Review: JJ Abrams Super 8 |
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Review: JJ Abrams Super 8 June 9, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,Review,Super 8 , trackback

On Friday June 10th JJ Abrams follows up his 2009 Star Trek movie with Super 8. With the help of producer Steven Spielberg, Abrams has returned to his own childhood for a mysterious monster movie, which turns out to be an effective coming-of-age story. Find out more in the review. [Some Spoilers Ahead]   


Review: JJ Abrams "Super 8"

Back in 2009 director JJ Abrams told me that before he could consider returning to helm another Star Trek movie, he would want to do something different for his third feature – something that wasn’t part of a franchise (like Star Trek and Mission Impossible III). That something else became Super 8, a very personal film for Abrams, who wrote a script set in the 1979 of his own youth which evokes an era and the style of films which were formative for him. In the same interview Abrams also said that "the dream version of any job is to chose the job because you love the job," and that passion can be seen in Super 8, which has been accurately described as a love letter to Steven Spielberg, who Abrams even brought in as a co-producer for Super 8. And according to Spielberg, Super 8 is actually the "first true JJ Abrams movie."

While the story of Super 8 is evocative of Spielberg’s Amblin movies of the late 70s and early 80s, especially Close Encounters, Jaws, E.T. and Goonies, it is also classic Abrams. Super 8 is about a group of kids from a small town in Ohio who, while shooting a zombie movie for a film festival, witness a massive train crash which unleashes a mysterious something trapped in a box car. But of course Abrams, who has famously never opened his childhood ‘Mystery Box,’ spends much of the rest of the film slowly dripping out tidbits of why the train crashed and what exactly was it that escaped from that box car and is causing all sorts of strange occurrences in the town.  

A train crash sets a group of kids on an adventure in "Super 8"

Super 8 is more than just homage to 1970s cinema – it is really a mashup of a sci-fi film, a monster movie, a family drama, a love story, and a coming of age film. In fact, the best parts of the film is the character development and personal story of this group of kids. Like with Star Trek, Super 8 opens very strong with some emotional scenes which set the tone for film’s hero, Joe Lamb (played by first-time actor Joel Courtney). Abrams is very adept at coaxing out excellent performances from the kids who carry the film, especially Lamb, Elle Fanning as Joe’s the love interest Alice Dainard, and Riley Griffiths (also in his first film) who plays Joe’s best friend Charles and the director of the zombie movie which sparks the entire film. And Cary (played by Ryan Lee), adds a lot of fun comic relief for the film, not just by being the ubiquitous goofy kid with braces, but also through his recurring issues with pyromania. 

Abrams working with Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths on "Super 8"

While Super 8 is a JJ Abrams-directed / Steven Spielberg-produced summer genre movie, it shouldn’t be seen expecting a big spectacular visuals-filled tentpole like Star Trek. While ILM are back with Abrams providing excellent effects, especially in the extra-long train crash sequence, at its core Super 8 really is more of a smaller family drama, with a relatively low budget. The payoffs in this film are much more to do with Joe and Alice’s arcs with their fathers (would it be an Abrams project without daddy issues?), then it is about fighting a mysterious monster. The irony is that the monster plot ends up being a bit thin, with some murky sci-fi exposition late in the film and disappointingly two-dimensional bad guys in the form of the Air Force personnel who descend on the small town to try and contain the situation. Star Trek fans will likely come away wanting to know more about the creature at the heart of the mystery, who ends up having a bit of a Borg-like hobby of assimilating technology. But all that really doesn’t matter as the film still works, carried by the kids and their adventures, including a heroic cave rescue evocative of the Mark Twain classic "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

"Super 8" is best when focused on the families – and not with the scary thing they are staring at

Adding to mix of a quieter film is Abrams own directing style. Yes there are some periodic lens flares, but in Super 8 he mostly eschews shaky cam and frenetic pacing seen in his Lost pilot, Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek. This more subtle approach, helped by cinematographer Larry Fong (Watchmen), is all part of evoking the look of the films of the era.   

The Air Force team in "Super 8" led by Colonel Nelec (Noah Emerich) are your standard "nothing to see here" cardboard cutouts

The nostalgia in Super 8 is thick, without becoming over the top parody. Anyone born in or before the 70s will recognize the world lovingly recreated by Abrams and production designer Martin Whist (Cloverfield). Trekkies "of a certain age" (and lets face it, many of us are) will recognize the slight touches right down to AMC Pacer, Pillsbury Space Food and Mattel Electronic Football. Probably the only "weren’t the late 70s funny" in-your-face reference was a scene with an early Sony Walkman (which may be an anachronism as they probably shouldn’t be around in the US until 1980). This is all effectively enhanced by a soundtrack by Michael Giacchino which is augmented by selections of music from this era between 70s disco and 80s new wave, including songs from Blondie and The Cars.

There really isn’t any story reason why Super 8 is set in 1979 except that is when JJ Abrams was 13 himself. The story could have easily been set today with kids using HD video cameras, but hopefully young audiences will still feel an emotional connection to the kids and enjoy a trip back to their parents childhoods (OMG Dad, how did you live without the Internet?).

In the end Super 8 is an excellent feel-good movie and shows a continued evolution and extension of range for JJ Abrams as a director and storyteller. If you like your summer movies to be long on explosions and short on story, then maybe wait for Transformers: Dark of the Moon (which actually looks pretty good). Super 8 has plenty of thrilling action (and its fair share of explosions), but what makes it work are the characters. So if you want a fun, mysterious, scary adventure with a group of kids you can’t help but root for, then you wont go wrong by seeing this film. Super 8 will make you feel young again.

JJ Abrams is back with "Super 8"

Super 8 opens wide on Friday, June 10. Here are some newly released clips:



1. Mark - June 9, 2011


2. StarMan127 - June 9, 2011

Saw an interview where JJ Abrams said he’s addicted to lens flares. Every director need his trade mark. Plan to see this this weekend. Should be at least an entertaining diversion. Wonder what direction the next Star Trek will take. At least seeing this film I don’t have to be swamped with super heroes and comic remakes into film. Not that that’s bad….just good to see something different and possibly more entertaining.

3. Marc B. Lee - June 9, 2011

I saw it this morning. Here’s my non-spoiler review:

The casting was perfect and well acted and like many films of our childhood, there’s always one youngster that will be the comedic focal point of the entire picture.

SUPER 8 is set in 1979 (year of my high school graduation) in a rural town called Lillian, Ohio. A group of young moviemakers find themselves witnessing the unlikely contest of truck versus freight train. They both lose but the consequences are dire.

This movie can easily be compared to E.T. due to the nature of alien meets children. Although that meeting comes way late into the film, the buildup and personal family crisis are at the forefront which leads to a confrontation that is both thrilling and gory.

I could have easily given this movie a 9 if only JJ Abrams could finish a movie that leaves you half full at a table of chocolate and twizzlers. He continues to half write a script and it is evident in this movie.

SUPER 8 could have been SUPER GREAT if Abrams’ ego steps a bit to the right and allow his memory of what made movies great in the 70′s win out in this current flick. I wasn’t convinced that seeing it in IMAX was necessary either and thank the stars it wasn’t in 3D, a techniq1ue I have grown very weary of. 3D is overrated and unnecessary and dims the overall presentation of a motion picture. I suspect I would have given this movie a 6 or 7.5 had it been shown in 3D. SUPER 8 is….well let’s say it brought back memories of my teen years but still prefer the effect JAWS, STAR WARS, GREASE and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN had on me back then than SUPER 8 will have on today’s teens.

My score: 7.75/10

4. Aurore - June 9, 2011

Apparently, a job well done, Mr. Abrams! Congratulations!

5. trekker 5 - June 9, 2011

#6,Aurore,(I’ll give you a better review than this! :) ) Only jokin’ around,I’m sure this a good review,I’m just not going to read it,I don’t want to know anything before I see the movie myself.

6. Yob Mosher - June 9, 2011

YAWN! Thanks for the heads up Anthony but I think I’ll pass. A “family drama” isn’t worth the price of admission. I’ll wait for Green Lantern to spend my money on.

7. Jeyl - June 9, 2011

I think a complete lack of positive roles for mothers is turning into JJ’s trademark more than lens flares are. I’m also glad the only girl in the film is labeled as the “love interest”. I can’t wait for the inevitable scene where she kisses Joe goodbye and stays behind while he runs off to save the day.

This may be JJ’s first original movie, but it doesn’t take much to see how predictable it will all turn out to be.

8. Lt. Daniels - June 9, 2011

How about JJ Abrams producer and Steven Spielberg director Star Trek the way things are going getting the movie started? But it would be nice if JJ Abrams director could get Steven Spielberg involved in the next Star Trek movie in some way.

9. Iva - June 9, 2011

The amount of sucking up to abrams in this post is making me blush.

10. Bill Peters - June 9, 2011

actually if you look at the Credits at the end of Star Trek 2009 Steven Spielberg was part of making that movie indrectly.

11. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - June 9, 2011

I wish Abrams had “lovingly recreated” TOS as much as you say he “lovingly recreated” the world of the 1970’s (and even the style of filming used in that era), instead of thumbing his nose at the whole thing.

12. Michael Hall - June 9, 2011

From this review and the others I’ve read, it’s apparent that SUPER 8 is a very personal film for J.J. Abrams in that it concerns what’s most near-and-dear to him: the films he grew up with, loved, and became a source of inspiration for him. In that sense, it’s less of a film per se than it is a meta-movie about movies.

It’s a truism by now that previous generations of film directors were inspired by events they’d witnessed in their own lives, or subject matter than interested them, while (from the seventies or so onwards) directors draw their inspiration from the work of their predecessors. I don’t think that’s entirely true, and it’s not necessarily fatal to quality filmmaking in any case. I wish Abrams every success with this film, but also wish he had stuck to this sort of thing and left Star Trek to someone truly committed to capturing the essence of what made it so special, rather than just remaking it in his own image.

13. Dee - lvs moon' surface - June 9, 2011

I think …. I’ll like it!

:-) :-)

14. Buzz Cagney - June 9, 2011

I keep trying to muster the enthusiasm up for this and keep failing. I’m not sure why. I am just a little older than JJ so that time period is very much my time and I love so much of Spielbergs work so i should be excited by it, but i’m not.
Wish I could figure out why :-?

15. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - June 9, 2011

Going to try and see this movie this weekend. Looks great!

16. Marc B. Lee - June 9, 2011

FYI, movie reviews are the opinions of ONE individual. Although they may sometimes help, I have found in my lifetime of movie going, many of these reviewers have been correct on their personal views but incorrect on thinking I might feel the same way. Be a COMMON SENSE THINKER and judge for yourselves.

17. Simon - June 9, 2011

#11 – I wish Abrams had thumbed his nose at the 60’s style pajamas TOS had.

#6 – Do you even like STAR TREK (TOS, TNG, DS9, etc)? They are not known for mindless action, and you have to actually *think*.

I will see this movie ASAP. I love a film that actually has believable characters and lets them develop, unlike so much garbage that passes itself off as entertainment these days.

18. Mattyb - June 9, 2011

Dam blast and bugger it. Its not out in the UK till August 5th.

19. Doppelganger - June 9, 2011

The Colonel is wearing his grade insignia improperly.

20. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 9, 2011

I went to see this movie, partly because the main characters were a group of children. Most of what we see is about adults and many of them can be such boring, up themselves individuals.

At the cinema, I saw the Green Lantern trailer before they screened Super 8. I will be giving that movie a pass.

21. DavidJ - June 9, 2011

Frankly I don’t know how any self-respecting scifi fan born during this time period could NOT be dying to see this movie. Unless you don’t like early Spielberg, which just seems bizarre to me.

And putting more of the focus on the characters and family drama, and using the alien and special effects as a backdrop to that, is somehow a BAD thing???

That certainly seemed to work well for Close Encounters.

I swear, I just do not understand my fellow scifi fans sometimes.

22. Ron - June 9, 2011


Director JJ Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg have leaked online what appears to be an industrial film that explains the creature. Part of this shows up in Super 8.

23. Punkspocker - June 9, 2011

Thanks for the review. I was 13 when I saw Raiders in the theatre which sparked a love affair of Speilberg films. I think it’s wonderful that he pass the torch to such a filmmaker as Abrams.

24. Shannon Nutt - June 9, 2011

I saw it today and LOVED it. I kept thinking how happy I was that JJ is making features now, because all I could keep thinking was “someone out there CAN still make ’em like they used to”.

Oh, there’s a Kirk and Spock “cameo”…just pay attention when the kids finally look at the 8mm footage they shot.

Yes, JJ still has a thing for lens flares! Although not as intrusive this time as they were in Star Trek (2009).

The soundtrack is fantastic…both the original score and the late 70s tunes JJ has filled the movie with.

Stay for the end credits – and you’ll get to see the “movie within a movie” that the kids were shooting.

25. NuFan - June 9, 2011

I’m going saturday. It won’t be as good as Star Trek but it will still be good.

26. Dee - lvs moon' surface - June 9, 2011

#22- Ron …

Great… I love seeing an alien eating a researcher… or perhaps trying to… LOL

:-) :-)

27. Phil - June 9, 2011

@11. You’re kidding, right?

28. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 9, 2011

#24 Yes. Most people get up straight away when the credits start rolling so they can often miss stuff. Please do not leave straight away, because you will the children’s final cut of the movie they were attempting to make – great stuff…:)

29. Jack - June 9, 2011

20. From the trailer GL doesn’t look great, but the nostalgia factor (and maybe a shirtless Ryan Reynolds… and I still like his, er, schtik at this point)

30. PEB - June 9, 2011

it’s kinda sad, the amount of hate for jj abrams that seems to be on this website (not from anthony) but from so many of the people who post here (and i know its not everybody). i dont get it. the man didnt destroy star trek. he didnt give you “nemesis” part 2, he didnt give you the rushed out the gate “generations,” he didnt kill off shatner’s kirk, he didnt get nichelle naked and make her do a fan dance that just seemed so…out of left field (no matter how amazing she looked). if you want to complain about spock and uhura in trek09, go back and look at the scotty/uhura “thing” that was in trek 5 and explain THAT to me please. he didnt make data tell horrible jokes making you nervously laugh hoping it would all just stop. he didnt invent the nexus or the son’a, and last i checked, he wasnt the one who castrated the klingons…
look, i LOVE star trek. the good and the bad. i watch the films constantly, but some of this hate has got to stop. as i’ve said, you dont have to like the direction the new team has taken with the film series BUT at least give them respect for giving trek more/new fans, and pumping out a fun, visually amazing film that was relevant. it wasnt preachy but it had many messages in it.
cant wait to see super 8 and continue watching abrams grow as a director. and with that, i’m off my soapbox, sorry for the long post.

31. dmduncan - June 9, 2011

Sounds so cool! Sorry I can’t read the review since it has spoilers, but I’m more psyched to see it than any film since ST.09!

32. Greg2600 - June 9, 2011

Green Lantern? Seriously people, that thing looks like ridiculous. Frankly any time a scifi/fantasy movie comes out that isn’t a special effects putrid mess like Transformers or a comic book movie, I’m interested.

I may go see this movie this weekend. I’m interested because it’s period-specific and I love that. I was 1 year old in 1979, but I grew up with the films of that era from Spielberg, so I’m interested to see how JJ did. Lens flares stink, but worse is shaky cam. God please tell me there’s no shaky cam.

33. Red Dead Ryan - June 9, 2011

I have to agree with PEB. I just don’t get the hatred some people (Iva, Jeyl) have for J.J Abrams.


You really need to move on! Seriously. Every time you post, you bitch about J.J Abrams’ seeming lack of consideration for the female audience.

Let me remind you of this: Both “Felicity” and “Alias” featured strong female leads. “Lost” featured strong female characters who kicked butt but also maintained their femininity. “Fringe” features a character named Olivia, who is the equal to Peter Bishop. “Star Trek” had great female characters in Uhura, Winona Kirk, and Amanda Greyson.

“Star Trek” was the most popular Trek film among women. J.J Abrams obviously did something right, since for the last thirty years, the female audience had been shrinking. I think J.J Abrams knows what he’s doing, even if you don’t.


J.J Abrams is considered to be one of the best younger directors. He’s right up there with Christopher Nolan. Steven Spielberg, the legendary director, has praised Abrams. As such, I will regard Mr. Spielberg’s opinions of the man over your stupid comments.

34. SciFiGuy - June 9, 2011

“Green Lantern? Seriously people, that thing looks like ridiculous.”

Hmmm…looks just like the COMIC BOOK to me!!! ::rolls eyes::

35. Michael Hall - June 9, 2011

@ 30, 33

Okay. Let’s put our cards on the table here. Please quote me one person on this thread who has expressed hatred for J.J. Abrams. Not dislike for Trek 2009, or MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III, or this film, or Lost, or any other project the man has been involved with. (No, not even REGARDING HENRY.) Hatred for the man himself, not his works. Just one.

Otherwise, I call bullshit.

36. Kamdan - June 9, 2011

My friend saw an advanced screening of it and felt that the Spielberg style and Abrams’ didn’t quite blend and there were plenty of plot holes left at the end. I’ll wait for the video.

37. Robert H. - June 9, 2011

So is he ironically going to be the next Spielberg?

38. dmduncan - June 9, 2011

Regarding Henry could be rebooted as a Star Trek story. Kirk is phasered in the head and when he regains consciousness he thinks he’s Lt. Uhura and that Lt. Uhura is Captain Kirk. The bridge crew plays along trying gently to bring him back to reality, so Uhura has to sit in the captain’s chair while Kirk occupies the communications station and trails Spock around trying to get some “facetime.”

A montage of shots then depicts a series of occasions where an unconscious Kirk (Vulcan nerve pinch) is transferred from turbolift floor to stretcher.

Alternatively we could do a reboot/mashup of The Enemy Within/Turnabout Intruder where a transporter malfunction merges Kirk and Uhura into a single person called Kirhura. Or Uhurak. (They argue about this).

Half and half straight down the middle. (Imagine the costume).

This has Kirhura/Uhurak running back and forth between the captain’s chair and the comm station. Which is inconvenient, but then Kirk does get answers from Uhura faster than ever, and this turns out to be the decisive advantage that saves the Enterprise from destruction, before Kirk and Uhura are divided back into their natural selves again.

39. Simon - June 9, 2011

#36 – So you let your friend make your theatrical choices for you?

40. Devon - June 9, 2011

#7 – “I think a complete lack of positive roles for mothers is turning into JJ’s trademark more than lens flares are”

And you’re doing nothing to help that “cause.”

41. The 76th Distillation of Blue - June 9, 2011

heres my thoughts on the movie that i posted last night after watching the premiere in westwood, that got burried in in the lensflare thread.
Just got home from the premiere screening of Super 8 at the Mann Village errr i mean Regency Village theatre (old habits die hard , to me it will always be the Mann VillageTheatre) in west wood, got a last minute call asking if i wanted to attend from an old co worker.

All i can say is this if Star Trek xII is pushed back cause of This sappy love letter to the classic films of Spielberg,Dante, Donner and Howard. I am going to be royally ticked off. Dont get me wrong there are some great performances in there such as Kyle Chandler and Jessica Tuck and the kids are pretty decent. But as a whole the movie comes off as expensive retread mixing The Goonies, with Cocoon, Close encounters, and E.T. and the Explorers with a slight dash of space camp(which just so happend to star Spielbergs wife lol) for good measure.Its almost like JJ takes the best elements of those films and repurposes it into a mishmash of a sci fi coming of age movie. And the biggest problem like always that JJ works hard to try and get you care for these characters, but then provides no really resolution for them in the story come time for the end of the film.
Jumping back to influences felt,The biggest influences of Course come from spielberg, but there scenes that weigh heavily with influences of Joe Dante, Richard Donner, and Ron Howard.

I will see it again at some point and give it another chance like i do with ALL movies, but man oh man there is no way this movie opens as big as star trek, it will be lucky do better than MI:III or cloverfield this weekend.
It might have a so so friday. I am sure it will be very polarizing your either going to love it or hate it. there is no middle ground with this film inspite of the decent performances from some of the cast.
definately doesnt live up to the hype at all.

Comming out of the theatre was a very mixed reaction from others around me, the theatre seats roughly 1300 people.

well thats my take on it.

42. That One Guy - June 9, 2011

Just got back from this myself. It’s very Spielberg mixed with JJ. You can tell they both had their fingers in the fondue on this one.

Truly an excellent film. I’m a tad tired, so I’m going to go to bed. But please, go see this. This is going to be one of those word-of-mouth movies that is going to soar. It is this year’s Inception.

43. lostrod - June 10, 2011


“Star Trek – The Motion Picture” was released in 1979. Too bad they couldn’t have given it a cameo, such as a movie poster in the background.

Maybe they did – I haven’t seen it yet.


44. captain_neill - June 10, 2011

I am not sure about this film, it does look good from the trailer and seems to evoke classic Spielberg. I will be going to see it.

I guess the main kid having a love interest makes me feel a bit sad because it makes me regret some things as it was later on when I got my first relationship.

But I do want to give this film a try, should be a lot better than the upcoming Transformers 3 which I am avoiding like the plague

45. VZX - June 10, 2011

Ehh…I’ll rent it from Redbox when it comes out on video.

I predict a poor box-office for Super 8. But at least Abrams got his personal movie off his chest …

46. denny cranium - June 10, 2011

@ #11 TOS purist

If Abrams hadn’t “thumbed his nose” at Trek as you suggest Trek 2009 would have tanked in my opinion.
If JJ had of just catered to the “purists” as you claim to be- Trek may have just become a footnote to 20th century TV and filmmaking.

47. Shannon Nutt - June 10, 2011

@43 They didn’t – but you’re close…it’s an original crew photo and – oh heck, it’s not really a spolier – it’s the classic crew on the bridge (a familar photo to every Trek fan), but you can only see the right half of the frame.

48. Bruce Banner - June 10, 2011

Abrams was on Late Night last night, he had a fleet of buses and was taking anyone from the audience to an early showing of Super 8. They had a camara outside showing the fleet of buses, and JJ invited the entire audience to accompany him. This is PR at its best.

49. Polly - June 10, 2011

I’m defintely going to see this now!

50. Steve - June 10, 2011

Seems like an any genre website, whenever there’s any mention of anything JJ-related, half of the comments from readers then make the “lens flare” comment. You know, a joke isn’t all that funny after it’s told 20 MILLION times! Just give it a rest already.

51. Danpaine - June 10, 2011

I had no idea he wrote Regarding Henry. Love that movie.

His stock just went up with me quite a bit.

52. Danpaine - June 10, 2011

…oh, and with regard to Super 8, I’ll wait for it to come out on Netflix. Or HBO.

53. Mel - June 10, 2011

I only saw trailers and they didn’t give me a good impression of the movie. So I won’t go to the cinema.

54. Adam Bomb 1701 - June 10, 2011

Anthony wrote above: Would it be an Abrams project without daddy issues? I see it this way: Another Spielberg film with a single parent (in this case, widowed, not divorced.) Ho hum. Spielberg works out his parent issues with most of the films he’s associated. I think it’s because Spielberg, even though he’s now six months shy of 65, has yet to work through his own parents’ divorce. Examples – Ronnie Neary leaves husband Roy in “Close Encounters”, Dee Wallace’s Mary in “ET” is a divorced mother (and IIRC, her ex is a deadbeat dad) , Frank Abagnale’s parents divorce midway through “Catch Me If You Can”, and even Marion Ravenwood is a single mom in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Come-on, Steve. You’re almost at Social Security age, and you’ve had your own mega-divorce. Deal with your issues (on your own) and move on.

55. trekker 5 - June 10, 2011

I just saw Super 8! I loved it! For me it was like what Damon Lindelof said about it,”It was like a love letter to everything I love!” Good story,awesome CGI,good cast,and wonderful lens flares!! (what? I had to say something about the lens flares!!). It just had J.J. all over it! I’m not saying its the best film in the world,or that everybody will love it like I did,but I would give it a shot,for me,it was 7 bucks well spent!! Way to go J.J.!! :)

56. trekker 5 - June 10, 2011

How was that Aurore? :)

57. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 10, 2011

It cost NZ$16.50 to see the movie. Normal price here for Adult.

#54 A good many movies/TV have divorce, separation, death of a spouse or single parent with one child. It is not just a JJ Abrams/Spielberg thing. I guess it is seen as more dramatic than showing a couple with a two or three kids.

58. Joel - June 10, 2011

Just got home from seeing Super 8. Movie of the summer. I hope audiences buy into a feel good movie that harkens back to the days when summer movies were great.

In the world of sequels, prequels, adaptations, remakes, reboots, and spin-offs, Super 8 gives us something original yet familiar.

Kudos Mr. Abrams, you made the movie I was hoping to see and didn’t disappoint.

59. Aurore - June 10, 2011

56. Olivia.

“How was that Aurore? :) ”

As promised, it was much better than the above review !

In all seriousness, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed Super 8!

60. Jay - June 10, 2011

My biggest fear about this film seems to be true. From some of the reviews posted in this thread, it seems there is no “pay off” at the end of this movie.

Aside from Trek 2009, that seems to be an Abrams thing. I hated how Cloverfield ended. When I watched that film, I kept feeling that it was just about to get great….. but it never did. And then it was over. And I was like “That’s it??”

From seeing the trailers to this movie, I have the same feeling. And now hearing people say that the film does kind of leave you hanging…. or feeling like there is no pay off, that makes me not want to go see it.

My kids hated me for taking them to see Cloverfield for that very reason. lol They almost refused to watch Star Trek because it was JJ Abrams and they thought it would suck like Cloverfield. Now after seeing the trailers for Super 8, they said “it looks just like Cloverfield. No thanks.”

61. NFXstudios - June 10, 2011

The payoff is emotional rather than a big-bang shoot-em-up with a huge explosion and a one liner.

Saw Super 8 this morning and it’s definitely better than Star Trek, which is saying a bit. It’s a good old fashioned (if you can dig the late 70s/early 80s as being old fashioned) sci-fi adventure that borrows a lot from what made Spielberg’s early films so successful. Mystery, genuine suspense, spectacle, but mostly the focus being almost entirely on the characters rather than the situation. Even Raiders was a string of hokey MacGuffins supported by a terrific cast of characters.

If JJ can do what he did in this film on what amounts to a shoestring budget on the much larger scale Star Trek sequel, the results will be very interesting.

62. The Original Spock's Brain - June 10, 2011

Loved Cloverfield,

63. Jeffreyndallas - June 10, 2011

Saw it and really liked it. Very character driven with bouts of action in the right places….I’m always amazed how young actors can carry a movie….and as I was exactly the age of the main characters in 1979, it was fun to see.

64. Simon - June 10, 2011

#60 – Abrams neither wrote nor directed “Cloverfield”. He had an idea and let others run with it.

I’m not also sure what you were expecting either. I saw it theatrically and did not feel “cheated”. In fact I was surprised we got as much visual effects as we did with the reported budget and they were quite well done.

Throw out any preconceived notions and you just might enjoy SUPER 8.

65. trekker 5 - June 10, 2011

#59,Aurore,well,I’ve been told I’m a good reviewer before so,,I’m joking!! I’ve been told I talk too much and should shut up,and that I’ve been told many times! :) But,I did so love the film,if I was told to shut up now,I would not do it!! :)

66. Jonboc - June 10, 2011

Just saw Super 8. wow. Kickin’ it old school Speilberg style…but with that JJ edge. I loved it. The story…the surprises…the heart…the great cast. The lead kid has a genuine look of awe that sells every scene that asks for it.

I can’t wait to see it again just to look at all the cool set dressings. It was a great trip back in time, in both the setting for the film and the style of film making. Worked on all fronts for me…good lord am I happy Star Trek is in his hands. …oh yeah, take a good look at the Gas station. Good stuff JJ, take a bow.

67. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 10, 2011

#60 No pay off? You have to be kidding.

68. Andrew - June 10, 2011

I think the comment about the pay off at the end is in regards to what happens to te characters. A little like Voyager, the movie ends after the action and climax of the movie and we really don’t find out what happens to the characters and the town. It kind of leaves it up to your imagination what happens to them. At least they do show you the kids’ movie they shot throughout the film during the credits and that is fun. Overall though, I thought it was a pretty good movie, though I do agree with Anthony that I wish we found out more about the creature and it’s motivation.

69. Capt. Quinn - June 10, 2011

Really enjoyed Super 8. Especially enjoyed seeing JJ name the gas station “Kelvin” and how he named one of the characters “Breen”. Made this trekkie giggle!

70. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 11, 2011

#69 Missed those bits. Anyway, my younger son is peeved because I saw it before he did…YES. Oh dear, looks like I will have to see the movie again with him. I got the transport. Things one has to do…

71. Basement Blogger - June 11, 2011

I just saw Super 8. Here’s the quick review.

The Good- If you’re a Speilberg fan espcially of his early works, you’ll love this movie. It’s J.J.’s big homage to him. From over the top dramatic close-ups to pre-teen angst to the kids using a Super 8 to make movies, this film could have been made by Spielberg.

Abrams script that deals with the problems of the young protaganist Joe and Alice is emotionally deep. In fact, their story without the sci-fi part tacked on could be its own movie. Still, there are nice touches of warmth and humor.

The Bad- The camera gymnastics. Hand-held camera shots which circle characters. Not needed. Whip pans. Not needed. Lens flare in the close-up of an actors face. Gets in the way. I’m guessing most of the audience doesn’t have ADHD. It’s just overkill especially when the “something” starts to terrorize the town.

The lighting is too dark. The “something’ is never fully shown. And Abrams almost breaks the first rule of monster movies. Must eventually show the monster especially in this age of CGI. The one good shot of the “something” is badly lit. I would bet if you asked people to draw the “somethng” they would have different ideas on how to do it.

And Anthony is right about the main miltiary bad guy. Some motivation could have been shown here. How about a conversation between the deputy and him. Something that says, “This somthing could lead us to develop advanced weaponry.” See “Alien” (1979) which by the way did a better job of displaying its “something.”

The Ugly- Sixteen year old actor Gabriel Basso’s vomit skills.

Conclusion- It’s a well made homage to Spielberg. Interesting. Warm and funny. Grade is B+.

Trekkers who thought the last Trek movie was shallow should take solace. Super 8 has emotional depth. Abrams wants to go deeper with Trek, hopefully that means in an intellectual way.

72. The 76th Distillation of Blue - June 11, 2011

only a 11 million dollar opening day on a Friday in the middle of June, and is looking to be a high 20 to low to mid 30 million dollar weekend.
I wouldnt be a bit surprised if Xmen doesnt wind up the number 1 movie again this weekend.
glad to see Star trek might be delayed for a movie that will barely make back its production and marketing budget.

73. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 11, 2011

You did see the “monster” near the end of the movie and close up views as well. That was part of the suspense, wondering what or who was throwing stuff in the air etc…:)

“The Bad- The camera gymnastics. Hand-held camera shots which circle characters. Not needed. Whip pans. Not needed. Lens flare in the close-up of an actors face. Gets in the way.”

It’s weird. My husband also commented on that, which, after a while, irritated him at times, but honestly, I just never noticed. I did notice a couple of lens flares though, but they weren’t too bad. Similar comments have been made about Tony Scott’s directing style, especially with his latest Unstoppable movie. I never noticed. I just watched the movie and liked seeing the actors say and do from various vantage points. Honestly, the shakey camera and circling camera shots etc have never bothered me. People have to point them out. Too much lens flare is something I do notice and Star Trek 09 had a little too much of it sometimes. As I said previously, JJ is learning to get a better understanding of the appropriate and good artistic use of lens flares.

I know it is easy to compare, but I just wish people wouldn’t always do it. The movie is called Super 8. It is not Alien – thank God.

74. Basement Blogger - June 11, 2011

@ 73

Yes, there was a close up of the “something.” But if you recall this whole scene was in a dark interior set. (I would describe it more specifically but don’t want to give too much away..) The lighting was bad. And the movie “Alien” is actually a good comparison if we’re talking about “monsters.” “Alien” also used suspense because a lot of times you didn’t see the monster.. But you do see the monster in well lit scenes in the end. Speciifically when it gets aboard the life boat. You could tell that the monster in “Alien” had two arms, two lets, a tail, exposed back ribs, long head and of course the trademark double jaws.

I would bet money if people were asked to describe the body of the “something” in Super 8, there would be multiple verstions. I’m sure a lot of people would have differing opinions on the amount of “arms, legs or other things” that the “something” had.. Look if you’ve designed a great “something” I want to see it in its full glory . Remember the creature chasing down Kirk in ST., 2009? And what about Jaws? Towards the end of that movie, we saw the great white clearly.

As for the overuse of camera gymnastics, there’s no need for this stuff in Super 8. When the kids are talking about what’s been happeinig to them; the scene is dramatic enough. There’s something terrorizing the town. You’ve got my attention. I don’t need motion sicikness.

I did not see Unstoppable. But what I can tell you is director Paul Greengrass used way too much hand-held camera shots for The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Try watching those movies during fight scenes. You can barley teel what’ s going on. And yes, I do listen to actors while camera gymnastics are being done but the camera tricks take away from the dialogue. For example in Super 8 , there’s a scene where Joe confronts his father. Great dialogue but because it’s a hand-held shot the whole picture is moving up and down. It’s very annoying and takes away from a great scene.

75. Aurore - June 11, 2011

55&65. Olivia.

“I’m not saying its the best film in the world,or that everybody will love it like I did,but I would give it a shot,for me,it was 7 bucks well spent!! Way to go J.J.!!”

That’s the kind of comment I pay close attention to ; I don’t like the feeling of
having been cheated ( out of my money),so to speak, after watching a movie.

Do you intend to go watch Super 8, again?

76. Jonboc - June 11, 2011

#71 “The lighting is too dark. The “something’ is never fully shown. And Abrams almost breaks the first rule of monster movies. Must eventually show the monster especially in this age of CGI. The one good shot of the “something” is badly lit”

Your theater must be to blame. In fact, a lot of theaters ARE getting lazy these days, leaving the 3D attachment on projectors, even on 2D movies, dimming the screen un-necessarily. I saw it at a digital theater and saw every detail in the creature’s face. I think the problem isn’t with the way the scenes were filmed, but how they are being delivered to your local silver screen.

77. trekker 5 - June 11, 2011

#75,Aurore,yes!! And I understand how you feel about being cheated,because I’ve had that feeling before as well,and so once I see a film,I have to really like it to shell out the cash to see it again. The last time I saw a movie more than once was in 2009,and you can take a wild guess at what that was! :)

78. Aurore - June 11, 2011

77. Olivia.

Unlike what happened with Star Trek 2009, at least, this time around, I do have a choice between the dubbed version and the DVD.

I’ll wait for the DVD, though, I believe.
Dubbed versions give me the impression of watching someone else’s version of a film. Not the (writer’s) director’s.

79. trekker 5 - June 11, 2011

#78,Aurore,I understand,and thank God for DVDs!! :)

80. Basement Blogger - June 11, 2011

@ 76

It’s possible that the 3D attachment could have been left on. But that doesn’t explain why day scenes were well lit or even the scenes where good interior lighting was used.. And if you recall the best shot of the “something’ is not a place where the ‘something” had a bunch of good virtual or real lights available. I may go see it again at a different theater to see if you’re right.

That being said, I undersand what Abrams was trying to do by not showing the detail of the “something.” In the story below from TrekMovie, there’s a video interview with Abrams and Spielberg where Abrams talkas about Alien being scary when you don’t see the creature. Obviously, this is what he was doing with Super 8. But I argue that in this day and age where you can create cool CGI creatures you better show the goods. And in Super 8, the unknown at a certain stage beomes the known due to the plot. It’s a different story than Alien. In a way, it’s similar to a particular Star Trek original series episode which we can compare it too later.

Check out the video at the eleven minute mark.

81. Simon - June 11, 2011

#79 – DVD???
If you truly want the original experience short of a theater you need the BLU-RAY!

82. CarlG - June 11, 2011

@9: Or the movie could actually be, y’know, good. Wouldn’t that be shocking?

Definitely going to see this. I managed to stay more-or-less unspoilered about it, which is a very odd sensation. Should be interesting!

83. Greg2600 - June 11, 2011

Just got back from seeing Super 8. Really good movie, J.J. did a fantastic job. I think it’s a movie that kids/young adults will see and carry with them for a long time. It doesn’t have the impact of an ET, Close Encounters, or Jurassic Park, but I think it’s the best a filmmaker can do these days, unless you go into Avatar land with James Cameron. Recommend to all.

84. Anthony Pascale - June 11, 2011

I’m not sure what people are saying about not being able to see the creature. At my screening it was pretty clear, especially in the cave scene. My only issue is that the creatures story was a bit rushed and it was kind of hard to understand the emotion of whether we should be frightened or sympathize (but maybe that was the point).

85. Basement Blogger - June 11, 2011

FELLOW TREKKERS, THIS IS IMPORTANT. YOUR MOVIE THEATER MAY NOT HAVE REMOVED OR CHANGED THE 3D LENS AND OR 3D DEVICE WITH 2D LENSES. First thanks Jonbec @ 76, I believe you are right. I saw Super 8 yesterday and complained it was too dark particularly in an important scene. I went to another theater in town and the picture was crisp and clear. .

So if you see Super 8, the theater may not have removed the 3D lens or polarizing attachment. If the picture is dark; if it looks like the color has been drained and you’re looking at a fuzzy picture then your theater maybe showing Super 8 with a 3D lens. Thankfully, the article below will help you with Sony digital projectors. It says look for two lights coming out of the projector. In Super 8 it’s particularly apparent in the first scene where Joe is outside mourning the death of his mother. That stinks. You will not get your money’s worth if the theater is running Super 8 with 3D lenses. It will be too dark.

By the way, if you’re wondering why they don’t just change the lens, it costs money.

86. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

84: “My only issue is that the creatures story was a bit rushed and it was kind of hard to understand the emotion of whether we should be frightened or sympathize (but maybe that was the point).”

I thought it was pretty clear. To me at least. It was a scary creature because it was so alien, but I sympathized with it because it felt the same as we did. On that level it was…human. I thought it was remarkable that this creature which we could hardly see and which was scary all of a sudden, in so short a time, became understandable and sympathetic. Because we understood what the boy understood, and the boy understood because he knew it felt the same way.


This was all prepped by the doctor in his truck who was trying to free the thing. He wasn’t trying to free a monster, he was trying to free a sentient self conscious being who was tortured in captivity. And I thought it was very sophisticated of JJ to have a black man be the one who freed it intentionally, and ALSO to have a black man be the one who gave the doctor the lethal injection. You can’t line people up as good or bad on the basis of simplistic surface features, JJ is saying, regardless of what their history has been.

It was SO beautiful to me that the locket the boy carried of his mother was the last thing, the last piece of metal that hit the water tower and imploded it, launching the spacecraft and freeing the creature. That was a powerful metaphor for what the boy had to do. By letting go he was freeing himself at the same time.

That’s the kind of artfulness I go to the movies for. I don’t go for highfalutin discussions of philosophy. I go for dramatizations of philosophy. Totally different thing.

I also feel vindicated in my love of ST.09. With Super 8 I think JJ proves that he is a man of subtle but potent sophistication, which is something I sensed from ST.09, and which he expanded on in Super 8.

87. Anthony Pascale - June 11, 2011

Well I had a hard time sympathizing with an alien creature that was capturing and storing people (including one of the film leads) in his cave/pantry to eat like Doritos while he rebuilt his spaceship.

They showed that it was both intelligent and a carnivore. It should have been able to find plenty of meat around a small town without eating people who were obviously sentient. Sure he was captured and held prisoner by people but he was telepathic and knew not all humans were paranoid types like Col. Nemec.

I know if I crash landed on some planet I wouldn’t be chowing out on the locals, even if they were very delicious.

so I kind of dont have sympathy for him

88. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011

Well, a lot of people have sympathy for tigers in India, and lions in Africa, which are known to eat people (sometimes) as well, so I have to disagree with your opinion, Anthony.

89. Bartender Boyce - June 11, 2011

Just caught Super 8 this evening, and really enjoyed the ride. I just wished JJ would cut back on the lense flares…I mean really, do you have to have so many in each scene…a few every once in awhile, but in every scene takes away from the overall experience of the movie and its story.

90. Anthony Pascale - June 11, 2011


So if Mr. Ugly Alien Monster ate cute teen blond Elle Fanning and chucked her bones at her would be boyfriend Joe, you would have been cool with that? In that scene I felt you had to pick one or the other to root for.

Now perhaps when Joe had his little mind mend he taught the alien that it wasn’t ok to eat people so now we are all pals

91. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011


Fair enough. Maybe the alien didn’t have a choice but to eat people to survive? Maybe Joe convinced the creature to eat something else?

And maybe Elle Fanning hanging upside down in the cave was a reference to Luke hanging upside down in the cave on Hoth?

92. Basement Blogger - June 11, 2011

@ 87, 90


I feel like one of those naive scientists types in DS9’s “Little Green Men.” But when the alien captured the people, and told Elle Fanning he was scared and justed wanted to go home; I kind thought the people were hostages not snacks. It would have helped for a little more dialogue in the cave scene. Like maybe Fanning saying we were hostages. Perhaps have Joe tell the others what he learned from the alien. .

The alien did become more sympathetic when it opened its eyes. I guess big eyes makes us more compassionate. See E.T. There seemeed to be empathy in its face. Which by the way, I saw the eyes thanks to a theater that correctly used a 2D lens.

93. Anthony Pascale - June 11, 2011


As I remember it, when Joe showed up the Alien had some human legs in his hand like some KFC drumsticks. I think there was even some dialog about how he was saving them to eat

94. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011

Yeah, I remember seeing the human legs. But again, he’s a big creature so what else was there to eat? I doubt a bag of potato chips would’ve sufficed. And it appears there wasn’t any farm animals like cows or horses around.

95. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

90. Anthony Pascale – June 11, 2011

Who did it eat, AP? I’ve only seen it once, maybe I missed that scene. And it was made clear that the alien learned to hate humans because of what they had done to him. Still, the only persons I saw it kill were the military personnel hunting it who were its captors. It had a grudge against them in particular. Yes, it was scary…AND sympathetic. I experienced both. But when the creature is holding the boy and the boy is showing no fear and not even trying to fight it, just telling him he knows how he feels, and the creature looks at him, really LOOKS at the boy, you can see that they are connecting, that they understand each other, and they BOTH let go of their pain.

Also, you rightly noted in your own review that the bad guys were the air force personnel. I, however, didn’t find them two dimensional. I found them realistically callous. I wouldn’t say that was a general representation of the military but regarding the unit that was imprisoning the creature. If you wanted a real world example of how callous those types can be, read about the current treatment of Bradley Manning.

So I really don’t have anything negative to say about the movie. The kid using movie making as a ploy to talk to the girl — c’mon, tell me that isn’t Hollywood right now! lol. I did that in school, too! Movie makers never grow up! JJ made it about himself maybe, but there were a lot of kids just like that and I feel like that film was MY story as well, so by doing something so wonderfully personal JJ created something amazingly universal.

Put some of that love into the next Star Trek JJ!

96. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

Even if it did eat people that doesn’t alter anything. Cows, deer, buffalo, shrimp, chickens, and turkey could all consider me a monster too! It was an alien that had been abused and which didn’t have a high opinion of the human race. But maybe that changed too when it was looking into the boy’s eyes.

I just know that that scene made it more than just a simple monster. I sympathized with it much more, for example, than I sympathized with the guard who was just following orders and gave the doctor that lethal injection.

97. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

Oh! Wasn’t there supposed to be a Star Trek Easter egg in Super 8? Anybody catch it/know what it was? I totally missed it if it was there.

98. Anthony Pascale - June 11, 2011

i could be wrong but i distinctly remember the monster with some legs poking out of its hands. Being that this is a JJ Abrams movie, he never lingers on a shot so it was quick. And there can be no doubt he was abducting and collecting people in his little cave, why else was he doing it?

But I am only nitpicking but that is why i noted in my review the monster plot was ‘murky’. In a way this is like how they cut the Klingon scenes from Star Trek because it (in a worse way) confused non Trekkie audiences who didnt understand who the bad guys were, the romulans who attacked at the beginning or the brutal klingons keeping them prisoner. Do you root for Nero to escape?

and the point about being a monster to cows, etc. The difference is that they are not sentient. So there is no moral equivalent

99. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011


There were at least two easter eggs. There was a picture of the TOS cast on a wall in one of the kids bedroom and there was a gas station called “Kelvin”.

100. Anthony Pascale - June 11, 2011

The Kelvin is actually not directly related, it is the name of JJ Abrams grandfather and he has used it in various projects. It was just more prominent in Star Trek

101. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011


I think the audience would have understood that the Klingons were bad guys as well as Nero. They would have understood that there could be two sets of bad guys who hate each other. I kind of hope they’d release the movie with the deleted scenes back in. Especially the Rura Penthe scene.

Also, humans are monsters to apes, chimps and primates. We kill them for their food or kill them indirectly when cutting down jungles for agriculture and development. Primates are quite sentient.

102. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011

oops, I meant “we kill them for their FUR…”

and meant “I kind of hope they’d RE-release the movie…”


103. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

Well cows certainly FEEL. Dogs are intelligent. People eat those.

But the real issue for me is that the creature is BOTH scary and sympathetic, and that’s why I said JJ has more subtle sophistication that Steven Spielberg. This ain’t no ET. This creature CAN hurt you. It can also sympathize with you and let you go.

And I really liked that. Unlike in ET, these kids were investigating a real danger, both with respect to the alien AND the military personnel, and that raised the stakes and made it more mature to me than ET was.

And the metaphor of the locket being the last thing keeping both the boy and the alien from getting where they needed to be, was very powerful to me.

104. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

I saw Kelvin. How could you miss it? I did not associate it with Star Trek at all. That’s funny.

I did not see the poster. Next time.

105. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2011

I think Michael Giaccino had a cameo too, though I’m not sure. I think I saw his name in the actors’ credits.

106. dmduncan - June 11, 2011

98: “And there can be no doubt he was abducting and collecting people in his little cave, why else was he doing it?”

Well if JJ showed the creature picking human guts from between it’s teeth with a human femur it would have been a gross monster movie. Something else entirely.

But he apparently wanted to show that the creature was dangerous. It wasn’t ET. Something really bad could happen to the characters investigating it. And he did it in a way that made the creature dangerous without being monstrous. The people he had the grudge against most were the “soldiers” who had been imprisoning him, and those are the ones we saw him kill while the boys escaped unharmed. So it did not indiscriminately kill anyone.

107. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 12, 2011

#98 – “and the point about being a monster to cows, etc. The difference is that they are not sentient. So there is no moral equivalent”

Animals are definitely sentient, which is the one of the main reasons why many people are vegetarian, as in they do not believe in killing animals in order to eat them. For them, it is very much a question of morality.

Sentient – “adj. having the power of perception by the senses…[L. sentire – feel]”

It is possible that this alien creature picked on the human form for its food consumption because the other animals, which may have been about – cats, dogs, cattle, sheep, horses – may have seemed too much like itself for it to want to eat them, may have felt kind of cannabalistic to the alien monster. Humans were bi-peds, less like the other sentient earth creatures and were the ones imprisoning and abusing it. After all, this creature did not come from earth, so it is likely that it abided by a different set of rules as to what was OK/acceptable to eat and not. This alien was clearly intelligent and as sentient as any other earth being.

108. Basement Blogger - June 12, 2011

If you want more exposition, Abrams released a more detailed Air Force film. I am not sure where it came from but TrekMovie posted it with the story on sci-fi movies. Link.


109. Basement Blogger - June 12, 2011

Oops, link with video did’nt go through. Try this.

110. Basement Blogger - June 12, 2011

As much as I liked Super 8, I think there could have been more exposition. That’s just the way Abrams rolls. I don’t think it would have hurt the audience for say Nelec to tell the deputy why they need creature back. That could have happened when they seized the deputy at the base of operations. Of course, if you read UFO stuff, you know the answer. Back engineer advance technology for weapons. And not alerting the public of the actual presence of aliens. Fear of break down of society.

But seeing it a second time with correct 2D lenses , thank you movie theater, I enjoyed the kids story more than the sci-fi part. Yeah, it was universal for me. Because I felt like one of those kids except I wasn’t being chased by a gigantic alien. :-) Of the characters I lkied the most, it would be Cary, the kid who likes to blow stuff up. And I even liked the pot head guy that works at the camera shop.

111. Aurore - June 12, 2011

This just in…Super 8 opened at number one in the weekend box office.

Pourvu que ça dure…


112. Aurore - June 12, 2011

113. Jay - June 13, 2011

#68 Yes that’s exactly what a I mean.

Cloverfield felt like the movie just ended in the middle of the story. You don’t know where these creatures came from (space??, some genetic experience gone wrong??) and you don’t know what happened. Did they destroy the city? Did they eventually die? Get killed? Did they just take over the planet? What happened??

Cloverfield was one of those movies that seemed like a good idea on the surfice, but turned out to be a terrible movie. Maybe because of how it was executed, and certainly because of how it ended.

Cloverfield is one of the worst movies I’ve ever paid to see.

That is what scares me about Super 8. If the movie ends where you don’t ever find out what the creature/alien was, and you don’t know what happens to the main characters, then I will be disapointed.

That is an Abrams trait… seemingly from Lost. That was one of the main reasons I grew tired and quit watching Lost after season 3. I was tired of the never ending mystery that was never solved. I hate paying alot of money to go see a sci-fi/alian/mystery movie and walking out still not knowing what the mystery was.

114. Jay - June 13, 2011

#73 That is not a good thing. Alien was an amazing movie on many levels.

But like someone else said…. they didn’t break the #1 rule of mystery monster/alien movies… they showed the alien.

You can’t make a movie that builds up so much suspense and mystery around some creature and never give the audience the “pay off” of seeing it, and the additional “pay off” of a resolution (alien is killed, or captured, or at least explainedd —– and the “hero’s” escape)

Sounds like this movie is flopping about as badly as Cloverfield though.

115. Basement Blogger - June 13, 2011

@ 113, 114

Jay, I made a correction about seeing the alien in Super 8. (@ 85) I saw it again on Saturday at a different theater after Jonbec warned me that movie theaters were not changing the 3D lens when showing 2D movies. IF YOU SEE SUPER 8, SEE IT WITH THE 2D LENS NOT THE WITH THE 3D LENS STILL ATTACHED. The 3D lens will suck as much as fifty percent of the light from the movie. Link. Anyway, I got a good clear view of the alien at the theater that used the 2D lens.

Second, I agree with you on your disappointment with Lost and Cloverfield. But Lost was basically run by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I loved Lost until season six. It became a contrived, illogical mess. Very mad at Lindelof , felt as if he conned me. Cloverfield was produced bu J..J. Abrams. He didn’t direct it or write it. Yes, I agree with you, it was one bad movie since the gimmick of the first person camera was stupid. Really, you’re going to keep filming while monster is destroying New York city? And the stupid yuppies ran in the direction where the rats where fleeing from. Oy vey. I rooted for the monster.

Third, Super 8 is different. You will get enough exposition. If you want more you’ll have to look at the full Air Force video released to the web. Super 8 is very good movie with a compelling story about a group of young kids. You should check it out. But make sure you see it with a 2D lens since it’s a 2D movie.

Link. Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr discovers theaters are showing 2D movies with 3D lenses.

116. CarlG - June 17, 2011

Superb 8, more like!

…. oh, God that was terrible. Seriously though, it was wonderful. Great performances from the kids, especially Joe, the main kid. Great chemistry between all of them.

My only complaint is that the whole “if dead mom, then emotionally distant dad” combo platter needs to be honorably retired soonest. It was done decently enough here, but it’s getting threadbare.

“Drugs are SO BAD!!” *runs off* :)

117. captain_neill - June 21, 2011

They don’t dwell on the love interest thing too much?


118. captain_neill - June 21, 2011

I think this looks like it be worth a watch

119. JJJ - August 6, 2011

mediocre – weak and inconsistent plot – totally predictable – waste of money and time – worst movie this year….

120. trekprincess - August 13, 2011

I thought it was brilliant and very powerful :):):):):) is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.