Movies: Super 8’s Nostalgia, Hugh Jackman’s Singing, Magneto’s Sexuality

 J.J. Abrams directs Super 8. The plot is secret but expect lens flares!

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

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This week's big ticket opener is a slice of nostalgia pie called SUPER 8. Director JJ Abrams (Star Trek) attempts to channel late 70s / early 80s Spielbergian wonderment in the sci-fi adventure about a group of young filmmaking kids who witness a deadly train crash which sets strange and inexplicable events in motion. The marketing has been tightlipped about what actually occurs which you have to respect given our current "give the game away" movie culture. But this secrecy has pundits debating whether the film will flop or open soft but win moviegoer's hearts anyway.

All I know is that the second I see Kyle Chandler as Daddy/Sheriff, I'm going to tear up... Friday Night Lights forever!

Road ALSO OPENING: Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer which is based on the bestselling kids' book; the British road comedy The Trip stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon; Trollhunter is a would be cult film about a group of students eager to catch actual trolls on camera in Norway; and the documentary Just Like Us details the emergence of Middle Eastern comedians and perceptions about Arabs having no sense of humor.


Road Hollywood still hasn't given Hugh Jackman a movie musical, so he decided to take his show on the road. He went to China!

Find out more AFTER THE JUMP...


The film is called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Hugh Jackman, playing an Australian businessman, will be singing in it… in Chinese no less! Here's another new still from the picture.


Given Hugh's astonishing talents in the musical realm, we have to consider Hollywood's reticence to monetize him doing that as an epic fail on behalf of their entire industry. They suck.

Plummerinbeginners Road Can Christopher Plummer get a Supporting Actor nomination for his work at the late-blooming gay father in Beginners (reviewed last week)? One of the best Oscar pundit thinks so. I am slightly less convinced but only because I worry about all the small films. If they don't get some theatrical expansion and box office heat (relative to their size of course), they never make it all the way. But those supporting categories… they're very hard to predict before the fleet of wintry prestige films arrive. One thing is sure: Christopher Plummer is definitely the most promising "Supporting" contender thus far.

Road Headline of the Month! "Bradley Cooper Confirmed to Tail Ryan Reynolds in the Place Beyond the Pines" The film we've all just imagined is not the film they're making, damnit!

Road Towleroad already covered that Magneto performs Lady Gaga video but one particular line in the song parody raises an eyebrow "I'm a mutant not gay, I think God made a mistake…" Wait, Magneto's not gay???


"You want society to accept you, but you can't even accept yourself."
-Michael Fassbender as Magneto, X-Men: First Class

Canonically speaking, no, Magneto is not gay. In typically convoluted and often revised comic history he was once married in the 1940s (though he is but a child in the 40s in the movies) and has fathered three children (two of whom became superheroes themselves: Quicksilver & The Scarlet Witch). This is not to imply that no married father has ever been gay. But Magneto, being a very "out" mutant, wouldn't be the type to hide his true nature. And haven't the movies implicitly suggested homosexuality… or at least queerness. It's there in the way Sir Ian McKellen and Rebecca Romijn played Magneto and Mystique with such memorably platonic best-friend-bitchy chemistry in the first three films. It's there in the long soulful wet gazes between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in the new film. (Didn't you want to shout "KISS HIM!" each and every time? I did.)

Magneto Oh the other hand…

[SPOILER ALERT] Magneto did sleep with blue skinned female mutant Mystique this time out. [/SPOILER]

Perhaps the film franchise is trying to have it both ways with the character: One eye to the X-Men's long history of gay appeal (instant metaphor: just add "coming out" dialogue), and one to the box office (make eyes with Xavier but only get horizontal with Mystique). Your thoughts? It's fun to project your own sexuality on superheroes, isn't it?