Friday, March 25, 2011

Super 8, Mission Impossible Footage Previewed

Paramount Pictures held a sneak peak of their summer 2011 for the press yesterday that included a look at 20 minutes of JJ Abram's directed film Super 8 and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol that he is executive producing. While incomplete, the report indicates two films that should be very entertaining. As far as spoilers go, it seems I:M might have at least a portion of the film take place between the first and second films while Abrams continues to keep his secrets with Super 8 but the shown scene reinforces his desire to keep things practical as much as possible rather then relying on CGI. Below are descriptions of the shown scenes from Collider.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Then we got a quick-cut barrage of footage from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which features Tom Cruise back as Ethan Hunt, with hair length somewhere between movies one and two (yes, that’s important). The montage flew by at lightning speed, but we did catch plenty of glimpses of Cruise jumping off moving cars, unleashing weaponry fire and doing his spy thing. We also saw Simon Pegg dressed in a Soviet-like outfit, Paula Patton looking stunning while stepping out of a car , Josh Holloway making his usual angry face and Jeremy Renner in full out action mode. In fact, Renner is eerily reminiscent of original M:I Tom Cruise — obviously ready to take over the mantle.

The audience let out a welcome gasp when the footage went full-on IMAX scope a la Dark Knight for the much talked about stunt in which Cruise actually dangled from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Duabi. The scene features Renner and Patton egging Cruise on as he attempts to swing into a window…which might be a little bit out of his reach. Fun stuff.
Super 8
Before the lights dimmed and the footage played, Abrams warned us that these were completely unfinished scenes. Incomplete SFX, incomplete sound, incomplete color. This was rough, and frankly, he didn’t want to show us. He also didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag on any spoilers, so for the sake of the mystery (because it’s more fun that way), you won’t find anything too shocking here.

Abrams played two scenes for us: a lengthier version of the train wreck scene featured in the trailer and a brief scene at a gas station post-train wreck. In the trailer we see the boys setting up camera before everything derails and that’s what plays out at length in the opening. The vibe is very Goonies in all the right ways — these kids Abrams have found are pitch perfect. They talk like 14-year-olds, they act like 14-year-olds. They’re dynamic is fun loving and they’re having a ball making this zombie movie.

That is, until a truck zips past them, pulls on to the train tracks and takes the locomotive off the tracks. The kids run for cover (as seen in the trailer) and the scene in full is miraculous. You don’t get a sense from the trailer, but the wreck scene is almost entirely practical. At one point a train car barrels through the station and the entire building explodes, wooden panels, metal beams, debris and all. Burning train parts fly through the air as the kids run through the warzone. The main character Joe, a loner kid who recently lost his Mom in a mill accident, witnesses something banging around in one of the cars, but loses focus when his friends call for him. Saying too much would spoil, but Joe and his friends do encounter the man who deliberately drove head on into the train — a man that they know, but we don’t. Creepy!

The shorter scene was a glimpse at an attack on the gas station by the “thing.” A cop and a station attendee mill about in the middle of the night only to cross paths with “it,” which we know from the trailers has some serious powers. In the trailer, we see the attendant being pulled across the floor of the convenience store. From the footage, we just know that he takes quite a walloping before then. Even in this scene, Abrams isn’t giving anything up — who or what was trapped in that train is very much a mystery. To the viral campaign!

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