Amblin

Gremlins Gizmo

Vulture has a super vague rumor that Warners is attempting to coax Steven Spielberg into giving his blessing for a remake of Gremlins. It’s not the first time, it probably won’t be the last, and so far there’s no reason to believe that this trial balloon will soar where others have failed before it. But if the studio really wants to recapture a bit of Amblin magic, they’re going to need drop the eternal sticking point that kept Joe Dante from making Gremlins 3: the insistence of switching to CGI (a point succinctly argued by Quint in his open letter to Spielberg). Quints main parallel is perfect — how would audiences react if the new Muppets movie was going to feature a CGI Kermit? Regardless of whether technology has made fantastical leaps and bounds, Gizmo and the gang are rooted in that practical puppet look. On the fan side, making them CGI will be heresy. From a business standpoint, if you’re going to trade off the name-recognition of the characters, you have to respect the iconography, or you’re ultimately just launching a new unknown anyway.

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There’s nothing quite like returning to the old neighborhood to find that your childhood playground hasn’t been torn down. You run your hand along rope ladders deemed “unsafe” by modern standards, feel the crunch of pebbles beneath your feet that did more to cut than soften a fall, sit in the swing and think for a moment about jumping out at the highest point. Super 8 is the cinematic equivalent of unearthing a time capsule and finding everything inside is still impossibly shiny and new. It’s impossible to remove the film from its own nostalgia, except for its intended audience of children discovering this type of filmmaking for the first time (and maybe even seeing their first Amblin logo). That’s a pretty powerful thing. With everyone clamoring to tap a market of adults eager for their own past while simultaneously getting kids into seats, J.J. Abrams‘s latest is one of the few that actually succeeds.

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Moses and his friends live in the roughest part of South London. They all reside in an apartment building in an economically arrested neighborhood. Part of the “hoodie” culture that gives older Brits nightmares, Moses’s crew gets into more than its fair share of mischief – going so far as to mug a woman in the street. But when meteors begin raining from the sky, toting vicious aliens in their wake, the hoodies in the street may no longer be the most dangerous thing on the block. They teach us not to use the word “I” in reviews. The first person voice is said to be less professional and less in the mold of the old school of journalism. While this is not an unreasonable standard, Attack the Block spoke to me on such a deeply personal level and suppressing that experience does the film no justice. I don’t know what it is about Britain, but over the last ten years or so they have been churning out genre films that carry the keys to my soul and therefore find easy access. Not only that, but they seem to be released at just the perfect interval to find me at precisely the right moments in my life.

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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