MOVIE: Super 8 (2011)

It is my feeling that this film is best described using math.  And the mathematical expression best used in describing it would be this:

((The Goonies2 + Cloverfield) x Predator)) / E.T. = ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!

I’m not going to say anything about the plot, the characters, nuthin’, so as not to run the risk of spoiling even a moment of your upcoming thoroughly awesome experience.  But I do want to tell you two things about it:

1) I haven’t had this much fun at a movie in as long as I can remember, and

2) Stay for the closing credits (because what you will see there might very well be the most delightful cinematic five minutes of all time).

J.J. Abrams, I thank you for this one, sir.  It was exactly the movie I needed to see today.

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Science Fiction
Cast:  Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, Jessica Tuck, Joel McKinnon Miller, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Gabriel Basso

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3 Responses to “MOVIE: Super 8 (2011)”

  1. Trip Says:

    OK. I saw it this weekend. I liked it – it was a great summer movie and a nice homage to the Spielberg movies we grew up on. I can’t say I *loved* it, though.

    The one example that keeps going over in my head is the frame-for-frame remake of Psycho a few years back, with Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. Sure, all the Hitchcock elements were there, but at the end of the day…it’s still not Hitchcock. That’s kinda how I feel about Super 8.

    The kids in this movie are absolutely stellar. Abrams can cast a movie like the dickens. Elle Fanning is being praised up and down, and rightly so. She stole all of her scenes, and that wasn’t easy given the strength of the boys with her.

    (No spoilers here)

    All of the Spielberg hallmarks are there and lovingly recreated. The nervy town meeting with kooky citizens blaming “the Soviets” for their problems, the swoopy overhead crane shots, the heavy foreshadowing, scary military dudes taking over, etc.

    I felt the tunes were a bit shoehorned in, though…they were fun but didn’t really add to the setting. I’ll still have ELO in my head the rest of the week, but really….why that track? Why “My Sharona”? Why 1979, for that matter, other than to lay down some nostalgia somewhere? Close Encounters did a good job at using post-Watergate paranoia and suspicion of government to its advantage, but here there’s no real connection to that year or its own soundtrack thematically.

    Spielberg never had a massive, roaring, cataclysmic train wreck in any of his movies, though. I also think he’d have done more with the biology teacher angle. If this were a true Spielberg flick, at first he would have been the ogre to at least one or all of the kids in school, then he would have returned in a dramatic flourish and become an important ally to them.

    In fact, there’s quite a lot of side stories I would have liked to have seen fleshed out, like the tension between the deputy and the abusive dad, but I get that time is money and the focus is really the kids and the monster.

    I won’t say anything about the monster, other than it’s time Abrams got a new idea there. I can’t say anything more about the parallels to E.T. without spoiling either, although I will say the amount of social change between between then and now is pretty striking. No one is lighting up fingers and healing boo-boos in this movie, that’s for sure!

    I liked the sound and fury of the chase scenes, and more than once I jumped at the unexpected crashes from nowhere. I liked the little details, like the point that no one gets films developed in less than three days (which got a chuckle out of the crowd in the theater I saw this in), or all the same clutter of boardgames and toys seeping from the background (Parcheesi! Mattel Electronics Football!). I revelled in the obvious pander to my 70s childhood like the consumer glutton I am.

    I’ll wrap up by saying the actual Super 8 movie over the ending credits was one of the best short films I’ve ever seen, and that includes the last 5 years of YouTube. “Romero Chemicals”, indeed!

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