The Force Has Awoken

100% No spoilers. Guaranteed. Tread Freely.

The question surrounding, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for about a year prior to its release was, would J.J. Abrams be able to do what the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas himself failed to do a decade and a half ago? Would the movie itself be able to live up to the hype and the crazy marketing campaign surrounding it? And of course, could the new cast be as loved as our heroes from the galaxy far, far away? To my immense satisfaction, all of these questions were answered, and boy, were they answered in style!

About the movie itself, no spoilers, but its similarities, to Episode 4: A New Hope, are extremely uncanny. Right from the opening crawl, with John Williams now classic, beloved score. A piece of brilliant music that’s been around since 1977, but never termed as over-used, never called clichéd. A piece of music that is now in its third generation and is still as much “music” to your ears as the first time you were introduced to it.

The only major problem with the movie, was that it failed to take any risks. Probably it’d learnt enough not to do so from the Prequel Trilogy, but there is a desperate need for something new to be done, and to be executed with a panache, and of course without the wall to wall CGI, for the audience to love it.

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Anyways, enough of the negatives, now it’s time for the positives. There’s a lot of new characters, and considering I haven’t read/ seen any of the comics or TV Shows or well anything that could’ve come out related to Star Wars except of  the 6 (now 7) movies, I have absolutely NO CLUE as to who they are, or could be or which expanded Star Wars universe property or character they could be related to. But of course, I trust Lucas and Kasdan enough to know that I won’t need to follow any of the aforementioned expanded universe properties to find out, neither will any of the enjoyment that I experience be reduced. So the people who’re bringing those awesome characters to life, the actors also do a really great job, notably Daisy Ridley who, it seems, is going to be the best thing about the new trilogy and John Boyega whose character and acting is something I’m looking forward to, come 2017. Oscar Isaac has a small role, but that seems totally Oscar Isaac these days with him being a part of everything here and there, but he does a good job. And of course, if there’s any award for the Best Droid in the Universe, just hand it to BB-8 already.

The musical score, two words, John Williams. Need I say more? Okay I will, check the end of the article for links to his music and if you don’t already you will experience the power of his music (Along with the festive season, this being the Awards season, I must add, this year it’s going to go down the wire between John Williams here and Ennio Morricone for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s latest western, The H8ful Eight). The Production Design only adds to the allure of the movies, after the forgettable all-CGI of the Prequel Trilogy. The 2-time Oscar Winning Production Designer, Rick Carter, is definitely a strong contender to add to that tally this year.

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After this movie, it looks like Lawrence Kasdan’s been infused with a new breath of life, and it’s definitely a the right time with him set to pen the upcoming Star Wars movies and some of the spin offs as well. Although he hadn’t given anything great, since Raiders of the Lost Ark, in 1981, it seems he’s making a return to the quality of his heyday. About J.J. Abrams, all I can say is, with people threatening to christen you Jar Jar Abrams if you fail to deliver something awesome, you will deliver something awesome. That threat, is more threatening that almost anything you can imagine, upon the face of planet Earth and trust me, it worked. I think it’s safe now to say that just hand anything that’s dying to Abrams and he’ll bring it back to life. Though therein lies the problem, people now seem to believe he’s just some sort of phony with no individual sense of creativity. Anyways, that story is for another day.

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Yes indeed Chewie, we’re home…

Right now, go rush to your nearest theatre and experience the spectacle for yourself. Even if you have a bootlegged copy downloaded, don’t ruin it for yourself. You might thing, “So What? Disney’s making big bucks anyways! Star Wars is earning tens of millions every day, how will my money make a difference?”. But honestly, it’s not about that, it’s about going out there and seeing it on the biggest screen you can with people shouting and hooting and every awesome scene, every throwback moment to the 70s and the 80s (and trust me, there’s just about enough of them to make you go crazy over it too) and the sound immersing you. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Go see the greatest, the grandest the most mind blowing-ly awesome fan film ever made!

PS. Of course, as promised John Williams’ Best Music, well at least a part of it, feel free to explore more and more as you’re hooked on to it.

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Short Term 12

In my wait to see Room, the movie for which the lead actress in both Room and the movie which I’ll be talking about today, Short Term 12, Brie Larson has garnered some major award buzz this year, I found out about Short Term 12, which is this gem of a movie, that I believe is really under-noticed and leaves you feeling warm inside.

At the very basic, Short Term 12 is a story about a home for at-risk teens. But, writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton infuses humane, interesting, deep and disturbed characters who with their own individual stories which come together to form one beautiful story. Linking the characters by the problems that they face and their fear of the past making them run from their future.

Cretton ensures that you don’t get bored with endless technicalities about the rules and the drama and fuss over them, with some brilliant, entertaining and funny dialogue.

Although a bit predictable, but in a movie like this, it isn’t about knowing the story or what happens next but just seeing it unfold on screen with the eccentricities and in ways that is what transforms this would-be-sob-fest-drama into something entertaining, that does what is needed most, gets the message across without being too preachy.

It’s the actors though who truly do  justice to moments of joy and brilliance that this film delivers. Brie Larson in the role that had generated its fair share of Oscar buzz but couldn’t get her to the position where she is this year. Keith Stanfield gives a career making performance in his debut feature, with probably one of the movie’s most powerful moments being delivered by him through a rap song. Kaitlyn Dever’s performance too is something to look out for. With John Gallagher Jr., Stephanie Beatriz and Rami Malek filling in some supporting roles, this movie deserves to be seen.

See Short Term 12, and you’ll love it. It might not be epic, it might not be a “masterpiece” but you’ll love it.