’t want their spam responses filling up my notifications. This particular person I blocked should know better because of their position of power. I have an anxiety disorder I don’t need that stress on my birthday thank you.

I applied some months ago for a media placement, one of many might I add through an organisation called Creative Access, which helps people of under-represented backgrounds and disabilities get a job in the industry. I ended up getting a placement rejection email…on my birthday. I suppose they couldn’t have known but it still hurts a little.

For these types of opportunities I really do feel they should be prioritising by age, not race or gender. Everyone who wants the opportunity should be given the chance but more times than not the people that get given the chance are those that just came out of university. Remember I’ve been trying for this industry since 2005.

Now in one of my first letters to you I did mention I’d fallen through the cracks but I also imagine others have as well. I don’t want this to sound too biased because partly it is but people who have been trying to get into the industry for many years should be given top priority. I don’t know how much use I could be working for you but in some creative role within the industry I feel my talent isn’t being utilised. This is why I always get kind of depressed around my birthday.

Suffice to say my ability to interact and send letters or reviews here is my only way to communicate any skill or talent I have.

On a more interesting note I was going through some old comics. The comics I used to read when I was a kid was Marvel’s Real Ghostbusters comic.

A younger Pedro F.’s letter to the GHOSTWRITING column in The Real Ghostbusters comic book (Marvel)

Some would act snobbish and say “well you don’t know comics because it wasn’t the superhero ones” but the Real Ghostbusters comic was pretty awesome fun even with its terrible puns. The early issues were very well edited, as well. Marvel did a lot better with the RGB comic in the UK than NOW did with the RGB comic in North America.

While I missed some issues I was a long time reader and even won a Marvel competition at one point for special RGB prizes. I think it was for 1991. Anyway the comic had a letters/Q & A page where you could talk to ‘Peter Venkman’ or ask questions to him.

Attached to the letter you’re reading is a scan from the page where I sent in my own letter. I believe it was the 30th Dec 1989 issue. I would have been about seven years old and I know my sister helped me construct the letter but also help send it off.

As you can see even at seven years old I was an Imagination Connoisseur!

Kind Regards

Pedro Ferreira

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The challenges of creating a TV show from a video game.

Hello Robert,

I’m sending you this letter because i want to share a relatively fresh frustration with you. This topic is going to be about The Last Of Us. Let me start by saying that The Last Of Us part 1 & 2 are my favorite video games of all time. It has an amazing story, great characters and fantastic world building.

And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way. That said, my frustration is not coming from the games itself but it’s actually focused on the upcoming tv show.

Now, I was absolutely for a tv show about the game but my excitement dropped rather quickly when I heard the casting news to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pedro Pascal and Gabriel Luna as actors. But in my personal feeling, I think this is a total misinterpretation of the characters from the game.

Now, I know what you’re gonna say: “it’s not about which actor plays which character” – and if that is your response, I’m gonna have to respectfully dissagree with you on that. My own approach as a movie critic and fan towards this subject has always been on a different level.

It’s difficult to accurately translate a video game storyline and immersive experience to television, yet HBO will try again with THE LAST OF US

When you make an adaptation on a novel for example: that’s written word. It’s open to whatever interpretation you want. Everyone creates his or her own image about how they think that character looks like, moves or speaks. And we’re all allowed to use our fantasy to create that character or characters from the words that are spoken to us. Unless ofcourse there is a clear description about the character being asian for example.

Then there are certain limits to your fantasy in my opinion. So when it’s an adaptation from a novel you have more free reign.

But in my opinion, when you make an adaptation about a videogame or comics, the way the character moves, what he looks like etc has already been layed out for you. Who the character is, is already on the page. So it’s already kinda set in stone what the rules are for that character. Again. This is just my personal feeling.

For example: I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. It’s my favorite show. Now, if they had taken the character of Morgan Jones for example (Lennie James’ character) and made him a white dude, me and a lot of the other fans would have been furious. Same when an asian woman for example would be turned into a white american woman.

Going back to The Last Of Us. When the show was first announced, a lot of the fans had already layed out who would have been perfect for Joel for example. I’m sure you heard of an actor named Joel Edgerton. Now, put his picture next to a photo of the character Joel and tell me it isn’t an exact match. Same goes fort he character of Ellie. I can put her picture next to a still of Elliot Page and I already know who the best choice would be.

I’m not trying to sound arrogant or condescending to the movie makers but as a movie critic and fan stuff like this always frustrates me. Maybe it’s because I’m soo passionate about these 2 games and my love for them that I’m being kinda judgemental. But again for me it’s all about the right representation.

I totally understand the meaning of the word “adaptation” very clearly, but for me there are a certain set of rules when it comes to these things. And my personal feeling is that, when it’s written word it’s open for creative freedom and up to imagination. But when the picture and framework of what and who that character is has already been given to us, in my mind there is no room for leeway.

I’m sorry for the kinda long letter this time, but I felt like I really needed to put my problem on the table properly for you to adress it. I’m excited and curious to know what you think and how you feel about this.

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Undead Sick

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