June 10th, 2011

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

The Woody Allen Travel Guide ~ "Midnight in Paris"

Playing at our local cinemas are two movies, the much commercially hyped **Super 8** and the critically acclaimed Woody Allen movie, **Midnight in Paris.** Both movies fulfill their dedicated audience's expectations.

Woody Allen wears his intellectual and artistic influences on his sleeve in **Midnight in Paris,** a witty romantic comedy about a rich couple who visit France before their wedding. On a midnight stroll in the streets of Paris, Gil (Owen Wilson) encounters Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway invites Gil to a party that includes Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and Salvidor Dali (Adrein Brody), three idols who died a few generations ago.

With gorgeous cinematography that captures the hues and colors of Monet, **Midnight in Paris** shares much in common with **Super 8.** Both films pay homage to nostalgia, while imploring their respective audience to enjoy the manna of the day.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"Super 8" is a homage to a homage to a homage....

**Super 8** is about some middle school students who produce a zombie in small town Ohio, circa 1979, the year most Class of '81 graduates earned their driver's licenses. Production Assistant and model maker Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) is the troubled son of Deputy Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler), who is a recent widower. Deputy Lamb blames white trash Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard), whose daughter Alice (Elle Fanning) is the leading lady of the boy's super 8 zombie opus.

To writer/director J.J. Abram's credit, he has captured the joy of creative team work as the young people produce their movie inspired by George Romero. The discussion about plot, characters and audience empathy will make English teachers and film columnists hopeful towards the future of film making. During the post credit sequence, patient ticket buyers are rewarded with the punchline of **Super 8.**

Yet, **Super 8** is a split motion picture that involves Area 51 and a shadowy monster. These action sequences are well directed with an important message about understanding and cooperation. Sadly verisimilitude is lost towards the climax of the movie as the teen agers dodge train wrecks, tanks and explosions, with nary a scratch.

In interviews, Abrams admitted that **Super 8** was a homage to his boss/producer Steven Spielberg's earlier motion pictures, like **E.T the Extra Terrestrial** and **Close Encounters of the Third Kind.** In turn Spielberg admitted that films like **Earth versus the Flying Saucers** and **the Day the Earth Stood Still.** were major influences upon him. There is no denying that **Super 8** will have a positive influence upon today's young people.