‘Super 8′ Secret NYC Screening Wins Fans Over

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:21 am,

super 8 secret screening in new york city Super 8 Secret NYC Screening Wins Fans Over

Super 8 – you know, that 1980s Steven Spielberg film directed by J.J. Abrams in 2011 – hits theaters this weekend, but it’s already getting overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. (Look for our official review on Friday.)

To promote the film’s release, Paramount held a super secret Super 8 screening last night in various cities all across the country – including New York City, which is where Screen Rant was in attendance.

The multitude of fans who lined up for the screening at the 34th Street AMC Loews were treated to free t-shirts, popcorn, fountain drinks, and a raffle for free DVDs courtesy of Jon Hein and Ralph Cirella (of Sirius Radio’s GEEKTIME!). One lucky fan who answered the trivia question “What was the first film written by J.J. Abrams, starring Harrison Ford?” – Regarding Henry – also won some free DVDs. Congrats, informed guy in the audience.

'Super 8' star Joel Courtney

There was even a special message attached to the beginning of the film, from Abrams himself, where he basically just thanked everybody for attending the screening. Meanwhile, many in the theater chanted “Super 8, Super 8, Super 8!” in the style of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” It’s likely these people were Lost fans at one point.

As for the film, the audience seemed to react as favorably to it as the critics have – and then some – especially whenever the awesome child actors were onscreen. These kids – Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Gabriel Basso, and Elle Fanning – had such incredible chemistry together that they basically overshadowed the entirety of the science-fiction plot.

Indeed, rare is the film that captures that weird combination of innocence, jerkiness, raunchy immaturity, camaraderie, and so forth, which come with a pack of pre-teen boys. Off the top of my head, I can think of Stand by Me, The Monster Squad, and now – this.

j j abrams super 8 kids Super 8 Secret NYC Screening Wins Fans Over

The young cast of the film, making their faux movie.

The Hollywood Reporter recently reported on the somewhat soft box office expectations with regard to Super 8’s opening weekend (predictions are saying $25 million to $30 million). Apparently, due to the incredibly mysterious nature of the trailers, your average Joe just doesn’t have a clue as to what the film is actually about, so the film isn’t tracking very well. Maybe it’s because audiences are so used to trailers that coddle them and depict just about every major beat from every single film. It’s a shame, if that’s the case.

It has probably been said before, but it bears repeating – Super 8 isn’t just  an homage to J.J. Abrams’ favorite films growing up. It’s specifically his favorite Steven Spielberg films. There’s Jaws (don’t show the monster until the end!), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (I shouldn’t have to explain this one), and E.T. (I really shouldn’t have to explain this one), but there’s also some Raiders of the Lost Ark in there with Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) putting on his best Indiana Jones impression about halfway through the film.

super 8 alien on train Super 8 Secret NYC Screening Wins Fans Over

What secret lies behind this door?

Even though most of the people at the screening were obvious Abrams fans to begin with, it’s worth noting that their comments after the credits (stay in your seats for the credits!) were universally glowing. Comments like “It was beautifully directed” and “Those kids were so good together!” were heard more than once. One comment that was impossible to disagree with: “That kid with the braces stole the show.” If there’s any justice in Hollywood, “That kid with the braces” — A.K.A. Ryan Lee — will have a long and prosperous acting career, because he absolutely stole the show.

After you see Super 8, tweet your reactions @Super8Movie with the hashtag #Super8Secret.

Super 8 hits theaters this Friday. Be sure to check back then for our official review.

If you want to learn more about the young actor J.J. Abrams discovered to play the lead in the film, check out our interview with Joel Courtney.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

TAGS: Super 8
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  1. Well, some top critics (Variety, NY Observer, Los Angeles Times, Miami. Herald..) say that Super 8 is “not as exciting or involving as it we’d like to be”, or ” pastiche” or a “high resolution photocopy devoid of its revered predeccesors soul,”…
    Well, Abrams is not Spielberg…

    • I usually disagree with “top” critics.

    • one particular “top critic” once said that War of the Worlds “did not have the magic and wonder of E.T.”… well, D’UH! it’s not the same kind of film, why should it share the same tone?

      I wonder if that same “top critic” also complained that Schindler’s List “did not have the magic and wonder” of E.T.?

      • Mike, hahhahaha! Nice dude :)

  2. Cool! Super 8 sounds like it will be a cool ride. I am looking forward to it. :)

  3. No Goonies reference?

  4. Not looking forward to it, I will check it out when it releases on DVD.

    • So will I.

  5. Is there hype for this? Because neither I’m hyped nor see any reason to be.

    • Got to be an Abrams fan to get it.

  6. I can’t wait for this movie! I’ve been excited for it since the first trailer!!

    I still can’t believe how much pull critics have over peoples decisions to see a movie though.. I’m looking at the comments above about critics bashing this and I laugh. Make your own decisions people. They’re different people.. And they’re JUST people..

    People who kill movies if they don’t like it because their followers listen to every single word they say.

  7. I cannot wait to see this. The last time I was this hyped to see a movie was when Inception came out last year. I don’t normally go to the theater on opening day, but I’m making an exception in this case.

  8. Going to see this during a matinee tomorrow. I wouldn’t say I am stoked to see this, but it does look pretty interesting. I can’t see how this can be a BAD movie. Looks like it will be an entertaining film.

  9. SUPER 8 starts today (Thursday June 9th) on iMax in select Cities like DALLAS. The 1 day early start is not midnight showings either but showings all day from Thursday morning on. I plan to attend the early afternoon showing myself.

  10. I’m in. It looks really good, and I wasn’t even a Lost fan.

  11. You forgot GOONIES!!!

    • No, I didn’t. I was referring to the Steven Spielberg-directed films that influenced Super 8.

  12. It does look really good but just because this is what I want in a film a grand epic adventure.

  13. I saw it this morning. Here’s my non-spoiler review:

    The casting was perfect and well acted and like many films of our childhood, there’s always one youngster that will be the comedic focal point of the entire picture.

    SUPER 8 is set in 1979 (year of my high school graduation) in a rural town called Lillian, Ohio. A group of young moviemakers find themselves witnessing the unlikely contest of truck versus freight train. They both lose but the consequences are dire.

    This movie can easily be compared to E.T. due to the nature of alien meets children. Although that meeting comes way late into the film, the buildup and personal family crisis are at the forefront which leads to a confrontation that is both thrilling and gory.

    I could have easily given this movie a 9 if only JJ Abrams could finish a movie that leaves you half full at a table of chocolate and twizzlers. He continues to half write a script and it is evident in this movie.

    SUPER 8 could have been SUPER GREAT if Abrams’ ego steps a bit to the right and allow his memory of what made movies great in the 70’s win out in this current flick. I wasn’t convinced that seeing it in IMAX was necessary either and thank the stars it wasn’t in 3D, a techniq1ue I have grown very weary of. 3D is overrated and unnecessary and dims the overall presentation of a motion picture. I suspect I would have given this movie a 6 or 7.5 had it been shown in 3D. SUPER 8 is….well let’s say it brought back memories of my teen years but still prefer the effect JAWS, STAR WARS, GREASE and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN had on me back then than SUPER 8 will have on today’s teens.

  14. Oops: My score is 8 out of 10.

    • I have to agree with Marc B. I just finished an afternoon showing myself and I did see it on iMax. I went in super excited about SUPER 8 and walked out unsatisfied. Marc B Lees “Half complete” comparison on the plot/story is a perfect fit for how I felt about it.

      PROS: The movie felt exactly like what I remember ET and similar movies feeling when I saw them on the big screen. JJ nailed it in his attempt to make it feel like a movie from the 80’s but with modern filming. The light effect he uses in the STAR TREK film was very effective here in making it feel like ET/Close Encounters/Indiana Jones continued.

      That said I can’t recommend paying extra for iMax. its just not worth the money. there’s no epic scenes where an iMax sized screen or detail helps as much as it costs extra to see.

      I was certainly entertained but when I find myself looking at the time to see how close it is to the end only;y to find out the movie is only half way thru, that tells me the movie dragged too much and was too long even thought its under 2 hours. BTW – I’m a fairly easy to please movie watcher.

  15. This early positive buss has me excited. JJ Abrams is one of the best in the business.

    • buzz rather…

      • Best as far as what?

  16. “The movie can easily compared to ET”, to Jaws and To Star wars?
    Really? I doubt it.
    With the same sociological impact? the same weigth in the history of the cinema?
    Abrams fans or no, let’s try not to exaggerate. Abrams is NOT Lucas, He’s not Zemmeckis and He’s not Spielberg. Zemmeckis, Lucas or Spielberg invented. Abrams does not. M:I is a franchise, Star Trek is a franchise,a and Super 8 is a time-tested kind of movie. No risk supported by Spielberg and Paramount. Abrams is no risk man…
    No critic say Super 8 is a masterpiece, a good film, yes, a masterpiece, not.
    Great Words only for Great Works.

    • No one was comparing the quality of the those films to this one. You just wrote a paragraph complaining about something that didn’t happen. The point was that Super 8 was obviously influenced by E.T., Jaws, etc.

    • Oh yes, that’s right…no one can live up to those incredible directors…nothing can top those movies, ever…because they are the greatest filmmakers to ever live and no one will ever come close, right? Give me a break man.

  17. I’m going with my wife and daughter to the 7:00 IMAX showing tonight. And the fact that this seems like a movie that all of us can enjoy is exciting. Fingers crossed that it’s as good as being reported.

  18. I am just not excited about this movie. Yeah, it is a geekfest and all geeks are required to see it and love it, but honestly I have no interest in it :\

    I don’t think “homage” films work. Mars Attacks and Superman Returns were terrible empty movies. It is like a faded xerox copy of that thing you loved. It just reminds you of what you are missing.

  19. What an awesome movie!! I totally felt like I was back in 80’s! Loved the overall mysteriousness of it all!!