What I Learned From Super 8

Packed theater? Check. Retro flashbacks? Check. Special effects? Check. Funny, clever dialogue? Check. Massive Spielberg nostalgia? Quadruple check. Best movie of the summer? Definitely.

In Super 8, which grossed $37 million this weekend, a practically unknown cast of kids carries the J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi flashback flick. It is easily the most entertaining, fun movie I have seen in ages. That didn’t stop me from having some ridiculous thoughts as I watched Super 8. Here they are:

1. That Breaking Dawn trailer is most absurd thing I have ever seen. The Super 8 audience does not appreciate how upsetting that wedding invitation is for Jacob. His Native American-teen wolf heart is breaking!

2. Some kid will Google Super 8 mm film stock and be slightly disappointed. 

3. The military should never be trusted to deal with alien invasions. Kids carrying around their dead mothers’ lockets, however, should. 

4. Well, it sucks to be a black man in the Air Force. 

5. The chubby director kid should have a solid career. 

“Jerry O’Connell is my life coach.”

6. Elle Fanning is now my favorite Fanning.

7. Coach Taylor should always go rogue. 

Clear eyes, full hears, can’t lose!

8. The Smoke Monster left the island? WHAT UNIVERSE IS THIS?!?

9. So Aragog took a vacation. Ohio is a step up from the Forbidden Forest.  

10. Simon Camden is the pothead!! Your father will be pissed. 

11. This is nothing like ET. I don’t want to cuddle with that thing.

12. How the hell does Ally not like ET? (No seriously, she doesn’t.)

13. I should make a post-modern feminist zombie movie.

14. This movie is great! I wish I had been a 13-year-old boy. 

Judy Moody wouldn’t have been such a bummer if she had hung around these kids.

What did you think of Super 8? Are you with me that it is one of the best movies of the year so far? Sound off below.

10 thoughts on “What I Learned From Super 8

  1. HAHA thanks for showing my freakiness! This was a great movie! For all those reasons — especially Coach Taylor going rogue! Let’s make this post-modern feminist zombie film happen.

  2. Meh. I thought it was a pretty banal by the numbers plot. Also, most of the kids’ personalities never amounted to much more than their individual quirks (anxiety, barfing, proclivity for pyromania, etc.). Obviously, this sort of cartoonish profiling is part of the homage to flicks like ‘The Goonies’ which features a fat kid, inventor kid, annoying kid, etc. However, ‘The Goonies’ sufficiently explores its characters’ relationships and struggles such as the budding romance between Mouth and the short-haired girl, the friendship between Sloth and Chunk, and the inciting conflict of the impending eviction. ‘The Goonies’ does this enough so that we are invested in the fates of these ensemble players. On the other hand, with the exception of Elle Fanning and the lead, none of the kids in ‘Super 8’ are given a back story, we never meet their families (save for the fat kid’s but only in rather inconsequential context), and each of them appears only sporadically during the movie as best fits the plot. Finally, the monster’s design was awfully run-of-the-mill. It looked like a clone of the ‘Cloverfield’ beast (in fact, I was kind of hoping ‘Super 8’ might turn out to be a surprise prequel to ‘Cloverfield,’ which would have kept my interest). Essentially, this is my general criticism of J.J. Abrams’ work. I haven’t seen much of his oeuvre but from what I have, I find that the plots are hackneyed, the characters lack substance, and the fantasy and science fiction elements are unimaginative.

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