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Help Japan! / »SUPER« panel / US premiere / Q&A at SXSW / Facebook Live Interview / »SUPER« Panel at the ECCC
on 03/17/2011
There are no words that can describe what happened in Japan last week. On March 11, an earthquake measuring approximately 8.9 in magnitude struck off the coast of northern Japan, triggering massive tsunami waves and causing great destruction. Powerful aftershocks as strong as 6.0 to 7.0 in magnitude continue to be felt in eastern parts of the country. As a result of the earthquakes and the ensuing tsunami, 7,000 people are dead, more than 10,000 are still missing, and many residents remain in desperate need of food, water, medicine and shelter.

Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people and all those affected by this terrible tragedy. We all know, it will take years to rebuild what was destroyed in seconds, even more years, if that's even possible, to erase those horrific images. But despite all that, we should not give up hope! As human beings we have to stick together and help each other in times of great need. We are all brothers and sisters of this planet, race may separate us, but the most basic element of who we are connects us together. Please let the people in Japan know that we are with them and support the local and international relief agencies and organizations which are acting to provide aid right now. Every penny counts and any donation, however small, will make a difference! For more information on how to help, please refer to the following websites:

American Red CrossCanada Red CrossAustralia Red Cross
China Red CrossHong Kong Red CrossJapan Red Cross
UK Red CrossGerman Red CrossWorld Vision Hong Kong
Google Crisis Response CenterThe Japan Society in NYGlobalGiving.org
The Salvation ArmySave the ChildrenGive2Asia

What would be the world without sushi, Gameboy and Wii, animes and mangas or the Godzilla movies? These are just a few simple examples, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say. We need Japan as much as they need us!

Although I already made a donation, I will launch two charity auctions (Japanese DVD of »Whip It« + Japanese Blu-ray of »Juno«) on eBay this weekend and post the links here. All the money raised will go directly to the Red Cross!

Update 03/20/2011 @ 11:18 AM GMT

»»» Juno (Blu-ray) (Japanese Edition) [ebay #200588687842] «««
»»» Whip It (DVD) (Japanese Edition) [ebay #200588689138] «««

Now back to business... After the world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last year which was followed by a few other - mostly private - screenings, James Gunn's »SUPER« made it's official U.S. premiere at South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas last weekend. The first thing on Saturday's agenda was a standing-room-only panel with the director and the movie's superheroes at the Austin Convention Center. Unfortunately, Ellen was unable to attend the discussion because her flight to Austin was delayed, so it was up to both men to answer the audience's questions. To keep the disappointment of the fans who travelled from all over the US to a minimum, Rainn called Ellen and briefly put her on speaker phone to chat with the crowd of more than 650. Besides this spontaneous action, the star from »The Office« was as hilarious as always and didn't mind joking around. He stopped mid sentence several times to either go into full on Dwight mode and harass the guys who got up to leave ("Hey! You! Got something better to do buddy? We don’t need you!") or pull out his iPhone and say "Hold on…I gotta Tweet this shit". Check out the video below to see what else happened there.

» SXSW Film Festival - SUPER Panel - 12th March 2011 «

Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 3:16 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 26,9 MB)
Credit to DigMediaRev. All rights reserved.

A couple of hours later, James Gunn and Rainn Wilson went to IFC's Crossroads House for an interview with Matt Singer. Those conversations were definitely a highlight of the festivals because they were streamed live to the web with the opportunity for the online audience to send in questions via chat, Facebook and Twitter. Apart from a description of the main characters as well as the basic plot, we got some background information and IFC premiered a brand new scene from the movie.

» IFC Crossroads House - James Gunn & Rainn Wilson Interview - 12th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 16:06 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 135,0 MB)
© The Independent Film Channel LLC. All rights reserved.

» SUPER - Web Clip 4 - Sidekick - 12th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 1:32 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 13,0 MB)
© This Is That Productions / Ambush Entertainment / IFC Films. All rights reserved.

Without a doubt, the main event of the day was the US premiere of »SUPER« that played to sold-out houses at the Paramount Theatre. Meanwhile Ellen had arrived in Austin and joined her colleagues on the red carpet wearing an all-black ensemble.

Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 6:17 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 52,9 MB)
© Geekscape. All rights reserved.

Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 2:00 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 16,5 MB)
© Zap Entertainment Corp. All rights reserved.

As a matter of course the writer/director and the stars of the movie stuck around for a Q&A with the audience after the showing. On the first question - "What superpower you would like to have" - Ellen magnificently answered "I’d just like to be able to tolerate gluten." Rainn honestly added "I’m sorry, but that is a horrible question" and went on to say that he gets asked that question all the time, but he had never heard an answer as good as Page’s. Gunn shared he had written the first draft of the script in 2002 and sat on it for a long time because he couldn’t find the right person to play the lead. He also pointed out once again there are certainly some similarities to »Kick-Ass« like both films being about ordinary people putting on costumes to fight crime and the female side kick stealing the show, but »SUPER« is ultimately no copycat film due to the given reason. Thanks to EPO's forum member Glee Plane and some kind movie fans who shared their video footage, we have recordings from this Q&A session.

Credit to Glee Plane

» SXSW Film Festival - SUPER Premiere Q&A - 13th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 16:06 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 136,0 MB)
Credit to polezo

To no surprise, it took only a few hours for some (positive) reviews to show up on the net. Although Rainn Wilson/The Crimson Bolt is the center point of the story and delivers a very enjoyable performance, it's clearly Ellen Page's Libby who steals the show. Faith Korpi from Popmatters thinks "Ellen is magnificent and the best part of the movie without question [...] SUPER is at its best when she is on screen and struggles when she’s not. "The picture really takes off when Ellen asserts herself as Boltie in the second half" wrote Jordan Hoffman in a review on ugo.com. Film School Rejects' Rob Hunter adds "Ellen Page is ridiculous fun" and Jonathan Sullivan from The Film Stage, who describes himself as not "not the biggest fan of Ellen", has to admit that "she gives an equally-brilliant performance, gets what she has to do and has the talent to also make her character funny in the face of some dark actions." Katrina Hill mentions in her article on actionflickchick.com that "Ellen Page ruled Super! Her performance was energetic and spot on. Boltie exhibited guts mixed with a healthy portion of craziness to give the audience a loveable, funny, yet empowering female character."

One of the mostly mentioned points of critique remains the ending, which "lacks any sort of punch" and "absolutely lays flat on screen and fails to pay off on both the narrative, as well as the overall tone of the film the movie." At the same time, the Tarantino-inspired ultra-violence is "often very gory and just as often ludicrously excessive" and described as "graphic, shocking and, above all, realistic" and therefore may be too intense for some people. But hey, it's a James Gunn movie after all and everyone who plans watching this flick should expect something violent, twisted and darkly comic.

Hopefully, »SUPER« can use the current festival buzz to keep working its way up into the spotlight and do well enough at the box office to re-coup its small budget. But appearances of the major cast on various shows including Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel in the next couple of weeks are definitely the right way to get people's attention. And with sites like EPO as well as thousands of Facebook & Twitter users promoting the film online, nothing should go wrong.

» All US release dates for SUPER at a glance «

By the way, the night following the premiere was a rather short one for Ellen as she joined a self-funded soil conference in Halifax via live feed at 10:30 AM (local time). Later that day she went to the Mashable House for an interview on Facebook, where she talked about her own FB site, memorable moments while promoting her movies, how long she was staying in Austin, what kind of music she had on her iPod and so on. Watch the complete chat after the jump and see how she handled her first live stream interview. Despite her busy schedule, she was luckily able to relax, watch Miranda July's »The Future« and attend concerts of her favourite bands playing at the festival.

» SXSW Film Festival - Facebook Live Interview - 13th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 20:13 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 169,0 MB)
© Facebook. All rights reserved.

The day after the premiere, Rainn Wilson donned his Crimson Bolt suit once more to kick some unsuspecting criminal ass in Austin. His plan was to roll up to some highly trafficked downtown spots in an SUV and then jump out to surprise would-be criminals. This funny promotion action was part of a viral video, which will be released on the film’s April 1 release. Watch the video below for a sneak peek on "The Crimson Bolt in Action."

» SXSW Film Festival - The Crimson Bolt in Action - 13th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 0:39 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 5,37 MB)
Credit to jeph789

One week earlier, Rainn Wilson and James Gunn did a panel for »SUPER« at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle followed by another screening. After being brought on stage, Rainn almost immediately asked if his mother was somewhere in the room, leading everybody to think it was one of his usual jokes. Turns out it wasn’t. His mother had been in the back of the room, not realising that the front row was reserved for friends and family. Gunn, in turn, explained how Wilson got involved and that the actors were all paid at scale rates which is unlike a typical Hollywood movie. After premiering the first official trailer, the panel was interrupted by the entrance of two figures in superhero costumes. It was real life Seattle crime fighters »Phoenix Jones« and »Pitch Black«. Gunn and Wilson talked to them for a few minutes asking Jones where he patroled and why he does what he does before the original panel continued. Overall, it looks like both had a great time and enjoyed presenting the movie there. Thanks to the awesome guys over at omfg.fm, we have a full recording of this panel as well as the Q&A after the screening!

» Emerald City Comicon - SUPER Panel - 5th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 57:26 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 366,00 MB)
Credit to OmfGeeks

» Emerald City Comicon - SUPER Q&A - 5th March 2011 «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 16:13 min | Resolution: 640x480 | Size: 137,00 MB)
Credit to OmfGeeks

That's all for the moment. There are still many new videos underway/ in preparation, so please keep checking the event and screening clip sections for additions. I hope you feel well informed now with this update! ~Dominik

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