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I'm pretty sure it was this time (June 2011) last year that the casting announcement went out for the male and female lead of the new JJ Abrams/Steven Spielberg project. When something is filmed this quickly and released less then a year later I would consider that a bad sign. Super 8 is the exception to the rule.
Super 8 can only be explained by this formula [?That 70's Show(ET+The Goonies+Close Encounters of the Third Kind+Jaws)]xAwesome². This movie has something for everyone, mystery, horror, suspense, coming of age, love, tragedy, and you may cry in the end.
The kids with the exception of Elle Fanning (yes younger sister of Dakota) and a handful of others are all new this industry and one can only hope this will not be their performance of a lifetime. I would like to see some of them return for more challenging projects.
There's not much I can say more about Super 8 without ruining the film. This is a must see, and has the potential to be an Oscar contender in some categories.
If they took out an hour of this movie it would have been much better. There was way too much filler and plot holes. I like me some Transformers but this movie would have been better as cartoon as part of the series. There was much I enjoyed, but then again the cons just brought it down.
As we all know by now the lovely Megan Fox is gone -- that's what you get or calling your boss Hitler, particularly when his boss is Jewish -- and she is replaced by the equally gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I'm kind of glad they did away with Fox's character as she was never in the series. HW's character Carly was however an integral part of the original cartoon, going so far as to mother Sam's child, Daniel. Patrick Dempsey's character was a nice addition to the dynamic of the story. His backstory about his father's Faustian pact with Soundwave, did add a lot to the mythology. Again this was something seen in the cartoon, but it never bods well for the human when striking a bargain with the Decepticons. There was a little more leniency here, which is surprising considering how Megatron feels about humans, I'm amazed he wasn't killed off sooner.
Can someone please tell me what the point of John Malkovich's character was? He really had no real purpose for the movie, and he's gone with no explanation half-way through. The movie could have worked without him -- there I cut the film down by 10 minutes -- and I wonder if he added as a favour.
I'm sorry I need a timeline for the events that occur in the movie, because I'm confused as hell. It seems that times and dates overlap, and continuity is skewed. Which brings up the point, wasn't the Matrix of Leadership destroyed in "Revenge of the Fallen"? I seem to remember it was turn to ash. I'm glad it's back as it gives me hope that Rodimus Prime still has potential for appearing. On that note wasn't Optimus revealed to be a descendant of the original Primes? So what's up with all this passing of the Matrix stuff from robot to robot? Speaking of Primes...
Sentinel Prime, interesting character, and I love the addition of Leonard Nemoy's voice. It is interesting that he voiced this character as in the original cartoon he was the voice of Galvatron (Megaton's evolved form). Now this is where I get annoyed, did they really have to squeeze in some Spock into this character/movie. Earlier in the movie two Autobots were watching Star Trek with, you guessed it, a scene featuring Spock. To add insult to injury Sentinel even says "the needs of the many outweigh those of the few". A classic Spock line. Guys you're killing me here.
Boy did they mess up Shockwave. In the cartoon you never saw a hint of emotion, only the flashing light when he spoke. That's what made him terrifying. This movie did leave that in, but his body language, and tentacles are a big tip-off to what he's thinking and about to do. He wasn't as scary. More important question where was he in the first two movies? There was not explanation to his sudden appearance. He was the Decepticon guardian of Cybertron in the cartoon, and they definitely could have used that in this movie.
As for the others well I really had no real beef with their characters. It would have been nice to have seen Sentinel call Optimus by his not Prime name, Opus Dax. Soundwave would have been less confusing if he stopped changing forms all the time, but since he was a cassette player in the initial series giving him a modern look is hard.
So there I said all I need to say about this movie. I still want to see the DINOBOTS, and I know there's a lot of people that feel the same way. All in due time I suppose.
If you don't know how I feel about novels turned into movies I'll let you know, I'm not a fan. Hollywood has this rather annoying habit of changing the plot, characters, title and occasionally genders just to appease somebody in a corporate hierarchy. You don't mess with perfection, those that try tend to flawlessly recreate the wheel. So is this an accurate description of Avalon High? Yep.
The movie in itself was rather good and enjoyable, making this one of Disney's more successful films. Had they not deviated from the original source material the film would have been amazing. To avoid spoiling the film's ending I'll keep things ambiguous as possible. When Arthur and Modred finally reveal their true selves, they are not true to prophecy or legend. This unfortunately makes the rising action and backstory rather redundant. The denouement deviates so far from the build up that you are left wondering how everyone is related and connected to Arthurian lore. Take Lancelot and Gwinevere, although their modern incarnates reenact their past selves, by films end one is left wondering how they can be related to the Arthur incarnate. Although a negative the theme of things are not always as they seem is prominent, and does occasionally help the story to move forward, and surprise the viewer.
Unlike the book the film introduces the character of Miles. After reviewing the novel's summary and character one wonders why his character was even needed. Miles is the awkward geek, but is there some Hollywood rule that says such a character has to present in a movie? As much as I liked the character, he really had no purpose.
I'm going to have to say they completely dropped the ball on Mr. Moore. The books had him as Merlin, but here he is someone else (that's the only big spoiler hint you are getting from me), Merlin is supposed to be wise, and older then any other character in Arthurian lore (with potential exception to the Lady-of-the-Lake), which fits in nicely as a teacher in a high school. Also another stupid oversight, Steve Valentine, who plays Mr. Moore is an accomplished magician. Keeping that character true to form would have been a wise move.
Okay now all the ladies in the house obviously want me to talk about the star Gregg Sulkin. Now obviously I completely avoided mention of him (and his character Will), and Brittany Robertson only because it is difficult to not mention either of them without giving away serious spoilers. I'll just say Gregg's character is the star football player and Brittany's is the new girl in school who is slowly discovering the secrets of Avalon High -- her parents being professors of medieval literature are equally a big help. So girls here's what you want to know Gregg speaks in an American accent, if you listen carefully you can slightly hear his true British tone. To an untrained ear he can pass by as an average American, but in reality just a little more work is needed.
Now after my tirade on the evils of book-to-film and pretty boys and their accents where does that leave the movie? Well despite the comparisons, the film is only slightly flawed. The obvious changes do take their toll on the end, but all-in-all the film is enjoyable and above all watchable.