Showing posts with label super 8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label super 8. Show all posts

Monday, 8 August 2016

Stranger Things is a spellbinding homage to the 1980s!

Stranger Things from director brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, now streaming on Netflix, is a mini-series gem fashioned from the cinematic touchstones of Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, and the pages of supernatural author Stephen King.

With a side order of John Hughes, James Cameron and David Cronenberg for good measure. This is a delicious buffet served with the utmost care for film geeks.

The Netflix series premiered during Star Wars Celebration Europe and the stars aligned...

The tale begins during a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Shortly thereafter a child goes missing and there's a monster prowling the woods of small-town Indiana in 1983.

Not since JJ Abrams' Super 8 have I been so enthralled by a Nancy Drew mystery peopled by characters that would have been my childhood friends growing up in suburbia.

A superlative young cast, ably supported by teenage crush Winona Ryder, David Harbour and Matthew Modine, and otherworldly cinematography that perfectly distills the zeitgeist of 1980s suburban Americana; tapping into our nostalgia-heavy era where Star Wars and Ghostbusters once again reign supreme on the silver screen, and the NES is making a comeback this holiday season.

The Guardian asked chief executive Reed Hastings if Netflix would commission another series in the wake of critical success.

He said: “Because we don’t have advertising we are under a whole different model to not compare all the shows and rank other shows, because it kind of doesn’t matter what everybody loves the most, it matters what you or I love most.

“You can get approximations ... if you look on IMDB the most popular TV show right now it’s Stranger Things, so that’s a reasonable proxy. It’s not that there’s no data, just that we don’t give out our data.”

Whilst we wait for confirmation of a sequel series. Netflix has announced the evocative synth soundtrack will be made available soon.

Have you seen Stranger Things? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Filming on Star Wars: Episode VII has begun!

Star Wars: Episode VII began shooting today according to this tweet from Bad Robot! Looks like Abu Dhabi as evidenced by a dusting of sand on the film's clapperboard. Only a few weeks ago photos were posted online showing what appeared to be an AT-AT foot in the desert.

The majority of the new movie will be shot at Pinewood Studios, which also marks the first time director JJ Abrams has filmed outside the US.

The Ancient Fear (rumoured working title) will see the original principal cast reunited on the silver screen for the first time since Return of the Jedi.

Abrams, whose previous films have included Star Trek and Super 8, recently said: "Everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."

Excited for new Star Wars? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

JJ Abrams talks Star Wars secrecy

“It feels to me like there’s a purity in not knowing every little thing.”

JJ Abrams talks Star Wars, spoilers and his book project S in The Telegraph.

The director has hinted at a more conventional promotional campaign than those he’s previously overseen for Cloverfield, Super 8 and Star Trek. “Star Wars is in every way a different animal,” he said. “It’s always been a more open, fan-engaged universe than I’ve been used to, so I’m sure there’ll be some sort of compromise.”

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

JJ Abrams apologizes for using lens flares

In an interview with Crave Online, director JJ Abrams admits his use of lens flare has become a problem.

"I know I get a lot of grief for that," Abrams said. "But I'll tell you, there are times when I'm working on a shot, I think, 'Oh this would be really cool ... with a lens flare.' But I know it's too much, and I apologize. I'm so aware of it now. I was showing my wife an early cut of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' and there was this one scene where she was literally like, 'I just can't see what's going on. I don't understand what that is.' I was like, 'Yeah, I went too nuts on this.'"

At one stage ILM had to remove lens flare from footage.

"This is how stupid it was," J.J. Abrams added. "I actually had to use ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is, I know, moronic. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery."

Perhaps Abrams will take a more nuanced approach to the use of lens flare in Star Wars? Reserving it for the clash of lightsabers!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Review: Super 8

The monster, ultimately disappointing, wasn't what I loved about Super 8! It was the superlative cast (seemingly plucked from The Goonies, Explorers and E.T.) and JJ Abrams' deft handling of action (showcased in Alias, Lost and M:i:III) and concealment of the monster (see Jaws or Alien for further masterclasses in suspense).

Super 8's finest moments are reserved for the interplay between childhood friends, as they shoot a zombie movie in the summer of '79, and the emergent romance between Joe (Joel Courtney) and Alice (Elle Fanning) in the wake of his mother's recent death - magnificently punctuated by visual nods to producer Steven Spielberg's sci-fi oeuvre replete with lens flare.

Mise-en-scènes that transported me back to the first time I saw Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in the theatre, not long after I'd suffered a serious head injury at Primary School; two movies that have profound familial significance; Star Wars received special mention at my mother's funeral service in 2007.

None of this should be surprising given JJ's penchant for intimate human drama as evinced by the director's innumerable hit TV series. All eloquently underscored by long time musical collaborator Michael Giacchino (Alias, Lost and Star Trek). Giacchino's soundtrack evokes the celestial yearning of John Williams' scores for Spielberg's early career.

Not since WALL-E has a film so successfully distilled a sense of enigmatic wonder; even if it falls short of Spielberg's greatest cinematic achievements in the final reel! Star Trek II and Cloverfield II can't come soon enough...