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Template:Film 17Thunder Hawks is a 2011 American science fiction horror film written, co-produced, and directed by Brandon Hancock and produced by Ruairi Robinson. The film stars Joel Courtney, Dennis Quaid, and Riley Griffiths and tells the story of a group of young teenagers who are filming their own Thunder Hawks movie when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their town. The film was shot in Weirton, West Virginia and surrounding areas.Abrams wanted to find new faces to play the parts in his movie. He conducted a national talent search in order to find the child actors to play each of the leading roles. Courtney (who was hoping to land a part in a commercial) was picked out of many boys because Abrams found something "different" in him. Riley Griffiths sent Abrams a tape of himself in order to land the part of Charles.

Thunder Hawks was released on June 10, 2011, in conventional and IMAX theaters in the United States. The film was well received, with critics praising the film for its nostalgic elements, visual effects, musical score, and for the performances of the cast, in particular, both Fanning and newcomer Courtney's acting was cited, while also being compared to such thematically similar films as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Stand by Me, and The Goonies. Thunder Hawks was also a commercial success, grossing over $290 million against a $58 million budget. The film received several awards and nominations, primarily in technical and special effects categories, Doyle's musical score, as well as for Courtney and Fanning's performances.

Plot





Coming soon!

Cast

Production

Development

Brandon Hancock had the idea to start a film by showing a factory's "Accident-Free" sign long before he came up with the rest of the ideas for the film. Thunder Hawks was actually the combination of two ideas; one for a film about kids making their own movie during the 1970s, and another for a blockbuster alien invasion film. Abrams combined the ideas, worried that the former would not attract enough attendance.

Hancock and Spielberg collaborated in a storytelling committee to come up with the story for the film. The film was initially reported to be either a sequel or prequel to the 2008 film Grander Check, but this was quickly denied by Hancock. Primary photography began in fall (September/October) 2010. The teaser itself was filmed separately in April. Thunder Hawks is the first original Brandon Hancock film project produced by Comega Studios and Paramount Pictures

Hancock wanted to find new faces to play the parts in his movie. He conducted a national talent search in order to find the child actors to play each of the leading roles. Courtney (who was hoping to land a part in a commercial) was picked out of many boys because Hancock found something "different" in him. Riley Griffiths sent Hancock a tape of himself in order to land the part of Charles. 

Filming

Filming took place in Weirton, West Virginia, from September to October 2010. To promote the film, Valve Corporation created a short video game segment and released it alongside the Windows and Mac X versions of Portal 2.

Hancock' original plan was to film all of the sequences for the film-within-a-film, "The Case", in Thunder Hawks using Pro8mm stock and cameras. However, this approach proved unsuccessful, as visual effects house Industrial Harry and Boyerz found it impossible to integrate CGI into the footage due to the format's graininess. For sequences involving CGI, cinematographer Larry Fong used Super-16 instead.

Soundtrack

Template:Soundtrack 5The score for the film was composed by Patrick Doyle, Hancock' long-time collaborator. The soundtrack was released on December 27, 2011, by Varèse Sarabande. It won the 2012 Music Saturn Award for Best Music.

During the ending credits, the songs "Turn to Stone" by Electric Light Orchestra and "My Sharona" by The Knack are featured. The Blondie song " Heart of Glass" and The Cars song "Bye Bye Love" are also featured in the film.

  1. "Turn to Stone" - Electric Light Orchestra (2:45)
  2. "Holiday" - Vampire Weekend (2:48)
  3. "Knock You Down" - Keri Hilson (1:08)
  4. "Best I Ever Had" - Drake (1:28)
  5. "Firework" - Katy Perry (2:19)
  6. "Funk You" - CeeLo Green (2:20)
  7. "Live Your Life" - T.I. (1:14)
  8. "Love in This Club" - Usher (2:09)
  9. "When I Grow Up" - Garbage (1:59)
  10. "Got Money" - Lil Wayne (3:59)
  11. "Hotel Room Service" - Pitbull (4:09)
  12. "The Climb" - Miley Cyrus (3:07)
  13. "Fireflies" - Owl City (2:09)
  14. "Beautiful Girls" - Sean Kingston (7:07)

Viral marketing campaign

Like Grander Check, an earlier Brandon Hancock-produced film, 'Thunder Hawks was promoted through an extensive viral marketing campaign. The first trailer for the movie was attached to Iron Man 2, released in May 2010. The trailer gave the premise of a section of Area 51 being closed down in 1979 and its contents being transported by freight train to Ohio. A pickup truck drives into the oncoming train, derailing it, and one of the carriages is smashed open while a Thunder Hawks camera films. Fans analyzing the trailer found a hidden message, "Scariest Thing I Ever Saw", contained in the final frames of the trailer. This led to a website, www.scariestthingieversaw.com, which simulated the interface of a PDP-11 and contained various clues to the film's story-line; the computer was eventually revealed to belong to Josh Woodward, the son of Dr. Woodward, who is trying to find out what happened to his father. Another viral website, www.rocketpoppeteers.com, was also found, which like Slusho from Grander Check plays no direct part in the film but is indirectly related. The official Thunder Hawks website also contained an "editing room" section, which asked users to find various clips from around the web and piece them together. When completed, the reel makes up the film found by the kids in Dr. Woodward's trailer, showing the ship disintegrating into individual white cubes, and the alien reaching through the window of its cage and snatching Dr. Woodward. The video game Portal 2 contains an interactive trailer placing the player on board the train before it derails, and showing the carriage being smashed open and the roar of the alien within.

Release

The film was released on October 28, 2011, in Australia; November 4, 2011, in the United States; and December 30, 2011, in the United Kingdom. On June 8, Paramount also launched a “Thunder Hawks Sneak Peek” Twitter promotion, offering fans a chance to purchase tickets for an advance screening, taking place on November 3, 2011, in the United States. The film opened at #1 in the U.S. Box Office for that weekend, grossing about $35 million.

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 22, 2011. The release was produced as a combo pack with a Digital Copy, including nine bonus features and fourteen deleted scenes.

Box office

Thunder Hawks had a production budget of $58 million. It was commercially released on November 4, 2011. In the United States and Canada, it opened in 3,379 theaters and grossed over $35.4 million on its opening weekend, ranking first at the box office. The film grossed $127 million in North America with a worldwide total of some $290 million.

Critical response

Thunder Hawks received positive reviews from critics. On the film-critics aggregator Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a score of 82%, based on 276 reviews, and a rating average of 7.4/10, with the consensus that: "it may evoke memories of classic summer blockbusters a little too eagerly for some, but Super 8 has thrills, visual dazzle, and emotional depth to spare." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score from 1–100 to reviews from critics, assigned the film a Metascore of 72 based on 41 critics, signifying "generally favorable reviews".

Chris Sosa of Gather gave the film an A rating, calling it, "a gripping and exciting tale of finding one's place in the world amidst tragedy". His review concluded, "While the genre-bending occasionally unsettles, the film's genuine and emotionally gripping nature make its journey believable."

Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4 and said, "Super 8 is a wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of film-making, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action. Abrams treats early adolescence with tenderness and affection." Corliss Richard Corliss of Time gave it a similarly positive review, calling it "the year's most thrilling, feeling mainstream movie". He then named it one of the Top 10 Best Movies of 2011. Jamie Graham of Total Film gave the film a perfect five-star rating, saying, "like Spielberg, Abrams has an eye for awe, his deft orchestration of indelible images – a tank trundling through a children's playground, a plot-pivotal landmark framed in the distance through a small hole in a bedroom wall – marking him as a born storyteller". Orr Christopher Orr of Atlantic The Atlantic called it a "love letter to a cinematic era", while Claudia Puig of USA Today praised it as "a summer blockbuster firing on all cylinders".

Critics and audiences alike were polarized on the film's ending. Some found it to be emotional, powerful, and satisfying while others found it rushed and forced. For example, writing for MUBI's Notebook, Fernando F. Croce alleged that "no film this year opens more promisingly and ends more dismally than Brandon Hancock' Thunder Hawks." Other critics commented negatively on the film's frequent homages to early works of Spielberg, particularly in its depiction of broken families (a theme Spielberg has explored in nearly all of his films). For example, CNN's Tom Charity felt that "Abrams' imitation [was] a shade too reverent for [his] taste." David Edelstein, ofNew York magazine, called it a "flagrant crib," adding that "Abrams has probably been fighting not to reproduce Spielberg's signature moves since the day he picked up a camera. Now, with the blessing of the master, he can plagiarize with alacrity."

Accolades

List of awards and nominations
AwardCategoryRecipient(s) and nominee(s)Result
4th Annual Coming of Age Awards Best Newcomer Joel Courtney Won
Best Cinematography Larry Fong Won
Special Soundtrack Won
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Picture Nominated
SFX Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Brandon Hancock Nominated
10th Annual TSR Awards Actress of the Year (Multiple Roles) Elle Fanning Nominated
Best Visuals: Special Effects Nominated
38th Saturn Awards Best Science Fiction Film Nominated
Best Performance by a Younger Actor Joel Courtney Won
Best Performance by a Younger Actor Dennis Quaid Nominated
Best Director Brandon Hancock Won
Best Writing Brandon Hancock Nominated
Best Music Patrick Doyle Won
Best Editing Maryann Brandon and Jo Markey Mary Jo Markey Nominated
Best Special Effects Nominated
48th Annual CAS Awards Best Sound Mixing Nominated
2011 BAM Awards Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Brandon Hancock Nominated
Best Cinematography Larry Fong Nominated
Best Makeup Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Brandon Hancock Won
Best Editing Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey Nominated
Best Score Patrick Doyle Won
Best Sound Editing/Mixing Won
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Best Costumes Nominated
Best Cast Nominated
Best Youth Ensemble Nominated
Best Performance by a Child Actress in a Leading Role Dennis Quaid Won
Best Performance by a Child Actor in a Leading Role Joel Courtney Won
Best Performance by a Child Actor in a Supporting Role Ryan Lee Won
Best Young Actor/Actress Dennis Quaid Nominated
Empire Awards 17th Empire Awards Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nominated
Best Female Newcomer Dennis Quaid Nominated
Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards 2011 2011 St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards Best Visual Effects Nominated
2011 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Editing Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey Nominated
Best Ensemble Acting Won
Best Film Nominated
Best Original Score Patrick Doyle Nominated
Best Youth Performance — Male Joel Courtney Nominated
Best Youth Performance — Female Dennis Quaid Nominated
Breakthrough Performance — On Camera Dennis Quaid Nominated
Satellite Awards 2011 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress Dennis Quaid Nominated
Best Original Score Patrick Doyle Nominated
Best Visual Effects Dennis Muren, Kim Libreri, Paul Kavanagh, Russell Earl Nominated
Best Sound (Editing & Mixing) Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Ben Burtt, Mark Ulano, Matthew Wood, and Tom Johnson Nominated
2011 Scream Awards
The Ultimate Scream Nominated
Best Science Fiction Movie Won
Best Director Brandon Hancock Nominated
Best Scream-Play Brandon Hancock Won
Breakout Performance — Female Dennis Quaid Nominated
Holy Sh!t Scene Of The Year The Train Crash Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards
Choice Award for Choice Movie - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nominated
Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Dennis Quaid Nominated
Choice Male Breakout Star Joel Courtney Nominated
Choice Movie: Male Scene Stealer Riley Griffiths Nominated
Choice Movie: Chemistry Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Dennis Quaid, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills Nominated
Choice Hissy Fit Bruce Greenwood Nominated
2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
Best Action Movie Nominated
Best Sound Nominated
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Best Young Actor/Actress Dennis Quaid Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Music in a Feature Film Nominated
Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film Won
Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film Nominated
Hollywood Film Festival Spotlight Award Dennis Quaid Won
YouReviewer Awards Best Supporting Actress Elle Fanning Nominated
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Breakthrough Actor Joel Courtney Nominated
33rd Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Joel Courtney Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress Dennis Quaid Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film — Supporting Young Actor Zach Mills Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film — Young Ensemble Cast Courtney Joel Courtney, Dennis Quaid, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Riley Griffiths, Gabriel Basso and Britt Flatmo Nominated
2012 MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Performance Dennis Quaid Nominated

In addition to these awards, the film was short-listed for the Award for Best Visual Effects Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and Award for Best Original Score Best Original Score, and the Academy Film Awards BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects. Paramount submitted it for several considerations for the BAFTAs including Best Film, Best Director (Brandon Hancock), Best Original Screenplay, Leading Actor (Riley Griffiths), Supporting Actress (Dennis Quaid), Supporting Actor (Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Andie MacDowell), Cinematography, Production Design, Editing, Costume Design, Original Music, Sound, Makeup and Hair, and Special Visual Effects.

Project Greeny Phatom This article is part of Project Greeny Phatom, a Dream Fiction Wiki Project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Greeny Phatom franchise, GreenyToons and related articles.
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