Welcome to my blog, there will be nothing but movie reviews and film related content here. I try and review a wide variety of films, from old to new, and throw in film reviews from the current year as well. All comments are appreciated here, I will reply as soon as possible, and feel free to follow!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Super 8 - 2011

Super 8 is a film that takes us back to the summer of 1979, but first showing us the death of a young boy's mother, Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney). Four months little Joe and his friends are filming their own movie, and decide to sneak out at midnight and film at a train station while a train is passing by. But something unexpected happens, as they are filming, one of the kids notices that a pickup truck slides onto the train tracks, and then heads straight into the train causing a very large explosion. All of the kids escape alive and unharmed, but they soon begin to believe through silent discussions that what happened that night was no accident, and as disappearances are coming up everywhere, these kids have a big, and important adventure coming their way.

J.J. Abrams is the writer/director of Super 8, and in his previous films (Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3) he has been quite the impressive newcomer. And though I have yet to decide if I think Super beats Abrams' second film, Star Trek, there is no denying by me that the moment the credits were rolling I knew I really liked, if not loved this film. Sometimes it takes me a second or third viewing and plenty of thought to decide how I feel about a film, but the way a person knows that they have a real gem on their hands is when there is an instant feeling of how great the movie was right after the ending. I will admit, it was not hard for me at all to sit and casually point at the flaws in this movie, but what I love about Super 8 is that it makes up for them with the many things it does right.

Yeah, I get it. 15 minutes into the movie we already feel like we have seen this movie before, and it is easiest to compare to some of Spielberg's greats (E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind), coincidentally though, Spielberg's name was on Super 8 as well, just not as the writer and director. And like everyone else I would have liked Super 8 to be less familiar, but unlike many movies in its borrowing Super 8 keeps what it was meant to be, making it still a film in its own, and in that case, maybe not for die hard Spielberg fans but, it could be a good thing being a little familiar sometimes.

I am sort of on the fence about how I should critique J.J. Abrams' screenplay in this film. Parts of it I found to be brilliant, others I thought were seriously lacking. The script in my opinion was one of the biggest downfalls of the film, and towards the end of the film many of our main characters' lines were very cheesy and hard to get past. However, Super 8 as a film had considerable emotional depth, maybe the story was too predictable, but it tugged at my heart plenty of times during the film. Also, the character develoment was fantastic. The kids and their friendships were brought together on screen beautifully, and it really made for a more exciting, powerful and meaningful ending.

By all of the child actors in this film, I can honestly say the casting could not have been better and the acting could not have been more superb. I am not going to spend much time raving over it, because for the most part words are unnecessary here, they were all brilliant. I will say these two things though, Elle Fanning has now far surpassed her older sister Dakota Fanning in my opinion, as her performance in this film to me proves that she is going to be a great actress one day. And lead role Joel Courtney takes control of his part like he had been acting for 30 years. It was incredible.

J.J. Abrams' direction almost is good enough to receive a perfect score from me. The movie doesn't move particularly fast, and I was actually sitting with some people who were dozing off. But even though everyone knew it was going to be an alien movie and there should not have been any surprises, he keeps us interested. Blending beautiful music with some rare movie magic you don't see nowadays, not even with films that are far better than this. Abrams had in his mind going into this film what kind of movie he was trying to make, and he made it. That simple thing right there is enough to make any movie about anything worth watching.

Overall, Super 8 so far is hands down my favorite film of the year. Earlier in the year Duncan Jones filmed a much weaker, but still good science fiction film, Source Code, and I went on and on about how much potential the man had in that department. But I forgot about someone, J.J. Abrams. After now three films, I think we might have found our next Christopher Nolan, except this time the young director is going to be much better than him.

Story: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Direction: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Final Rating: 8.2/10


  1. Awesome review. I've been wanting to see this but apparently I can't since I can't go out yet. As for the Nolan opinion...we might. We still need more films to confirm that. I liked Abrams' direction in Cloverfield which is why I'm so interested in this.

  2. I am genuinely horrified at the amount of people who are raving over this! I was appalled by it and think it the worst movie of the year for me by far. Garbage.

  3. I loved Super 8, and I cannot wait to see what Abrams does next. I'm not very familiar with his television work, and haven't seen MI3, but loved Star Trek, and I think Super 8 may even surpass it (I love everything Star Trek in general, so I'm not decided on that yet!). Super 8 was mighty impressive.

  4. Emotional depth? I think I'm gonna like this. Thanks for the review. :)

  5. Jericho - Ah, that's a shame. I was not aware he directed Cloverfield, I just thought he was associated in some ways with the sequel. Anyways, thanks!

    Brent - Really? Why?

    Ruth - Yay! Glad to see you agree! Thanks for reading!

    Rohit - I sure hope so, no problem!

  6. I loved Super 8 too and your review is right on!

    But I did think there was a problem with the editing/story. The movie had two distinct story lines, one about a group of kids making a movie with a super 8 film camera and the second about an alien.

    Unfortunately, the story lines are at odds with one another, competing for your attention. Just as you are getting into one storyline, it abruptly stops and the second storyline starts up. This repeats over and over all the way to the end of the film. At first, just a little annoying, but as the film progresses it becomes increasingly hard to care about the two competing storylines.

    So I re-edited the film.

    Check out my commentary re-edit of the film. It's how I think the film should have played at:

    Let me know what you think about it. :)

  7. Or you can see my re-edited version of Super 8 at: