Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Super 8 [ Movie Review ] ★★★1/2

The Pitch

When Super 8 teaser trailer was released, it felt like it's going to be a Cloverfield-ish type of film. In the usual secretive J.J. Abrams way of keeping the fans interested, there was not much information on it. What is Super 8 all about? Are there going to be eight super powered individuals that escape from the train crash or will eight superheroes rising from that incident.

Then when the next trailer came about, it was revealed that it was going to be like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Goonies meets Cloverfield type of film. A bunch of kids making movies with Super 8 mm film camera when they witness a horrifying train accident. It's notable that this is a collaboration between J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Production and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. Yup the same folks that gave us Cloverfield and E.T.. Expectation for this movie had been turned up a few notches.

But personally, what attracted me to Super 8 would be the aspect of kids making homemade movies. Movies like Son of Rambow and Be Kind Rewind that are focus on amateurish movie making have always touch my heart. I am interested to see how this mixture of genre would turn out. This review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

Super 8 also marks one of the two movies shown in ScreenSingapore Hollywood Nights Red Carpet Gala Premiere.

The Plot

In 1979 the United States Air Force shuts down a portion of Area 51 and ships the material stored at the decommissioned site by rail to an undisclosed but secure location in Ohio. In the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio, a group of teenagers are making a movie with a Super 8 mm film camera when they witness a train crash. They suspect it was not an accident. There are disappearances and unexplained events around town, and the local deputy investigates the cause of the events leading to the discovery of something nobody expects.

(Synopsis taken from Wikipedia)

The Perspective

Super 8 is an enjoyable flick that invokes all the memories of old school children adventures with a dash of modern day CGI monsters. The pace of the movie was good and the turn of events were interesting enough to keep me glued to the screen. The young cast were impressive and specially Elle Fanning that charms the socks out of me.

For the look of this movie, J.J. Abrams used a mixture of lens flare and grainy film stock. The combination didn't really complement each other and it became competing distraction instead. The lens flare that J.J. Abrams utilized to give Star Trek the movie it's special look is starting to wear out it's novelty and welcome in Super 8. However the grainy feel of the movie was a nice nod to the olden days of film making. This review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

What I didn't like about Super 8 would be how it ended. It felt rather too convenient and simplified after the elaborate setup and multiple subplots. It lacks a certain satisfaction of seeing how the various elements (such as the Super 8mm film project, the alien dilemma and Romeo and Juliet love angle) were being tied together. The fruition of all these elements felt too easy and hastily done. It was a great journey but let's just say the destination was a bit of letdown. This review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot


Don't rush out of the cinema once the movie is over. There a special treat during the credits that made for those who wondered what happened to their film project. One of the highlights of the movie, specially when they pay homage to the maestro of zombie movies. This review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot

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