Super 8 Review (Spoiler Alert)

Super 8 feels a bit like it has two separate parts. The story of a young boy named Joe who meets a girl while shooting a zombie movie with his friends while he and his father are trying to figure out how to cope with the death of his mother and about how it influences their somewhat distant relationship. This part of the movie is well done, you feel for these characters and that’s something that is getting harder to find in today’s pool of action-driven blockbusters. The kids are believable in their performances and Kyle Chandler delivers well as Joe’s father. There are a few very good scenes, I admit I got a little teary-eyed. I would have been alright with watching just this part of the story, but most of the scenes that developed this story were interrupted by the other part of the story.

The other part of the story is your basic alien invasion in a small town story. It is a little predictable. In a recording the boys hear a scientist who was studying the alien tell them that the alien was a “good guy” and then he ends up being misunderstood and a good guy. I really expected this part of the story to be more complicated and have more mysterious puzzle pieces, seeing as it is from the person who brought life to “Lost” and “Star Trek”.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and recommend it.  Although some parts of it are predictable, it is thrilling, has good action, and has a heart.

 

Random Notes:

The music was pretty great of course because Michael Giacchino composed it.

A lot of good action and explosions in this film, like when the train explosion and when the tanks are destroying the city. The school bus scene was pretty thrilling,

I loved the scenes after something crazy happens and the kids are having like three different conversations at one time.

The kids were pretty cool, except for running joke with the kid who liked blowing things up. That was a little overdone. And the taller kid with glasses didn’t seem to bring much to the table.

It looks like J. J. likes camera flares. I feel like he might over due the use of them sometimes but it does seem to create an interesting, mysterious, and beautiful aesthetic.

Joe’s father’s name is Jackson, and is sometimes called Jack. He looks a bit like Jack Shepherd from J. J. Abram’s show “Lost”

A sign advertising the fictitious slushie drink, Slusho, can be seen in the gas station scene. Slusho appears in other places in the universe of J. J. Abrams, such as “Cloverfield” and “Alias”.

 

 

 

 

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“Super 8” The New J. J. Abrams Project

This secretive teaser for “Super 8” was shown before some showings of “Iron Man 2”.

“Super 8” is the new project from Steven Spielberg and J. J. Abrams. It seems to be about the mysteries surrounding Area 51 and it looks like it is set in 1979.

At Super 8 News you can see screen-caps from the trailer that show what looks to be a face. There are also screen-caps of the name of the website: www.scariestthingieversaw.com which is most likely the beginning of the viral advertising for “Super 8”.

If you go to that site, there is a fake old windows screen. If you move the window that pops up, there is another window that says “print documents”. If you press “ok”, your computer will print: “Stop posting publicly. I can answer your questions. I have proof.”

Update: The official and better quality teaser can be viewed here.

Top 10 Superhero Movies

With Iron Man 2 coming out this Friday, I thought I would create a top ten list for the best superhero movies ever:

10. X-Men (2000)

This movie does pretty well at balancing the characters and that it did a good job at staying faithful to the comics.

9. Iron Man (2008)

I’m not a huge fan of Iron Man. I thought it was overrated and at times I found difficult Tony Stark to be a jerk. But, it is interesting to see a superhero that has major character flaws.

8. Hellboy (2004)

An interesting film about an different kind of superhero, one who doesn’t give a crap.

7. Batman (1989)

Tim Burton made a new Batman world with his eerie and mildly campy touch. Five words: Jack Nicholson as the joker.

6. Hellboy II (2008)

Hellboy’s sequel is higher on my list because was more epic and had more twisted creatures from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro.

5. Batman Begins (2005)

This movie did a great job at exploring the psychological aspects of being a superhero. It focused on reality, not special effects.

4. Watchmen (2009)

My major complaint regarding this film was that it was too violent, I feel that the story kind of sold itself using the hyper-violence that the graphic novel was trying to dispel. Otherwise I felt that this movie was epic and quite faithful to the book.

3. Kick-Ass (2010)

This movie is a self-aware superhero movie. It pokes fun at the genre, even though it has some parts of a generic superhero movie. It is just fun. Read my review here.

2. V for Vendetta (2005)

Some people probably don’t consider this to be a superhero movie because it’s about a freedom fighter in a future dystopian society, not a nerdy teenager that gets exposed to something radioactive.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight showed us that superhero movies can be dark and smart. Blockbusters that actually make you think are too rare these days.

There’s supposed to be a teaser for the next JJ Abrams project before Iron Man 2! J J Abrams has dispelled the rumors that the teaser is for anything related to Cloverfield.

If you’d like to share, I wanna know what your list is, I’m sure it’s a little different then mine.

Lost In Another Dimension

Back in season 3 I had a theory. I think that Lost is gonna be getting into parallel dimensions. Remember when the Losties found the Doctor from the freighter wash up on the beach dead? And remember when Doctor Ray seemed to be alive back at the freighter at the same time?

O.K. Remember this video from Comic Con in the season 3 hiatus?:

Now think about the season 5 finale. Remember how at the end Locke was like this?:


And he was also here at the same time:

I think that maybe the John Locke in this scene is from an other dimension. Like the bunny that appeared in the orchid with the same number as the bunny that was already there.
I’m gonna take this one step further and predict something even crazier. You know how we are told that Widmore dug up graves to create a fake crash site, what if that’s not the case? People have lied before on this show. Lapidus thinks that the wreckage is fake because the pilot doesn’t have his ring on:
Its likely that the ring fell off sometime during the plane crash or something. What if it was the same man? Maybe, like the doctor and John Locke, the survivors of the plane could be dead and alive at the same time. Maybe the passengers of the fake plane crash site are actually the survivors of 815 from an other dimension or from another time. Maybe at the end of the show we will find out that the final fate of the passengers of 815 is for their bodies to rot forever in the bottom of the Sudan trench. I’m not so sure about this idea though, that would be a sad ending.

But I do feel that the final season will deal with alternate realities. Darlton have said that the sixth season will deal with a new timeline structure. And, I mean where else could it go? Time travel, flashbacks, and flashforwards are taken and there is supposed to be a new type of storyline this year. I know J. J. Abrams doesn’t have a lot of say in what goes on in Lost anymore, but his movie, Star Trek and another show he created, Fringe, both had parallel universes, so why not lost? Maybe the book that young Ben gives to Sayid in He’s Our You, “A Separate Reality”, was a little hint to the path Lost is traveling.
These videos from comic con also point towards a parallel universe:

What? Hurley went on a trip to Australia and made it back safely?

They don’t have a perfect safety record…unless this is Oceanic Airlines from another dimension.

But, we know this is not what happened, we saw Kate kill the man she thought was her step-father (We find out later that he was actually her real father) back in season 2 in “What Kate Did”. I don’t know about you but these videos seem to make it really obvious that we are going to be dealing with alternate realities in season 5.

Maybe the bomb caused a parallel universe in which the plane lands safely. The title of the premiere is LAX after all. And, maybe some of the survivors remember what happened on the island and some don’t. Or maybe they are in separate realities.

I like to theorize about Lost but I don’t necessarily want my theories to be right, because I feel that part of what makes Lost so amazing is the unpredictable nature of it. I just cannot wait until February 2nd!

Best and Worst Movies of 2009 (That I Saw)

The Best

1. Star Trek

I am not a fan of the old Star Trek. I’ve tried watching the old show a couple of times. But, this Star Trek was directed by J. J. Abrams. That would explain the complicated storyline, which is not common in many mainstream, big-budget movies. Another thing that Star Trek has that the Tranformers and GI Joes don’t have is character development. J. J. Abrams knows that it is important to be invested in the characters, because otherwise you won’t really care what happens to them. The only low point in the movie is the villan, but since the focus is more on introducing the character it doesn’t matter that much and it leaves room for improvement in the sequel. This movie was written by the writers of Lost, directed by the creator of Lost, and the music was even composed by Michael Giacchino, so of course it was awesome.

2. District 9

I feel that the marketing for this movie was well done. It was a viral campaign and not much was revealed about the plot in trailers. This gave the movie an unpredictable feel. I would not usually say something like this about a movie, but the guns were really cool and it had one of the best robot fights in any movie I saw this year. Director, Neill Blomkamp and actor, Sharlto Copley both did a great job in their first big movie.

3. Avatar

In “Avatar”, James Cameron has created a beautiful world with cool glowing, floating things, crazy hyena-like creatures, and glowing plants. This movie has themes of imperialism, and it involves a lot of action, a story of forbidden love, and its also funny sometimes. Read my full review of Avatar here.

4. Up

Pixar has not made a bad movie yet and Up is no exception. I admit that the first couple of minutes were quite sad I may have even teared up a little bit, maybe. I did not care for the dogs flying mini-planes or they squeaky voice collar, and the scene where the dogs are actually playing poker, usually Pixar would not pull cutesy tricks like that but I can look over that for this movie.

5. Inglorious Bastards

There were not a lot of gory parts in this movie, but the parts that are gory are quite gory. I was more disturbed by the way some of the members of the audience reacted during these gory scenes. I feel when you see someone get their head banged in with a baseball bat or when you see someone get scalped you should probably feel a bit uneasy and you probably would not cheer when something like this happens, but anyways… Quentin Tarantino does a good job at building up the tensions to a climax cyclically, throughout this movie. He does this mostly through scenes with intense dialogue and actually I feel that the music used is really helpful in that as well.

6. Adventureland

Adventureland looks like what some people would call “another teen movie” but it’s not. Its more of a fun love story. After watching this movie, I almost wanted to watch “Twilight” to see Kristen Stewart again. She and Jesse Eisenberg are pretty good in this movie. Even though Jesse’s character is very much like one Micheal Cera would play. Martin Star, Bill Hader , and Kristen Wiig are all quite funny as the other workers at Adventureland. The film does a good job at capturing the feeling of a dull summer in the 80’s (or so I’d assume) and it has a good 80’s soundtrack.

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox

After going with a couple of my friends to see this movie a second time, I noticed that many people did not catch the subtle and simple humor of “Fantastic Mr. Fox”. I feel this movie is probably enjoyed more by Wes Anderson fans then by children. But, I feel that this movie has a very simple and cheerful feel to it. And, the stop-animation is a feast for the eyes. Here is my full review of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” if your interested.

8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I felt that this was the first Harry Potter movie that was actually funny, mostly because of the awkward moments between the characters. I know a lot of people were complaining about the way they dealt with the death scene at the end, but I like the way that it was done. I usually make a big deal about the differences between the movie and the book, but I finally got over that with this one. The big difference in the movie was the attack on the Burrow that wasn’t in the book, which is kind of weird because Bill and Fleur’s wedding is there in the 7th book. But, I think this was the best adaptation of a Harry Potter book, yet.

9. Coraline

To borrow the word that my cousin used to describe Coraline, it is whimsical. Its also quite trippy and dark for what is considered a children’s movie. I mean, come on, she goes to a parallel universe where people have buttons for eyes and that spider-lady is pretty creepy, admit it. I saw this movie in the theaters and it had the best 3-D I have ever seen. And, you know it was one of those stop-motion movies, so it took a really long time to make and stuff, and it looks really cool.

10. Where the Wild Things Are

One of the things that I felt really made this movie stand out was the soundtrack by Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. It gave it a very tribal feel.This movie was so different from any other movie that I had ever seen that I did not know what to think about it at first. There were a lot of things that happened in this film that I found to be kind of strange. Like, when Carol pulled Douglas’ arm off and sand fell out of the wound.  But, I have learned to appreciated the absurdity of “Where the Wild Things Are”.

11. Funny People

Funny People is partially a life and death drama but its also very funny and kind of raunchy. There are a lot of jokes about a certain male body part. Leslie Mann is great in this movie, she just seems so sweet and vulnerable. And I have to mention that Aziz Ansari is hilarious, even though he has a small part.

12. Observe and Report

Observe and Report does well at doing the comedy-action thing. And the random and unpredictable feel of this movie makes it interesting to watch. Its kind of dark, kind of sick, but its also pretty funny.

13. Paranormal Activity

I liked that the way the director, Oren Peli, built up the tension in this movie. He seems to believe in the idea that less is more. This movie would not be any good if it had poor lead actors, but the fresh new faces, Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat, did a great job at pulling through. If you are interested here is my full review on “Paranormal Activity”.

14. Watchmen

This is the part of my list where I began wondering if these movies should go at the end of my best list or my worst list. I felt that this movie was more gory then it had to be. (In one scene a man gets his arms chainsawed off, in another someone gets hit so hard that we see their bones come out of their arm.) The matrix style fighting did not seem to make sense. There is a sex scene that shows way more then they needed to. I also found it ridiculous that they played the song “Hallelujah” during this scene. I thought that one scene that was done well in this movie and that was when Dr. Manhattan and Sally are on Mars. However,  I feel that overall the movie was pretty faithful to the graphic novel.

15. Public Enemies

Not to my surprise, Johnny Depp did a great job performing in this movie. Cotillard is mesmerising. Christian Bale’s performance was less the brilliant though.  I have to mention that Emilie de Ravin (Claire Littleton from “Lost”) was in this movie for a very small part. Some parts seemed to drag on a bit in this movie, but it has good action scenes and a love story at the center.

16. Angels and Demons

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would. I liked it better than “The Davinci Code”, which I think may have been because I did not read “Angels and Demons” before watching it. This movie is pretty much a basic mystery/action movie, it doesn’t really do anything else very well, but the ending was surprising and it was a fairly entertaining film.

The Worst

1. The Soloist

This movie is probably the most boring movie I have ever seen, I don’t even wanna write about it. I don’t know if I like Robert Downey Jr. he recently said this about himself: “I’m f–king really good at what I do—and have been for a long time, so I don’t waver on that,”(Source: E online) and in an interview with moviehole.com he complains about the Dark Knight being “so high brow and so f–king smart, I clearly need a college education to understand [it]” and he goes on to say “F-ck DC comics.” He just seems kind of stuck-up and rude to me but, you know, he might be a good guy or something. Anywho, this movie is fraking boring, don’t watch it.

2. Terminator Salvation

I thought Terminator Salvation would be a good movie. I like movies involving timetravel…usually. I thought that there would be more focus on Marcus being half human and half robot and for the movie to hit on themes like Battlestar Galactica and the whole debate about what makes humans, humans. There wasn’t much of that though, there were a lot of giant robots and stuff instead. Yeah, sure, giant robot battles are kind of cool but I’m tired of them and I’m tired of them being meaningless.

3. Transformers 2

Speaking of meaningless robot battles. This is Robert Downey Jr.’s kind of movie, no thinking involved at all. There are bad robots and there are good robots and they fight, for two and a half longs hours. Yeah, the bad robots are back because…well…magic! and how else would there be a sequel? The last scene is so drawn out and the whole thing where the main character goes to robot heaven and comes back to life is ridiculous.

4. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

I didn’t have high expectations for this film and it lived up to my low expectations. Rachel McAdams is the only good thing about the sequel. Night at the Museum 2 just seems like another kids movie utilizing slapstick humor and other cutesy tricks.

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