Friday, January 20, 2012

Super 8 (2011)

            JJ Adams brings it back “old school”, with a nostalgic (Speilberg-esqe) science fiction film set in the summer of 1979. In the film, a group of friends witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon notice it was no accident. Shortly after, unusual and inexplicable events begin to take place. The local deputy tries to uncover the truth and gets no help from the military who has also mysteriously appeared after the crash. Eventually, everyone will know that there is something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

            Some critics called it nostalgic while others called it a cliché…I called it a copy of the Spielberg kind…Or maybe all of the above. I really wanted to like this film and I did…a little….but it didn’t give me the sense of nostalgia that others have mentioned before. Sometimes it felt like a cliché, it tried a little too hard in trying to be that 80’s films that we use to like as kids. When seeing this film I wondered if I was asking for too much. Whatever the case maybe, I was hoping for something fresher and more exciting. Towards the end of the film I felt my eyes roll in the back of my head…really? This just seemed to me like a mash up Close Encounters +E.T. + Goonies plus any other alien late 70’s early 80’s movie you can think of.

            Now, the film did have its moments…I laughed at a couple of jokes and cringed in terror at a certain character getting “abducted” by the alien. I think I uttered the words….. “OH SHIT!” This also scared Rocco (the pug) a little. The cinematography was great; there were a couple of great action scenes especially the train accident and the “tank” battle that was on the edge of your seat. Then there was the actual alien….which honestly I think had about 5 whole minutes in the film (it sure felt that way). When the alien did “supposedly” come out you either got some blurred view of the creature &/or maybe a tentacle or two….that’s it. It wasn’t until the end of the film did you finally got to see it entirely. Which I guess was the point…But come on….at least in Aliens or E.T. you saw the freakin’ alien. But to be fair….this gave a lot of time to develop a story for the young actors relationship with their parents and themselves.

            The child actors were (of course) the stars of this film. The romance between Joel Courtney (who plays the main character Joe Lamb) and Elle Fanning (who plays the love interest Alice) was a sweet performance between the two. The bossy chubby kid was not the usual goonies cliché we see most of the time with films which I liked.

            So I zigged zagged a little on my opinion of the film. On one hand I was entertained and on the other I was disappointed. Maybe I wasn’t in my right frame of mind that day….I don’t know. I really wished I felt that “nostalgia” that everyone else felt when they saw this film.

I give it 3 pugs out of five….I liked it but not enough to see it again.

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