J.J. Abrams Super 8 is a movie banking on the nostalgia of the Spielberg era of innocent American filmmaking. It seeks to appeal, I gather, not necessarily to kids and teens looking to cool off and get some thrills, but instead to their parents, who remember with fondness ET and The Goonies. What makes Super 8 more successful than other recent kidcentric adventure movies, though, is not its relationship to Spielberg’s action-comedies and science fiction dramas—unless that relationship is understood primarily in terms of historical setting. The movie’s 1979 setting is not an accident, nor is it pure homage. Instead, it’s the only way J.J. Abrams could possibly make a movie that doesn’t involve little kids interacting with computers, cellular phones, and the other assorted technical artifacts that keep kids from actually doing interesting things on screen. (more…)
by Adam Hirsch
Now, on this snowy New Year’s Eve, it’s a better time than ever to reflect back on the year and select our choices for the best cinematic efforts in 2009.
Myself, Peter Warren, Brian Barth, Giampaolo Bianconi, Jake Teresi and Matt Paley all wrote down our Top-10 lists (although Matt, in an uncharacteristically cynical move, declined to offer a full 10). There were ten films overlapping our choices, and, ranked by frequency, comprise the final top-10 list.
Up (Dir. Pete Doctor) — 5 Votes
The Hurt Locker (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow) — 5 Votes
A Serious Man (Dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen) — 4 Votes
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Dir. Wes Anderson) — 3 Votes
Up In The Air (Dir. Jason Reitman) — 3 Votes
Inglorious Basterds (Dir. Quentin Tarantino) — 2 Votes
Lorna’s Silence (Dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne) — 2 Votes
Where The Wild Things Are (Dir. Spike Jonze) — 2 Votes
The Road (Dir. John Hillcoat) — 2 Votes
Sugar (Dir. Anna Boden) — 2 Votes (more…)