REVIEW: Super 8

Super 8
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler and Riley Griffiths

Science fiction might be a genre that appears to always be looking ahead, embracing the latest 3D technology, CGI backgrounds or scientific discoveries; but at its core it has always looked at its influences and initial pioneers to give direction to stories that span light years, universes or complex human-political analogies away.

With the names J.J. Abrams and Steven Steven Spielberg attached to a summer monster movie, it appeared we’d be expecting the same expectations-breaking story: big blockbuster, big effects, big noises and big disappointment. Collaborations like Spielberg and Bay’s Transformers series didn’t give us much hope, but Abram’s recent works like Star Trek certainly did. A young gun with a visual track record and a producer with the know-how is a great comparison to Peter Jackson apprenticing Neil Bloomkamp with his District 9, which isn’t the only comparison Super 8 draws with the movie.

To put it briefly: instead of attempting to rewrite the genre as Abrams has done with TV, they flip the pages back, finding the core and simplicity in great story telling with a soft $50 million budget. Continue reading

If they were in television… JJ Abrams

Notable films: Mission Impossible III and Star Trek.

Famous for: Breathing new life in old franchises, science fiction, character focused drama in big-budget actions, well-orchestrated visuals, brightly-lit sets even for dark materials, the hit TV show Lost and other serialized television work.

Hypothetical title: Aftermath Continue reading

TRAILER: Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy
Directed by: Joesph Kosinski
Written by: Adam Horowitz, Richard Jefferies, Edward Kitsis
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Gerrett Hedlund, Michael Sheen

Rumors were true, Tron Legacy will be a sequel to the 1982 film which was one of the first films to rely heavily on early forms of CGI. Only this time audiences will be able to enjoy the Tron world in CGI’s prime and new exploration into 3D technology. Producing the project is the original writer and director, but to write the project Disney has doing what it does best, using full corporate synergy by employing nearly the entire Lost staff. Directing the project is first time director Joesph Kosinski, who only has a few video came commercials to his name. But it makes sense, given a few of the motion capture images look like video game characters.

It’s safe to call it a cross between Star Trek and The Dark Knight trailers, the former for plot reasons, the latter for stylistic. There seems to be enough plot to keep the story up to pace with visually magnificent Tron world, which looks like it might be the best of 3D yet. Disney is clearly dedicating itself to take full advantage of the new technology, although it doesn’t see to want to take too many risks since every film so far has been a remake or sequel (sans Up, but those were pre-Avatar days). Overall, it looks exciting as hell, and seems to take itself pretty seriously. Continue reading