Sunday, July 3, 2011

Super 8 Is Disguised As a Great Movie

Now in Theaters

Now I know people will probably rip into me for liking Green Lantern and then being tough on this film, but I expected more from Super 8 and when it didn’t deliver, I’m forced to highlight the flaws.

This film had high, blockbuster potential. Even the critics praised it and said it was a throwback to the great films of the 80’s. Well, I’m totally an 80’s kid and I was there for E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, you name it, I saw them all. Sadly, this film had the look and feel of those great films, yet it fell short.

Set in 1979, a group of friends spend their summer making a super 8 zombie film. Joe (Joel Courtney) immerses himself in the film project as a way to get over his mother’s tragic death. Charles, (Riley Griffins) is the film’s director and enjoys being in charge of the entire project. He’s hoping to look good in front of his crush and newly appointed female lead Alice (Elle Fanning). Alice is simply looking for escape from her miserable life. During on night of movie filming, the kids witness a train crash. However, this is not the accident it appears to be and soon the entire town is transformed by the recent event. The characters are endear, the young actors are fantastic, which helps you quickly care for them. The character development is the strongest aspect of the film.

I did not go into this film preparing to compare it to J.J. Abrams, Lost, but it was inevitable because his storylines seem to follow a common pattern. His very adept at creating characters that you care for and has a gift for showing you the under layer beneath someone’s flaw to understand why they are the way they are. In this area, Abrams is an expert and for huge big budget disasters, once again, Abrams is your guy. Much like the plane crash that opened the premiere episode of Lost, the train crash in Super 8 is spectacular! Not only is it visually stunning, but he has the uncanny ability to truly make you experience it like it’s really happening.

So, likeable characters, great special effects, what’s wrong with this movie. Well, much like the Lost finale, you feel you’re going down a road that will end with something that will blow your mind and the end doesn’t even come close. You root for your characters and want good things for them so at first you’re satisfied. As time sinks in though, more and more you begin to feel like, “Really? That’s all there was?” Much like Lost, the more time passes, the more I feel like the payoff is not enough to make me sit through the journey again. This is the biggest way the movie fails. Those great films of the 80’s are like friends that you enjoy spending time with again and again.

I’m not trying to say that J.J. Abrams is like M. Night Shyamalan. You don’t feel like you wasted your time on money and there’s no shock just for shock’s sake. You will enjoy the trip; you just probably won’t want to visit again.

**I did appreciate the box of Carnation Food Sticks in Joe’s room. Yes, that was a real product and they were delicious!


fogs said...

Nice review, spot on.

One of these days I'm going to do a piece on all the ways "LOST" let us down.


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Ha. Well, I started having issues less than half way in - but the ending is particulalry exasperating.

Colleen said...

I don't know why it's getting being so hyped. I feel sometimes when the movies are falling short, people will glob on to anything halfway decent.