Super 8 Week: Initial Impressions and Other Blurbs


I finally got to see Super 8 last night.  Expectations were sky high, as I'm sure you all could have guessed.  I'll post my full review this weekend, but the early verdict?  I loved it.  Super 8 is a great movie, awesome even.  It is (mostly) everything I thought it would be: a loving homage to early '80s Spielberg films like E.T., Close Encounters, and The Goonies.  It really does transport you back in time to the summer movies you used to see as a kid.  And it is so nice to be able to watch a movie and not know where it's going for a change.  While Super 8 may not be amazing, or as emotional in the end as it wants to be, J.J. Abrams has certainly crafted a movie brimming with creativity and love.  This is what summer blockbusters are supposed to be.

I'm seeing it again on Saturday, so I'll have my final star rating for you then.  Right now, I'm going with ****1/2 out of five stars.  Go see it.  Then let's talk.  And if you think I'm too biased here, don't just take my opinion.  Check out what these other critics had to say:
Lisa Schwarzenbaum, Entertainment Weekly: 
"Loving, Playful, and spectacularly well made, Super 8 is easily the best summer movie of the year -- of many years. And I make that declaration with full knowledge that the season has just begun. It's been eons since a movie has conjured up such intense, specific feelings, images, memories, and nostalgic fantasies about American summertime youth --everyone's American summertime youth, regardless of current age, nationality, sex, or climate. It's been ages since adolescent innocence, fatherly authority, and everyday awe were in movie vogue."

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times:
"Super 8" is a wonderful film, nostalgia not for a time but for a style of filmmaking, when shell-shocked young audiences were told a story and not pounded over the head with aggressive action.

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:
Still, Super 8 kicks in where it counts. Pulses will pound and palms will sweat. But nothing works without a human connection. The monster that ate Manhattan in Cloverfield, which Abrams produced in 2008, lacked a soul. In Super 8, Abrams makes us care. This movie, a true beauty, will put a spell on you.

Richard Corliss, Time:
[T]he year's most thrilling, feeling mainstream movie

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:
It's a good time, this movie -- a critter picture conjoined with a coming-of-age picture. While its more obvious '70s and '80s influences (starting with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "E.T.," and continuing on to the less vibrant realm of "The Goonies") pack the frame very tightly, writer-director J.J. Abrams brings so much affection to the project the results reveal both the film geek he surely was as a Spielberg-lovin' kid, and the hard-charging populist he has become.

Harry Knowles,
JJ's film isn't a Spielberg clone, it is its own thing.   The disparate influential elements that he's combined should make instant sense to any kid of my era.  Basically imagine if E.T. wasn't so goddamned cute.   What if it wasn't all John Carpenter take over the world either.   What if it was in that middle ground?  What if scary shit was going down and as a kid, you had information that you felt you needed to act upon, and you and your friends went out - JAWS style to fucking get the shit that needed to get done, done?   That's SUPER 8.  


Leave a comment
  • I've got a fairly brave 5-year-old. What do you think, too scary for him?

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    It might be. Has he seen Cloverfield? That's a good barometer of scary. Jaws too. There are a couple of curse words too, and an f-bomb as well. I'd say 7-8 and up on this one.

  • In reply to Hammer:

    Thanks, he can wait. But I can't, want to see this soon.

Leave a comment