J.J Abrams

Star Trek, Star Wars & Avatar; Putting Sci-Fi Into Darkness

In almost everything, there is subtext, intentional or not. In the ‘not’ category is the significant black cloud coming with the silver lining of three massive developments in movieland this year. Firstly, after months of feverish speculation, J.J. Abrams was chosen as the man to helm the return of Star Wars to the big screen; he confirmed his worthiness for the role with the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, a mega-hit blockbuster action adventure putting the highly rated Star Trek 2009 into the shadows; almost in an attempt to draw attention away from Disney and Spielberg’s protégé, James Cameron announced that the most successful film of all time, his film Avatar, would indeed have the three sequels he had long discussed, thankfully with different screen writers covering the wordy bits. Cue much jubilation from fandom; the silver lining. The malignant black cloud, the subtext, was the continued throes of the science-fiction genre as it is starved to death.

Alien Invasion Month: ‘Super 8’

So I know it’s Alien Invasion Month and that the key requirements of Sound on Sight’s ongoing theme are quite simple: a) aliens and b) invading. I also know that apart from the U.S. military’s invasion of small town Ohio, there’s not a whole lot of that second part in J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, least of all from its star extraterrestrial, a recently escaped interplanetary alien-spider-gorilla who’s been exacting revenge on the government that studied him by abducting townsfolk and household appliances to rebuild his ship constructed from white, morphing Rubiks cubes. It’s all very technical, if you must know.

Greatest TV Pilots: Felicity

J.J. Abrams knows how to write a pilot, and it all started here with Felicity, the story of a girl who decides to chuck her dad’s life plan of Stanford and medical school, all in order to go to New York and make her own decisions. That’s right, before Hannah Horvath sat in a restaurant to be told she was getting cut off by her parents, Felicity Porter suffered the same fate, and was the original NYC gal trying on her own to become an artist—except dealing with it much younger, and much less nakedly (it’s perfectly quaint now to watch the scene where Felicity’s RA walks in on her on—oh my gosh—her nightgown!).

Greatest TV Pilots: LOST ‘Pilot (Parts I & II)’

What amazes me about the LOST pilot nearly ten years and six seasons later is how little of the show’s trademark philosophies and story lines exist in the two-part premiere (or how subtly they are presented, save for a few obvious images). Although it’s a bit of a gamble, it actually alleviates a lot of the strain other pilots (comedy or drama) put themselves through, forcing themselves to define a show’s characters, intentions, and formula in the first episode, lest they be passed up by networks.

Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow in "Truth Be Told", the pilot for Alias

Greatest TV Pilots: Alias’ “Truth Be Told” is a masterclass in pacing, suspense, and emotion

J.J. Abrams has become a household name, particularly in the nerd sphere, but when Alias premiered in 2001, only a handful of genre fans had ever heard of him. Known primarily as the co-creator of the WB college drama Felicity, Abrams hadn’t had an opportunity to stretch his sci-fi muscles. This changed when, prompted by his pondering, “What if Felicity became a spy for the CIA?”, Abrams developed, pitched, and sold Alias.

Revolution, Ep. 1.14: “The Night the Lights went out in Georgia” goes beyond the Monroe Republic borders while revealing more about the nanites

While Revolution’s entire run to date has focused on the Monroe Republic, details have indicated that the collapse of the government following the loss of power led to numerous rogue factions taking control of various parts of the former United States, with Monroe and Miles only getting one part of it. The prospect of seeing how the other areas were ruled, and how the people in other parts of the country had coped with the loss of power, has thus been a very intriguing one, and it is this idea that the show explores this week, in an episode that opens up some intriguing new avenues for the show to explore.

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