Skip to comments.Super 8: Movie Review
Posted on 06/10/2011 6:27:00 AM PDT by Neoavatara
J.J. Abrams, which is becoming this generations Steven Spielberg, has taken inspiration from Spielberg in a movie that is more family entertainment than Science Fiction. This has the feel of a late 70s early 80s flick from Spielberg, and I could very comfortably have believed that he made this in the interim between Jaws and E.T.. The movie had me virtually giggling inside, making me remember what it was like to see those movies as a young child. It brings us back to an era that I guess is now long forgotten, of blissful summers and imaginations gone wild.
The story begins with a group of middle schoolers who, like many of us in that era, decided to make their own science fiction film, in this case a horror flick. It probably echoes the childhoods of both Abrams and Spielberg, who admit to doing the same thing as kids. While filming their own story, they happen to be witnesses to a horrible train accident. Of course, the creature being carried by the train is not your normal circus animal.
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Super 8 ? Eh, not much better than Motel 6.
I’ll admit the trailer is very intriguing.
I had never heard of this movie (not being tuned in to entertainment news at all) until yesterday. It sounds like a winner, if you’re a Sci-fi nerd like me.
Seen it 10 times already (work post production) it’s a very good movie, I don’t think the cussing from the kids was necessary though.
It ain’t necessarily far off the mark. After all, Spielberg raped Indy and Abrams raped Star Trek.
You’ve got a point there.
My kids want to see this one.
Please tell me it doesn’t end in the typical J. J. Abrams way (non-closure) found in other pieces from him, like LOST and Cloverfield.
I can’t afford to pay for the damaged screen after I throw something through it if it does.
They’re talking like it is a family movie, and in what I thought was an online only clip of the study of the alien creature befor it got lose. You don’t see much, but at the end of the clip, it seemed extremly powerful, hostile, and if released make a bloody mess of things. It isn’t rated R, so I am curiouse how they handle the aftermath of the monster
My concern about the movie was it looked, from the previews, to be very “anti-military.” Meaning it was all the military’s fault for covering something up. Typical Hollywood scenario. If I’m wrong about that I might be willing to see it.
pluggedinonline gave it this review:
“This may be a movie full of kids. And this may be a production with a kid’s sense of moviemaking wonder. But Abrams pumped his script up with so much profanitymuch of it jumping out of the kids’ mouthsthat he sends a possibly unintentional but still crystal clear message to families: Don’t even try to find out what’s inside that train!”
>>> Abrams pumped his script up with so much profanitymuch of it jumping out of the kids mouthsthat he sends a possibly unintentional but still crystal clear message to families:
So it’s a live action South Park?
Indy 4? Definitely.
However, the “reboot” of “Star Trek” was FANTASTIC.
Sure, if you call rape and sodomy of the canon “fantastic.”
There’s closure :) I like the ending, well some aspects of it. There is a very sweet moment and then some is your typical Hollywood ending.
“You see, in season 4, Kirk wore a yellow shirt with white and blue piping, but in season 5, the piping was more of a off-white and no blue. Mr. Roddenberry, how do you explain these inconsistencies? Does this presume the adoption of alternate universe Kirks and a modification in the Star Trek continuum?”
“It’s a fu*&ing TV show. Next question.”
Like I said, the profanity is a put off, but the acting from the kids is overall very good, especially Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney. This is Joel’s first film and he did an excellent job. Very cute storyline between the two.
Hey, what can I say ? Abrams can call it “Star Trek”, but it’s not. Screwing up the entire history, the characters, the technology, and on and on when it has a four-and-a-half decade legacy is not something I care to applaud. To some of us fans, especially ones who have been for more than 3 decades, it actually means something.
Don't care if Steven Spielberg accidentally puts out an entertaining movie.
He probably did it to keep funding going so he can use the 'art' to inflict liberal propaganda on us at some later date.
Don't support industries that hate people like us. Don't support a man who hates our children and values. Stay away from his movies.
I’m just messin’ witcha.
Long-time, hard-core fans can be easy to poke fun at, but maybe they could’ve stopped “Star Wars” from becoming such a turd.
Unfortunately, letting Lucas near his own franchise was a mistake. What was the best SW ? It was “The Empire Strikes Back” because he had an actual director to reign him in. Too bad he didn’t have Irwin Kershner babysitting him throughout the entire series. Let us not forget Lucas raped Indy, too.
Y’know, Spielberg raped Peter Pan, too. He should’ve been hanged for “Hook.”
I’ve seen it, and liked it. Super 8 is a really good movie that builds suspense and has some great characters. The child stars are terrific in it. The ending was good.
NOTE: The movie would be fairly scary for most younger kids (it’s not gory, but startling). Also, there’s unfortunately a lot of cursing in the movie, including from the kid’s characters.
By the way, if you go see it, be sure to stay and watch the credits!
Yep, ESB was the best.
Indy was always a Lucas concept, but Spielberg got involved and the first three (well, 1 and 3) were damned good.
South Park did TWO great takes on Spielberg and Lucas raping their creations, LITERALLY.
The whole idea of canon in Star Trek is silly. It’s something put in there by the nerds, Gene changed his mind constantly. At one point he was shopping a show that would have shown the original Trek to be a TV show within the larger Trek universe, so much for canon. What made Abram’s Trek great is that it was fun again, TOS was fun show to watch, and with every succeeding spinoff and movie Trek became less fun and more obsessed with UN council style blathering.
Here’s a long great discussion on why Trek fan’s obsession with canon was always doomed and kind of silly (it’s 3 parts and he doesn’t cross link well so I’ll do it for him):
Seeing it tonite...I live in the town it was fimed in!
I probably saw all that at the time and debated it. Some of us do feel strongly about canon (as for the first piece mentioning seeing Lincoln in outer space, that’s an easily refutable piece of nonsense, he WASN’T Lincoln, but an alien representation of individuals the crew admired and some villains). Dismissing that for a moment and addressing cheesy episodes, well, that happens. Sometimes shows produce turkeys (although in the case of WKRP, turkeys produced perhaps the best piece of comedy in the history of tv). But when you have a basic established history, characters, technology and the like, and you take it and pretty much rewrite it all except for the names, don’t act surprised when people take enormous exception to that. Abrams could’ve chosen to do something that took all of that into consideration, but it’s clear he didn’t and didn’t want to. I myself could’ve done a far better job with it without sacrificing a thing and setting up sequels for the forseeable future to boot.
Again, if your problem with Trek was that it was getting too UN’ee or not enough action, it’s a fair criticism, but there’s a way to address it without rewriting a whole universe with an established history (and the universe wasn’t all Roddenberry’s doing, either). I had my own problems/criticisms with it, too, where it was going (such as the other spinoffs, with Enterprise being the worst).
I remember interviews with the cast of STV before the series started. They were all bragging about how well they could spout star trek jargon. Not stories, not characters, nope, just more and better jargon.
I never bothered to watch.
At least with IJ4, they simply waited far too long to make another (before we get to the ridiculous scenes and storyline, nevermind in what universe that a mating of Harrison Ford and the adorable Karen Allen could produce Shia LaBeouf). And yes, the SP skewering of Spielberg and Lucas was fantastic.
But you DON’T HAVE a basic established history. That’s the point the guy was making. What’s cannon and what’s not changed constantly under Gene. Like it says in article. In the novelization of TMP (written by Gene) Kirk says TOS was a fictionalization by the Federation used for recruiting IE NOT canon. Of course then at one point Gene said none of the novels (presumably including written by him) were canon. He also wishy-washied on whether the movies were canon, largely depending on which movie mentioned and his mood at the time.
There was no reason for Abrams to take ANY of it into consideration. The franchise was choking to death on the foolish idea of canon in the first place. And frankly his redo was pretty smooth, he actually left the “canon” universe intact, it’s still there if Paramount ever feels like drowning again, parallel to the one Abrams’ movie takes place in.
There were a lot of problems with Trek. One of them is that starting with TNG it became obsessed with feelings, socialism, and trying to make everybody happy. Another is the foolishness of a canon that never existed before it and never should have come into play. We have no idea what order TOS shows happen in, stardates are random, no episode refers to another, they’re just there. The movies have a touch of continuity, 2 3 and 4 especially make a pretty clean trilogy, but again we don’t know when they happen in relation to the show, “after” is about the best we get. And that’s what makes it good.
Canon for a creation as large as Trek is kind of like downward compatibility on an OS. It’s a huge albatross that slows growth and makes everything suffer. If you’re sitting in front of a Windows computer right now there’s a whole bunch of crap in that OS just to allow DOS programs to still work. Canon did the same kind of thing to Trek. With canon if you want to put forth a lizard man race the first thing that has to be decided is will it be Gorns, related to Gorns but not actually Gorns, or completely separate from Gorns. And then from each of those decisions you have more baggage to carry forth, if they’re Gorns you have to explain what’s happened since the last time we saw them, if they’re related you have to explain how, if they’re completely separate you have to explain why there’s another bunch of lizards out there. Any of these options take time away from actually telling a story. If you don’t have to deal with canon and you want lizard men you just talk to the prop department and you make lizard men.
Which doesn’t mean canon is always bad. But it needs to be there from the start. B5 works great because it was a universe with a well developed canon that existed before the first script was ever written. Why canon works so poorly for Trek is that it had 4 season of TV (counting the animated), 5 movies and dozens of books in existence BEFORE anybody decided there needed to be canon. It’s what turned canon from a framework (what it should be) to an albatross (what it was for 15 years before Abrams shot it in the head).
5 is bad. Actually when you get right down to it most of the movies are bad. 2 is good, 4 is funny in parts but the rest of it is retarded, all the ones directed by Frakes are OK on TV but unwatchable on the big screen because he directed them with all closeup and extreme closeups like a TV show so you can see makeup cracks and other lameness on the big screen.
Well, I disagree on the basic point about their being no established history. Going by Roddenberry’s odd and finicky opinions, I don’t consider him the definitive statement on the subject. The Trek Universe had a lot of contributions beyond just him. Had it been just him and his way, the sum total of Star Trek would’ve been a good, but failed NBC pilot starring fading film star Jeffrey Hunter.
I won’t go into a point by point on this with your post, but it’s this comment that exemplifies why I don’t consider the reboot to be legitimate...
“(what it was for 15 years before Abrams shot it in the head).”
Abrams shot something in the head that merely had a hangnail. Again, my problems with the franchise didn’t begin with him, but I always held TOS in far higher esteem than the spinoffs (and most odiously, the prequel, which also went hog-wild with screwing everything up), but Abrams took a full-frontal assault specifically at TOS, and rather than “freeing it from the albatross of canon”, it seemed more like a Star Wars fanboi curbstomping the heart of Trek itself. Imagine the reaction of a Star Wars reboot with a Trekker deciding to do the same to their beloved universe.
There has been many iterations of canon, there was one that I liked around 1979 that was based on the old series and the first movie.
Later Michael Okuda made his Next Generation canon which was totally at odds with the aforementioned TOS canon.
The Zefrem Chocran divergence from the 70’s canon irritated me, especially when they made him a drunken fool in a post-apocalyptic world that pieced a warp drive together from parts found in a salvage yard.
I was glad they chucked all of that in the ‘09 reboot of Trek. Now the TNG’ers can agonize how it diverges from Okuda’s canon, the demise of Vulcan will be a huge plot obstacle to overcome if they do another TNG movie.
They’ll have to do another canon reset if they do it again.
Now I just get a chuckle from the ridiculousness of it all, Shatner in that SNL skit had the right take on it. LOL!
I meant star trek Voyager, but I can’t disagree with a word you said.
Canon wasn’t merely a hangnail, there’s a reason the Trek series was functionally dead before somebody talked Paramount into a reboot. Over and above dragging down the writing of stories large background stories are an impediment to new viewers, people don’t want to start watching a show they don’t think they’ll understand And when there’s as many hours of possibly canon stuff as Trek they’re right. All you need to do is look at the ratings of the TV shows and revenues of the movies to see that canon was a lot more than a hangnail. Trek went for 20 years constantly gaining fans before anybody thought about canon, then about 7 years of light canon (basically TNG through to Generations, TNG was into canon but the movies still pretty much ignored it until TNG took over the movie franchise, and got it’s own spin off with DS9) still managing to gain fans. Then in ‘94 canon took over the whole thing and got obsessive and the fan bleed begins, leading to the inevitable flop Nemesis and death of Enterprise. Over the course of 11 years canon worship took a franchise that was a license to print money and turned it into a franchise that could only gross 67 million on a movie and 2.8 million TV viewers.
TOS was always the best. And one of the reasons TOS was the best is that it has no canon. Abrams didn’t assault TOS, he brought it back. Brought us back to having a captain that fights before he talks, brought us back micro-mini-dresses, brought us back to a crew that drinks, even brought us back some of the bad stuff like stupid transporter tricks. What he assaulted was the crap that came AFTER TOS. TOS’s great strength is that it’s a FUN show that doesn’t take it self too seriously, yeah sure there’s serious messages in some of the episodes, there’s also barf monsters, “he is not Herbert” and tribbles. Most of the best episodes of TOS (and therefore the whole franchise) are great because they’re fun, they might or might not have some message but they knew messages get across best when the audience is entertained. Everything I love about TOS is in the Abrams movie, it’s a rollicking fun ride with characters you’d love to hang out with, it doesn’t assault it, it WORSHIPS it.
Oh that V. Yeah... the only thing I can really think of to say about Voyager is that at one point during the 4th or 5th season something leaked out of Paramount that said Voyager wasn’t canon. There they were at the height of canon worship in the franchise and the powers that be were saying functionally that the show never happened. Eventually they reversed that (gotta love “canon”) but that was always a telling event to me.
Really originally there never was a canon, eventually in the late ‘70s they took some of the things that had been consistent (largely on accident) and declared them canon. But even in little things canon never really existed, in the first ep Kirk’s middle initial was R, how fast warp N is has changed at least 3 times that I know of, not to mention the sheer size things (at one point Earth to Klingon space was 1 year at warp 10, then in Enterprise they got there in a couple of weeks at warp 5).
Hopefully they’ll be smart and follow Abram’s lead and just don’t do canon. In this modern world where arc TV shows have taken over the industry that might be hard. They actually could still do a TNG with Vulcan, remember the Abrams handled things basically the “canon” universe still exists, over in the other timeline where the Romulan ship never jumped back in time. Of course the danger there is how do you draw the audience that went to the Abrams movie (largest grossing Trek movie ever by quite a margin) to a “canon” movie which nobody was going to anymore.
It is funny. I don’t know how they have fun with it, so worried about which story points are “real” and which aren’t. Once I noticed the changes in warp speed I started ignoring all parts of canon, Trek works better episodic.
Well, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on some of those points (although I do understand some of what you’re saying, but what you viewed as a hindrance, I viewed as a logical framework to utilize and build on, not to tear down. Hell, there was so much that could be explored that was only barely touched upon in past shows, movies, etc). I simply can’t agree with what Abrams did. I think he’d have been better off (were he to have done “Trek”) to have done a whole new set of characters, new ship, etc., and taken it from there, or done an entirely new sci-fi/action film storyline. I wish he’d done the latter. Plus, when you get right down to it, you have two groups of folks, those that care and those that don’t. For those that don’t, they don’t care what you stick in it so long as it’s enjoyable, it’s simply entertainment. For those that do care and view it as something a bit more special, well, I’m in that category. I just loathe seeing what was done that was done solely for the sake of a buck and blow-em-up/shoot-em-up scenes. If it was non-Trek, I wouldn’t care.
The problem is all the “framework” is retrofitted on a show that in it’s first run couldn’t even solidly decide what the main character’s middle initial was. Trek was designed as an episodic show with no continuity, then 20 years later the canon crowd came in and tried to pretend there were constant rules.
For all intents and purposes Abrams did work with a whole new set of characters. They just had the same names as the most popular and well known characters in the franchise.
The problem with the ones that care is they’re caring about the wrong thing. Even at the height of the canon era that was never the POINT of the show. It was always entertainment occasionally with a message. By making canon the point of the show you’re missing out on everything that’s made the show great and so long lasting. It’s like going to the Louvre and spending your time examining the paint on the walls.
It was awful; a disappointment especially considering that I expected more. Spielberg-type movies in the past always featured that held-back feeling of being understated. This film was at the opposite end of that spectrum, obnoxiously so.
Concise review of the film: malevolent ET on steroids.
Abrams’ ST film was better than any of its previous incarnations.
What Spielberg films are you talking about?
As filmmaking it was. I had always found ST unwatchable in any incarnation up until that film. So maybe I’m not a good barometer since I was never remotely a fan.
Well, you’re entitled to your opinion if you like it or not... but it simply wasn’t Star Trek. I also just plain don’t care for movies that give me motion sickness in the first 5 minutes. I hated that ghastly “Moulin Rouge” film, too. Vile.
“not Star Trek” doesn’t mean it was bad filmmaking. I understand how that would upset fans though. But this is the new ST going foward.
Actually, just as a film it was subpar. A lot of special effects and action and not bothering to explain a damn thing because Abrams & Co. found that to be “boring.” My parents saw it (and they are not Trek fans) and thought it was incomprehensible garbage.
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