Skip to main content

A Twenty-Minute Advance Look at Super 8 #super8 #spielberg

A Twenty-Minute Advance Look at Super 8 Still Makes It Look Pretty Great
Photo: Paramount Pictures
Last night at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, Paramount rounded up some journalists to show them clips from J.J. Abrams' much buzzed about Steven Spielberg homage Super 8. (And also, teaser trailers for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Footloose, both of which looked decent. The first had a nice dose of humor to balance out Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Dubai, and the second looked almost exactly like the original Footloose, but with legit dirty dancing.) Abrams was there and he told the crowd, "I want this to be a secret between you and me." While that's not why one shows clips to a room full of entertainment writers, we appreciate Abrams' position: He thinks Super 8 will be a better movie if it's not spoiled, even a little. Probably, he is not wrong! So, please, spoiler purists, Super 8 purists, J.J. Abrams purists, do not continue.
Just to say it again: Spoiler alert.
So, first, an overview, with hardly any spoilers, and then for the obsessives, the nitty gritty. Paramount played about twenty minutes of footage, including the entire monster-freeing train crash. As with the trailer, the whole thing pretty much nails the vibe of the Spielberg alien movies set in the late '70s. The soundtrack, the light, the attention to period details (the kids in the movie communicate late at night with walkie talkies), the just-teenage angst, the kids-against-the-world vibe. Joel Courtney, the lead actor, with his big limpid eyes, even looks remarkably like E.T.'s Henry Thomas. Like the Spielberg movies, Super 8 seems as concerned with feelings as it does with aliens — it's as much a coming of age tale as a monster movie.
Only two quibbles: There's a gang of boys that all hang out and make movies together. In the grand spirit of the cliques in Stand By Me and The Goonies, they joke around and throw stuff at each other and are just beginning to talk about girls. They look great (not super hip, but gangly, with braces, like real teenagers) and their dialogue isn't overly clever, but it did feel a bit unnatural, the only part of the movie that was trying a little bit too hard to be like something else. The other quibble, which, given the "blow things up!" imperative of summer movies, some will hardly think is a quibble: The explosion of the train goes on nonsensically long, with so many cars flying through the air, it seems like it must have been miles long even though it doesn't look it. (To be fair, Abrams even said it was way too long when he was introducing the clip.) The length is particularly noticeable because huge fireballs were not a big part of the Spielberg movies Abrams is cribbing, and with everything but this explosion, Abrams is all insinuation (you don't see the monsters, you just see what they can do). It sort of feels like Michael Bay hijacked some frames. But, all in all, if you are tremendously excited about Super 8 keep on keeping on.
To the details: Those with lower spoiler thresholds are highly encouraged not to continue!
The movie is set right before summer vacation. The main character Joe, is a 14-year-old boy whose mother has recently died in a mill accident, and who doesn't have a great relationship with his father (Kyle Chandler), the town sheriff. Joe makes movies with his four other friends, under the direction of Charles, a chubby kid with a director's complex. The boys all sneak out in the middle of the night to go to shoot a zombie movie at the train depot, a place they can get to thanks to Alice (Elle Fanning), a 14-year-old who goes to school with them. She's agreed to appear in the movie, and has secretly borrowed her father's yellow muscle car to drive them to the depot. Joe has a big, moony-eyed crush on her. While they're rehearsing the movie, a train starts to come down the track, and Charles, excited about the potential production values, rushes everyone to film while the train is going by. As the train passes, Joe spots a pickup truck driving onto the track, and directly into the oncoming train. The train goes boom, the kids go running, the camera, still filming, falls to the ground. After a massive series of explosions seems to have finally stopped, the door flies off one of the train cars, and Joe hears something slip out. The kids, who have scattered, all find each other. There are hundreds of objects that, in the words of a character, look like white Rubik's Cubes scattered around, and Joe pockets one.
The kids see the pickup truck that drove into the train, all smashed up, with a man sprawled over the steering wheel. It's their biology teacher, Mr. Woodward (played by Mayor Royce). They go to touch him, and out of his hand falls a map of the United States, with the train's path and times written on it in red marker. Mr. Woodward wakes up, takes out a gun, and says "They will kill you, do not speak of this or you and your parents will die," and then brandishes the gun until the kids run off, grab their equipment, and drive away. Just then, a squadron of Air Force soldiers (led by Noah Emmerich) jogs onto the scene, and finds the boxes their film came in. The kids agree not to say anything, and Joe goes home to play with the white cube in the bath.
As for what the alien looks like: who knows! There is one flash in a later scene, of a gas station under attack, where you can maybe see the reflection of a monster in a puddle. It's wispy and ghost-like, floating above. The characters in the movie who actually lay eyes on this thing are much more freaked out than they would be by a ghost, so we can only assume when seen in something other than a puddle, it is much more intimidating.

From http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/03/super_8_spoilers_1.html

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth?

I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack.

Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with TheIndyExperience.com and settled 'flygate:'

This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of the Ark scene.…

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook feed.  The poster is by Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman. 
I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children?

Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know.

Rob Wainfur
@welshslider


THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
I need your Star Wars memories for a book

Pinewood Studios To Expand To The Usa

BBC News have reported that Pinewood Studios are to expand to the USA.  This is great news for the famous studio that is rich in movie history.


UK film studio Pinewood Shepperton has announced plans to build its first sound stages in the United States. The Pinewood Atlanta complex will be built on 288 acres of land south of Atlanta, Georgia, as a joint venture with a US investment company. Georgia has been among the US states drawing film-making away from Hollywood with tax incentives in recent years. The deal is the latest sign of expansion at Pinewood, the home of the James Bond franchise. Earlier this month it announced a joint venture with a Chinese media group, potentially giving it access to the fast-growing Chinese market.
Read the full article here.

THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+