Elle Fanning

The super produced, super bad SUPER 8

The super produced, super bad SUPER 8

SUPER 8: All production value and no heart.
It’s been almost twenty years since Steven Spielberg directed E.T., probably about the same length of time that J.J. Abrams, who was sixteen at the time, has been a fan. Now, with a decade of directing experience under his belt beginning with “Felicity” in 1999 and including a few stabs at Spielberg-esqueness like MISSON IMPOSSIBLE III and STAR TREK, Abrams finally got his chance to make a direct Spielberg homage – with Spielberg’s blessing (and a producer credit), no less. Like E.T, SUPER 8 stars a young boy growing up in a small town who gets involved with an alien stuck on Earth against his will, trying desperately to get home. Unlike E.T., it lacks all the heart and tales of love, bonding and friendship at the core of Spielberg’s best work, no matter how Hollywood they may be.

Where is SOMEWHERE going?

Where is SOMEWHERE going?

Nowhere, says Perrin Drumm on this site, and I wouldn’t want to argue. It’s a valid point, and the extraordinarily plot-less plot of this new film is not for everyone. We watch the mundane unfold as Sofia Coppola’s protagonist, famous actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) wanders from hotel room to pool to lobby to shower to car to press conference to the bed of yet one more blonde … then he hangs out with his eleven year-old daughter (Elle Fanning). She cries, he cries … he’s now vaguely more aware of a nagging dissatisfaction … and that’s about it! But some people do like these sorts of very-low-to-the-ground films – and I’m always one of them. The problem with Coppola’s film? It’s not the visuals, which are absolutely captivating — it’s the content. If I have to watch this amazingly talented woman do one more study of excess, wealth and celebrity, even I will cancel my subscription to Town and Country and move out of the Chateau Marmont for good, just in protest. In all seriousness, — c’mon, Sof, it’s a recession out there. Most of us can’t even afford Gray’s Papaya anymore.

SOMEWHERE

SOMEWHERE

It’s been four years since Sofia Coppola’s last film, MARIE ANTOINETTE, a biopic as opulent as the title character. Art directed to the hilt, each scene is stuffed with billowing gowns in sumptuous colors, colossal wigs, all night feasting and drinking – and who can forget a reclined Kirsten Dunst surrounded on all sides by a bevy of bright cakes? Where color and composition are concerned, SOMEWHERE is right in line with Coppola’s previous work, which is to say both elements are perfected. Set in Los Angeles against the bluest California sky dotted by the greenest of trees, SOMEWHERE is a treat for the eyes, even if the accoutrements are somewhat toned down since the days of the French Revolution. In fact, everything is toned down, including the script and the story.