Super 8 (J.J. Abrams)

Discussion in 'General' started by MorallySound, May 7, 2010.

  1. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,995
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    CA
    It looks like your basic Spielbergian "And a child shall lead them..." tale, where the children are all in threatening-but-never-life-threatening situations and will discover the secret to saving the day before any adult does (the adults will perish, of course, but never if top-billed).

    High octane, disposable summer fun, but it feels well tread.

    /late-in-the-week cynicsm
     
  2. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    1,170
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    WA
    Saw it last night and it was great. It screamed 80s movie not just with its setting, but also the characters and the tone of the film. It's honestly a perfect "family" horror film like The Monster Squad or Gremlins. There are still stakes and scares, but it maintains a sense of fun and adventure throughout. My favorite movie Abrams has made and my favorite so far this year. Everyone complains that things aren't like the good old days in horror anymore, well this is like the good old days and every horror fan should be checking it out.
     
  3. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Lame movie. The train crash is beyond ridiculous, and so is the
    guy who crashed head on into it surviving.
    The attempts at humor aren't funny, the characters aren't interesting and the
    lead kid's little chat with the alien at the end is laughable.
    Creature design was alright though.
     
  4. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Dry Dry Desert, AZ
    You can't honestly believe that. The film is fantastic and, while I don't expect everyone to worship at its alter, if you went into the film expecting it to be what it is- JJ's homage to Spielberg's glory days of Jaws, ET and Close Encounters- and claim to be disappointed then you are just doing so for the sake of being contrary.
     
  5. chancetx

    chancetx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    463
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It's very enjoyable and definitely has that retro 80s film vibe. I thought all the kids were fantastic actors and made their characters very interesting. My only critique would be I'm not sure how successfully the film rides the line between Spielberg-ian youthful fantasy and Abrams-ian adult horrors.

    While much of the kids' interplay is reminiscent of "The Goonies" and "ET," its often set against truly terrifying sequences recalling "Alien," "Jurassic Park" and "The Crazies." I don't have kids but I'd be reluctant to them go see this. And I had a hard time feeling love/sympathy for the alien at the end after it had killed a good chunk of the townsfolk. True, he wasn't there by choice and was just surviving, but it made the "ET" ending feel unearned. That, and the fact that the alien is introduced VERY late in the movie.

    Despite my quibbles, I had a great time and would definitely see it again. I can't imagine any fan of 80s sci-fi/fantasy/horror wouldn't enjoy it on some level.
     
  6. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Oh, I believe it. After the whole train crash segment, I was ready to leave the theater and only stayed because I was with a friend. The chat I mentioned was just as bad. Just because they're all self-aware with the other kid saying "Wait... WHAT?" doesn't make it any less stupid. And yeah, the humor's great. Let's show a kid projectile vomiting when he's in danger. So funny!
     
  7. rxfiend

    rxfiend Joe Six-Pack

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    4,602
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Southern IN
    I took my family to see it yesterday and we all liked it. My kids, all boys ages 9 through 13, loved it actually and were talking about it way after we left the movie theater, something they don't do very often. I like the fact that the movie does feel like something that could have came out in the 80s.

    I will be picking this up on blu-ray for sure!
     
  8. Dobby

    Dobby Banned Mofo

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,290
    Likes Received:
    283
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Getting ready to watch this flick. I have very very low expectations for this. Will give my 2 cents after I watch it.
     
  9. FilmFiend

    FilmFiend New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I live in Ohio, and Super 8 was filmed in Weirton, WV ( at least a lot of it from what I understand) across the Ohio River from me. It's only about 10 minutes away.

    Weirton just had a big Super 8 parade recently and they left all of the 1970'/80's looking prop signs on the buildings for the occasion. They somehow got Chilly Billy Cardille to show up too. It was really a good little boost to an area that is fast becoming a ghost town every year. Since the steel mills have been nearly shut down so many people are leaving the Ohio/WV/PA tri-state area.

    They also had a special premiere of the movie too at the local mall. I think there were only 150 tickets available through a lottery system. Ryan Lee who played Carey I think was there too and he did a q&A session with the audience. He also signed autographs and took pictures with fans.

    JJ Abrams did not attend, but had sent a special video stating that he knew the Weirton, WV setting was exactly perfect for the type of movie he wanted to shoot.

    I haven't seen the movie myself yet. It just seems too "family friendly" to me.

    My favorite local fimed movie is "Stage Struck" with Gloria Swanson that was shot in New Martinsville, WV back in '25. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  10. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck Boom Shanka

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    5,050
    Likes Received:
    497
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I've only seen the poster...and I was a little shocked at the similarities to ET. Should I wait for video?
     
  11. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Dry Dry Desert, AZ
    Well, there's gotta be a contrarian in every group.
    Intentional or not, it looks like you are it.;)
     
  12. Dobby

    Dobby Banned Mofo

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,290
    Likes Received:
    283
    Trophy Points:
    83
    This movie was just a big train wreck. Saw it for free so I can't complain too much.
     
  13. indiephantom

    indiephantom Horny Spirit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2000
    Messages:
    4,016
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Ghost World
    It was very subpar I also got a free pass, so that was okay.
    ending wants to be E.T. so badly, and how many Spielberg-related flicks have ended this way...even Crystal Skull
     
  14. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    1,744
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Sweden
    Of the ones who didnĀ“t like the movie, how many of you grew up on classic movies like E.T., Close Encounters, Gremlins, The Goonies, Lost Boys and The Monster Squad?
     
  15. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    8,016
    Likes Received:
    1,826
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Caught Super 8 last night and loved it. To all the people complaining it's too Spielbergian, or borrowing a lot from his early fare like E.T., did you guys not clue in that it's an homage to that era of filmmaking? Hell, the film opens with the Amblin identifier. That's like saying "House of 1000 Corpses was too Hooperian".

    I though Super 8 did a great job of balancing the homage to those early Spielberg and Amblin films (which I grew up on) while maintaining an original and entertaining take on the stranded alien film. The cast was great, the action was thrilling (while a little over the top at some points [but really, the same could be said for The Goonies, etc., but we all love those flicks and no ones complaining]), the creature design was unique and well thought out, and the best part was it was like those old PG 'family' flicks before the PG-13 existed where it blurs the line between should this have been PG or R fare, such as Gremlins, where at its core it is a family film but there are elements of language, violence, and horror that would give kids nightmares. Hell, I jumped a few times myself.

    Overall, Super 8 exceeded my expectations. I went in knowing it was an homage to films I loved as a kid and was gladly surprised when I was taken back to the feeling of watching those films while it also brought a fresh take that successfully built both adventure and suspense. Abrams' has crafted a fantastic summer film that feels like the filmmaking of the late 70's/early 80's, where we had high concept family films that still managed to incorporate realistic family drama and manage to serve up some danger and genuine scares as well. The only complaint I have is the 'J.J. Abrams lens flares', while no where near as prevalent as I imagine they are as in the Star Trek reboot (I've only seen the trailer), the few scenes they do show up in Super 8 they are distracting and really do not need to be there. Other than that, I can't find anything I didn't enjoy about the film, it took me back to those childhood days when you first discovered E.T. or Jaws or Close Encounters of the Third Kind or The Goonies, etc.

    Highly recommended if you also grew up on the same fare. Or if not, still give it a shot and don't over analyze it. ;)
     
  16. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,608
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    A dimension of sight, sound and mind.
    Is it worth a Netflix rental?
     
  17. Hatchetwarrior

    Hatchetwarrior Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,791
    Likes Received:
    352
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Farmingdale, New York
    I saw this last night and had a lot of fun with it. Sure it's no master piece, there was one particular moment that broke my suspension of disbelief:

    When the dr. crashed his truck into the train and managed to survive.

    Other than that I thought it was a great little homage to early Spielberg, and was a lot more flesh out character wise than a lot of other summer blockbuster movies. If you go in with an open mind you should find it at the very least entertaining.

    8/10
     
  18. Dobby

    Dobby Banned Mofo

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,290
    Likes Received:
    283
    Trophy Points:
    83

    That all depends on your personal preference. To me this entire movie was a waste of film, time and energy. I'd say if you enjoy CGi pukefests you will love it. I couldn't find a single redeeming quality to even remotely recommend this. Still you should sit back and watch everyone's reviews poor in. Then you may be in for a surprise or two. Remember for everything that sucks balls there is millions of deep throaters that will say I love it!
     
  19. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    714
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I managed to catch a matinee today. It's a competent movie. And it's heart is in the right place. But overall I found it uninspired and underwhelming. It's enjoyable enough as disposable entertainment. But it lacks the magic of the films it channels.

    I knew going in that it was going to be derivative of some of the other films mentioned above. But the homages are so clumsy and omnipresent that they eventually detracted from my enjoyment of the film. Too many scenes reminded me of similar ones in better movies--never a good thing. And the plotting and numerous character arcs are extremely predictable and derivative. Abrams slavish channeling of iconic films robs the film of any true sense of drama or mystery. If you're familiar with Spielberg's output I don't think you'll have much trouble figuring out where you're headed.

    I did like the measured pace and the focus on the characters over set pieces. If you go in expecting balls-to-the-wall monster mayhem you're going to be disappointed. Not only does the creature remain in the shadows for an extended period--it's not even a focal point of the story until the third act. It's obvious that Abrams learned some lessons from Jaws--and that he's not interested in Bay-like mindless spectacle.

    As others have mentioned, there are some strong performances from the cast of kids. And the way they relate to each other is definitely one of the film's more compelling elements. But the plot unwisely hijacks one of the more interesting main players for an extended period. I thought that was a big mistake. Half of the kids are cardboard cut-outs and not fully realized characters. Not surprisingly they fail to fill the void when one of the real characters disappears.

    The special effects are definitely a mixed bag. I'm not a fan of CGI because you can really see the seams when it's overused--as it is on several occasions here. The 1st big set piece reminded me of the ridiculous dinosaur stampede scene in King Kong. There didn't seem to be any heft to the incredibly heavy objects that are threatening the main characters. If the rest of the film stuck with a cartoony vibe I'd assume Abrams handled those shots that way on purpose. But it's apparent from some other scenes that he's shooting for legitimate scares. So the sloppiness of some of the effects in that early scene bothered me.

    I agree with the others that the climax is fairly unsatisfying and ludicrous. Had the film ended in a less predictable way I don't think I'd have walked out with such an overwhelming sense of deja vu. Ironically enough, in Spielberg's best films you really feel that a lot is at stake and a happy ending isn't guaranteed. Here I always had the feeling that it was all in fun and everything would be all right.

    I really enjoyed the Star Trek reboot and thought Abrams did a great job of walking the fine line between honoring his source material and being handcuffed by it. I wish he'd taken this one in a slightly more original direction.

    Am I over-analyzing? Absolutely. If you grew up watching E.T., Jaws, The Goonies, etc. you'll probably have some fun with Super 8. But Abrams shows enough talent that I expected a little more out of this one.
     
  20. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,608
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    A dimension of sight, sound and mind.
    Lol. You're a riot Dobby. I can't say I'm a big fan of CGI, though I'm apparently only one of only six people that loved Sucker Punch.
     

Share This Page