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Peter T Chattaway

Midnight Special

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Links to our threads on Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011) and Mud (2012).

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Michael Shannon to Reunite With Jeff Nichols on Sci-Fi Pic (EXCLUSIVE)
With his recent film “Mud” delivering a solid perf in its first two weeks at the box office, Jeff Nichols is ready to get back to work coming on to direct an untitled Warner Bros. sci-fi pic with his “Take Shelter” star Michael Shannon coming on to star.
Sarah Green and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones are producing with Nichols also writing the project. WB had previously acquired the script before setting Nichols to direct.
Exact plot details are being kept under wraps but sources have described it as a present day sci-fi chase film. . . .
The project would mark Nichols’ first studio film. Both “Take Shelter” and “Mud” took the festival route before being picked up for distribution by smaller distribs. . . .
Variety, May 9

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Sarah Green was a producer on Nichols' last two films, and has also produced all of Terrence Malick's films since The New World (we spoke to her on the junket for that film).

Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, meanwhile, has produced films like Bullet to the Head, Insidious and Sinister.

So, there could be a very interesting merger of sensibilities here.

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My anticipation dwindled when I saw the trailer. I think it may have been Looper that burned me out on Eerie Little Kids With Powers. It'll have to be a really good story.

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I think the whole father son angle is always something that brings me into a story. I know he's going for a Starman, E.T. vibe, which also intrigues me

Edited by Justin Hanvey

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This is one weird movie. It's probably not a good sign that there were places where I heard the potential "Everything Wrong With..." trailer in my head. It's like Nichols couldn't decide which Spielberg film to riff so he did them all. (He himself invited the comparison in introducing the film, so I guess I'm not being too catty.)

Michael Shannon and Nichol's direction keep it together, but only just. I think the script needed one more pass, maybe? At the beginning, I like that not everything is explained right away, but as things progressed it felt like there wasn't as much there as was hinted at...and it ends up really being more about plot (deliver package from point A to point C) with not much in the way of thematic or character development. 

 

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FWIW, my interview with Jeff Nichols (includes three clips from the film). I thought I'd have 15 minutes with him, and then the interview began a few minutes early, and I *still* didn't have time to ask him all the questions that I would have wanted to ask him, but oh well. (And some of my unasked questions would have concerned some of the really spoiler-ish stuff in the film's third act, so I'm not sure I could have run his answers anyway... not this early into the film's release, at any point.)

I don't know yet if I'll have time to write a review, per se, but as a sci-fi buff I did want a little better sense of how the kid became who and what he is. I was also struck by the fact that this film has some curious parallels to Tomorrowland and The Divergent Series: Allegiant, architecturally and otherwise.

After the press screening, some colleagues were remarking that this may be Nichols' first studio film (it's produced by Warner Brothers), but it might be his least "accessible" film from an average audience member's point of view.

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On 4/8/2016 at 10:02 AM, Peter T Chattaway said:

I don't know yet if I'll have time to write a review, per se, but as a sci-fi buff I did want a little better sense of how the kid became who and what he is. I was also struck by the fact that this film has some curious parallels to Tomorrowland and The Divergent Series: Allegiant, architecturally and otherwise.

The Tomorrowland parallel struck me as well. I also thought of Knowing, only this film is a bit less cynical with its conclusion. The film has some flaws, but overall, I really liked it.

Nichols filmography is interesting, in that he seems to have a vacillating rhythm of quiet, Southern familial tension stories featuring outsiders with interesting names (Shotgun Stories, Mud) and sci-fi/mystery Biblical allegories in contemporary Southern settings (Take Shelter, Midnight Special). IMDB says he has another film slated for 2016, titled Loving. If he follows the same pattern, Loving will be more akin to Mud than Midnight Special. IMO, he hasn't made a poor film yet.

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Thanks for your review, Joel. I just saw Midnight Special, not knowing much about it, and was pleasantly surprised. Coincidentally, I happened to catch

Spoiler

Tomorrowland

recently, so I can see the parallels, but liked this better.

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I enjoyed it overall.  I really liked the mystery in the film.

I had thought something similar to Peter.  I could have handled more of the kid's past.  Even the answer too, If he was raised by someone else, then how or why did he know who his dad was?  

Edited by Attica

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22 hours ago, Tyler said:

This might be my favorite

  Hide contents

Jesus

movie since

  Hide contents

 

Ikiru.

 

Huh.  Dunno what to do with that.  I certainly don't think Jesus would want me to shoot any cops for him.  I don't think it works all that well as religious allegory, though it certainly has a lot of questions of religious belief and religious culture in it, and how far we ought to go for beliefs.

But I did really like the movie, although I found the ending somewhat unsatisfying.  I think Take Shelter is still Nichols's best movie, though I agree he hasn't made a bad one yet.  Parts of this film were just wonderful. 

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If I remember correctly Alton didn't want any cops shot either for him. Much like Peter attacking the Roman soldier and Jesus rebuking him

(I don't think it's a perfect Jesus allegory either fwiw)

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