J.J Abrams hasn’t been on the scene for that long. His first credited writing job was on the Mike Nichols directed 1991 drama Regarding Henry which starred Harrison Ford as a lawyer who forgets everything about his life after surviving a shooting, including how to talk. Seven years later he made it into the mainstream as the writer of the gigantic summer blockbuster Armageddon, before going on to make one of the biggest impacts on television and film in recent history.
He seemingly has the midas touch with everything he works on becoming an instant hit and a cult classic. In thirteen short years J.J, full name Jeffrey Jacob Arbrams, has created THREE mass award winning television series with Alias, Lost and Fringe, has reinvented Star Trek, has rejuvenated the Mission Impossible franchise, is good friends and now collaborators with Leonard Nemoy (Fringe, Star Trek) and has just come off tackling the classic alien genre in a homage with some of the films of Steven Spielberg’s past, with his new release Super 8.
This man has had an incredible career but no matter how outlandish or explosive his concepts have been in the last decade, he has never forgotten that the true drama surrounds the human moments between characters, something his first movie was full of.
To celebrate the release of Super 8, here are the top five best moments from J.J. Abrams;
5: Hoffman vs Cruise Opening Scene – Mission Impossible 3
How do you kick star new life into a dated franchise? You open the movie with a tense as hell scene that grips you into the moment, the character’s situation and makes you want to know…. what the hell is happening. And why.
The opening scene of Mission: Impossible III is the best in the whole film franchise and the casting of Philip Seymour Hoffman and having him play the crazy but calculated bad guy took the franchise into a whole other ball park. Hoffman oozes pure evil brilliance in this film.
4: The Mystery Box
This video barely needs an introduction. One of the finest moments in J.J. Abrams’ career is when he spoke at a TED conference and outlined the ideals that he has stuck to his whole career… everything from Cloverfield to Lost to Super 8.
This is who J.J. Abrams is and why we enjoy watching is work so…
3: Alternate Child – Fringe
We are stepping close to spoiler territory here so I will be discreet as I possibly can. J.J has this fantastic way of leaving audiences with cliffhangers so good that it keeps people guessing for months even years on end, and the finale of season 1 of Fringe definitely did that. With the idea of alternate realities being discussed as if common occurrence the past of a main character is not the way it should have been and because of this a whole lot of repercussions come about.
2: The Opening Scene – Lost
Where were you when Oceanic Flight 815 crashed onto an unknown island after it veered thousands of miles off course? Where were you when the survivors were crawling through the increasingly dangerous wreckage trying to save one another? Where were you when that guy got sucked into the jet engine causing it to explode and almost kill several main characters before the opening credits had even rolled?
Well if you were like me you were sitting in front of the television with eyes wide in pure awe at the awesome spectacle that unfolding. Lost ruled the television for six years and became one of the most compelling shows in history with brilliant story lines and an overall plot that makes me scratch my head even now one year after it has finished. For this series alone J.J Abrams… I salute you!
1: Train Crash – Super 8
After years of following J.J Abrams, from Alias to Lost to Fringe to Star Trek to Mission Impossible, the second I see his name on a trailer for a new film or television series I know that it is going to be good. Super 8 is his most recent piece of pure brilliance, taking cues from the classic films of his producer Steven Spielberg you can’t help but be blown away by the wonder he has put onto the big screen.
The train crash within Super 8, which sets up the main peril for the film, is simply incredible. I knew that it was coming having seen the trailers quite a bit over the last few months yet this did nothing to ruin the event. As that train derailed my heart rate increased and I sat motionless in my seat, trying to avoid blinking just so that I could not miss a second. The best bit of this is that the film doesn’t lose momentum from this moment on. Most films would have a quick burst of action and be done with it but J.J keeps you drawn in until the very final frame.
If J.J Abrams can make something like a train accident this amazing and terrifying at the same time then I look forward to the rest of his career.