Tagged: Elle Fanning

Stan has today released a new teaser for the highly anticipated satirical drama series The Great, created by Australia’s own Oscar®-nominated writer Tony McNamara (The Favourite) and starring Elle Fanning (MaleficentThe Neon Demon) and BAFTA® nominee Nicholas Hoult (Stan Original Film True History of the Kelly Gang, X-Men Franchise).

The Great is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Season One is a fictionalised, fun and anachronistic story of an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter. Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside. A very modern story about the past which encompasses the many roles she played over her lifetime as lover, teacher, ruler, friend, and fighter. Incorporating historical facts occasionally, the series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine, Nicholas HoultPhoebe FoxAdam GodleyGwilym LeeCharity WakefieldDouglas HodgeSacha DhawanSebastian de SouzaBayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow.

The Great is created, written and executive produced by Oscar®-nominated writer Tony McNamara (The Favourite) and executive produced by Marian Macgowan, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, Elle Fanning,  Mark Winemaker and Matt Shakman. The series is from Civic Center Media in association with MRC Television.

The Great premieres 16 May only on Stan – same day as the US.

 

Stan today announced the much-anticipated series The Great from Australian Oscar-nominated screenwriter Tony McNamara (The Favourite) will premiere only on Stan from 16 May – same day as the US.

The comedy series chronicles the genre-bending, anti-historical ride through 18th Century Russia and follows the wildly comedic rise of Catherine the Nothing to Catherine the Great – as depicted by Hollywood heavyweight Elle Fanning (The Neon DemonSuper 8), starring alongside BAFTA Award nominee Nicholas Hoult (Stan Original Film True History of the Kelly GangThe Favourite) and a sensational supporting cast that includes Phoebe FoxAdam GodleyGwilym LeeCharity WakefieldDouglas Hodge and Sacha Shawan.

The Great is created, written and executive produced by Tony McNamara and executive produced by Marian Macgowan, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, Elle Fanning, Mark Winemaker and Matt Shakman.

The Great premieres 16 May only on Stan – same day as the US.

Well we’ve seen the worst… now here the best. Dave G takes a look at what his favourite films were for 2019.

  1. The Nightingale

Few films could match the power of The Nightingale this year. While described as a thriller Jennifer Kent’s film could easily been described as a Gothic horror. Brilliantly capturing the harshness of early Tasmanian settlement the film and allowing Sam Claflin to shine in the role of one the screen’s worst villains. The film shone as did its amazing star Aisling Franciosi.

  1. Ford vs Ferrari

In an era when films around fast cars usually involve epic stunts and a cast full of muscle Ford vs Ferrari did things a little differently. While the heart of the story revolved around the Shelby racing team having two of the greatest character actors of our era, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, acting opposite each other made it an audience’s delight and has rocketed it into Oscar contention.

  1. Joker

What is it about playing the Joker that seems to make an actor lift their performance? After great performances in the role by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger here Joaquin Phoenix stepped into this origins story and suddenly DC Comics had an Oscar worthy film on its hands… cop that Marvel.

  1. Buoyancy

From first time feature director Rodd Rathjen Buoyancy explored the practice of human slavery in a brutal way. Shot almost entirely on the water in Thailand with a very under-experienced leading man this film should have been talked about more often during the awards season. Rathjen is a filmmaker to watch in the future.

  1. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

When Quentin Tarantino makes a film these days it is not just a release it is a cinematic event. Once again Once Upon A Time In Hollywood showed what a serious filmmaker Tarantino can be as he creatively tells a story around the notorious serial killer Charles Manson. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt relished on a script that some thought was a little too talky.

  1. Midsommar

While I wasn’t a fan of Hereditary Midsommar is the film that has really shown me that Ari Aster is a filmmaker that really knows how to hit his mark. Thought-provoking, creative and gruesome, what else do you want from a modern day horror film?

  1. Sorry We Missed You

Nobody makes movies that critique modern day society the same way Ken Loach does. Once again Sorry We Missed You exposes what hundreds of thousands of families go through each day in a way that seems like a time capsule that can make you cry.

  1. A Bigger Jail

Brand new film from Australian director/screenwriter Matthew Victor Pastor telling the parallel story of a man living in a cuckhold relationship and a man who has recently been released from prison trying to fit into society. This is the film that should make Pastor a household name in Australian filmmaking circles.

  1. Blinded By The Light

An amazing film that mixed drama and comedy as it told the story of a young refugee coming to grips with living in Thatcher’s England. Uses the music of Bruce Springsteen as a back-drop this is one of the big surprises of 2019 and shows that Viveik Kalra is a young actor to watch.

  1. Galveston

Melanie Laurent continues to show that she is a filmmaker on the rise with the gritty crime drama Galveston. There is no way to pick where there movie is headed and it is only made better by a script that allows Ben Foster and Elle Fanning to put on two of the best acting performances of the year.

  1. Mid 90s

Jonah Hill makes his feature film directional debut with a film that Larry Clarke would have been happy with. Edgy and really captures the 90s… certainly show that Hill maybe someone to watch as a filmmaker in the future.

  1. The Public

Largely overlooked in Australia The Public saw one of the best acting/directing performances from recent years with Emilio Estevez delivering pure perfection. The films biting commentary on homelessness certainly made its audience sit up and take notice.

  1. Jo Jo Rabbit

You can’t do a comedy film about the Hitler Youth, right? Wrong. Director Taika Waititi returns to form with a film that will make you laugh and then make you cry. Sam Rockwell once again steals the show.

  1. Hotel Mumbai

Another Australian film that is perhaps unlucky not to be higher up on my list. Heart-breaking and acting packed the film captures one of India’s darkest days with an amazing acting performance from Dev Patel.

  1. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find

Great British crime thriller from director Abner Pastoll. Very reminiscent of the gangster fills of the 1980s. Has cult film written all over it and has a brilliant performance from Sarah Bolger who deserves to be a star.

  1. Marriage Story

Brilliant Netflix drama about a couple going through a divorce. Brilliant screenplay and brilliant performances by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Could it be enough to get Driver an Oscar nomination?

  1. Instant Family

One of the very few comedies to be released this year that actually had heart. Instant Family knew when to be funny and knew when to be touching.

  1. Ben Is Back

Perhaps one of the most underrated films of 2019. Ben Is Back is everything that you don’t normally expect from a Julia Roberts film – gritty and totally engrossing.

  1. The Dead Don’t Die

This film may have divided audiences but at the end of the day you had to remember that it was a film from the legendary Jim Jamusch. With that in mind the film delivered everything it should – quirky humour and unexpected turns.

  1. The Kindergarten Teacher

One of the most intriguing films of 2019. What seemed to be a heartfelt film about a teacher trying to help a gifted student had twists and turns that nobody saw coming.

  1. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

Not only one of the action films of the year but one of the best action films ever made. Amazing stunts and brilliant fight sequences… surely there are no action film fans out there that didn’t love this?

  1. Defend, Protect, Conserve

One of the most important doccos made this year. Captures what really happens when Sea Shepherd goes up against the Japanese whaling fleet which made for a really interesting viewing.

  1. A Dog’s Journey

Probably one of the biggest surprises for me in 2019. This looked like it was going to be light and fluffy but instead ended up being a film with grit that explored tough topics such as family separation. If you haven’t seen it, go out and grab yourself a copy.

  1. The Guilty

The Guilty is easily one of the best foreign language films of the year. Claustrophobic and suspenseful this is another of this year’s must see films.

  1. Yesterday

Danny Boyle once again at his creative best. Funny in parts, thought provoking in others, plus who would have known that Ed Sheeran would steal the limelight the way he did?

Live By Night

Oscar winning director Ben Affleck (Argo) returns to the director’s seat with ‘Live By Night‘ which is based on the Denis Lehanne novel (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River) of the same name, Affleck will direct and star as Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a respectable Boston police captain who grows up to become an employee of the city’s most fearsome, and successful, mobsters during Prohibition-era America.

‘Live By Night’ which also stars Scott Eastwood (Fury), Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon), Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher) and Zoe Saldana (Guardians Of The Galaxy) which open in Australian cinemas in 2017.

But now thanks to Roadshow here is the Live By Night trailer.

Maleficent

Summary: The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Robert Stromberg

Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault (story), Jacob Grimm (story), Wilhelm Grimm (story), Erdmann Penner (story), Joe Rinaldi (story), Winston Hibler (story), Bill Peet (story), Ted Sears (story), Ralph Wright (story), Milt Banta (story)

Cast: Jackson Bews (Teenage Stefan), Charlotte Chatton (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Kenneth Cranham (King Henry), Elle Fanning (Aurora), Michael Higgins (Young Stefan), Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Vivienne Jolie-Pitt (Aurora 5 Years Old), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Janet McTeer (Narrator (voice)), Isabelle Molloy (Young Maleficent), Hannah New (Princess Leila), Ella Purnell (Teenage Maleficent), Sam Riley (Diaval), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistletwit), Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip), Jermaine Tindell (Tactus), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Aurora 8 Years Old)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: M

 

 

OUR MALEFICENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Maleficent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

The Hollywood obsession of rebooting famous fairytales continues with Disney’s Maleficent. The trend over the last few years has resulted in some good films such as Snow White & The Huntsman but also some very ordinary films, anybody else remember Red Riding Hood? Therefore as a film fan you find yourself approaching Maleficent with a little bit of hesitance. The good news is there is no reason to because Disney have released a film that deserves two thumbs up.

Technically Maleficent isn’t a reboot it’s simply telling the ‘other side’s’ story of the famous Sleeping Beauty fairytale. The film looks at Maleficent (Angelina Jolie – Kung-Fu Panda 2, The Tourist) aka the wicked witch who cursed the young Sleeping Beauty, Aurora (Elle Fanning – Low Down, Young Ones).

In Maleficent we see what led to those actions as she is left to protect her land from the advances of the greedy King Henry (Kenneth Cranham – The Legend Of Hercules, Closed Circuit) and the pain she if left with after her lover, Stefan (Sharlto Copley – Oldboy, Open Grave) cruelly turns his back on her. We also see her team up with Diaval (Sam Riley – The Dark Valley, On The Road) to try and get revenge on all at hand but her love for Aurora prevents her from being as ghastly as she would like to.

Director Robert Stromberg, who is a first time director but has worked in visual design on some of the world’s best known films and television shows over the years, is almost asked to do the impossible here – that is to make a character who has always been the villain to the audience become someone that film fan’s will warm to. To his credit, and thanks to some help from talented screenwriter Linda Woolverton (Alice In Wonderland, The Lion King), Stromberg manages to pull of this feat wonderfully well, all while creating a film that also looks amazing as well.

Stromberg pulls off his challenge so well that as an audience member you find yourself changing sides very, very easily. Suddenly Maleficent is the good guy and King Stefan is the character that you want to see suffer. Of course knowing that this has to be watched by children means that Stromberg does also bring in some comedic relief to break up the darkness and that mainly occurs with Aurora’s minders – the bumbling fairies (or is that pixies?) Flittle (Lesley Manville – Mr. Turner, The Christmas Candle), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton – Pride, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple – Horns, Lovelace). The fact that the film manages to make these characters entertaining and not annoying is a feat upon itself.

Maleficent is a film that also looks amazing. Stromberg has created mythical characters that wouldn’t have looked out of place in something like Pan’s Labyrinth and the special effects team has come on board to make the creatures come to life and look spectacular on the big screen. The battle scenes also show that Stromberg is a very visual director and doesn’t always hold back just because he knows that little eyes are watching.

Despite its brilliance though there are a couple of annoying things that occur during Maleficent. The annoying thing is they are so small and can only be put down to lazy filmmaking and screenwriting. Firstly it is never explained why Maleficent can do great feats of magic, including make a tree grow back a branch but can’t do a spell to give herself wings again, and then there is a fact that at one moment the Narrator (Janet McTeer – Hannah Ardent, The Woman In Black) is calling Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit fairies and the next moment pixies. Surely somebody must have noticed that happening during the filmmaking process somewhere along the line.

You do have to feel a little sorry for Elle Fanning in Maleficent. She seems to float along playing Aurora, and while she is one of the heroes of the film is not really given much to work with, except for the direction of ‘look cute.’ No this is very much an Angelina Jolie film and boy does she step up to the plate. Jolie delivers a full range of acting emotions and more importantly makes Maleficent a likable character while she is still really the ‘villain’ at heart. While it is difficult to compare her work here to what she has done in films such as Girl, Interrupted this is certainly one of the better films in her career. A shout out must also be paid to Sam Riley who also seems to steal a lot of the screen time that he is given.

Dark yet beautiful Maleficent is certainly one of the surprise hits of 2014. While many may have dismissed this as a family film it ends up being a brilliantly made film that once again captures that magic that Disney has been known for in the past.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Maleficent (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Maleficent′: For our full Maleficent review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Nick and Greg take a look at new release films ‘Under The Skin’, ‘Sunshine On Leith’, ‘Maleficant,’‘Gardening With Soul,’ ‘Son Of God and ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’. This episode also contains interviews with Charlize Theron, Seth MacFarlane, Elle Fanning and Angelina Jolie.

To listen to the show you can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here

Maleficent

The trailer for Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ has just been released. Directed by Robert Stromberg it is an adaption of the Sleeping Beauty story told from the view of Maleficent. The film stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning and is due for release in the U.S. on the 30th May, 2014.

Check out the Maleficent trailer below.

 

Argo

And the winners are:

BEST PICTURE

Winner: Argo

Other Nominees: Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty

BEST ACTRESS

Winner: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Other Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmaunelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

BEST ACTOR

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Other Nominees: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Other Nominees: Alan Arkin (Agro), Javier Bardem (Skyfall), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Other Nominees: Amy Adams (The Master), Judi Dench (Skyfall), Ann Dowd (Compliance), Sally Field (Lincoln), Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Winner: Silver Linings Playbook

Other Nominees: Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom

BEST DIRECTOR

Winner: Ben Affleck (Argo)

Other Nominees: Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ang Lee (LIfe Of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Winner: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)

Other Nominees: John Gatins (Flight), Rian Johnson (Looper), Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Winner: Tony Kushner (Lincoln)

Other Nominees: Chris Terrio (Argo), David Magee (Life Of Pi), Stephen Chbosky (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Winner: Wreck-It Ralph

Other Nominees: Brave, Frankenweenie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, ParaNorman, Rise Of The Guardians

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Winner: Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)

Other Nominees: Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa), Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Logan Lerman (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Suraj Sharma (Life Of Pi)

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Winner: Skyfall

Other Nominees: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper

BEST ACTOR IN A ACTION MOVIE:

Winner: Daniel Craig (Skyfall)

Other Nominees: Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises), Robert Downey Jnr. (The Avengers), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), Jake Gyllenhaal (End Of Watch)

BEST ACTRESS IN A ACTION MOVIE

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)

Other Nominees: Emily Blunt (Looper), Gina Carano (Haywire), Judi Dench (Skyfall), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)

BEST COMEDY MOVE

Winner: Silver Linings Playbook

Other Nominees: Bernie, Ted, This Is 40, 21 Jump Street

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Winner: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Other Nominees: Jack Black (Bernie), Paul Rudd (This Is 40), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Mark Wahlberg (Ted)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Other Nominees: Mila Kunis (Ted), Shirley MacLaine (Bernie), Leslie Mann (This IS 40), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect)

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR FILM

Winner: Looper

Other Nominees: The Cabin In The Woods, Prometheus

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Winner: Amour

Other Nominees: Intouchables, En kongelig affaere, Rust And Bone

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEAUTRE

Winner: Searching For Sugar Man

Other Nominees: Bully, The Central Park Five, The Imposter, The Queen Of Versailles, West Of Memphis

BEST SONG

Winner: ‘Skyfall’ – Adele/Paul Epworth (Skyfall)

Other Nominees: ‘For You’ – Monty Powell/Keith Urban (Act Of Valor), ‘Learn Me Right’ – Mumford & Sons (Brave), ‘Suddenly’ – Claude-Michel Schonberg/Alain Boubil/Herbert Kretzmer (Les Miserables), ‘Still Alive’ – Paul Williams (Paul Williams Still Alive)

BEST SCORE

Winner: John Williams (Lincoln)

Other Nominees: Alexandre Desplat (Brave), Mychael Danna (Life Of Pi), Jonny Greenwood (The Master), Alexandre Desplat (Moonrise Kingdom)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Winner: Claudio Miranda (Life Of Pi)

Other Nominees: Danny Cohen (Les Miserables), Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), Mihai Malaimare Jr. (The Master), Roger Deakins (Skyfall)

BEST ART DIRECTION

Winner: Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer (Anna Karenina)

Other Nominees: Dan Hennah/Ra Vincent/Simon Bright (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Eve Stewart/Anna Lynch-Robinson (Les Miserables), David Gropman/Anna Pinnock (Life Of Pi), Rick Carter/Jim Erickson (Lincoln)

BEST EDITING

Winner: William Goldenberg/Dylan Tichenor (Zero Dark Thirty)

Other Nominees: William Goldenberg (Argo), Melanie Oliver/Chris Dickens (Les Miserables), Tim Squyres (Life Of Pi), Michael Kahn (Lincoln)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Winner: Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)

Other Nominees: Kym Barrett/Pierre-Yves Gayraud (Cloud Atlas), Bob Buck/Ann Maskrey/Richard Taylor (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Paco Delgado (Les Miserables), Joanna Johnston (Lincoln)

BEST MAKEUP

Winner: Cloud Atlas

Other Nominees: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Miserables, Lincoln

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Winner: Life Of Pi

Other Nominees: The Avengers, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Teh Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Super 8

Summary: In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

Year: 2011

Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th June, 2011

Australian DVD Release Date: 17th November, 2011

Country: USA

Director: J.J. Abrams

Screenwriter: J.J. Abrams

Cast: Jack Axelrod (Mr. Blakely), Caitriona Balfe (Elizabeth Lamb), Gabriel Basso (Martin), Dan Castellaneta (Izzy), Kyle Chandler (Deputy Jackson Lamb), Graham Clarke (Airforce Airman Korne), Joel Courtney (Joe Lamb), Michael Crawley (Airforce Airman Taylor), Dale Dickey (Edie), Jonathan Dixon (Airman Nevil), Thomas F. Duffy (Rooney), Ron Eldard (Louis Dainard), Noah Emmerich (Colonel Elec), Elle Fanning (Alice Dainard), Britt Flatmo (Peg Kaznyk), Amanda Foreman (Lydia Connors), David Gallagher (Donny), Ben Gavin (Deputy Milner), Michael Giacchino (Deputy Crawford), Bruce Greenwood (Cooper), Jade Griffiths (Benji Kaznyk), Riley Griffiths (Charles Kaznyk), Tony Guma (Sergeant Walters), James Landry Hebert (Deputy Tally), Michael Hitchcock (Deputy Rosko), Richard T. Jones (Overmyer), Beau Knapp (Breen), Ryan Lee (Cary), Teri Clark Linden (Mrs. Babbit), Kate Lowes (Tina), Scott A. Martin (Sal), Jake McLaughlin (Merrit), Koa Melvin (Baby Joe), AJ Michalka (Jen Kaznyk), Andrew Miller (Kaznyk Twin), Jakob Miller (Kaznyk Twin), Joel McKinnon Miller (Mr. Kaznyk), Zach Mills (Preston), Alex Nevil (Rick), Bingo O’Malley (Mr. Harkin), Tom Quinn (Mr. McCandless), Brett Rice (Sheriff Pruitt), Marco Sanchez (Hernandez), Jay Scully (Deputy Skadden), Jessica Tuck (Mrs. Kaznyk), Glynn Turman (Dr Thomas Woodward)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification:M

OUR REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘SUPER 8’:

David Griffiths: Stars(4.5)

It’s funny that Steven Spielberg is attached to the movie Super 8 because one of the things that hits you during the movie is that same feeling you felt the first time you saw E.T. The fresh-faced kids, a young actress that you know is going to be a star and even an alien that just wants to get home. It’s all there, but you can’t really say that J.J. Abrams has copied a single thing from the classic… because what he has done is create an individual film that shines for about 90% of its running time.

Super 8 sees a group of kids, led by Charles (Riley Griffiths) and Joe (Joel Courtney) trying to make a zombie film, but in doing so they accidentally catch a massive train crash on camera. However, this isn’t any ordinary train crash because soon the town is haunted by the disappearance of people, dogs and lots of things made by metal. Convinced that something is going on the kids decide to investigate. Meanwhile Joe’s father, Jackson (Kyle Chandler) is called to investigate the crash. He also suspects the military is covering up something but is also worried about his son’s budding relationship with Alice (Elle Fanning)

J.J. Abrams really has outdone himself here. He doesn’t fall into the trap of introducing the alien too early… after all the main part of this story is the relationship between Joe, his friends, Alice and his father. To his credit Abrams never lets the sci-fi aspect of the film overshadow those relationships… perhaps the right way to describe this film is a drama with some sci-fi thrown in. The train crash scene is enough to show anyone that J.J. Abrams is one of the finest directors we have around at the moment. It’s intense and stunning (without going over the top) and you do genuinely find yourself worried about the characters as they run through it. The only let down is the final 15 minutes of the film. The flowery end has ‘Spielberg’ written all over it and is ultimately what prevents Super 8 from being one of the finest films to surface over the last couple of years.

The other stroke of genius Abrams reveals is in his casting. Those who are fans of the TV series Friday Night Lights know what Kyle Chandler is capable of, and he certainly doesn’t fail to deliver here. Chandler is brilliant and it is a shame that his character kind of fades away into nothing towards the end of the film. But where Abrams really has made the right choice is with the kids. They are all brilliant but Joel Courtney seems to be the one that will have the massive career ahead of him… he is a natural talent. He is also well supported by Elle Fanning who seems to be following in her sister’s footsteps and is blossoming into a fine actress.

The first 90% of Super 8 are brilliant and Abrams really needs to be congratulated for his skill and vision, but the last 15 minutes of this film really do leave a bad taste in your mouth, it’s a shame it ends with such a PG ending rather than live up to its convictions. Still, Super 8 does more than enough to impress and is certainly worth a look.

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4.5)

IMDB Rating:Super 8 (2011) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Super 8′: Nil.

Trailer: