Part Pastiche - Part Pants
Super 8 review
12th September 2011
I was very excited to see Super 8. The trailer was first class and filled me with nostalgia of my childhood excitement whenever I saw a film involving Spielberg.
And so it continued into the first hour of the movie - an accomplished pastiche of the New Hollywood style of the late Seventies and Eighties complete with themes of paternalism, teenage angst and small town melodrama that familiarise such films. I really enjoyed the build up and munched away on my popcorn smiling about the references to E.T, Close Encounters, The Goonies, Indiana Jones, etc; even spilling some from my open mouth during the phenomenal train crash.
Unfortunately, this enjoyment ebbed away into the second half. A convoluted mass of ideas developed with Abrams skipping from one idea to the next replacing certain interesting and appealing ideas with farcical plot lines or sorrowful gags.
Super 8 juxtaposed two eras of filmmaking, the more thoughtful, thematic, character based style we can identify as the New Hollywood approach with the flash, thrash, spend-loads-of cash approach of more recent high concept, effects based moviemaking. In this way it offers something more than just a marque movie and as I said earlier, the first hour is really very good.
However, all in all, I came out of the cinema almost angry that I had been disappointed so much - i usually check my expectations but this one got me! Not a bad film as such, just a bad end to a very promising opening.