Screen Junkies » Super http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:27:26 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 James Gunn Talks ‘Super’, Beating Someone With A Pipe Wrench http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/james-gunn-talks-super-beating-someone-with-a-pipe-wrench/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/james-gunn-talks-super-beating-someone-with-a-pipe-wrench/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2011 16:04:35 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=204950 Expect plenty of violence in Gunn's film.

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If people think Super is just a comedy about the guy from “The Office” putting on a suit and fighting crime, they should be warned. Writer/director James Gunn not only wrote Dawn of the Dead and wrote and directed Slither, but he hails from the Troma world, where he wrote Tromeo and Juliet and inspired Terror Firmer.

So as Frank D’Arbo, Rainn Wilson does put on a costume to become The Crimson Bolt, but he beats people violently with a pipe wrench. Comic book store clerk Libby (Ellen Page) joins him, but she’s even more bloodthirsty. So it’s a gorefest. Let’s call it “cautionary.”

Gunn went there in the movie, and he was willing to go there with me in an interview about Super. I tried to keep the spoilers minimal this time, so don’t worry too much about plot details.

Q: Most superhero movies seem to ask: Why don’t people try to stand up to crime? And their answer is because it’s really difficult, but the hero ultimately perseveres. Is your point of view that it’s actually irresponsible to do what Frank does?

James Gunn: I don’t know if I’m saying anything. I think this movie’s more about asking questions than giving anybody any answers but that’s definitely one way of looking at it.

Q: That was a question you asked.

JG: Yes, absolutely. I think the question of is Frank insane, is he sane, where’s the morality in this? We see Batman who puts on a cape and cowl and starts beating people up who he thinks are wrong and says that he’s right. We take it for granted that he’s doing the right thing. When we see that really played out, it’s like I don’t know, where do you draw those lines? The world isn’t really black and white like that. It’s pretty gray and where do you decide what’s right and what’s wrong and who gets to decide that and why?

Q: Then he gets Libby involved too.

JG: She pretty much gets herself involved though. That’s the thing. She ups Frank’s ante. She’s crazy as hell. As much as we think Frank has some issues, I think Frank does have some moral beliefs about what’s right and wrong. Libby I think really is in it truly for the violence so it’s kind of fun to see them playing together in their own little weird crazy minefield.

Q: With Crimson Bolt, is the costume irrelevant? Isn’t it just the crazy running around with a wrench that’s scary?

JG: Well, I think in our story in some ways, Super is only a superhero movie because the guy puts on a costume. Other than that, it’s really just the story about this guy and his journey. So yeah, in that way the costume is sort of irrelevant but I think it’s very relevant to Frank because I think that within that costume, he finds the freedom to act out in a way that he’s afraid to when people can see his face. He’s not a very free guy and when he puts on that costume, he’s able to be who he really is a little bit more.

Q: I meant the criminals just see a guy coming at them with a wrench.

JG: Yeah, I think in some ways they’re probably laughing at first when he has a superhero costume on. The costume was a hard thing to get right because we needed to find the right tone for the costume in the film so it was a lot of work actually.

Q: Were there other blueprints that didn’t make it?

JG: Yeah, there were. The costume designer, Mary Matthews, drew a whole bunch of different version of The Crimson Bolt’s costume and I kept being like, “No, no, no, no, no.” Then finally I drew it to show her what I wanted it to look like and that’s basically what the costume is.

Q: What was she getting wrong?

JG: I really wanted that Frankensteinian component of it. When you see his costume, it’s all those little patches and things being sewn together. We need to have the concept that this is some obsessive guy who’s sitting in a basement trying to sew this costume together with absolutely no abilities to sew whatsoever. So he makes it too tight in one spot, needs to open it up and put in another patch. Then it’s too big so he needs to slit it open and sew it back together again and he’s just done that obsessively all over the whole costume until it comes out like this weird scary Raggedy Ann fucked up thing.

Q: Did you work out your own fantasies about who you’d want to hit with a wrench?

JG: I think it’s more about working my own fantasy out but in a way that’s questioning myself. I think that’s really what that scene is about because on the one hand, I love seeing that guy get hit in the face. But on the other hand, I’m going oh my god, why do I like this? What’s wrong with me? That’s extremely violent. I think that’s what the whole thing is about. We’re kind of rooting on Frank as he’s perpetuating these acts of violence and at the same time questioning that we’re rooting him on. It’s something that we sort of naturally do.

Q: Was Libby also working out some sexual issues?

JG: I think Libby has some sexual issues. I talked a little bit with Ellen but I think it’s questionable about what her past has been like in terms of sexuality and how she’s viewed. She’s also an adrenaline junkie that needs to be doing something every two seconds. We never see her not doing something. I think sort of her relationship to sex deals with that as well. At the same time honestly, I also think Libby and Frank are kind of good together. In terms of a romantic team, I think they have real feelings for each other. Frank isn’t willing to look at that because he’s married and he doesn’t want to, so I think there’s a number of different things going on.

Q: I gave Frank credit that playing into Libby like that wouldn’t be the right thing to do, even with her consent.

JG: Part of me is like you know what? He should’ve just gone with it and forgotten about the rest of it and just lived this great life with this little crazy chick and had fun, because look what happened.

Q: Will the violence shock even your fans?

JG: I don’t think what’s shocking is the violence. I think there are many movies that are more violent than super. What’s shocking is where the violence is. I think what’s shocking is what happens in the movie more than the actual violence itself. We’ve become used to thinking we know what’s going to happen in a movie and people find it somewhat comforting that they know what’s going to happen next in a movie. In Super you really don’t know what’s going to happen next and we try to subvert your expectations at every point. I think we do do that. At the same time, I think Super which is one of the weird things, is Super is much more violent than Slither because the violence in Slither was so over the top that Super’s just a little bit more graphic and grounded so it’s actually a little bit harder to watch at times.

Super bolts into theaters today.

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Linda Cardellini http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/linda-cardellini/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/linda-cardellini/#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 17:50:06 +0000 Reza F. http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Gallery&p=203953 Best identified with her leading role on TV cult classic "Freaks and Geeks," Linda Cardellini will make a short appearance in Super, out this week.

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Best identified with her leading role on TV cult classicFreaks and Geeks,” Linda Cardellini will make a short appearance in Super, out this week. Cardellini has spread her talents across a variety of mediums throughout her career, including voiceover work and several notable feature film roles. She’ll take the lead in Return, a film about a soldier returning home from Iraq, set to be released later this year.

A word from Linda: “['Freaks and Geeks'] had so much humor and so much heart, and was so much more genuine to my experience in school, or my experience as an adolescent, compared to the other shows that I was reading. They all seemed to have a gimmick, whereas there really wasn’t a gimmick necessarily with this show, other than it was trying to be as true to how awkward it feels to be that age as possible.”

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SXSW Review: Super http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/sxsw-review-super/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/sxsw-review-super/#comments Sun, 13 Mar 2011 16:44:47 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201415 It’s darkly comical and it has something to say.

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Super may sound like a copy of Kick-Ass. It’s not, but so what if it were? Why wouldn’t you want to see Rainn Wilson put on a costume and fight crime? It beats having two asteroid movies or two volcano movies. In fact, there are lots of people I’d love to see put on a costume and fight crime. Keep doing it as long as it’s awesome.

Kick-Ass was more about how hard it is to be a superhero. The question is actually the same in both movies: Why don’t people stand up and be a hero? Kick-Ass’s reason is: because you could get killed. Then the heroes persevere anyway. Super’s answer is: because it’s crazy and irresponsible to be a vigilante.

And Frank Darbo (Wilson) is crazy from the beginning. He gets the idea from a Christian network superhero show, and has a hentai hallucination anointing him. He admits he’s had visions before, so this is not exactly coming from a socially responsible place. His wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) isn’t just a bitch who leaves him. She’s critical, disinterested and a drug addict. In a flashback you see her say she thinks Frank can save her. (To be clear, that’s an example of how it’s NOT a healthy relationship.)

Also, a crazy dude in a costume hitting people with a wrench would freak out street hoodlums. It doesn’t matter if Frank calls himself The Red Bolt. He’s just dangerous. At a point, he even wails on people for cutting in line, so you see he can’t tell the degrees of crimes and treats them all just as extremely. It’s hilarious and visceral, but you get the point it’s not condoned.

Comic store clerk Libby (Ellen Page) is sincere in helping Frank find his comic book motivation, and excited when she realizes he’s done it for real. She gets so excitable that she’s willing to kill people for even lesser crimes than line cutting. Page makes this character totally real between her genuine admiration and profane excitement. Libby also makes a pass at Frank, so you understand that she needs to be seen sexually.

That’s how you make an edgy movie. You take the story in directions just a little bit outside the conventional narrative. It’s got the underdo fighting big crime, but it goes to the extremely violent, sexual and tragic places (a crying love scene, Frank’s sobbing prayer, ouch!)

The tone remains even. It’s never random that these shocking outbursts happen. It’s more like this is the inevitable outcome for these characters. Late in the movie, words start appearing on screen, ‘60s “Batman” style. That seemed a bit out of character for the film but not too distracting. It’s never irresponsible with the violence. I mean, this is Punisher: War Zone violent, but that’s what happens when unstable people get big ideas.

Super is going to be hard for people to take. It’s darkly comical and it has something to say, but every time it goes someplace weird, it’s going to lose one of the four quadrants. The audience that’s already primed for James Gunn’s work may be better prepared, but it’s still a combination that leaves you unsettled, in an effective way.

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Ellen Page Looks Inappropriately Good In Trailer For ‘Super’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/ellen-page-looks-inappropriately-good-in-trailer-for-super/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/ellen-page-looks-inappropriately-good-in-trailer-for-super/#comments Fri, 04 Mar 2011 20:59:53 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=100840 You won't have to join NBC Comedy Night's secret fight club anymore, if you want to see Rainn Wilson beat someone over the head with a wrench.

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You won’t have to join NBC Comedy Night’s secret fight club anymore, if you want to see Rainn Wilson beat someone over the head with a wrench. And it’s all thanks to this trailer for James Gunn‘s vigilante comedy Super.

I always wondered how The Punisher would have reacted if his wife up and left him, rather than being viciously murdered. Would he still feel the urge to take back the streets? Probably not. And the world would have to go without one sweet-ass skull design. But, that’s exactly what happens in Super.

Rainn Wilson’s wife leaves him for Kevin Bacon‘s smooth-talking drug dealer and a war on crime is born. And, honestly, it’s about time that someone was brave enough to step forward and tell crime to shut up.

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Nathan Fillion Joins Rainn Wilson in ‘Super’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/nathan-fillion-joins-rainn-wilson-in-super/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/nathan-fillion-joins-rainn-wilson-in-super/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000   James Gunn is going to break the Internet if he keeps casting so many geek-friendly actors in his upcoming Super. The superhero dark comedy stars Rainn Wilson as a man who up and decides to be a superhero after his wife leaves him despite his lack of powers. LOTR's Liv Tyler is the wife who leaves his ass for Kevin Bacon's charming drug dealer. Now, Nathan Fillion (Dr. Horrible), Ellen Page (Inception), Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks), Michael Rooker (Mallrats), Andre Royo (The Wire), Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls), and Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) are all aboard the project. The nerdgasmic film is currently filming in Louisiana with no confirmed release date. Rest assured, whatever opening day is decided upon will be the day that me and the other cool kids go rob the nerd houses. Those Star Wars figures will be mine! (GeekWeek)

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James Gunn is going to break the Internet if he keeps casting so many geek-friendly actors in his upcoming Super. The superhero dark comedy stars Rainn Wilson as a man who up and decides to be a superhero after his wife leaves him despite his lack of powers. LOTR‘s Liv Tyler is the wife who leaves his ass for Kevin Bacon’s charming drug dealer. Now, Nathan Fillion (Dr. Horrible), Ellen Page (Inception), Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks), Michael Rooker (Mallrats), Andre Royo (The Wire), Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls), and Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) are all aboard the project.

The nerdgasmic film is currently filming in Louisiana with no confirmed release date. Rest assured, whatever opening day is decided upon will be the day that me and the other cool kids go rob the nerd houses. Those Star Wars figures will be mine! (GeekWeek)

 

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