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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – 2015 Abrams
- J. J. Abrams infuses an unmistakable energy in The Force Awakens that most action/adventure films hope for, but never achieve. The talented ensemble is to be applauded (they succeed in exchanging both poignant moments and catchy, genre one-liners) but so is the editing. This is a 138-minute running time that soars by.
- This is Abrams second “Star”- franchise he brought back to life with 2009’s Star Trek
- Certainly, the arc of the narrative reuses much of the formula from the 1977 classic original. Most of it works like a charm- but in a few areas (Starkiller Base vs. Death Star) the writers would be better served not to bring up such a comparison to remind us.
- A great scrap metal rock climbing – a nice ship set piece with Daisy Ridley’s Rey scaling it.
- Interesting to think of Inside Llewyn Davis co-stars Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver back together here- along with Domhnall Gleeson and Isaac from Ex Machina just the year before
- substitute in the TIE fighters for helicopters in Apocalypse Now with the shot above from the orange sun
- A great frame of the light creating a spotlight beaming in from Snoke to Driver’s Ren.
- They don’t all land- but some of dialogue works very well (along with Harrison Ford’s delivery)- “Did you just call me Solo?”
- Andy Serkis (voice of Snoke) is extremely gifted- and he does his best to make each one of the characters he portrays different (whether it is LOTR, or the Planet of the franchise) but at some point you just need to hire another actor because these voices all sound relatively the same and we all have such a collective memory of them.
- The best scene in the film is the bridge encounter between Driver’s Ren and Ford’s Solo. Abrams captures the moment with the best frame in the film (above) at the 106-minute mark- the red beacons on the bridge in a sublime cinematic painting. It is a big moment- and both actors deliver.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2015.