Saturday, July 30, 2011

Movie: Super 8

Love him or hate him, you have to admit J.J. Abrams comes up with some pretty unique stuff.  I recently went to the movie Super 8 with some friends.  For me, it definitely accomplished what it seemed to be setting out to do.
Super 8 really feels like an extreme homage to early Steven Spielberg movies.  This shouldn't be too much of a surprise as Spielberg collaborated with J.J. Abrams in making the film.  From using child actors appropriately and somehow making them more interesting than annoying, to combining comedy, suspense and elements of sci-fi, at some moments you could swear you were watching a long lost Steven Spielberg classic like The Goonies or ET.  Some critics say the film stumbles in some areas to ultimately jog you out of this feeling, but for me it didn't seem to hinder the movie.

The story revolves around a group of kids that make films together and are trying to finish their newest production to enter it in a film contest.  This is a very endearing element to me, as well as I'm sure many other like-minded individuals who can relate to doing things similarly in their childhoods.  When a train derails during the middle of one of their takes, things start to become eerie in their once quaint town.  Even with a strong military presence, the children play a major role in uncovering the truth about these strange happenings.  The characters grow throughout the film and learn life long lessons along the way.

I found this to be a very entertaining piece of summer cinema.  If you're looking for a truly good movie that evokes nostalgia albeit being produced in the present day, look no further than this film.  It is one of the better one's I have seen this year so far.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Movie: Back To The Future Series

I am ashamed to admit it, but until just recently, I hadn't seen the Back to the Future movies in their entirety.  I think I had seen all of the first one, parts of the second, and none of the third, save a few clips of cowboy hats and horse riding, which at a younger age turned me away from wanting to see it.

I had finally decided to watch them being in case I ever get around to playing Telltale game's new Back to the Future episodic games, I would need to know the story.  In a way, I am a little glad that I hadn't taken the opportunity until now, as I probably wouldn't have fully appreciated them years back as a kid.  These three movies definitely fit in the realm of "They don't make 'em like they used to," and are a testament to, for better or worse, the 80's ability to churn out some pretty different movies. 

There are a number of things that made these movies so great.  First off, the story is intriguing and symbolic dealing with the main character's past and future in order to solve problems in the present day and learn life lessons.  Next, the characters are truly unique and develop over the course of the films to a point where one could have genuine care for them.  One thing that stood out to me was that there didn't seem to be a single unnecessary or boring scene.  Every scene seemed to be propelling the story forward in a fast paced and action packed direction.  That is saying something, considering the story spans across three feature length movies.  As well, in true 80s fashion, some of the humor is truly corny, but adds to the nostalgia factor.  Some of the best scenes involve Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown reacting non verbally to something that calls for a "Great Scott!"

Very imaginative, funny and enjoyable to watch, The Back to the Future trilogy is a timeless classic and staple of American cinema.  Parodied in many other movies and TV shows, it has become part of American culture to an extent.  One can't think about a DeLorean without also thinking about a time machine.

If it has been a while since you've watched them, or if you have never seen them before, gives these movies a watch.  Go back to a time when 1.21 Jiggawatts was a startling amount of energy, Johnny Be Good was too new to be recognized as a classic and bullies somehow reigned completely unchecked as if there were no law and order at all.  You may even begin to start thinking fourth dimensionally again!