Saturday, June 18, 2011

Movie Review: "Super Eight"

Just saw the film Super 8.  Here's my review...

The Good

For starters, it's actually an original concept.  It's not a remake, it's not a sequel, and it's not an adaptation of something else.  I took pains to see it that I didn't take for X-Men: First Class
because I wanted to encourage originality.

The scene where the train crashes while the kids are filming the movie is very well-done.  In my opinion, it's one of the best scenes in the film.

Pyromaniac Carey (Ryan Lee), was hilarious, both his own behavior and how other people talk to him.  The best part of all was when the father Deputy Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) says that he doesn't dislike his son Joe (Joel Courtney)'s friends--although Carey does worry him.

I liked the character of Doctor Woodward (Glynn Turman), the ex-military scientist.  I don't think I've ever seen a character quite like him before, except for possibly "Keys" from E.T.

The alien was well-designed.  It looks like some kind of hybrid between a reptile and a giant spider.  No man in a rubber suit here.

I liked how the alcoholism of Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard), the father of Joe's love interest Alice (Elle Fanning) is portrayed.  He rages at his daughter for sneaking out and tells her to leave him like her mother did but then when she rides off on her bike, he drives after her, screaming that he's sorry.  Then he hits a parked car and can't immediately get out of his own.

As the film draws toward the climax, a lot of the crazy stuff that happened is well-foreshadowed, makes sense, and is visually impressive.

The kids naming the chemical company that made the zombie-poison in their movie "Romero Chemicals" was clever.  For those of you not in the know, George Romero is well-known for zombie movies.  He was behind the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, the latter of which came out in the late 1970s and would be known to the kids.

The Bad

The movie was a bit slow in parts, especially toward the middle.

Also, the scene where Joe and his father have a confrontation in which he forbids him to see Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning) had some truly awful dialogue. Given the subject matter, it could have had a lot more pathos.

There are some characters' actions that don't really make a lot of sense. I'm not going to go into a lot f detail for reasons of spoilers.

The Verdict

Creative, but a bit disappointing.  I'd give it 7.5 out of 10.

As an aside, there's a prequel comic explaining how the alien got here.  Here it is.

July 2 Edit: My friend Nicolas Hoffmann has posted this on his blog, the Dudeletter.  Here's the link.

1 comment:


    I agree for the most part, although I confess I was VERY disapointed