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SUPER 8 
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Post SUPER 8
Click here for the review of Super 8

SPOILERS must be tagged with the "SPOILER" tag!


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:11 pm
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Post Re: SUPER 8
See now, this I'm excited for! I've heard nothing but good things, and I'll definitely be catching it over the weekend.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:30 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
I'll second Blondie's comments. This looks pretty great and I've also heard nothing but good things. It's the most I'm most looking forward too this summer. Good to hear James thinks it's pretty swell.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:31 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
But are there lens flares? If not, I'm not interested.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:39 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
Pedro wrote:
But are there lens flares? If not, I'm not interested.


This made me laugh even though I'm not entirely sure if you're being sarcastic or not (I suspect you are). I liked the lens flares in Star Trek!


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:49 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
PeachyPete wrote:
Pedro wrote:
But are there lens flares? If not, I'm not interested.


This made me laugh even though I'm not entirely sure if you're being sarcastic or not (I suspect you are). I liked the lens flares in Star Trek!

What might be funnier is that I'm not entirely sure if I'm being sarcastic. Part of me doesn't want to watch any super wide release this summer. I'll probably fail at this goal with this movie, though. J.J. gets a pass in my book.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:52 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
This review may have sealed the deal for my weekend theatrical viewing.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:55 pm
Second Unit Director

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:13 am
Posts: 330
Post Re: SUPER 8
Mission Impossible 3 and Star Trek were solid entertainments, but they were both hollow. They existed as spectacle. Super 8 seems like the type of movie that JJ Abrahams has wanted to make all along.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:04 pm
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Post Re: SUPER 8
jadedmoviegoer wrote:
Mission Impossible 3 and Star Trek were solid entertainments, but they were both hollow. They existed as spectacle. Super 8 seems like the type of movie that JJ Abrahams has wanted to make all along.


The previous are also franchise films. Was he even calling the shots? Despite working with Speilberg, I think Abrahams was brought on to do what he envisioned.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:11 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 7
Post Re: SUPER 8
Spielberg's fingerprints are all over this movie. Reflections of ET and Goonies seem to permeate the story to the point that it felt derivative.

It stays far from the mischief that many movies find themselves in attempting to capture and hold the audience and doesn't oversaturate the story with CGI or explosion, but focused on the characters and the story. But that said, Super 8 just didn't really do anything for me. It didn't break new ground, didn't give me anything compelling to think about.

Don't get me wrong, it's several notches above most of the other big movie releases this summer so far, and will probably stand above most of the others that are released for the season.

I honestly came out of the theater thinking that it wasn't bad, but also by the time I got into my car afterwards, it was a shrug and a "meh".


Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:46 pm
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Post Re: SUPER 8
What a disappointment. I wasn't expecting greatness, but this film missed so often in so many aspects that even moderate expectations were thwarted. Several thoughts came to mind as my heart sank:

-- What a deceptively fragile balancing act a lot of the better early-to-mid 80s Spielberg and Spielberg-produced fantasy films were. The best of them made the unbelievable at least plausible, to the point where it didn't become a distraction. You can only push a fantastic concept so far before the seams really start to show. If you're going to destroy a town, as is Gremlins, make sure it's obviously a back lot. Otherwise, in general, simplify, simplify, simplify, and dig deeper into the emotion, as in E.T..

Super 8 had waaaaaay too much going on in terms of story and backstory, to have anything really land. A group of fine actors (including the unbelievably precocious Elle Fanning, a 12-year-old who could've played 17 or 18 if she wanted to) are left with a pile of notes in place of story and character, and try to pull as much out of the air as possible. But nothing is built up to; this is as breathless a film as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that is not a goal to try to reach. The portents get lost in the rush (a great reveal could have been made about the location of the found dogs, but it's dropped onto screen immediately, then forgotten, without getting a chance to set any kind of mood). The military is caricature (a mistake Spielberg also didn't make in either Close Encounters or for the main government agent in E.T.). The loss of the mother is ineffectual, and that makes the supposedly uplifting ending trivial and overblown.

Especially as director, Spielberg knew (and knows) the difference between eventful and frenetic. Abrams may be used to having more space and time to work with from TV, but he needs to bring some revision to film work like this.

-- When that underpinning of relatable or enthralling story isn't there, plausibility in a film like this is usually the next victim. The fragile balancing act of creating a believable film world falls apart, and you start getting questions like POTENTIAL SPOILERS how did those kids survive that train crash? how did the father escape the military so easily? was it really a good idea to violently release a creature that would then kill a bunch of innocent townspeople? This is much the same problem I had with another 80s-inspired fantasy film of recent years, Monster House.

-- Yes, I get it, anamorphic lenses flared in the 1980s. But the degree to which those flares are inserted in this film becomes laughable pretty quickly in the first train station scene and beyond

-- Abrams' imagination actually seems to disappointingly circle back around to the same few ideas: red matter, time travel, ugly foreign creatures. His ideas of science (time travel, black holes) in Star Trek were ridiculous and the worst part of the film, though his ideas on Lost honestly weren't much better, as good as the overall show was. He seems closer to Stephen King than Steven Spielberg: great at scenarios, really struggling with payoffs.

-- There is a time to conceal, and a time to reveal. If you hold the reveal for too long in too obvious a set of ways, it starts to become ridiculous, and break the mood of the story. Spielberg knew when to reveal the shark, or the alien, or whatever, too.

Anyway, not what I had hoped for, even without high expectations. Star Trek did improve for me quite a bit once I shook off my initial expectations; maybe this would follow suit, and I'm willing to give it another chance at home. But, even from mid-level expectations, what a letdown.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:23 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
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Post Re: SUPER 8
Pedro wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
Pedro wrote:
But are there lens flares? If not, I'm not interested.


This made me laugh even though I'm not entirely sure if you're being sarcastic or not (I suspect you are). I liked the lens flares in Star Trek!

What might be funnier is that I'm not entirely sure if I'm being sarcastic. Part of me doesn't want to watch any super wide release this summer. I'll probably fail at this goal with this movie, though. J.J. gets a pass in my book.


There are a ton of very obvious lens flares.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:28 pm
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Post Re: SUPER 8
Two 3 1/2 star movies in one week! If I didn't know any better (or sweating my balls off in the summer heat) I'd say it was December and not June. So are things looking up for 2011, JB?


Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:08 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
It's interesting to me that currently, this film has a *higher* rating among top critics than among all critics at RT (83% vs 84% overall). I also noticed that the film got its consensus statement on Wednesday and not earlier like other high-profile films. I'm thinking that the studio had confidence that a film made by J.J. Abrams and Spielberg would be good enough not to need the sleazy marketing tactics used on other films.

JB's review cemented my decision to go see this film in any case.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:29 pm
Post Re: SUPER 8
I noticed that Spielberg produced this under the Amblin Entertainment label, which he rarely uses anymore. Maybe I'm reaching here but I wonder if that was part of the nostalgia marketing campaign. Whatever, doesn't really matter, but I do wanna make some time to go check this one out. Looks awesome!


Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:05 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
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Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: SUPER 8
oafolay wrote:
I noticed that Spielberg produced this under the Amblin Entertainment label, which he rarely uses anymore. Maybe I'm reaching here but I wonder if that was part of the nostalgia marketing campaign. Whatever, doesn't really matter, but I do wanna make some time to go check this one out. Looks awesome!


You're not reaching. Amblin was chosen precisely for this reason.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:50 pm
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Post Re: SUPER 8
Wasn't that impressed with this film, honestly. James, I know how awesome this piece of nostalgia must seem to your generation; it reminds people of a time when one filmmaker stood above all the others as the supreme talent in the industry, like you said. However, for younger people expecting originality, they wont' find any here. Couldn't Abrams have at least supplied his own signature in this story? In my opinion, this is like a film they would present to Spielberg on his deathbed as a lifetime achievement homage. How is it different from one of those montage tributes on youtube where they string together a bunch of clips from the director's career? Super 8 appears to have a checklist: Jaws, Close Encounters, Jurassic Park, Raiders, check, check, check...almost like a Scary Movie. The result is the feeling that we're simply going through the motions, which takes away from any heart this film would have.

Basically, it's not enough to do a Spielberg tribute when the director is himself less gifted than the guy he's saluting. An example:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Raiders reference: throwing the torch (or sparkler) into the circular pit. At the bottom, we find...dirt. In Raiders, we found snakes. Something is missing here. And the monster itself looked and sounded like the creature Obi-Wan rode in Episode 3.


This film did the bare minimum of what it could have done, not thinking outside the box in the slightest. If old Spielberg was as exciting as all that, it was because of his originality. Despite being a property, Thor has a lot more to offer in the way of new material. Super 8 is an ancient, tired horse, resurrected for a couple hours, then immediately forgotten.


Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:02 am
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:26 pm
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Location: Singapore
Post Re: SUPER 8
If this had been only a coming-of-age story, it would have been terrific. Unfortunately it also wants to be a science fiction film and, as such, it's a disaster. I cannot recall seeing anything quite so offensively stupid for years. At every conceivable point where it could have had a good sfnal idea, it had a lame idea. When you add all the lame ideas, you get epic dumbness. So only go to see this if you want to see a film that doesn't just make no sense, but glorifies in making no sense.


Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:57 am
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Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
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Post Re: SUPER 8
In an interview, Abrams said that there are some easter eggs in the movie. I only spotted one. The use of the number 47 which he used a lot in Alias.

Has anyone else spotted anything else?


Also apparently Leonard Nemoy is somewhere in the movie. Anybody spot him? Sadly, I did not. But I wasn't looking. Only now did I remember he said that.


Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:49 am
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Post Re: SUPER 8
My opinion a few days ago from the Last Movie You Watched thread:

peng wrote:
Super 8

Your opinion of the film will be strongly influenced by whether you have seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind or not. There are some aspects of that film that Super 8 directly lifted from. Also mixed in are The Goonies and E.T., with a touch of viciousness similar to Jaws. With that much influence, I wish Steven Spielberg would direct this film himself. J.J. Abrams was fine, especially in the first half that concerns the coming-of-age story, but once the action-oriented second half kicked in, he proved unequal of Spielberg in blending story and spectacle together. This is especially true in his take on the monster. It felt very modern day and not too memorable, whereas in Spielberg hand I could see it having more needed humanity that would made the monster another classic icon like E.T., the spaceship in Close Encounters, and various monsters from the Spielberg cannon.

That said, the leads' performances were all good, especially Elle Fanning. She added much charm to the film and made the first love story feel honest and believable, which added some needed urgency in the second half. Homage scenes, many of them in the first half, evoked strong nostalgia and charmed in their own rights. And the mother aspect that was there from the beginning paid off perfectly and poignantly in the end.

3.0 / 4.0 (It would also depend on how much you viewed it as a homage or a copy, that latter aspect of which made the second half of the film feel somewhat predictable for me)


In hindsight, I'm now more okay with the negatives and might enjoy the film a little bit more if I watched it again, now that I can get past some of its predictability.


Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:03 am
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