Super 8, J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, E.T., pitch, meeting, investors, lens flares, contemporary, modern, wonder

Discussion (12) ¬

  1. Nick

    I felt Super 8 was a blast. the end lost a bit of it but the first two acts/first half of the film was so well done that it more than made up for it. And the kids were top-notch all the way around.

    I don’t know, I thought Cloverfield was a fun romp, but it wasn’t a ‘great film’ but did what it was supposed to which was offer a temporary film ride. It was well executed as well, and in the same sense, without Cloverfield we wouldn’t have the wonderful U.S. version of Let The Right One In… so either way, I cut cloverfield as a win-win.

  2. Josh Carrollhach

    I was really digging Super 8 up until the final third of the movie. It never ceases to amaze me that the studios (with the ever-expanding list of producer credits… this one had, I think, eleven) will spend so much time and money getting meticulous effects just right while ignoring the story completely. While Super 8 pays obvious homage to ET and The Goonies, I see many similarities with The Iron Giant. The obvious difference is that Brad Bird’s masterful film had a much better story and much less obvious plot. It’s interesting to note that Warner Brothers had very little interference with the movie because they were hopped up on an Animaniacs film being finished in another part of the studio. I can only assume that JJ got greenlighted on this project via pitch meeting and didn’t have the ability to craft a decent story. In the end, what could havee been a great movie became as disappointing as any M. Knight Shyamalan debacle. Too bad, because Abrams has a great eye for action and a genuine excitement for film that is becoming all too rare these days. He, and the industry in general, need to pay way more attention to the screenplay before thee storyboard stage.

  3. bman (The Underfold)

    I agree with Nick that Super 8 was pretty great but had a bit of a let-down ending. It fits so well with all of those 80’s, group-of-kids-finds-something-crazy movies (The Goonies, E.T., The Explorers, etc.). It was fun to watch and had some great moments of suspense.

  4. Jason

    ET meets Stand By Me meets Cloverfield = Super 8.

    I liked it! But the lens flares WERE distracting.

  5. Wombat

    I’m apparently the only one who found Super 8 to be lacking. There are some very good performances, but story wise, I just didn’t feel there was anything too it. There just wasn’t anything in there that I connected with. Maybe it’s a flaw in me and not the movie…but…meh.

  6. Ann

    I saw an interview with Spielberg where he said when they were discussing doing a project together that they got to talking about how they both made films as kids, and that’s where the seed of the idea came from. So maybe trying to be a throwback, but maybe just doing that to evoke the feel of their childhoods and the time period. I wouldn’t presume to have a clue about their actual motivations, but it makes sense to me as the inspiration of two grown-up film-makers reminiscing on their childhood, and the rest of it goes right along with both their sci-fi leanings as well.

  7. David

    My immediate thought when I finished: “Hahaha! Yes! Yes you did! Haha love the comic!”

  8. Bryan

    I loved the actors. They were exceptional. Because of that I think most people are able to overlook how slap dash the script is.
    In typical Abrams fashion the first part is emotionally manipulative, the middle is mysterious and the end is just cobbled together and pushed out the exit before anyone can notice the flaws.

    Lens flares make me think I have to clean my glasses. Or that the lighting crew and the camera crew are not getting along. It is not a style, it is a distraction.

  9. Wolfs16

    **Minor Spoilers**

    My issue with the movie that it seemed like they wanted you to feel sympathy for the creature, but I couldn’t because it was basically a monster. It was smashing things up and literally killing people; the military should have killed it. I just didn’t understand how the military captured it in the first place when it seemed to easily destroy everything else.

    I felt like they didn’t know how scary to make the movie. It was too violent and cuss filled to be a family film, but it was not scary or plot driven enough to be an adult movie. I just felt like they tried to appeal to nostalgia and that’s it.

  10. Gordon McAlpin

    It’s funny how many people bring up how “you’re supposed to feel sympathy for the creature.” No, you’re not. You’re supposed to feel whatever you want to feel. Relief that this creature that could fuck up everybody (and has eaten a few people) is leaving. Sympathy that he was treated terribly for YEARS and just wanted to leave — meaning our keeping him here was really the reason for his violence, and can you say that’s entirely wrong?

    YES. It was a monster. YES, it killed people. But the world isn’t totally black and white, and neither was this creature. “We” wronged it, and it wronged us, too. I like the shades of gray. It made the film feel more realistic.

    At the end, the creature didn’t necessarily start feeling sympathy for humans — perhaps Joe. It was more like he understood that not all of the humans were trying to keep them there — that he could just leave now, like he *wanted* to do.

    YOU feel what you WANT to feel. That’s what good movies should be doing, not telling you how to feel.

    (And, incidentally, I thought Super 8 was just pretty good; I’m not defending it as a film here. I’m arguing against the ideologies at play, that would criticize a movie for not being so cut and dried as to have a purely evil or purely good, misunderstood creature.)

  11. joule

    Could have used more Michael Bay (the godfather of lens flares)

  12. Bryan

    Re: Feeling what you want to feel.

    I agree that a good movie may not try to make you feel someting specific but this was not that movie.

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