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J.J. Abrams

Star Wars: The Force Awakens * J.J. Abrams (2015)

Not the first Star Wars that I see, but “The Force Awakens” is the first Star Wars that I review. Apparently I do not remember a whole lot of the old films, because I did not quite understand which character is which and missed some apparent inside jokes.

Also I wonder where all the raving reactions and the 8.7 on IMDb come from, because I found the story to be rather thin, the acting not too great (however I must admit that I could stand Harrison Ford very well in this film) and the special effects are not really mind-blowing. The 3D does add something to the experience here and there, but when you watch this film on your own screen, I would not say you miss a great deal.

If I am not mistaken the two main characters are new to the story. Rey and Finn land in the battle between good and evil and help the resistance with securing a map that could lead to Luke Skywalker (a massive cliff-hanger). That is about the entire story. The bad guys are now called “First Order” and they go after the resistance to get the map, so a few space fights unravel, heroes are captured and saved, etc., etc. The stormtroopers and the guy in the black mask are suddenly very human which gave the director the possibily to add some drama that in my eyes does not add much to the film.

So, a space spectacle based on a old theme, but I do not have the idea that it comes anywhere near the older Star Wars films. Then again, I am of not a die-hard fan.

Lost * J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof * series 1 2004

I remember when the first series came on Dutch television. Big anouncements, advertisement in tv-guides, raving commentaries. In that time we just had “Operation Robinson”, a “Big Brother” like “real life soap” and I expected “Lost” to be the original or at least an American counterpart. Later I heard that “Lost” was “Twin Peaks on a deserted island” and similar expressions and then people who followed the series were very enthousiastic about it and I understood that it was an actual series and not some time-filling “real life” thing. So in the end I watched the first series.
The two episode pilot is superb. Extremely realistic scenes of a crash-site of an airoplane, flashbacks of the crash which are also very realistic, survivors who stranded on a remote island with ‘something’ on it. A very nice mix between a disaster series and a Stephen King story. As the series continues the episodes do not have much to do with eachother, some are simple soap things with relationships that form or break, pragnancies, etc. In some episodes some strange things happen, but the high tension of the first two episodes never returns. What people like about the series is that in flashbacks you get to know a few of the characters and how they are connected to eachother. Personally I don’t think that this has much to do with the fact of them being on a deserted island. The series become a bit boring, but towards the end, things get better. The last two shows are again to parts of one episode and I feared that the series would suddenly end to announce the second series. Indeed, the last two episodes are again good, but just when things get really interesting again, it is “to be continued”, thank you for watching, goodbye. Very irritating, especially now that I see that there is already a third series. The different series do not stand on their own as in, for example, “24”, so I have my doubts if I want to see the second series only to have to wait to be able to see the next. Besides, “Lost” is not that good, so will I keep following them? You may see.