Super 8 ain’t all that Super. Dammit !

Just saw it this afternoon.  From my own point-of-view, it was entertaining, but I probably won’t be watching it again for the simple reason that it seemed like too much of an obvious attempt at pure commerce.  As opposed to part commerce/part creative endeavor.

I don’t mind the Cloverfield thing, even though The Host has been riffed on so many times at this point, that I’m genuinely disgusted.  I don’t mind that the movie has no sense of attempting realism, like the movies it claims to imitate. (Do people really continually speak in bad puns in real life??) I don’t mind that with the exception of a few shots and gags — such as the night shot looking down on the town from upon a bluff; which is clearly from E.T., the neighborhood kid’s kitchen and the evacuation, all from CE3K, along with that stolen power-lines scene; which by the way, was a scene CUT from Close Encounters — I don’t mind that with the exception of these brief instances, that the movie has no correlation with Spielberg’s early films, which its on-line marketing claims it pays homage too.  No, I don’t mind that this thing pretty much actually resembles every movie Spielberg executive produced in the mid 1980’s, instead.

Don’t mind that the 1950’s/60’s black and white classified footage looks like it was cheaply made by a coupl’a enterprising yahoos and put up on YouTube, for kicks.

I don’t mind that when the tanks show up, they basically have no more realism associated with them than large toys.  I don’t mind that the adult characters are simply stock 1950’s B-movie day players. Though the actors clearly are talented enough to do better with better material.  I don’t mind that the movie feels like a cross between Dazed and Confused, Almost Famous, and Explorers, and works about as well as that contrived concoction could be expected to.

I don’t mind that they gave away the plot in the fucking trailer.  Nah, that didn’t really bother me.

I don’t mind the gaffs, like the guy surviving the train collision, etc. (He could’ve simply jumped out of the damn truck for chrissake — at least that would have been plausible) And when I think about it, I don’t even mind the fact that the Rubik’s cube was not even available here until May of 1980 at the absolute earliest, and most of us didn’t see it in toy stores until ’81.  None of that really bothers me, to the point that I cannot overlook it.  What I absolutely despise, what I hate, is really “seeing” that a former studio development exec. with no identity of his own, made this movie.  And I saw that far too often.  Plays like Abrams and Steven Spielberg cooked it up quickly using note cards, put it on an assembly line, and waited for the cash to roll in.

Well made, but with the exception of the material involving the kids only, this movie is massively flawed.  It’s almost as if, they stole these ideas from others and tried to make a movie using the imagination and heart of others, who didn’t participate in the clumsy patchwork of a gimmicky story they cooked up here.  Contrary to what Hollywood believes, ideas are “not” in the air.  *holds arms upon high dramatically* And there are consequences to these scheming shenanigans.  You steal someone else’s dreams, and some of us can see that very clearly.

I give it a (C+). A tad better than Goonies and Explorers, but obviously, less original.  But I guess the fact that I can say this much about it, credits the film with some merit. It’s just sad that it could have been so much more and so easily at that.  And because of what it is, twenty years from now, I’ll barely remember it.  And as little more than a footnote in “movies that attempted to clone my childhood.”


4 responses

  1. p.s. — as always, if you want to see a movie, see it. Regardless of another person’s opinion of it. Judge for yourself. Or don’t judge at all, just take it in. You’ll either like it, or you won’t.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:34 PM

  2. For all its obvious touches of Spielbergia, Super 8 feels a whole lot like The Iron Giant meets Stand By Me. In a good way. Good Review!

    June 20, 2011 at 2:17 AM


    July 11, 2011 at 6:01 PM

  4. Pingback: My Summer Box Office, 2011 « Written By James Allder

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