Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

Review: Super 8

June 12, 2011

Initially fate tried to stop me from seeing Super 8 by distorting my senses and leading me into X-Men: First Class, then the following two days life intervened and I wasn’t able to see Super 8 until last night, the 12 of June, at 10:40pm. Finally, I am able to write and publish a review… But what I don’t understand is why fate tried so hard to prevent me from seeing Super 8, when it didn’t raise a finger to me seeing Red Riding Hood.

Super 8, by my friends on Twitter, have been described as a cross between E.T. and Cloverfield, which I think is a solid description. After a train is derailed in Lillian Heights (a fictional town in Ohio, yet filmed in West Virginia), numerous citizens disappear, presumably obliterated. As members of the U.S. Airforce patrol the town, nothing but chaos ensues. Per the usual, it’s up to a group of kids who know what is destroying the town, to save the day.

The entire cast is great, surprisingly the kids, most I haven’t heard of. The little protagonists play amateur Horror filmmakers, and they consist of Joel Courtney as Joe (Makeup/Special effects), and Riley Griffiths as his best friend Charles (Director). Gabrielle Basso plays Martin (Actor), Zach Mills as Preston (Actor), and Elle Fanning is Alice (Actress), the love interest opposite Joel Courtney. Though my fave kid is Ryan Lee, who plays Cary, the group’s pyro that sets everything on fire. The two most notable adults are Kyle Chandler who stars as Joel Courtney’s father & town deputy, and Ron Eldard who plays Elle Fanning’s father & a drunk jerk.

(Wow, that was a mouthful. Be aware, I might change that paragraph if I can think of something better.)

For the most part, the story is great. As mentioned above, the performances are. All great, and to be honest the actors make Super 8 what it is, the story is supplemental, as good as it is. The ending, however, is exceptionally cliche and doesn’t live up to the precedent set in the rest of the flick. However, the song at the end of the end credits is My Sharona by The Knack, which more than makes up for the ending. :-)

While the young cast members play… young cast members, Super 8 is written & directed by J.J. Abrams, and produced by Steven Spielberg. Considering J.J. Abrams produced Cloverfield and Steven Spielberg directed E.T., is it really any surprise that Super 8 is a cross between those two? On paper it might not seem like the best idea, but it works, despite the ending of course.

The last alien flick to hit theatres was Skyline 2 Battle: LA which I thought was okay, however Super 8 blows it out of the water and is better than Battle: LA, in every conceivable way. The alien in Super 8 kicks ass, its space ship kicks ass, the story kicks ass, and every actor, young & old, bitch slaps every performance in Battle: LA. Summer flicks are supposed to be inherently bad, but so far the Winter & Spring movie seasons of 2011 have paled in comparison to just the first month of the Summer movie season. It’s almost like something out of the Twilight Zone, this role reversal.

Review: X-Men: First Class

June 4, 2011

It seems as if every week in Summer of 2011, a new blockbuster film gets released to theatres. There have been very high and very low points thus far, and I went into X-Men: First Class with a hint of skepticism since every trailer left me wanting. Surprisingly, at more than two hours in length, the film itself left me wanting another two hours. I enjoyed the first three “X-Men” titles, but this prequel is out of bubblegum and kicks ass [YouTube Link]. Continue reading this review only if it won’t make you late to one of its showings.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, X-Men: First Class is a prequel, but not necessarily to the first instalments in the franchise — It’s how the X-Men became “X-Men” (If you don’t know who or what the heck X-Men are, read this). The first bit of the film surrounds the backstories of Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), with the majority focused on the beginnings of the X-Men. Kevin Bacon stars as Sebastian Shaw, a wicked villain set on initiating a third World War. Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, and others co-star, and no one is safe as chaos ensues.

The most amazing thing about this film is the casting, which couldn’t have been more perfect. Between James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Bacon, X-Men: First Class is one of the most perfectly cast films I’ve seen in a long time. The aforementioned three are outstanding in their roles, and I can’t profess enough love for Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Magneto. Kevin Bacon inparticular was amazing as the bad guy — Truth be told, I think that Bacon should stick to playing roles as villains. He’s perfect as a bad guy no matter what the film.

That’s not to say the remainder of the cast weren’t good, I reiterate, all the casting was done perfectly. To nitpick tho, Jennifer Lawrence (who plays Raven/Mystique), as great as an actress as she is, doesn’t perform as well as the rest of the cast. Her character just doesn’t seem to fit as well as the rest, however that’s like saying tangerines aren’t quite as good as naval oranges. In other words, this point can be easily ignored.

The exact running time of X-Men: First Class is two hours and eleven minutes, which can seem like a long time, but I didn’t look at the time once. I honestly could have watched another two hours, because I was that drawn into the film. I was so drawn in, infact, that I didn’t manage to jot down a single note, and this review is being written with only my memory as a source. I can’t think of anything negative to say, other than my Jennifer Lawrence nitpick.

As of today, X-Men: First Class has thirteen showings from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM at the little movie theatre I go to (It kicked out a lot of films), so I’m sure, especially at bigger movie theatres, you can leave your home right now and catch a showing. It’s something that I suggest you do.

One last thing…

I apologise for this review being slightly vague… With this film inparticular, I don’t want to give too much away, you should experience what you can in first person. However, be forewarned, this is not a kids film. A lot of people die, and there are plenty of dark moments to go around. Proceed with caution if you’re considering taking young children to see this with you. Hire a babysitter. You’ve been warned. :-)

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