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Super 8 (film)

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Director  J.J. Abrams
Screenplay  J.J. Abrams
Duration  
Country  United States
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Music director  Michael Giacchino
Writer  J.J. Abrams
Language  English
Super 8 (film) movie poster
Release date  June 9, 2011 (2011-06-09) (Australia) June 10, 2011 (2011-06-10) (United States)
Release date  September 14, 2011 (India)
Cast  Joel Courtney (Joe Lamb), Elle Fanning (Alice Dainard), Riley Griffiths (Charles), Kyle Chandler (Jackson Lamb), Noah Emmerich (Nelec), Amanda Michalka (Jen Kaznyk)
Similar movies  Blackhat, Salt, Mad Max: Fury Road, Sliver, John Wick, Mission: Impossible III
Tagline  It Arrives.

Super 8 trailer 2 official movie trailer 2011


Super 8 is a 2011 American science-fiction thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle Chandler and tells the story of a group of young teenagers who are filming their own Super 8 movie when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their town. The film was shot in Weirton, West Virginia and surrounding areas.

Contents

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

Super 8 was released on June 10, 2011, in conventional and IMAX theaters in the United States. The film was well received, with critics praising the film for its nostalgic elements, visual effects, musical score, and for the performances of the cast, in particular, both Fanning and newcomer Courtney's acting was cited, while also being compared to such thematically similar films as E.T., Stand by Me, and The Goonies. Super 8 was also a commercial success, grossing over $260 million against a $50 million budget. The film received several awards and nominations, primarily in technical and special effects categories, Giacchino's musical score, as well as for Courtney and Fanning's performances.

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

How to shoot on super 8 film


Plot

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

In 1979, Deputy Sheriff Jack Lamb (Kyle Chandler) of Lillian, Ohio, and his 14-year-old son Joe (Joel Courtney), mourn the death of his mother Elizabeth (Caitriona Balfe) in a steel mill accident. Jack blames her co-worker, Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard), as she was covering his shift while he recovered from a hangover, and all Joe has left is a locket that belonged to her, that he now holds on to.

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

Four months after Elizabeth's funeral, Joe's best friend Charles Kaznyk (Riley Griffiths) decides to make a low-budget zombie movie for an international film competition. Charles enlists the help of Preston Scott (Zach Mills), Martin Read (Gabriel Basso), and Cary McCarthy (Ryan Lee), as well as Dainard's daughter, Alice (Elle Fanning). Though their fathers would be furious, Joe and Alice become close to each other.

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

Charles has them film a scene at a train depot at midnight. During a rehearsal, a train approaches, and Charles has them start filming as the train passes to add 'production value'. While filming, Joe witnesses a pickup truck drive onto the tracks and ram the train, causing a massive derailment that destroys the train, the depot and the surrounding area, and separates the children from each other amidst the chaos. Joe finds himself near one container, to which the loading door is violently thrown from the carriage by an unseen force. Eventually the kids regroup and wander the wreckage. The children investigate the wreck and find crates full of strange white cubes, then discover the truck's driver is Dr. Woodward (Glynn Turman), their biology teacher. Woodward, barely alive, warns them at gunpoint to forget what they saw that night, or else they and their parents will be killed. The children flee the scene just as a convoy from the local U.S. Air Force base, led by Col. Nelec (Noah Emmerich), arrives at the scene. Nelec discovers an empty Super 8mm film box, and assumes the event was purposely captured on camera.

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

While Joe and Charles wait for their film to be developed, the town experiences strange events: All the dogs run away, several townspeople go missing, the electrical power fluctuates and electronic items from all over are stolen. Overhearing military communications, Jack approaches Nelec to address the rising panic in town, but Nelec instead orders him arrested. Nelec orders the use of flamethrowers to start wildfires outside of town, as an excuse to evacuate people to the base. Suddenly, soldiers sweep into town to begin the evacuation. Meanwhile, Joe and Charles watch the derailment footage and discover that a large creature escaped from the train.

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

At the base, Joe learns from Alice's father that she is missing, abducted by the creature following an argument between Alice and her father. Joe, Charles, Martin, and Cary convince Jen (AJ Michalka), Charles' older sister, to pretend to hit on Donny (a worker at the camera shop) in order to get into town to rescue Alice. They break into Dr. Woodward's storage trailer and discover films and documents from his time as a government researcher.

Super 8 (film) movie scenes

They play the film, which reveals that an alien crash-landed in 1958. The Air Force captured the alien and was running experiments on it while keeping it from its ship. Woodward was one of the scientists experimenting on the ship, composed of the white cubes. At one point, the alien grabbed Woodward, apparently establishing a psychic connection with him. Now understanding the alien, he was compelled to rescue it and help it escape from Earth. He found out about the train, years later, and sought the opportunity to help the creature. The boys are caught by Nelec, but as they are taken back to base, the alien attacks their bus. The airmen are killed and the boys escape. Meanwhile, Jack escapes from the base's brig and makes his way to the shelter housing the townsfolk. He learns from Preston about Joe's plan to rescue Alice. Jack and Dainard then agree to put aside their differences to save their kids, making amends along the way.

In town, their hardware mysteriously malfunctions as the military attempts to kill the alien. Martin is injured in an explosion, so Charles stays behind with him while Joe and Cary head to the cemetery, where Joe had earlier seen something there that made him suspicious. Inside the cemetery's garage, they find a massive tunnel leading to a warren of underground caverns. In a chamber beneath the town's water tower, they find the alien has created a device from the town's stolen electronics, that it appears to be trying to fully activate, attached to the base of the tower. The alien also has several people, including Alice, hanging from the ceiling and unconscious, that it uses for food. Using Cary's firecrackers as a distraction, Joe frees Alice and the others, but they end up trapped in a dead end cavern after the alien chases them down and eats the others. Alice and Cary scream and cower against the tunnel wall, but Joe steps forward and tries to talk to the alien. The alien grabs Joe, who quietly speaks to the alien, telling him over and over that "bad things happen" but that the alien "can still live". After studying Joe for a moment, and then hearing its device fully activating, the alien releases him and departs, allowing the three to return to the surface.

As Joe and Alice reunite with their fathers, everyone watches as numerous metal objects from all over town are pulled to the top of the water tower by an unknown force. The white cubes are also pulled in to assemble into the alien's spaceship, using the objects and the water tower as its base. As it nears completion, the alien enters the spaceship. The locket is then drawn from out of Joe's pocket towards the tower and Joe, after a brief moment, decides to let it go, completing the ship. The water tank implodes and as the tower legs fall a safe distance away into the street, the ship rockets into space. Joe takes Alice's hand as they watch the ship depart into the night sky.

During the credits, the kids' completed film, entitled The Case, is shown.

Production

J.J. Abrams had the idea to start a film by showing a factory's "Accident-Free" sign long before he came up with the rest of the idea of the film. Super 8 was actually the combination of two ideas; one for a film about kids making their own movie during the 1970s, and another for a blockbuster alien invasion film. Worried that the former idea would not attract enough attendance, Abrams combined the ideas.

Abrams and Spielberg collaborated in a storytelling committee to come up with the story for the film. The film was initially reported to be either a sequel or prequel to the 2008 film Cloverfield, but this was quickly denied by Abrams. Primary photography began in fall (September/October) 2010. The teaser itself was filmed separately in April. Super 8 is the first original J. J. Abrams film project produced by Amblin Entertainment, Bad Robot Productions, and Paramount Pictures.

Abrams wanted to find new faces to play the parts in his movie. He conducted a national talent search in order to find the child actors to play each of the leading roles. Courtney (who was hoping to land a part in a commercial) was picked out of many boys because Abrams found something "different" in him. Riley Griffiths sent Abrams a tape of himself in order to land the part of Charles.

Filming took place in Weirton, West Virginia, from September to October 2010. To promote the film, Valve Corporation created a short video game segment and released it alongside the Windows and Mac versions of Portal 2.

Abrams' original plan was to film all of the sequences for the film-within-a-film, "The Case", in Super-8 using Pro8mm stock and cameras. However, this approach proved unsuccessful, as visual effects house Industrial Light and Magic found it impossible to integrate CGI into the footage due to the format's graininess. For sequences involving CGI, cinematographer Larry Fong used Super-16 instead.

Soundtrack

The score for the film was composed by Michael Giacchino, Abrams' long-time collaborator. The soundtrack was released on August 2, 2011, by Varèse Sarabande. It won the 2012 Saturn Award for Best Music.

During the ending credits, the songs "Don't Bring Me Down" by Electric Light Orchestra and "My Sharona" by The Knack are featured. The Blondie song "Heart of Glass" and The Cars song "Bye Bye Love" are also featured in the film.

All music composed by Michael Giacchino (although track 33, "The Case", is credited on the liner notes to the film character Charles Kaznyk).

Viral marketing campaign

Like Cloverfield, an earlier J. J. Abrams-produced film, Super 8 was promoted through an extensive viral marketing campaign. The first trailer for the movie was attached to Iron Man 2, released in May 2010. The trailer gave the premise of a section of Area 51 being closed down in 1979 and its contents being transported by freight train to Ohio. A pickup truck drives into the oncoming train, derailing it, and one of the carriages is smashed open while a Super 8 camera films. Fans analyzing the trailer found a hidden message, "Scariest Thing I Ever Saw", contained in the final frames of the trailer. This led to a website, www.scariestthingieversaw.com, which simulated the interface of a PDP-11 and contained various clues to the film's story-line; the computer was eventually revealed to belong to Josh Woodward, the son of Dr. Woodward, who is trying to find out what happened to his father. Another viral website, www.rocketpoppeteers.com, was also found, which like Slusho from Cloverfield plays no direct part in the film but is indirectly related. The official Super 8 website also contained an "editing room" section, which asked users to find various clips from around the web and piece them together. When completed, the reel makes up the film found by the kids in Dr. Woodward's trailer, showing the ship disintegrating into individual white cubes, and the alien reaching through the window of its cage and snatching Dr. Woodward. The video game Portal 2 contains an interactive trailer placing the player on board the train before it derails, and showing the carriage being smashed open and the roar of the alien within.

Release

The film was released on June 9, 2011, in Australia; June 10, 2011, in the United States; and August 5, 2011, in the United Kingdom. On June 8, Paramount also launched a “Super 8 Sneak Peek” Twitter promotion, offering fans a chance to purchase tickets for an advance screening, taking place on June 9, 2011, in the United States. The film opened at #1 in the U.S. Box Office for that weekend, grossing about $35 million.

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 22, 2011. The release was produced as a combo pack with a Digital Copy, including nine bonus features and fourteen deleted scenes.

Box office

Super 8 had a production budget of $50 million. It was commercially released on June 10, 2011. In the United States and Canada, it opened in 3,379 theaters and grossed over $35.4 million on its opening weekend, ranking first at the box office. The film grossed $127 million in North America with a worldwide total of some $260 million.

Critical response

Super 8 received positive reviews from critics. On the film-critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a score of 82%, based on 269 reviews, and a rating average of 7.4/10, with the consensus that: "it may evoke memories of classic summer blockbusters a little too eagerly for some, but Super 8 has thrills, visual dazzle, and emotional depth to spare." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score from 1–100 to reviews from critics, assigned the film a Metascore of 72 based on 41 critics, signifying "generally favorable reviews".

Chris Sosa of Gather gave the film an A rating, calling it, "a gripping and exciting tale of finding one's place in the world amidst tragedy". His review concluded, "While the genre-bending occasionally unsettles, the film's genuine and emotionally gripping nature make its journey believable."

Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4 and said, "Super 8 is a wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of film-making, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action. Abrams treats early adolescence with tenderness and affection." Richard Corliss of Time gave it a similarly positive review, calling it "the year's most thrilling, feeling mainstream movie". He then named it one of the Top 10 Best Movies of 2011. Jamie Graham of Total Film gave the film a perfect five-star rating, saying, "like Spielberg, Abrams has an eye for awe, his deft orchestration of indelible images – a tank trundling through a children's playground, a plot-pivotal landmark framed in the distance through a small hole in a bedroom wall – marking him as a born storyteller". Christopher Orr of The Atlantic called it a "love letter to a cinematic era", while Claudia Puig of USA Today praised it as "a summer blockbuster firing on all cylinders".

Critics and audiences alike were polarized on the film's ending. Some found it to be emotional, powerful, and satisfying while others found it rushed and forced. For example, writing for MUBI's Notebook, Fernando F. Croce alleged that "no film this year opens more promisingly and ends more dismally than J.J. Abrams' Super 8." Other critics commented negatively on the film's frequent homages to early works of Spielberg, particularly in its depiction of broken families (a theme Spielberg has explored in nearly all of his films). For example, CNN's Tom Charity felt that "Abrams' imitation [was] a shade too reverent for [his] taste." David Edelstein, of New York magazine, called it a "flagrant crib," adding that "Abrams has probably been fighting not to reproduce Spielberg's signature moves since the day he picked up a camera. Now, with the blessing of the master, he can plagiarize with alacrity."

Accolades

In addition to these awards, the film was short-listed for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and Best Original Score, and the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects. Paramount submitted it for several considerations for the BAFTAs including Best Film, Best Director (J. J. Abrams), Best Original Screenplay, Leading Actor (Kyle Chandler), Supporting Actress (Elle Fanning), Supporting Actor (Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich), Cinematography, Production Design, Editing, Costume Design, Original Music, Sound, Makeup and Hair, and Special Visual Effects.

References

Super 8 (film) Wikipedia
Super 8 (film) IMDb Super 8 (film) themoviedb.org


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