Thursday, June 23, 2011

Super 8 (2011)

Director: J.J. Abrams. Cast: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich. 112 min. Rated PG-13. Sci-fi.

A government alien conspiracy from Close Encounters, the American suburbia from E.T., a Goonies group of kids, and the small-town sheriff from Jaws, prove that Abrams nurtured and grew up in the Spielberg school of filmmaking. But again, which of us didn't love the Spielberg of the 70s and 80s? And why don't they make heartwarming blends of sci-fi and melodrama anymore? Somehow it seems you can't create such beautiful spectacles in a 21st century story setting. The question is: Were those long-gone years innately uplifting, or was it Spielberg's powerful filmmaking that defined the era for us as such?

PS: Elle's acting is much more believable than Dakota's.

Mo says:

Mo Magic!


  1. Hmmm. Good movie, but I don't remember Chief Brody going all Rambo on everyone's ass (was the helicopter or whatever supposed to be the shark?). That instant character change wasn't quite as ludicrous as Anakin slaughtering the children, but it was up there with the Homer Simpson/Mel Gibson rewrite of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It did bring us back to early Spielberg which was really cool.

  2. Well, the townhall meeting (with its whining middle-aged female and dumbfounded sheriff) was right out of "Jaws", and the human-gulping alien couldn't have had a better comparison than the shark - although I would say I didn't buy the alien's sudden change of heart either. Still, I wouldn't swap the good feeling of a younger Spielberg with any summer movie.

  3. No doubt about the Jaws references. It really hit me when he left the building and everyone was accosting him with their petty problems even as he had bigger fish, if you will, to fry. But then he got the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back treatment, which I thought came out of nowhere. I think Spielberg would have handled his escape a bit differently. And I agree, the creature character was much clumsier than the "eating machine".

  4. I don't know if you read Ebert's review, but he would agree with you that the second half of the movie "slips up". Maybe it did need a Spielberg touch.

    But that spectacular train crash scene really stole the entire show.