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Teens save town in action-heavy sci-fi film with retro feel.
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Interesting sci-fi installment. Thought it would be more epic though. A bit hyped-out.
- Raajay, Saturday, July 14, 2012
This is the kind of cinematic telepathy, touching hearts and minds, that gave us Steven Spielberg's E.T., Jaws, and Close Encounters of Third Kind. Thankfully to the kids are more than alright. They're fabulous; yearingly fresh-faced and infantile. The boys stand in tremulous awe of Elle Fanning's Alice, who has agreed to co-star in their Zombie movie. She's also a precious commodity for J.J. Abrams: the budding romance between Joe (Joel Courtney) and Alice gives the film its heartbeat. For all its flickers of feeling, Super 8 never relinquishes its movieness. Where Spielberg mingled the extraordinary with a verifiable suburbia, Abrams works at one remove, locating the extraordinary in Spielbergia. The magic comes lovingly pre-packaged and idealised. Abrams admits that the coming-of-age and coming-of-alien storylines were separate ideas, melded together. This bi-part origin is always palpable, unaided by Abrams' drip-feed approach turning into a cascade. Sci-fi eventually floods the town - and this film - washing away mystery and much of the charm. Convention also rears its ugly head. Apart from a sketchy rescue mission, the kids are bystanders in a plot that has crash-landed from a different movie. No matter how much CG-alien action rolls out, we miss just watching these kids grow up. In this, at least, Abrams is true to his mentor. The humans here are the most awesome special effect.
- deano, Sunday, February 17, 2013
A group of kid filmmakers witness a train crash that leads to a battle with an extraterrestrial. There is a fine line between plagiarism and homage, but I guess getting the person whom he's plagiarizing to produce his film saves J.J. Abrams from any charges and raises Super 8 to the level of homage. Super 8 is E.T. and The Goonies all rolled into one, but it's not just the character types and the plot that are reminiscent of Spielberg; the kid characters emerge from broken families, the adults fail to understand their children's intelligence, there are numerous shots of people looking, and even the score is similar to something John Williams would pen -- all trademarks of early Spielberg. While it could be said that Abrams's film never rises too far above imitation, that doesn't mean that the film isn't thoroughly entertaining. Even the emotional moments -- the love story between Alice and Joe, Charles's third act revelation, Joe's speech to the alien, and the third act bit with the necklace -- are all compelling and delicately handled; indeed, Abrams handles pathos with a more practiced hand than early Spielberg, whose emotional moments reeked of sentimentality. While Joel Courtney is quite good, Elle Fanning gives the one exceptional performance; everyone else is adequate. Overall, this is a fantastic, human, compelling science fiction film that will surely remind you of times when science fiction was about more than just explosions and special effects.
- hunterjt13, Saturday, April 6, 2013