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»SUPER« makes its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival / First photos, reactions and video
on 09/11/2010
Just 198 days after filming was completed in January 2010 and around 1 year after Ambush Entertainment agreed to produce the film at the last Toronto International Film Festival, »SUPER« premiered in the sold out Ryerson theatre last night at midnight with over 1200 people watching it. Among those in attendance for this exciting event were members of the cast including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Sean Gunn, Stephen Blackehart, Don Mac and Steve Agee. Director James Gunn with his girlfriend Mia Matsumiya, producers Ted Hope and Miranda Bailey, actor Justin Long and »Juno« director Jason Reitman were also there.

James Gunn told us via Formspring a while ago that people are going to freak out when they see Ellen because her character Libby / Boltie is so funny and hilarious. In fact, the audience reacted as expected. If you consider all the latest Twitter tweets and read the early reviews, you come to the conclusion that our favourite Canadian actress steals the show in every scene she's in. Overall, moviegoers seemed impressed with the film since over ¾ of the crowd stayed for the Q&A. »SUPER« unfortunately doesn't have a distributor yet, but it's surely only a matter of time until a company takes a leap of faith and picks it up for release!




Update - 09/11/2010 @ 05:00 PM

Variety reports that potential buyers circled James Gunn's »SUPER« in the early hours today. Apparently, there are already multiple offers and high interest in the film. Keep your fingers crossed for a great distribution deal!

Update - 09/11/2010 @ 07:00 PM

A scene from the film made its online debut on comingsoon.net. Please note, the clip contains strong language and is NSFW!

» SUPER - Web Clip 1 - 11th September 2010 «



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 0:58 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 8,28 MB)
© This Is That Productions / Ambush Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Update - 09/12/2010 @ 07:00 PM

James Gunn just reported via Twitter the US rights for »SUPER« have been sold to IFC Films. According to the official press release, the American film distribution company has paid seven figures for it which reflects the aforementioned interest in the film and implies that there was some stiff competition from other potential buyers such as Magnolia Pictures.

james_gunn Well it's out! After numerous offers IFC is distributing SUPER! 1st big sale of TIFF! I couldn't be more stoked!!!

Here is the official press release:

IFC FILMS TAKES U.S. RIGHTS TO JAMES GUNN’S SUPER
FIRST BIG SALE DURING TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL

Star-studded cast includes Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon

New York, NY (September 12, 2010) – IFC Films, the leading American distributor of independent and foreign films, announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights to James Gunn’s shockingly hilarious SUPER after an all-night auction that concluded this morning. IFC Films will release SUPER under its new IFC Midnight banner. SUPER was also written by Gunn, and was produced by Miranda Bailey via her LA-based production company, Ambush Entertainment and Ted Hope, via his Gotham-based production company This is that. Ambush’s financing arm, Cold Iron Pictures, financed the film which was executive-produced by Matthew Leutwyler of Ambush Entertainment and Rainn Wilson. The film which stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon, premiered Friday night at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival to tremendous audience response.

Hanway Films is handling international sales and has already sold the film in over 15 foreign territories including: Italy (M2 Pictures), Australia (Village Roadshow), and Scandanavia (Svensk).

In Super, Frank’s (Rainn Wilson) wife leaves him for a seductive, psychopathic drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), Frank is transformed and the Crimson Bolt is born. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson Bolt beats his way through the mean streets of crime in hopes of saving his wife (Liv Tyler). The rules were written a long time ago: You are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars; if you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt!

Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment said, "James Gunn has made one of the most creative and subversive films of the year with an outstanding cast including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon. This is exactly the kind of film we want the IFC Midnight brand to be associated with."

"I never had to compromise in the making of this movie and I couldn't be more excited to have found a distribution partner wanting to embrace the extremities and balls-to-the-walls qualities of SUPER" said James Gunn.

"SUPER is special because it has lots of unique qualities that make it an indie film and we are thrilled IFC Films is releasing it because they are independent cinema and totally get the spirit of the film and what it’s about" said producers Miranda Bailey and Ted Hope.

The deal for Super was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers at IFC Films and by Graham Taylor at WME Global and Rich Klubeck at UTA on behalf of the filmmakers.

Update - 09/12/2010 @ 07:10 PM

The premiere screening on Friday was followed by a discussion / Q&A with Rainn, Ellen, Liv, Sean, Stephen, Don, James, Ted and Miranda. Please be aware the video clips below contain spoilers, so watch them at your own risk! Many thanks and credit to toronto1207, Crazy Critics, crimking19, teenfilmbuff07 and highlandertn who shared their recordings!

» TIFF 2010 - SUPER World Premiere - Q&A - 10th September 2010 «



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 13:29 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 113,00 MB)
Credit to toronto1207 / Kevin Suter



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 11:21 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 95,6 MB)
Credit to toronto1207 / Kevin Suter



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 9:30 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 79,9 MB)
Credit to Crazy Critics



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 5:33 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 32,2 MB)
Credit to crimking19



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 5:53 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 49,6 MB)
Credit to teenfilmbuff07



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 2:22 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 20,0 MB)
Credit to highlandertn

Update - 09/13/2010 @ 06:50 PM

And finally, here are some video interviews from the red carpet. Enjoy!

» TIFF 2010 - SUPER World Premiere - 10th September 2010 «



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 2:08 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 18,0 MB)
© The Hollywood Reporter / Mediathink Productions. All rights reserved.



Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 5:48 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 48,9 MB)
© You Bring a Horse For Me Productions. All rights reserved.

This is what the experts have to say:

"Gunn said in the intro that the film cost very little and everyone involved worked for almost nothing — and it shows. The movie looks and feels like a weird mixture of a feature length SNL digital short, Kick-Ass and a Troma Film" [...] "There are moments of brilliance, surrounds by moments of bad sketch comedy. The highlight of the film for me is Ellen Page, who is just hilarious as the psychotic sidekick who is just looking to fight crime (even where/when it might not exist). Super also has some good character-based emotional moments which I’d better expect in a Jason Reitman film, but feel a bit out of place and unearned in this movie." [...] "I wish I liked this movie more than I did (that’s not to say I didn’t like it…). Comic Book and Rainn Wilson fans will definitely want to check out this movie, although I feel it ranks closer to The Defendor than Kick-Ass on the spectrum of cinematic costumed vigilantes."

Rating: 7 out of 10
Peter Sciretta, /Film, slashfilm.com

"It's a fun story, it's a great cast, it's a bit better than Defendor, it's crazy violent and overly realistic, but it didn't really take the comedic vigilante concept to the next level like I was really hoping this would. [...] I don't know if I loved it, but definitely I had a fun time." [...] "It's so damn fun to watch." [...] "That said, if you're a fan of James Gunn or Rainn Wilson or you really like this concept, Super is a must see, just because it is so fun and it is very well done for an extremely low budget film."

Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net, firstshowing.net
"I was hoping Super would be awesome. While it didn’t reach the level I hoped for walking in, there was enough cool stuff that you should definitely be excited to check it out when it eventually gets released. Also, while Rainn Wilson was great as the lead, Super was the Ellen Page show. Trust me, you have never seen Ellen Page like this, and she had the entire theater laughing at some of the insane stuff she does on screen." [...] "If you are a fan of James Gunn, Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson, you surely need to see it."

Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub, Collider, collider.com
"Gunn displays a noticeable zeal for the pulpy aspects of genre movies, relishing in the blood, gore and body count."

Tim Murray, Screen International, screendaily.com
"Super is destined to become a cult classic, this film is pure movie magic, it has everything, gore, comedy, violence, hot ladies, hell of a lot of heart, story and it’s got something to say."

The Freeman, Ain't It Cool News, aintitcool.com
Page doesn't just save the movie; she tears the roof off the theatre, steals the whole film, and runs away cackling. Playing a dumber, meaner, hella crazier version of her clever girl persona, Page is a rampaging psychosexual berserker in Sprite colours and a Riddler mask. She gets the best lines, the best fights, the best fuck, the second-best costume, and the single filthiest line reading I've seen since the early works of John Waters. The words "it's all gushie" will haunt me until death." [...] "The film needs a tighter edit to really finesse the comedy, and its pound-you-over-the-head-with-a-wrench Christian moralizing is just downright creepy. It goes for immensely dark jokes on occasion, half of which land, half of which don't. But the balls on this thing, the sheer exploitationist zeal, is infectious. It knows what it's trying to do, and it has a mountingly enjoyable time doing it grinds towards its flat-out batshit finale."

Supergirl, Ain't It Cool News, aintitcool.com
"If there’s any early favorite on that list of bidding-war candidates coming out of Toronto. This would probably be the one." [...] "Remember that movie Kick-Ass? About that kid and his cohort of ordinary folks who strive to battle crime in bad costumes and without the benefit of superpowers? Yeah, well, you probably won’t after this."

S.T. VanAirsdale, Movieline, movieline.com
"Page is incredibly funny and downright unhinged as Libby, but the characters gets so crazy at times that she slips away from being a human being at all." [...] "Even with limited CGI and not particularly strong action directing skills, Gunn keeps Super at a brisk and entertaining pace, and deftly balances the extreme violence with the feeling that Frank, on some level, speaks for us all." [...] "The movie never quite manages its constant shifts between extreme violence, physical comedy and pathos, particularly when it takes a hard turn toward the sentimental in the final scenes that's neither earned nor in keeping with what came before it. It's as if Gunn came up with a lot of good ideas and then put the movie together before he realized he couldn't follow through on them." [...] "Especially on the heels of the underperforming Kick-Ass, it's unclear what kind of future there can be for Super, which doesn't yet have a distributor. Not only is it far more violent and cynical than that film but it treats its characters far worse, allowing only hollow redemption for some and none at all for others. That cynicism isn't necessarily a bad thing-- the movie worked for me overall, though others I saw it with were generally appalled-- but it's a tough sell outside the bloodthirsty midnight movie crowd. I enjoyed the time I spent with Super for the most part, but I may wind up just glad I caught it before it gets stuck in distribution limbo."

Katey Rich, Cinema Blend, cinemablend.com
"Yet the film really comes to life when Ellen Page joins the fray as "Boltie" in an act of cosplay gone too far. The actress has been featured too often playing precocious young women who talk and act beyond her years, so it is refreshing to see her play a bit of an unhinged (but enthusiastic) dolt. She dives into her role with such gusto, it almost runs the film off the rails, but ultimately is endearing precisely for its naughty excess and savvy against-type casting." [...] "Make no mistake, Super is very rough around the edges (having Lloyd Kaufman show up instead of Stan Lee is a dead giveaway!), its musical cues are at times a bit obvious and blunt, and may be perceived as a low-rent Watchmen (which up to a point it is), but there is a solid and unconventional story of how to find your own form of personal happiness and enjoy a bad hand dealt your way."

Kurt Halfyard, Twitch, twitchfilm.net
"As Frank's reign of terror gets more attention, he ends up crossing paths with Libby (Ellen Page), a girl who works at a comic book shop, and she becomes the only person he can talk to about his new calling. She designs her own costume so she can become Boltie, his kid sidekick, but almost as soon as she gets that costume on, something tears open inside Libby and she seems to lose all moral compass. Her performance alone would get me to recommend the movie. She's like a crazy little animal in the film. It's kind of amazing. She's not Hit Girl, either. She's not played as particularly competent or, you know, sane. And through her character, Gunn is able to further mutate certain tropes of the genre, like the tension inherent to the hero/sidekick relationship, explored here in a way I've never seen before." [...] "'Super' is never going to be a mainstream giant hit. No way. It's too outrageous, too filthy, too pleased about all of that. But it ripped the roof of with this midnight crowd, and I think the cult audience for the movie will be a vocal and energetic one, and for good reason. I may not love every moment of "Super," but I think it's an embarrassment of riches, and a great personal way into the superhero genre."

Drew McWeeny, HitFix, www.hitfix.com
"It's different all right, an alternately wild and moody film that is equal parts love story, portrait of mental instability and raucous comic-book-inspired action picture. [...] "Page sets aside her over-it smart-alecky persona to play a young woman desperate to live a life with gusto. Once she assumes her own role as the kid sidekick Bolty, her lusty yells and excited exclamations as she whales on yet another criminal are strange and jarring." [...] " Without giving away any spoilers, let it be said that the film takes some wildly unexpected turns in its final stretch and its ending strikes just the right tension between success and failure, triumph and heartbreak."

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, latimesblogs.latimes.com
"As is often the case with weird indie comedies, Super benefits from a fantastic cast, all of whom seem gleefully willing to dive into Gunn's dementia." [...] "Chock full of insanely graphic violence, awash in thoroughly un-PC perspectives, and more than willing to keep on punching long after the audience is virtually incredulous, Super is fun and funny, dark and twisted, semi-schizophrenic and certifiably insane. What I liked most was its simple audacity. And Ellen Page."

Scott Weinberg, Cinematical, www.cinematical.com
"While Rainn Wilson, taking "Office" leave, strikes the perfect pushed-to-the-brink tone as a short-order cook-turned-masked avenger, the film's true secret weapon is awesome Ellen Page as a comic book nerd-turned-way overzealous sidekick." [...] "Page is an absolute delight in both guises, but her Boltie's a real blast -- a gung-ho dynamo given to laughing maniacally while bashing in a supposed bad guy." [...] "A seriously twisted, ridiculously amusing entry in the DIY superhero genre that finally gets it right."

Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter (THR), www.hollywoodreporter.com
"Super is a cult-classic in the making. It may sound a lot like another recent film on the surface, but by the closing credits, Kick-Ass seems as tame as an episode of Sesame Street in comparison." [...] "Writer/director James Gunn (Slither) must have known he needed an impressive all-star cast to pull off such purposefully gratuitous violence and crude humor, because he definitely got one." [...] "Super isn’t high art, though. You’re not going to leave the theater with a new lease on life or find yourself thinking about it for very long after it’s over. We don’t really care what happens to the characters as long as it’s funny or entertaining. The ending is surprisingly inspired for a film this ridiculous, but if you’re sensitive to gore or vulgar comedy, you won’t sit through the movie long enough to get to it."

Rating: 6 out of 10
James Battaglia, The Film Stage, thefilmstage.com

"Waiting for "Super" to deliver the funny is an experience as long as the film itself. This would-be comedy about a cuckolded greasy spoon fry cook-turned-costumed vigilante (Rainn Wilson) wants to weld "Kick-Ass" to "Taxi Driver," but writer-director James Gunn fires only blanks on the satiric side of things. Investing more in their characters than the movie deserves, Ellen Page, as the hero's sadistic "kid sidekick," and Kevin Bacon, as a gold-toothed, rail-thin sleazebag, would seem to give "Super" some strength in the sales realm, as evidenced by its IFC pickup at Toronto, although the pic's exceedingly grotesque violence and dearth of genuine humor equate to commercial kryptonite." [...] "The cast does what little it can with the disturbingly formulaic material. Playing the bloodthirsty, comicbook-loving Libby, the highly animated Page comes across best, even summarizing the viewer's mood while scratching her itchy trigger-finger in costume as Boltie: "Oh, this is so boring!"

Rob Nelson, Variety, www.variety.com
"Beginning with the film’s opening credits – a colorful, bloody and crudely drawn cartoon that features the characters in a lively dance sequence – you know you’re about to witness something special." [...] "As for the performances, Ellen Page steals the show as Frank’s overzealous sidekick. Page, who often plays characters too wise and mature for her age, is convincing as a maniacal and over-stimulated 20-something-year-old with possible ADD." [...] "While not exactly a new or original concept, "Super" is a refreshing addition to the superhero genre. Both "Defendor" and "Kick-Ass" explored the consequences of ordinary people donning masks, but "Super" twists these films’ realistic treatment, adding a hero who isn’t easy to root for, and a sidekick who treats life and death as if in a video game."

Kyla Drewette, It's Just Movies, itsjustmovies.com
"Once audience members witness the cartoon opening credits that look remarkably like Gregg Araki’s Smiley Face opening sequence, viewers who are familiar with James Gunn’s style will know they are in for another cinematic experience that blurs the borders between the horror and satire genres like his previous effort." [...] "SUPER spends a good amount of time examining the realism of how miserable and unfulfilling life can truly be at times. While others can meander through their entire lives living blissful yet ignorant lives, there are others like Frank who relish in life’s very few perfect moments as the world is a fairly boring and cold place most of the time. I applaud Rainn Wilson for proving that he is capable of taking on such an unexpectedly multi-layered role. The rest of the cast also gave superb performances; however, it’s Ellen Page who really steals the show by taking on such a risky role of playing a loud, annoying and dim-witted character (a character miles away from the roles she usually takes)." [...] "Despite it being fairly rough around the edges, it is SUPER's off-kilter composition that makes this such a scabrously hilarious film that will most likely be treasured for years to come."

Rating: 3,5 out of 5
Serena Whitney, Dread Central, www.dreadcentral.com

"James Gunn's SUPER is just that. SUPER." [...] "If KICK ASS was the big budget, 'regular guy' superhero satire, SUPER is the ultra low-budget indie flavored take on the genre." [...] "In the lead, THE OFFICE's Rainn Wilson does a bloody fantastic job. This is the second indie Wilson's completely rocked in 2010 (HESHER being the other), and making low-budget, hip fare like this is going to give him a career that I imagine will still be going strong after THE OFFICE inevitably ends." [...] "However, the real scene-stealer here has to be Ellen Page. Wow. You've never seen Page like this folks. Her role as a totally unhinged, murderous, nymphomaniac comic book store worker, with a passion for slicing drug dealers faces up with her Wolverine-like claws might be downright iconic." [...] "The balance between humor, pathos, and hardcore action is absolutely pitch perfect. Bring on SUPER 2!"

Rating: 8 out of 10
Chris Bumbray, JoBlo, www.joblo.com

"The movie is decidedly non-mainstream, but what will likely confuse people even further is the fact that the cast is full of recognizable faces. Rainn Wilson is now a household name thanks to The Office, but to see him taking a risk in something like this is pretty damn refreshing. He manages to make Frank both relatable and slightly frightening, and his deft handling of both the dramatic and the comedic reminds me of his performance as Arthur on Six Feet Under." [...] "Although Ellen Page seems initially to be playing just another snarky teenager, her character takes a surprising turn and she fearlessly dives into the role. She is sure to be a fan favourite in the same way that Hit Girl was in Kick-Ass, but in this case, no real suspension of disbelief required." [...] "Make no mistake, there have been plenty of movies over the past few years to tackle the concept of a "real-life superhero", but Super manages to set itself apart and proves that there is yet another angle worth exploring. It’s funny without resorting to cheap laughs or fanboy pandering, and it’s shocking in all the right ways. The Crimson Bolt may be losing his mind, but it’s exhilarating to see him step up and do the things no one else has the balls to do. The same can be said of director James Gunn, who has succeeded in delivering what is surely the edgiest superhero flick made to date."

Rating: 3,5 out of 4
Sean, Film Junk, www.filmjunk.com

"A violent and often entertaining take on the everyman superhero" [...] "The selling point here is over-the-top violence peppered with a few solid one-liners, but most important, a commitment to its subject matter that brings the packaged together." [...] "Adopting the role of The Crimson Bolt's sidekick, Page adds the boost Super needs about midway through and helps bring the film home."

Grade: B
Brad Brevet, RopeOfSilicon, www.ropeofsilicon.com


Visit EPO's press archive for the complete reviews!



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