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Monday, June 20, 2011
Super 8 - 2011
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.
Final Rating: 8.2/10