Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens Review (Spoiler Free)

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterSorry it has been a while, but the last few weeks have been chaos. However, I am back with a vengeance now…much like a beloved film franchise (see what I did there? haha)

Yes, Thursday 17th saw the return of Star Wars to the big screen in Episode VII – The Force Awakens. In Star Wars Episode IV, George Lucas also created a universe that was immersive and gorgeous in it’s authenticity. This continued through to Return of the Jedi. In the prequel’s, CGI took over t
o much and the universe did not feel ‘real’. There are other issues with the prequels…but that another story…However, in The Force Awakens the universe ‘feels real’. It’s a gorgeous film to watch.

A Star Wars film throws the audience into the story straight away. Lets take Episode IV A New Hope as an example. How many films start with a space battle? This is one reason why I have always loved Star Wars films, they are an adrenaline pumped thrill ride from start to finish.

The Force Awakens has a lot to live up to – nothing bigger than the expiation of millions of fans around the world. I think the the film more than deliver’s what the fans want. It cast’s off the issues the prequels have thanks to J.J. Abrams at the helm. He has chosen to shoot in 35mm/IMAX and has used his usual bag of in camera tricks (lens flare, shaky camera, dolly shots, snap zooms) to energise the audience and show us the remarkable world the story is set in.

I won’t give too much of the plot away but essentially after the Return of the Jedi, ‘The Empire’ have reformed as ‘The First Order‘ and want to control the galaxy. ‘The Rebellion‘, has become the ‘The Resistance‘ and like any fantasy film, some heroes need to go on a quest to save the day…

The audience are thrown into the story straight away from the very start of The Force Awakens. The story moves at a decent pace and this also keeps the audience engaged. There quieter scenes are punctuated with some genuine funny moments. Tension is also built up incredibly well and there are moments where the audience are genuinely left clutching their seats.

The film is fantastic – not perfect – but it’s everything you could hope for. It has action, laughs and shock twists. The cast are brilliant and the new characters really love up to the expectations and legacy of the ‘older’ generation. John Boyega particular impressed me in his role as Finn.

J.J. Abrams has used the same magic that he used to invigorate Star Trek here and it is extraordinary how the same ‘basic’ tricks work here. There is nothing new but what he does do is simply faultless as a director. Most directors would be scared to do what he has done with Star Trek but to then go an do it for Star Wars…Wow! What’s next…Indiana Jones (I sure hope so!)

However, the most important film about a Star Wars film – and the ultimate test of The Force Awakens – is the power that the original films had to make full grown men feel 12 years old again. The Force Awakens passes this test with flying colours.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you will love the film. If you are not a fan, go an watch it and you might understand all the hype. Even if you are not a fan to have no interest in Science Fiction, the film is with the ticket price as it is genially entertaining.

Episode VIII is released on 26th May 2017 – in 523 days time and I can’t wait. There are so many unanswered questions and I am sure there will be more plots twists and surprises too! And as a tantalising teaser for this, next Christmas we have the first of the Star Wars Anthology films being released – Rouge One – Directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters 2010 and, Godzilla 2014).

4.5/5 – Wow! OMG!! AMAZING!!!

December 6th 2015…

The last 2 weeks have been really busy at work and things look like they will be for the next few weeks at least. However, I have been thinking and writing about my feature film.

I have spend the last couple of weeks working through various ideas in my head for settings, scenarios and scenes – to get a basic structure. I have some great ideas and now just need to get them down on paper.

I have also been thinking about the type ad size of production it will be. As I will have a no-low budget production, I am going have to beg, borrow and steal (joke!) to get what I want. I am planning on having a very small crew (4-5) and I will do the post-production my self.

I have decided I want to shoot in 4K but may settle for 2-2.5K but I want to get a 35mm digital print of the film to get that genuine celluloid ‘feel’. I am looking at cameras I could use (I will need to rent – so price is a factor) and I am considering either:

  • Sony PMW-F5 (CineAlta)
  • D16 Digital Bolex
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K

All the camera’s are small (to work with the ‘style’ I want to use), offer a great image and relatively inexpensive. The plan is to spend the next few weeks and first part of the new year writing a script.

(More about my ‘style’ shortly…)

One last thing. Friday night was my works Christmas party and it was a great night – chance to relax and forget the troubles of work.
Shout out to my friends and colleagues at work – you all rock!