|Forum Home > Recent Movies > Super 8|
17 June 2011
So I went to see the new movie Super 8 a few days ago, and surprisingly I found it very enjoyable. I have always been a Steven Spielberg fan, ever since E.T. hit theatres when I was about 12 years old. And I have enjoyed just about everything J.J. Abrams has helmed . . . with the possible exception of Lost (egads, I know, how could I not like Lost??? Well, there it is!). So I had big expectations for the latest "mystery concept" that was boxed and put out around Christmas time last year as Abrams' latest offering. Those teaser trailers, a-la Cloverfield, really sparked an interest in me, so off to the theatre I went.
Now, I have to admit that before I headed out that evening I did a little 'sploring on the World Wide Web trying to find a few (not exactly spoilers) write-ups about the film, just to know what I was getting into. Let me tell you, the public at large has done a pretty good job of keeping Super 8 under wraps. There aren't a whole lot of reviews available for a movie that opened at Number One at the box office. Still, I did manage to find a few reports with just enough details to keep me interested, but I don't like to offer spoilers, so I won't go into depth here. If you want to ruin it for yourself, you'll have to troll the boards, just like I did.
Suffice to say, Super 8 is, as one person claimed, a little bit like The Goonies, with some E.T. thrown in, and more than a pinch of Cloverfield for good measure. The film centers around a group of kids in 1978 who are making a zombie movie on their own to enter into an upcoming gala. In the midst of filming one evening they witness a colossal train wreck brought on by a man in a pickup truck who drives onto the tracks. A cryptic warning from the driver, and a sudden military involvement and complete take over of their hometown leads these kids to investigate the event while they continue with their movie. It's only when they develop one of their film reels that the realize they might have caught more than the wreck itself with their handy Super 8 camera!
The kids in this film are most a bunch of newbies, with the exception of Elle Fanning. The Internet Movie Database lists this young girl at something like 14 years old. And while she has appeared in such films as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt, she is still a relative unknown next to her more famous sister, Dakota Fanning. Let me say, though, that while she is not likely to win any Oscar nods for her turn as a wrong-side-of-the-tracks little girl in Super 8, Elle Fanning does have a unique presence on screen that promises a bright and exciting future in show business. Along with Chloe Moretz, I'll be waiting to see more from this up-and-coming new starlet!
Now, for the film itself. As I said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually enjoyed Super 8. Yes, the dialogue was a little corny at times, and yes, the story itself was not exactly an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but there was just enough magic there to make 1 hour and 52 minutes pass by quite respectably. My only real complaint, as it is with many such "thrillers", is that the writers introduced too many plot sublines that never really managed to find a suitable explanation --- the relationship between the deputy sherrif's wife and Ron Eldridge's character; the professor's involvement at a secret laboratory (some say Area 51), followed by his dismissal and his tenure at a backwater public school; why the military would keep an alien being locked up and tortured for decades rather than make any real attempt to learn from it, etc. These are classic flaws in most films of this genre, but one can overlook them for the time it takes to enjoy the movie. At least I did, but I am certain there will be more than a few reviewers that are far less forgiving than I, and far less able to grasp that whole Suspension of Disbelief idea in order to simply enjoy the show.
Now normally I'm a sequel buff --- if the story supports such an extension --- but I don't see any need for a sequel to Super 8. The film stands nicely on its own. I'm hoping Abrams might turn his attention next to the anticipated sequel to Star Trek, or to a second Cloverfield movie. But until then, Super 8 was a worthy piece of summer fun, and a nice way to spend an evening without any care for the real world.
Next up, Green Lantern!
Super 8 --- 3.5 out of 5 smiley faces ----