Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Delivers

Let me start off this post by saying that I'm a huge cinema fan and I don't believe in spoilers, so you won't find any here.

That said, I just got back from seeing a 7pm premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey theater in New York and I have to say the wait was worth it.

Director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have created a genuine theatrical spectacle that's truly worthy of one of the most beloved film franchises in history.

When the original Star Wars first came out in 1977 I was nine years old and I went to see it in various theaters eleven times.

It was one of those film experiences that changed me and I remember it was THE entertainment experience of the year. Pretty much every kid's birthday party that I went to that year revolved around going to see Star Wars and I recall it as the first film I ever went to where people literally stood up and cheered.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens generates that kind of excitement and I can tell you there were several scenes where the entire theater was clapping and cheering.

Without giving anything away, from the moment the theme music started and the gold letters of the opening story summary starts scrolling across the screen, you could barely hear the music over the cheering - it was a truly emotional moment for someone who grew up with George Lucas' visionary films as a backdrop of my life.

Without going into too much detail the story is excellent and well told. It seamlessly picks up where Return of the Jedi left off while at the same time introducing new characters who help propel the story forward in new and exciting directions - it sets up the next film perfectly.

The cast is excellent, the acting is first rate and one of the best things about this film are the special effects.

J.J. Abrams has created a film that doesn't overwhelm you with CGI, it's a perfect balance of live action scenes that are supplemented by special effects.

The action scenes are edge-of-your-seat stuff and well directed. This movie takes you to emotional highs and lows and it elicits genuine emotions that are touching and have an impact.

I was moved.

Now enough is going to be written about this film over the coming weeks so let me just conclude by saying that newcomers John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley as Rey are outstanding and they deliver performances that have created truly three-dimensional characters of depth and complexity.

The veterans from the old film are first rate; seeing them on the big screen is like seeing old friends.

The Harvey theater where I saw it in 3-D is an older theater but it has the biggest screen in Brooklyn.

But I definitely plan on going back to see this film again on the larger IMAX screen format to experience it again.

Go see this film.

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