Saturday, June 11, 2011

Super 8 was terrific...

Spoilers, links below...

I managed to go in knowing only: small town, kids, alien, train crash. It was pretty much a perfect movie . . . until the alien grabbed Joe.

The alien design was lackluster and not remotely deserving such an extended closeup. I actually prefer Ben 10's Ultimate Spider-Monkey version of the same concept. And I'm going to pretend the over the top Steven Spielberg-style shmaltz that takes over the movie at that point just never happened. In my alternate universe, the kids manage to run away from the alien, watch its spaceship take off, and reunite with their dads. No heart to heart with the giant spidergorilla, and no hit me over the head with the frying pan metaphor of letting go of mom's necklace.

Also, everyone in the movie had wonderful, memorable moments, except for Kyle Chandler, who was as memorable as a block of wood.

Here are a few related links:

Jack Rossi created a poster and one of the alien's mysterious cubes.

Since I avoided spoilers, I missed this, but apparently there was some sort of special popsicle sold at 7-Elevens as a tie in.

JJ Abrams used to be known as Jeffrey Abrams and his first movie was Taking Care of Business.

As I understand it, flash drives loaded with video clips were sent to various movie sites, and when assembled made this short film (which is seen in the movie).


  1. I saw Super 8 tonight with my brother. I loved it. I thought it was a great, engaging experience. I especially liked that they showed the final "Super 8" movie during the credits.

  2. I think I'd like to get my passport authorized for travel in your alternate universe, please and thank you.

  3. Completely agree. Loved the movie right up until that point. The alien/Joe connection didn't work for me at all. I think the movie might've worked better had the alien turned out as villainous as he originally seemed.

  4. I agree with the Joe/Alien bit - but I liked the 'letting go of mom' shmultz. But I'm a sappy

    I was fine with the alien not being villainous - and I assumed from the get-go that it wouldn't hurt the kids; but maybe they could have just left it as a narrow escape.

    The crew gets extra points for never showing the entirety of the alien in plain light. I saw enough of it where I was satisfied, but I still really don't know exactly what it looks like; which is something I can't say for Neville Page's other JJ creation Clover.

  5. It wasn't that the alien let them go that bothered me, it was that the alien grabbed people left and right and was completely untroubled with eating them (it deemed Alice unworthy of sympathy?). But all Joe had to do was yell at it to slow it down. Seemed very clumsy and lazy to me. Unworthy of the rest of the film.

  6. Science fiction wise it's probably intended to be explained as a "mental connection" thing. I guess Alice just didn't have enough preteen angst to break through the intergalactic language barrier.

    Obviously, story wise it's meant to shoehorn Joe dealing with his mom's death back into the plot. But overall I agree the moment was lazy, clumsy, and really unnecessary. I already had some sort of bizarre sympathy for the monster after they found the old reels that explained where it came from. Toss the line "It just wants to get home" into something and you'll automatically feel bad for whomever it is.

  7. Completely agree with you, especially because I disliked the design of the alien creature (by Neville Page, who did the Cloverfield creature and the snow creature in Star Trek).
    We knew the alien wasn't E.T.-like, and to reference Spielberg's early films, would Elliot and his buddies tell the Amity Island great white shark to just be nice and stop eating people?
    There is no catharsis for me at the end of the movie. We don't really care for the alien creature at all, even after it was trapped on Earth for sixty years. We cared about the kids, and that's the part of the movie that worked for me.