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Tag: Super 8 (1-10 of 13)

The 'Stranger' tease: Five theories about J.J. Abrams' newest pop culture mystery


J.J. Abrams cast a meaty hook into the Web waters on Aug. 19, a teaser for a new entertainment project that we may or may not know anything about. The mystery box angler loves using this kind of bait: “Stranger” is reminiscent of his puzzling promo stuff for Super-8 or the crypto-content that the Lost brain trust used to feed fans during hiatus. (Remember “The Last Supper” ads prior to season 6?) Decoding this kind of stuff isn’t for everyone. And for some, it annoys as much as it amuses. Regardless: We’re biting. Because we are easily amused, and because we ran out of Breaking Bad analysis to read, and because no one  knows how to bait a hook quite like J.J. Abrams. We love how he turns marketing hype into storytelling fun. What’s “Stranger” about? Five theories — none of which involve Star Wars Episode VII (we assume it’s still wayyy too early for that). READ FULL STORY

Trailers often reveal too much about a movie. But what happens when they don't?

“Well, now I feel like I’ve seen the whole movie,” is an increasingly common complaint about movie trailers. Studios’ marketing strategy is frequently to lure viewers into the theater with a peek at a movie’s biggest fight sequence or most compelling twist, a promise of what people will see if they buy a ticket. But there are some trailers in recent years that have mastered the art of creating a sense of mystery and avoiding spoiling key surprise moments.

Speaking of spoilers, WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD for Oblivion, Looper, and Moon. READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: Why J.J. Abrams' 'Super 8' deserves more recognition

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Persona, Breathless, Hoop Dreams, The Bourne Supremacy, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: Super 8, writer-director J.J. Abrams’ love letter to his childhood, and all that that entails: Making Super 8 movies in the 1970s with his newly pubescent friends (including longtime collaborators Bryan Burk, Matt Reeves, and Larry Fong, Super 8‘s director of photography); fantasizing about wild adventures involving dangerous extra-terrestrials and nefarious military conspiracies; and obsessing over the movies of Steven Spielberg, the man who essentially invented the childhoods of a generation of Gen Xers, and who eventually collaborated with Abrams on this film.

Why it Wasn’t Nominated:  READ FULL STORY

Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes): Riley Griffiths shares his memories from the set of 'Super 8'

As 2011 comes to a close, EW.com wanted to honor some of the unsung heroes of the year for their outstanding achievements in entertainment. As Super 8‘s driven filmmaker Charles Kaznyk, 14-year-old Riley Griffiths (far right) made his big-screen debut in one of the most anticipated movies of the summer. Below, he talks about landing the role, horsing around with Kyle Chandler, and how J.J. Abrams worked his magic (literally). For more behind the scenes access to the year’s best TV and movie scenes, click here for EW.com‘s Best of 2011: Behind the Scenes coverage.

As told by: Riley Griffiths

I had no idea what the project was. The script that they sent me to audition with had nothing to do with Super 8. I remember seeing the Super 8 trailer and thinking, “Oh man, that looks like a cool movie!” It turns out I was auditioning for it at the time and didn’t even know! READ FULL STORY

Know your Fanning: Dakota or Elle?

Elle Fanning got her start in the movie business playing younger versions of her sister, Dakota, in films like I Am Sam and Taken, so it’s at least understandable that some people mistake one for the other. Like Kyle Chandler, for instance, who mistakenly told Men’s Journal in a cover story your wife will treasure that his co-star in Super 8 is Dakota Fanning. Though Dakota (far left) is four years older than Elle (near left), they’re both tall and blond, and since movies live forever, it can be baffling to tell one from the other on screen unless you’ve already read the credits. READ FULL STORY

Can you spy Bruce Greenwood in 'Super 8'?

There are a lot of spoilers to preserve in J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, but I have no problem telling you that Bruce Greenwood plays the “monster” that escapes the train-wreck and turns an Ohio town upside down. This isn’t exactly a Kaiser Söze breach, since Greenwood, who starred as J.F.K. in Thirteen Days and worked with Abrams on Star Trek, contributed the performance-capture work for the scary creature. The only real trace of his involvement is in the closing credits, which list his name next to a character named Cooper. But as the Montreal Gazette writes, Cooper was what Abrams and the crew named their mysterious critter. (It might be another nod to the Spielberg mythos: recall that the unreliable shark in Jaws had a name too, Bruce.) OKAY, NOW THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD — READ ON AT YOUR OWN PERIL: READ FULL STORY

Summer Movie Body Count: You can get hit by a train and live in 'Super 8'

Week 6 of EW’s 2011 Summer Movie Body Count continues with Super 8. For those of you who do not possess an extra-terrestrial memory, here’s a reminder of the rules. SPOILER ALERT: Things are about to get messy!

For a monster movie with a plot predicated upon an off-screen death and a catastrophic train accident, Super 8 had very few actual, confirmed fatalities. There were several pump fakes, most notably, Dr. Woodword — ya know, the dude who rammed his pickup head-first into a moving train. Instead of winding up a smear on the railroad tracks, he was discovered by the Super Six kids still breathing, and able to raise his voice and hold up a gun to boot, in his shredded tin can of a vehicle. Woodword showed up later lying in a secret Air Force hospital room bed, only to then meet his demise (confirmed by the reliable flatline tone) via a lethal injection. Survives a head-on collision with a freight train, dies weak and feeble from a syringe. That’s just not right.

(Speaking of the crash, there was presumably a crew operating the train, but our specific rules regarding the Body Count prohibit including off-screen deaths, and seeing as Woodword survived the disaster, who’s to say the train crew didn’t, too?) READ FULL STORY

'Super 8': Which kid is your favorite? Poll!

Talking with EW about J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, producer Steven Spielberg said, “The thing that impressed me more than anything is this troupe of kids, who have such an original voice and are so unique in their passions for making movies…. I root for these kids from the beginning, right to the very end.” Having kids who are fully-formed characters is what makes movies like E.T.The Goonies, and now Super 8 so special. The six at the center of Super 8 receive different amounts of screen time, but because of their distinct personalities, I’m betting they’re each someone’s favorite. Let’s put it to a vote below.  READ FULL STORY

Will 'Super 8' be another 'Cloverfield'?


As Mark Twain pointed out, history doesn’t repeat itself… but it does rhyme. So the release of J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 — a mysterious film about a mysterious something that mysteriously attacks a group of average-joe Americans — can’t help but remind us of the last time Abrams produced a mysterious film about a mysterious attack, etc etc. Abrams didn’t direct 2008’s Cloverfield, but the film’s marketing campaign bears all the hallmarks of Abrams’ buzz-generating mystery-box methodology. The trailer for Cloverfield debuted before Transformers, and trying to figure out just what, exactly, the film was about became something of an internet pastime in the ensuing six months. (Remember when we all thought it was a Voltron movie?) READ FULL STORY

Movie Math: 'Super 8' is a little bit 'Stand By Me' and a little bit 'Ed Wood'

Director J. J. Abrams has always been a pop culture polymath, and his new film Super 8 is a cinematic ode to an assortment of his influences (not least the early films of Super 8 producer Steven Spielberg.) If you wanted to see the mysterious chemical equation behind Super 8, read on… (MILD SPOILERS AHEAD) READ FULL STORY

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