Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Firstly: Thank the good lord he held back on the lens flair. I thought Abrams wasn’t going to be satisfied taking just one iconic sci-fi franchise and making it one of the ugliest sagas on the screen. I thought he was going to have his ruinous way with Star Wars too. Far from it, the cinematography in this film looks bright and colourful without looking like a two year old’s first attempt at water colouring.
It’s got just the right tone of impending danger. Everything is just distinct enough feel new and fresh, but it retains a sense of the old and familiar. It also shows that Abrams has retained an old school eye for the iconic. That Lightsaber taking up so much of the centre in its establishing shot might be considered hokey by today’s realist standards. But those standards are bollocks and one of the very reasons blockbuster filmmaking has remained so forgettable in the 21st century. Star Wars invented what it is to be a fantasy, sci-fi epic. Perhaps Star Wars will get it back on course.
The power creep is real. After they practically had their own language in 3 where do you go from there? Why, you create a super predator, that’s what. After all, historically accurate dinosaurs are so 1993. I think the main problem I have with this one is the CGI. Remember that shot of the Brontosaurus in the original? You remember how lifelike and convincing that was? Well twenty years later and this CGI ain’t convincing me. The buildings don’t even look real. That’s a problem. You need details like that to look substantial so you’re in the right frame of mind to get suckered in by the effects.
The script is also immensely worrying. The original had wit, humour and some hard questions for science to answer. This one has lines out of a straight to DVD creature feature. Seriously, go look up Sharktopus and tell me those lines wouldn’t fit in there.
Crash. Bang. Wallop. Well this looks as dumb as hell. But allow me to let you in on a little secret. That’s how I’ve always felt about the Terminator franchise. Something about big, dumb robots hitting each other has never done it for me. I prefer my evil human. Or at least sentient. Give me a Predator any day.
Anyway, I like the new badass T-1000, this time made in Korea. The look of the film is a hell of a lot better than Salvation. It looks so much closer to the flashbacks of the future war in the original. I like Jason Clarke as John Connor and Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. I like that they haven’t tried to make a coherent time travel plot because, let’s face it, not even Christopher Nolan can make those work. I also like Arnie going toe to toe with Arnie and fucking up the whole future stream. What do I not like? That spelling. Makes the rest of it look stupid.