TIFF Movie Review: James Gunn’s Super

I was one of the many who really loved James Gunn‘s Slither, and have been highly looking forward to his follow-up. Super premiered on Friday night as part of the Midnight Madness line-up of the Toronto International Film Festival.

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James Gunn‘s strange homemade superhero film Super, starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon, will soon premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. (On September 10, to be exact.) In anticipation of that event, Gunn has offered up the first still image showing Page and Wilson together. We saw them in footage debuted at Comic Con last month, but since then we’ve only seen images of Wilson and Tyler.

More info on the film and the full image are after the break. Read More »

So many of my favorite movie experiences are the result of seeing films during the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival. The program perches like a beast ready to devour the more ‘respectable’ films at TIFF. While seeing films at the fest is great, period, there’s nothing quite like catching the world premiere of a psychopathic genre film with a crowd of hundreds of eager fans of left of center cinema. Every August I’m always eager to see the new lineup, because it’s basically guaranteed to have at least one or two films I’ll be recommending to friends for the next year.

Tonight, Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes revealed three of this year’s Midnight Madness films via Twitter, and one is a film most of us here at /Film are eager to see: the world premiere of James Gunn‘s Super. Read More »


I’d been looking forward to seeing footage from James Gunn‘s strange low-fi superhero movie Super, and Comic Con provided the goods. I really liked what I saw; Gunn has come up with a no-frills, low-budget approach that lets him play with some characters that are possibly quite sick and twisted. It’s the world of underround comics come to movie form, without all the overhead of a big studio film.

Now we’ve got the first photo of Rainn Wilson as the film’s ‘hero,’ The Crimson Bolt, and a snap of Wilson and his on-screen wife, Liv Tyler. Read More »


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Comic-Con: First Look at Super


I’ve never understood the fascination at Comic-Con with wanting to see panels for movies that audiences already know everything about. To me, Super is the epitome of what makes this place special: getting to be the first to discover and experience the geekiest projects worth getting excited about in the years ahead, right alongside the filmmakers and cast that created them. Last year’s big winner was Kick-Ass, and this year, I was hoping the similarly-themed Super would take the prize.

The film is written and directed by James Gunn, whose geek cred skyrocketed with the horror-comedy Slither. Now he’s turned his sights to the superhero genre, and he’s got an amazing cast backing him: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Nathan Fillion and Kevin Bacon.

Gunn and all of the cast (sans Bacon) arrived to Comic-Con to show off the trailer and a clip from the film. Find out more about the film and the footage—and if my hopes were in vain—after the break. Read More »


Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson will feature in The Ledge, a “suspense thriller” (as opposed to non-suspenseful thrillers) that will mark the feature debut of writer/director Matthew Chapman.

Terrence Howard and Charlie Hunnam co-star in the film about “a man (Hunnam) standing on a high-rise ledge who insists he must jump by noon as the policeman below (Howard) tries to manage the situation.” OK, sounds like Hunnam and Howard are leading the cast, so who will Wilson and Tyler play? Good question. Producer Michael Mailer has a great quote about the production, at least: “As more and more films succumb to the visual wizardry of 3D, ‘The Ledge’ explores the fourth dimension: the interior life of tortured souls hovering over the precipice of emotional nullity. This film is the reason why I became an independent filmmaker and why I continue to suffer in the trenches of independent filmmaking.” Take that, 3D! [THR]

After the break, news on the brother of Thor and a new comedy for Chris Evans and Anna Faris. Read More »

James Gunn, Nathan Fillion

I love me some James Gunn, so it warms my geek heart to see that he’s assembling quite the cast for his post-Slither feature film follow-up Super. The film stars Rainn Wilson as Frank, a man who transforms himself into a superhero named Crimson Bolt — despite having no real powers — after his addict wife (Liv Tyler) runs off with a local drug dealer (Kevin Bacon). Ellen Page plays a sociopath who becomes Crimson Bolt’s sidekick. While that plot description bears some similarities to Kick-Ass, you can be sure that Gunn’s deliciously weird sensibilities will make it a very different film.

Gunn just announced some new additions to the cast on his blog, and they include geek-favorites Nathan Fillion and Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks). Fillion previously starred in Slither, and will play the role of a pop idol who inspires Frank. Cardellini played Velma in the Gunn-written Scooby-Doo movies. Find the rest of the newly announced cast after the break.

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Twitter snoops and the /Film faithful may recall that James Gunn and Rainn Wilson have been out on the town, shopping around their superhero project. The first deals seem to have been brokered now and the big announcements have hit: the film will be called Super and is also set to star Liv Tyler and Ellen Page. Some of the details sound a little Kick-Ass, but that’s fair enough, and besides, Page’s role sounds like such a good one I’m sure we can all get pumped up for this film on that basis alone.

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The Incredible Hulk: What Did You Think?

Today, The Incredible Hulk opens in face of months of fanboy speculation (early consensus is quite positive), the looming memory of Ang Lee’s Bruce Banner, M. Night’s worst R-rated movie, and the celebration of Jason Voorhees. We want to hear what you thought of the big budget Marvel/Universal film all weekend long.

Things to consider: Is this the Hulk we’ve been waiting for? Better than Ang Lee’s? Was the CGI up to snuff? Is Edward Norton the definitive Banner? Does Norton have good reason to remain displeased with the film’s editing? How does Louis Leterrier‘s film rank against Jon Favreau’s Iron Man and which film did you enjoy more? Is this a better film than Iron Man as some viewers are saying? Was Liv Tyler‘s character just another damsel in distress or did she offer something different? Tim Roth, one of the great comic-to-film villains? And what about Captain America? Tony Stark?

Discuss: Worth the wait?

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When all is said and done, will The Incredible Hulk take the spot on our Fave Movies of Summer ’08 listicles previously reserved for Indy and Spielberg? For months, the redo’s marketing, CGI, behind the scenes differences, and purpose have been scrutinized beneath formidable anticipation for The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Hellboy 2. Early reviews are hitting the Net and it appears that the latest Marvel tale, from director Louis Leterrier and star Ed Norton, is a worthy contender and then some. I’ve compiled excerpts from what’s currently being said on the Net. If you’ve attended an early screening, let us hear all about it in the comments, or email/Twitter us. This entire post is spoiler-free.

First off, The Incredible Hulk recently screened at the championed Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas and the locals and spies over at AICN report the following…

“I was afraid going into this movie that the CGI would take me out of the movie, but it never did. The cinematography and CGI were beautifully shot. I loved the Hulk as much in this movie as I did in the comic books. …Ed Norton was incredible as Bruce Banner. But the Hulk? The Hulk truly came to life for me for the first time on film. …Is it as wonderful as Iron Man? No, but it is still a pretty damn good superhero film that continues to give me hope for the future Marvel films in the works.” – CheriBomb

The following guy nitpicks at Liv Tyler’s performance (“she’s always out of breath…”), but he’s even more excited. Given his alias, I can only imagine where and in what circumstance he typed the following…

“Really, let’s not even worry about the thin plot, the point of anything Hulk is SMASH! …In short, the geekiest comparison I can make is to Star Trek:consider Ang Lee’s Hulk to be Star Trek:The Motion Picture, a long drawn out effects heavy cerebral film clearly crafted with a fetishistic love; and consider The Incredible Hulk to be The Wrath Of Khan:shorter, faster, pure ass kicking all the way through.” – The Human Burrito

Yes mom, I went to J-school to quote a spy named The Human Burrito. And if said spy is actually a plant dressed up like my favorite food, I have to say his Star Trek comparison still makes me want to check it out. Other spy reports: This next guy admits that the CGI Hulk is pretty, uh, CGI-y and yet the effects do not “distract” from the overall badassery. He also says that the film is chockful of Easter Eggs and gushing with geek references, something we keep hearing over and over…

“The real surprise for me was Tim Roth – he’s not been this good for years and he’s great as special forces soldier Emil Blonsky, even if his character does get lost a bit towards the end and he does look a bit like Harry Potter’s Dobby at one point. There’s one sequence in particular that has me drooling at the prospect of Marvel’s upcoming Captain America movie.” – rjl1138, NYC

Yeah, but what about Professor Dark and Serious Movies Only, will that chief like it? Probably not and who cares, but Massawyrm says…

“The Incredible Hulk fucking rules. …Every bit as good as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk takes the material we all love, gets at the heart of what makes it tick and then puts it on the screen FOR ADULTS. It’s dark. It’s heavy.”

Oh, and what about AICN’s Harry Knowles?

“OH HELL YEAH!” – Harry Knowles [includes animation of himself turning into Hulk, makes token allusion to “creaming”]

Elsewhere, reactions are equally elated, like this one…

“Except for one or two quiet moments shared by Banner and his girlfriend while on the lam, Incredible Hulk doesn’t waste a single frame on dull talky exposition. It is all plot-driven and action-filled. In fact, unlike the much-hyped Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Incredible Hulk never runs out of steam.” – Sci-Fi Movie Page

Gives yet another new meaning to “Nuke the Fridge.” Here’s an exclusive mini-reaction via txt/Twitter to Slashfilm just seconds ago…

“I was not expecting great things. I knew there was a lot of hype surrounding The Hulk, but I figured it might be just as disappointing as the first one. I am not a huge fan of fantasy/superhero movies because they can fail miserably if there’s poor CGI. But The Hulk was great! Not only was Edward Norton really convincing, but the action was on top of its game. I was pumped the whole time and waiting to see what happened next. Plus, after seeing Iron Man… I couldn’t help but feel anticipation and excitement during the last moments of the movie.” – Alana Taylor, Journalist, NYC

If a negative review(s) pops up, we’ll include it here, but for now, the buzz is on high. And we might as well tell you to stick around for the end credits. Also, the film’s ending is said to be a mega-highlight.

Discuss: HULK (not Ang Lee’s)! Look out for possible spoilers in the comments.