“super 8” film review

I’m a total JJ Abrams fan… except for his earlier works, like TV shows Alias and beyond only because I haven’t seen them yet. With that said, I was highly anticipating seeing this film from this expert storyteller. Oh, and it was exec produced by the living legend Steven Spielberg. Two heavy hitters when it comes to a stellar summer story.

And what a story it was! A total flashback to what summer movies are all about: action, adventure, wonder, amazement, intrigue, kids in danger and some explosions for good measure. I felt hints of E.T., Jurassic Park, Goonies, the list can go on. But if you’re a fan of those kinds of films, then this is up your alley.

A lot of this movie was kept secret, which only built the mystery and interest for people like myself. But again, knowing Abrams was writing and directing was enough for me to be interested. And I’ll say this much, the less you know about the movie, the better the experience will be. The best thing about the trailers is how little of the plot is revealed. You see things being destroyed and an unknown force taking people away, and the film takes it’s time showing you what’s actually going on. Then, you see what’s really going on.

I’m trying to be as careful as I can talking about the story because I don’t want to spoil it. I feel I need to start writing spoiler editions so I can really go in on the plot and the characters. The title refers to the kind of camera used.

The story is told from the kids point of view, specifically a young boy who lost his mother to an unfortunate factory accident. His distant deputy sheriff father is forced to have more of a presence in his son’s life, but doesn’t seem to understand his son and his interests. Estranged father-figure relationships is a trademark of many of Spielberg’s films, and Abrams is paying homage to him in many other ways. By the way, an Abrams trademark is his use of lens flares which is beautifully littered all over this film.

Anyway, the young boy has an interest in toy models and make-up for film, and is helping his best friend make a film to submit to a film festival. This is yet another throwback to early filmmakers doing what they can do with what they have, like Spielberg and Abrams. So the movie is set around these kids trying to make a movie. Thanks to some shady actions from the government, they may or may not be able to finish what they started. The kids stars did an excellent job. And you need great child actors for a movie like this to work. Elle Fanning, Dakota’s younger sister, did a fine job.

The movie is rated PG-13. There is some mild swearing, so be aware of that parents. They even made use of the one time only F bomb. The film does get kinda violent at times too, so the wee ones might not really like it. I mean, I was on the edge of my seat most of the time knowing something was going to get someone somewhere. You just know “Uh oh… that guy’s a goner… it’s just… a matter… of… OH! There he goes!”

Overall, check this out while it’s still in theaters. Stay for the credits. I’ll probably be buying this when it comes out. And check my on air review for The Lost Dial!

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in movie, review
2 comments on ““super 8” film review
  1. Abrams and Damon LIndelof also have a penchant for characters with daddy issues. I would say that every significant character in LOST has a severe case of daddy issues and there is also an episode notably titled “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” (S1). I actually think that’s more of an Abrams or Lindelof trademark than Spielberg (?). Anyway, I’m dying to talk about something in Super 8, but before I do:

    *** Spoiler Alert ***

    What I’m immensely impressed by is Abrams’ ability to make the audience feel sympathy for the villain/monster. Moments after the alien eats a person, we find ourselves sympathizing with its plight — after it just ate a person. That is some seriously crafty storytelling. I mean, it was wreaking total havoc, destroying things, and causing chaos, and was presumably planning on consuming one or both of our heroes (Joe and Alice). And we’re sitting there hoping it gets away from its captors (the U.S. military). The more I think about it, the more astounded I am by this feat. J.J. really knows how to manipulate his audience, and for a storyteller, that’s a good thing.

    My only gripe is that I wish there were more (or more obvious) LOST references. I kept hoping to see a Geronimo Jackson poster or t-shirt (which would have fit perfectly in the era) or some reference to the Dharma Initiative.

    • t. sterling says:


      I could hug you right now for pointing out some awesome awesomeness that I didn’t even think about regarding sympathizing with the alien. But I think that started, well for me, when the kids found the clip of the professor, talking about how he bonded with it. But you’re right, he was definitely a threat to our heroes until Joe faced him. I still feel the real threat/villains was the military, specifically the dude in charge who had the most graphic killing if I remember correctly.

      And you’re also right about Abrams and Lindelof incorporating daddy issues in their stories as well. I just remember reading something on Spielberg that that’s a trademark of his, so I’d only have to assume these guys are following in his footsteps. It definitely makes for great character development.

      I too was a bit disappointed there weren’t any LOST or Fringe references whatsoever. I took noticed of the red trucks with the 3 white dots, I’m hoping we see that again some day. Maybe Fringe? Persons of Interest? One can only hope. And I was hoping you had seen this so we can share in our love of storytelling and our friend JJ!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,475 other subscribers
Follow the indoob! network on WordPress.com
June 2011
Blog Stats
  • 32,543 hits
  • 184. EEAAOATT (everything everywhere all at once all the time) February 1, 2023
    T. Sterling Watson and Kortney Hinton discussed the movie "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" and the concept of the protagonist being the worst version of herself. They also discussed the movie "Tenant" and the new Netflix movie "You People". Topics: "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" The character of Joy and Eve […]
  • 183. the tightrope of life January 26, 2023
    Life is lifin' as we like to say, and you can hear all about what life has been dealing Sterling and Kortney including the gym, new phones, and weighted blankets. Sterling also gives a few hot takes on the Oscar nominations and re-recommends the hit film RRR as well as Everything Everywhere All At Once. BMF flowers to Oscar-nominated Angela Bassett and […]
  • 182. in preview: MCU phase 5 January 4, 2023
    Sterling and Kortney take a look at MCU films and shows to come in 2023-24. They do take a slight detour into the DCEU/DCU. Follow Kortney on Twitter @iamkhinton, and Sterling on Twitter @indoob. Email us at indoobpod@gmail.com. Subscribe to the Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/indoob. Visit the Indoob Store https://www.teepublic.com/user/tsterling and mor […]
%d bloggers like this: