|Me:||Random thought, in following Fast 6's steps, what if in Indy 5 they bring back Elsa from The Last Crusade? Lmfaooo|
|Josh:||Hahaha that would be great. The holy grail falls to where she fell and there was a drop of water in it so she was able to survive.|
|Me:||OMG you are a GENIUS! We need to contact Lucas and Spielberg and get the ball rolling on a sequel. We've cracked the story! "Indiana Jones: Elsa's Revenge"|
When I heard that Steven Spielberg was making a movie about Abraham Lincoln with Daniel Day-lewis as Lincoln… well let’s be honest, who WOULDN’T be excited about that!? At the same time you could smell “Oscar bait” from a mile away. The ensemble cast they assembled only got me further hyped. I have to say though, despite how hyped I was on paper to see the movie, when the original trailer for this movie hit, it didn’t make me all that interested in seeing the movie. That trailer just made the movie seem like, as many people have said, “War Horse with Abraham Lincoln.” (And I was someone who enjoyed War Horse, but I didn’t like how Lincoln looked so similar). However, the second trailer they released was much better. Critical consensus came in to glowing reviews (90% with an 8/10 average rating on RottenTomatoes and 86/100 on Metacritic).
Overall, I thought Lincoln was a damn enjoyable adult drama. This is not a movie that I would recommend to people who can’t sit and pay attention to a talky drama. If you are easily distracted or need constant suspense or thrills, Lincoln is not the film for you. The film is a deliberate slow burn and its not building up to a massive grand finale of a climax, but it is more succinct in its nature and the points it makes.
I’ve read complaints saying that the “villains” in this movie are too over the top and the points it makes are so blunt. They may be a little too on the nose, but let’s face it, no one in the audience is going to sympathize for the pro-slavery side of things lol. I think that’s the main reason that the points the movie make seem obvious or blunt, we as a society have already accepted that slavery is awful, so of course someone outright saying slavery is bad will seem too direct. You have to remember that in Lincoln’s time while the idea of abolishing slavery was not unheard of, it was something that was controversial and opposed by the masses.
I can’t write this review without mentioning Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as Abraham Lincoln. Well, there’s no much I can say about Lewis that hasn’t already been spouted off by much more talented and veteran writers than myself. The man literally carries this film on his back and has a surreal quality that embodies the legend of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s presence as an orator and the warmth is expertly conveyed through Lewis’s performance. Without Lewis, this movie falls flat on its face, period.
Aside from Lewis as Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones gives a magnificent supporting turn as a House representative who is a fervent supporter of racial equality. You’d think someone who’s FOR racial equality would be a kind old man, well you’d be wrong haha. He is a hard ass take no prisoners, I’m right, you’re wrong kind of politician. The perfect mixture of snark and intelligence, and it never becomes overbearing or makes you roll your eyes.
The cast of this film is absolutely ridiculous, and I mean that in a good way. This is a who’s who cast of fantastic character actors. Each scene felt like it had another new character actor brought into the mix. It felt deliberate, the way Contagion was cast with so many wonderful actors. Just like in that film, we don’t get much time to bond with many of the characters so the actors have to bring a sense of presence to them in order to differentiate themselves. Maybe someone might knock the film for having “one note” characters, but this is clearly a character study centered around Lincoln, not his allies and adversaries.
The strongest parts of the script is the political dealings that took place in the background. The secret meetings, the debating, making deals, etc. are all fascinating. Maybe this movie isn’t 100% historically accurate, but you see just how damn hard Lincoln and his supporters had to work to get something banned that in today’s time is seen as monstrous and horrible.
I also want to mention the fact that this movie is surprisingly funny. You wouldn’t think a movie about Lincoln and abolishing slavery would be all that funny, but the screenplay injects some sharp one liners here and there and Spielberg throws in some slapstick humor as well. James Spader is pure gold in this movie and I had to call him out because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out it was him during the movie haha.
I’ve read some reviews that say that the family dynamics were the weakest part of Lincoln and while I do agree that it wasn’t as strong as the political back dealings, I still found it decent. I thought the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character was superfluous at first, but by the end it felt like a much better version of the father-son subplot in War of the Worlds. The Lincoln/Mary Todd segments were the bits that got overly melodramatic and felt more like “WE’RE TRYING TO WIN OSCARS!” than actually good storytelling.
If you enjoy serious dramas and have the patience to sit through slow burns, Lincoln should be right up your alley. The movie is also quite funny at times, so it’s not all serious. Daniel Day-Lewis’s turn as Lincoln is a must see and the supporting cast is great.
After a 3 year absence Steven Spielberg hit us with not one, but TWO movies in a single year. Not only that, but he released them a mere 4 days apart in America. The first to come out was The Adventures of Tintin and the second was the World War I drama War Horse. I loved Tintin, but how would Spielberg’s first war movie since Saving Private Ryan fare?
War Horse probably ranks in the middle his filmography in my opinion. It is still quite an enjoyable film, but nothing that will remembered quite as fondly as his other war films such as Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan.
I’m going to sound like a goon saying this, but clocking in at 146 minutes, this movie moves brutally slow at some parts. The beginning didn’t really have a hook that got you interested right out of the gate. Once the war gets underway, the film picked up in a pace, although the balance between the stories of our war horse and protagonist wasn’t always there.
War Horse feels too polished, slick, and “Hollywood” at times. The lighting felt very artificial as if they wanted to get perfect Hollywood style lighting. As beautiful as the film was and as great as some of the shots were, the glossiness was a bit distracting for me. Considering how grim in nature some of the content was, that Hollywood feel felt a bit off.
As grim as the film can be, I was greatly surprised at how much humor there was in this movie. If you look at the trailers it just looks like a serious war movie, but there are some nice lighter moments that feel pure Spielberg. I liked the fact that this movie does not shy away from the nastier, more depressing aspects of war. There are several moments where I thought to myself “No, no, no! Please don’t let that happen!” and it did and it crushed my heart. A few of those moments were just executed so spectacularly.
The top rate cast adds a lot of gravitas to the smaller roles. I thought Eddie Marsan was criminally underused (same as his role in Sherlock Holmes 2), ever since Happy-Go-Lucky I’ve always wanted to see him in more roles. Toby Kebbell (the Rocknrolla himself) has a great segment near the end of the second act. Emily Mortimer as the mother in particular was quite great, adding a fierceness to the matriarch of the family. Peter Mullan is another actor I’ve been looking out for (ever since I saw On a Clear Day) and he does well as the war veteran father. David Thewlis was awesome in his little side role as a total douchebag haha. I thought Jeremy Irvine as the lead suited himself admirably as well.
One thing that completely helps this entire film is the fact that it feels like Spielberg left his imprint on it. There is so much in this movie that is inherently Spielberg. From the transitions, the shots, the movement of the camera, to the wonder of it all, this feels like a Spielberg film through and through.
War Horse is a film that I would recommend to anyone; I had a good time at the theaters watching this film. Whenever Steven Spielberg releases a film, you almost owe it to yourself to catch it in theaters because it’s clear that the man is so in love with movies and the movie going public. War Horse will depress you at times, but it will also make you feel good. There are several moments that are just pure movie magic, something that Spielberg is adept at catching on film. Definitely go see this film if you’re interested.
(And yes I bumped my score from what I previously put lol)Read more
I was lucky enough to get to see one of the biggest releases of the year a few weeks in advance. The Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson collaboration, The Adventures of Tintin. Spielberg hasn’t released a film in 4 years (the last being Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), could he recapture his movie magic mojo with one of the most beloved properties in the world? To put it simply, absolutely!
This is the first time Steven Spielberg is using the new motion-capture 3D system technology (popularized by James Cameron’s Avatar) and one of my biggest questions was, how was he going to use it? Even with the technology being used, this film feels like a Steven Spielberg film. Spielberg likes to operate the camera when he shoots his films and with this being a mostly animated film, he instead controls a virtual camera that basically has no limits. I’ve always admired the way that Spielberg uses the camera to help tell the story and create momentum in the plot. His use of 3D is so inventive and takes full advantage of playing with the depth of field, great stuff.
As far as the animation goes, this is some of the best CGI I’ve seen to date. I won’t say that the film looks photorealistic all the time, but there were moments in this film where I said to myself “wow, if I didn’t know about the technology they used to make this film, I might think this was a 100% real location,” and THAT in and of itself is an accomplishment. What felt a little odd is that some of the characters looked extremely realistic and others looked more obviously cartoony. It’s almost exactly the same with the environments where some looked photorealistic and others you could tell were CGI creations. That being said, it didn’t ruin the experience or suspension of disbelief for me at all. The CGI was top notch and some of the best I’ve seen in a film to date.
What I really love about The Adventures of Tintin is something that is a Spielberg specialty, the action. The action set pieces in this film are INCREDIBLE. I feel like Spielberg was like a kid in a candy store with this new motion capture technology because this is Spielberg unhinged and unrestrained, and it is a glorious sight to behold. There are scenes and stunts in this film that you literally cannot see anywhere else because it would simply be impossible to do in live action. The two stand out action set pieces are the ship sequence and the motorcycle chase, the latter in particular literally made my jaw drop. If you are a film fan and you appreciate good action, that sequence will do nothing short of astound you. The way Spielberg moves the camera, the action, the choreography, the chase, the score, everything just combines so perfectly. This movie feels like an amalgamation of everything that Spielberg has wanted to try/do since he started making movies but just couldn’t because it was impossible to do in live action. The action scenes are well paced and extremely diverse; the action scenes are so varied and no two set pieces feel the same.
The John Williams score was quite good, but not anything extraordinary. I thought that it enhanced the scenes on screen, which is usually my standard for scores. I may be alone on this opinion about the music though, but I don’t think that it’s as good/inventive as his scores for Catch Me If You Can or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. There’s certainly nothing here to match the classic themes of Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Harry Potter.
There are a few things that dragged down my overall experience. I felt like the story and characterizations were a bit weak. That made me a bit sad because the writers of this film are Steven Moffat (Dr. Who), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block). That is an incredible trio of writers collaborating on this plot, but the script was disappointing overall. I didn’t find the film to be very funny either (again, considering those writers I would’ve thought otherwise), gearing more towards kiddy slapstick humor, which works at times and doesn’t at others.
The story also starts off a bit slowly. The mystery is intriguing at first but it takes a little too long to get into gear, and then when you find out the motivations behind the characters it feels too simplistic. There are also little plot contrivances that are too easy and feel cheap, although I am willing to be a bit more forgiving in this film.
I’m very curious to see how well this film will do with American audiences. I’ve made this comparison in the past on my blog, but Tintin is sort of like soccer: the biggest thing in the entire world, but doesn’t do much for Americans. Will American audiences come out to see this film? It’s being positioned as a winter tentpole film in the vein of Avatar, but I wonder just how successful this film will be at the box office. Of course I hope it does gangbusters because it’s a wonderful film and definitely one the entire family can enjoy, but I’m a little worried about how this film will do in America.
The Adventures of Tintin is a good old-fashioned crowd pleaser. Steven Spielberg proves that he hasn’t lost his touch and takes full advantage of the 3D technology at his disposal. While the story and the characters feel slightly weak, this is still a damn enjoyable movie that children and adults of all ages will enjoy. Don’t forget to front the extra cost for the 3D, it is well worth it!
I will disclose here at the end of my review that there some fucking guy right next to me who was laughing like a fucking hyena at EVERYTHING. Even shit that wasn’t a joke or funny at all. Just like my Like Crazy viewing with the fucking MORON who pulled out a fucking LAPTOP, this might have affected my viewing subliminally. Just putting that out there that I might have enjoyed the movie more if this guy was not in the theater lol.
The Adventures of Tintin trailer #2!
Probably the best trailer yet. The action set pieces look absolutely astonishing. I can’t wait to see how a master filmmaker like Steven Spielberg takes advantage of the 3D technology at his disposal. That last shot though… that’s the definition of a money shot! To quote Mark Ruffalo from The Brothers Bloom “Wow! Wow is the word you’re looking for! WOW!”
I revisited Minority Report for the first time in a couple of years and my God, this movie is brilliant. It’s not like I didn’t love it the first couple times I watched it, but it’s been years since I’ve seen it last.
Steven Spielberg is a master storyteller. He has a knack for small touches that the audience may not realize, but it makes all the difference. There are several memorable scene of just pure adrenaline, and others where Spielberg just knows how to build up tension.
A lot of people chalk up good storytelling to the script, what’s written on paper, and completely discount the effect that the camera plays in telling a good story. Spielberg’s camera movement, placement, and blocking of a scene tells so much and gives the film a forward momentum.
I know a lot of people hate Tom Cruise nowadays and think he’s a crazy Scientologist. I’m not saying that I agree with everything he does in his personal life, but for Tom Cruise I can separate his personal life from his public works. The man is just a phenomenal actor. His role in Minority Report is very much a “Tom Cruise” character, not very dynamic, but he’s still fantastic. There’s one scene in particular that just breaks my heart every time I see it.
Okay there’s a few spoilers that I want to get into after the “read more” break. So don’t hit “read more” unless you’ve seen Minority Report.Read more
Cowboys & Aliens could have easily become one of those films I hated before I saw it. I saw the trailers for this movie at least (no fucking joke) about 20 times before I finally saw the movie. Seeing a trailer that amount of times usually means my interest is killed before the movie comes out, regardless of whether or not the movie is any good; examples of this include Hamlet 2 and The Soloist. However, I really dug the trailers for Cowboys & Aliens, so I didn’t mind seeing it so many times. The movie has garnered mixed/negative reviews from most critics.
I think that whether or not you have a good time with this movie depends on your expectations before coming into the movie. Are you expecting a masterpiece of blockbuster filmmaking? Or are you expecting a fun popcorn flick? If you are expecting the former and not the latter, you will be sorely disappointed.
It is hard to NOT think the former though because this is a film starring the likes of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, and Paul Dano, and directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1 & 2, Elf, Zathura). Not only that, but it’s written by Orci & Kurtzman, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, and produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Look at it from THAT standpoint, how could this NOT be the next great summer blockbuster?
Cowboys & Aliens does a lot things well and some not so well. I’ve read reviews that say that Jon Favreau is to blame for the film being bad, but I highly disagree. I’m not the biggest fan of the Iron Man films, but I always felt like Favreau’s direction was standout in those movies. He has a great knack for old school filmmaking blended with today’s modern technologies. I love his use of practical effects combined with CGI to create a more tangible feel to his films.
Where this movie falters is with the script which contains numerous plotholes, a plethora of unnecessary side characters with lame arcs, and relatively little answers to the mystery elements of the film. Orci & Kurtzman have had their fair share of hits, but their writing has always been hit or miss. Damon Lindeloff (Lost) also helped with the story and I’ve never watched Lost, but as Devindra Hardawar on the /Filmcast review of Cowboys & Aliens said, “Damon Lindeloff giving us a mystery he can’t answer? Gasp!”
A small nitpick from a movie nerd like me is that the sound mixing/editing was pretty atrocious in this film. When you watch a movie, oftentimes you don’t think about what you’re hearing even though that’s a big part of the movie. It’s usually because hearing something happen on screen is just second nature, but it plays a huge part in encapsulating us in the world of the movie. Cowboys & Aliens had some really poor sound effects, especially with the weapons where the six shooters sound like BB guns and everything just sounded so damn muffled. A great example of sound mixing would be Avatar where even though we’re in a completely 3D world, everything that moves, shoots, or makes a noise is implemented perfectly with the dialogue and action going on screen. You don’t think about how a gun shooting or a person running on gravel makes a sound, because you just automatically assume it’s going to be there. Movies add in those effects after the fact because they can’t record the sounds perfectly on the day they shoot. Once again, minor nitpick but it definitely affected my enjoyment somewhat.
What I dug the most about this movie, and the reason I was able to overlook most of it’s flaws, was just how fun it seemed. Sure, Daniel Craig gives off this brooding intensity throughout the film, but for the most part Cowboys & Aliens felt like some good old fashioned B movie fun. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are infinitely watchable movie stars, period. The film is far from great but there’s enough here on a popcorn level that I really enjoyed.
Cowboys & Aliens doesn’t completely live up to the premise or the talented personnel involved, but it is certainly enough fun as a B movie popcorn flick. There’s enough action and thrills to satisfy your average movie goer for sure. Just don’t go in expecting greatness and I’m sure you’ll have a blast at the movies with this one.
*scene where aliens pop up out of the water*
Jean and I: “Oh my God…”
*3 seconds later*
Captain of ship in movie: “Oh my God…”
Jean and I: LMFAO!!!!
I can’t remember if I shared this moment on Tumblr already, but I saw a post that reminded me of War of the Worlds and this popped up in my mind hahaha.
Is it that time again? Yes, I finally made it back to the theaters, and this time to review a movie that I’ve been highly anticipating, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Let’s do a brief history recap of my views on the Transformers series so far. I thought the first Transformers movie was so good, just so good… it basically took Michael Bay’s sensibilities, put it to the Transformers property, and made a fun action movie. The plot was dumb, but I didn’t go to a Michael Bay movie for plot, I came for special effects and action and that movie had both in spades. Transformers 2? Oy gevalt… what a fucking tragedy. The trailers looked like it was going to give us more of the same awesomeness, and instead we got a complete train wreck. It was seriously bloated, not funny, unbelievably bad plot, and a lot of the action was incomprehensible. I pop in the first Transformers from time to time when I want something fun to watch. Transformers 2? I have only seen it in it’s entirety once and then another time Chris and I skimmed through the movie when it was released on video, that’s it.
So when Transformers 3 came around, needless to say I was apprehensive. When that first teaser trailer came out, I got more excited, but it was when the full trailer hit that I was totally amped for this movie. Then again, I tried to temper my expectations because Transformers 2 looked good from the trailers as well and turned out to be complete shit, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high. Early reviews seemed generally positive, but when the full critical consensus came out, it was mostly negative (38% on Rotten Tomatoes so far). Despite that, I was still excited to see it because Michael Bay obviously doesn’t make critic friendly movies, but I still dig Bad Boys 2 and Transformers 1.
Thankfully, Transformers 3 is better than Transformers 2; unfortunately, Transformers 3 never reaches the heights of Transformers 1.
What I really don’t understand is why Michael Bay has not figured out that less is more? Transformers 3 would’ve been an insane balls to the wall action film if it ran at a much tighter 105 minutes instead of the bloated 154 minutes that it is. Why Bay insists on trying to build plot for a film that people go to see for the action spectacle is just mind boggling. The story literally makes no sense and the movie as a whole is super dumb, why not just run with that like movies such as Commando and Fast Five and just give us a bunch of fun action shit to watch and entertain us? I want to see giant fucking robots beat the shit out of each other! Not stupid conspiracies and pretending like we actually give a shit about the “characters” in Transformers.
What makes it difficult to create an emotional response to the Transformers themselves is that the concept of them is something that is not relatable to real life. The reason Transformers 1 had that emotional connection, however slight it may be, is because of the whole boy and his first car element (which was a Steven Spielberg implementation). That’s something that everyone can connect to. The second and third films have nothing for anyone to grasp onto emotionally. It’s just robots beating the shit out of each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I am an advocate for robots beating the shit out of each other lol), but the fact that Bay fails so hard in trying to make you care is really a detriment to the film itself.
What really saves this movie from being a complete redux of the mess that was Transformers 2 is the better action sequences and the top notch special effects. I saw the film in 3D and the opening scene was an absolutely gorgeous 3D space sequence. There is stuff in this movie that you will not see anywhere else, guaranteed.
The last 45 minute block of action is ridiculously insane over the top action. For action junkies, it is a glorious sight to behold. The only area where Michael Bay seems to have improved is with his visual sense during the action scenes. Whereas Transformers 2 was his (failed) attempt at a Paul Greengrass shaky cam style action, this time around the action is clear and shot extremely well, taking advantage of the depth of 3D without being too obvious/gimmicky.
It’s sad to say that there’s not a whole lot of improvement from the Transformers 2 aside from the action. If you go into the movie for a special effects extravaganza and insane action, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in so much other not worthwhile crap that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. This movie is pretty much critic-proof though and you KNOW people will see it, so I will recommend that if you do see it, see it in 3D because this is the way 3D was meant to be used to enhance the movie going experience.
I was planning on writing more but… fuck it, y’all are going to see this movie anyway lol. It’s not a great film, but I think that the experience of seeing all the special effects and action in 3D is basically worth the price of admission.
Steven Spielberg is one of the very few directors who could make a movie about a horse trying to get back to his owner a compelling drama. Cinematography looks gorgeous and the cast is filled with a lot of players that I love such as Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, Toby Kebbell, etc. lot of these people are underrated/overlooked. I sort of feel like they should just start handing out Oscar noms for this movie already haha.
All right I’ve called in with my reaction and tweeted it as well, time for the full review! I don’t think there was an embargo on releasing reviews on the film… anyways, like 2 people read my blog so I don’t think Paramount will mind or find out haha.
The first time I heard about Super 8, I was sold just on the names involved in the project (Steven Spielberg AND J.J. Abrams? Word?). I know people give Spielberg a lot of slack for War of the Worlds and Indy 4, but I really liked both of those films. J.J. Abrams is someone I’ve had a love/hate relationship with haha. I love the way Abrams shows enough in the trailer to get you intrigued, but doesn’t spoil the whole movie. At the same time, something about Abrams just used to irk me. Maybe it was me just hating on how popular he was or his demeanor or the legion of super hipster fans he accumulated over the years (there was a shit ton of “indie hipster” types at the screening lol). Despite that, I always thought that his work spoke for itself. Mission Impossible III and Star Trek were both very good films, would Abrams continue to show growth with Super 8?
What makes Super 8 such a special movie is the wonder and joy of a spectacle. Abrams just knows how to put together thrilling scenes with beautiful visuals that get your heart pumping. As with MI:III and Star Trek, Abrams shows that he knows how to keep the ball rolling. Super 8 has a good pace throughout and with Abrams’s sure hand guiding it, the movie never gets boring or lost within the narrative. His biggest weapon is that he knows what audiences want to see and he also knows the importance of restraint.
On a visual level, this movie must be seen on the big screen. The visuals (besides the direction) are the movie’s greatest strength. There are some spectacular shots during certain sequences that made my jaw drop. Combine this with the sound design and it leaves an impact, trust me. The sound system at my theater was a bit too high, but the force of what happens on the screen hits you in the chest like a ton of bricks. Basically, IT WAS AWESOME! It feels like a cliche to say it, but the Michael Giacchino score was great as always. It enhances the scenes at hand without becoming distracting or obvious.
The casting of Super 8 was inspired to say the least. Kyle Chandler (who I fucking LOVE as Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights) puts in some great work here as the detached and bad ass father. I hope that after this film Chandler receives the attention he so deeply deserves. The child actors surprised me the most in that they didn’t make me cringe or facepalm from poor acting haha. Matter of fact, they were a lot more entertaining than I thought they’d be from the outset. This kid Joel Courtney, who plays the lead character, Joe, was pretty phenomenal. He had some flat line deliveries, but it was amazing to see him hold his own against Kyle Chandler in some scenes. Elle Fanning was also very good, although the first scene we see her in I was thinking in my head “oh boyyyyy, here we go” because she was AWFUL haha. She gets infinitely better as the movie progresses, thankfully. I also dug the casting of several character actors whom you might recognize if you see the film.
The main thing to take away is that this is clearly an affectionate homage (to a fault) that Abrams wanted to pay to several classic movies that came before him. This was Abrams trying to create his own classic. While I don’t think he always succeeded, he certainly succeeded enough. There’s enough character, visuals, and thrills to satisfy even the most ardent movie goer.
As much as I love the film, I had a lot of problems with it that took away from the movie as a whole. Not enough to ruin it, but enough to irk me to say the least.
Something that irked me visually was the lens flare. Is J.J. Abrams turning the lens flare into his motif or his signature? A way you can easily identify his movie if you don’t know the director? Because if so, it’s really annoying. I guess this would only bother people who follow film, a lens flare is when a light source shines directly into the camera lens and creates a white/blue line on the film. Ordinarily, a lens flare is a mistake or accident, but just like Abrams used lens flare all the time in Star Trek, it’s here in Super 8 as well. The one funny story about lens flare that I heard was that on one of the Star Trek special features, they showed how he had a guy whose job was to specifically shine a light into the camera at certain times and after the takes Abrams would say “hey, nice lens flare!” LOL which is hilarious because usually directors get pissed if lens flare occurs during a scene.
One thing that really took away from the movie for me was how the characters seemed a little weak, they only work because the actors elevate the material and pull it off. The relationships aren’t as strong as they should be because the narrative jumps around quite a bit. There are a lot of subplots that need attention throughout the film and that takes away screen time from developing the characters. There are certain scenes that are clearly supposed to be character arcs that just don’t feel earned or deserved. One of them even made me roll my eyes in the theater.
Another problem that disappointed me was how derivative the film felt at times. Just off the top of my head Super 8 alludes to E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Signs, Cloverfield, War of the Worlds, Stand By Me, The Goonies, etc. For the most part, J.J. Abrams makes it work, but I can’t help but feel that the movie isn’t as satisfying as it could have been due to how little the movie has to say on the themes it evokes. On an emotional level, it feels like Abrams has nothing new or original to say and that’s disappointing to say the least.
I was also a little sad that most of my initial reactions/thoughts to the trailer ended up to be true. The film obviously has a certain mystery element to it and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more to it that you couldn’t ascertain from the trailer. Once again, this might be coming from a film fan’s perspective. This probably wouldn’t bother those who don’t constantly analyze and stress every little bit of detail about movies.
While it seems like I had a lot to complain about, most of these issues are not as major as I make them seem. There is an overwhelmingly large amount of good compared to the bad. I just feel like Super 8 could have joined pantheon of classic summer blockbusters, but instead has to settle for being a great film. That being said, it still doesn’t take away from how amazing the movie is as a whole.
With Super 8, J.J. Abrams proves that he can create a great film on his own (despite how clearly influenced he is by previous movies). Mission Impossible III and Star Trek were good films, but they were his take on already established franchises. This is Abrams’s first foray into original territory and for the most part he succeeds. With Super 8 he combines thrilling sequences, beautiful visuals, a fantastic score, and a top notch cast into a great summer blockbuster. There are sequences in this film that just beg and scream to be seen on the big screen. The 2011 hit list continues to grow as the year goes on, Super 8 is just another notch to add to this excellent year in film.
Currently watching. I don’t know if I will finish it, though. Kids make me cry :(
Christian Bale looks EXACTLY the same as he does today, except tinier haha. Great movie!
Teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tin Tin! TOTALLY GEEKING OUT RIGHT NOW!