(directed by J.J. Abrams, 2011)
*** (out of 5)
. This much-anticipated J. J. Abrams flick (TV series LOST, and the excellent reboot of the STAR TREK franchise) was much mainstream fun. While not in the same league, it was reminiscent of recent family classics like ‘ET’ or ‘CLOSE ENCOUNTERS’.
. The young actors in this film were very good, which they needed to be, as the center of this well-told story. They were fresh, mostly believable, and thankfully- not cloying or overly precious. Ellie Fanning shows exceptional promise. I would bet on her cinematic future. For a family flick, the sentiment was kept to a tolerable level. The story was spare, but well-constructed, probably a good thing because it’s better to be left wanting more than to be left feeling over-sated by excess. Like Spielberg’s work, it was deftly edited and scored, and certainly visually compelling throughout. On a personal note, the depiction of amateur childhood filmmakers resonated deeply with me. As a teenage super-8 auteur, I lived that scene for several years, and recognized the character types. Like THE GOONIES, SUPER-8 has a few uses of foul language that are notably jarring. True, in context, the F-bomb was a realistic human response when it was employed, but it was nonetheless conspicuous and incongruent in what is basically a kids movie. Unfortunately, the ending seemed a tad rushed, coming a bit too easily for me, but it is possible I have been “trained” by overexposure to formulaic movies to expect one last-minute crisis after another. (SEE: AIR FORCE ONE for instance, with not one but three endings!)
. No big surprises in this pleasant trifle really, but it’s very entertaining to watch. I’m sure there are better films out there (small independent films and documentaries, most likely) but considering the realities of the marketplace, SUPER 8 deserved to be the number one movie in America when it took the crown.
© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.