Monday, June 13, 2011

Super 8: B

SUPER 8 POSTER, originally uploaded by JASON_CRYER.

On our way to the theater on Saturday, Mom reasonably asked what movie were we dragging her to. I was a little stumped how to quickly describe Super 8. Worse, I couldn't remember the title, Eight Millimeter, 8 Mile, eight something or other. I didn't want her to veto our choice by mentioning that it may have scary creature like Cloverfield, so I may have implied that the movie was about kids who find an alien like E.T. and the movie was made by Steven Spielberg.

During the movie, Mom expressed concern half-way through the movie saying she thought it was more like a horror movie. Afterwards, when I re-affirmed that Super 8 was like E.T., she remarked, "Yes, but E.T. didn't eat people." However, I think she enjoyed the movie.

Super 8 fully acknowledged that it was an homage to Spielberg's 1980s young-teens-go-on-adventure genre with a classic composition of fat boy, funny boy, and wimpy boy. And yet, this was a J.J. Abrams movie with a few flares, tragic character back story, Kelvin reference, etc.

My main criticism of the movie was that it was a bit too retro and pandering to Spielberg. Why set the movie in 1979 in nearly the same period as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), E.T. (1982), and The Goonies (1985)? Spielberg's kids movies were directed at kids in their time whereas Super 8 is directly at grown-ups who want to reminiscent about the kids movies they were raised on.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

X-Men: First Class: C

X-men: First Class Poster Redesignby rory_phillips, on Flickr

Scott, ma, and I saw X-Men: First Class yesterday. It was the first hot day of the year (80s f) and spending time in a theater seemed like a good option. Scott has been wanting see Thor, but for some reason that comic book movie just seems too 'out there'. Scott and I want to see The Hangover Part II, but I'm sure mom would not be enjoy that and we can probably wait for it to come out on DVD.

I enjoyed First Class more than 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, but I can't say anything about it stands-out as terrific. The movie explains the origins of the franchise. Unfortunately, it doesn't overcome the challenges of all prequels as the story feels unnaturally forced. Not only does the story have to explain the origins of the Xavier Institute and the Professor X-Magneto rivalry, it's further squashed into the Cuban Missile Crisis. I've heard First Class described as a re-boot, but it seems to me have the same comic book feel and character of the prior X-men movies. First Class missed an opportunity to truly re-envision the franchise such as the gritty, realistic feel of the 2005 Batman or the unrestrained 2009 Star Trek reboot.