Amblin’ Enuff Entertainment
Official Website | Trailers & Mo
PG-13 | 112 min
Steven Spielberg doesn’t make Steven Spielberg movies anymore (yes, Munich is the knees bees, but do flicks like that scream Spielberg’s name? no), so why not let someone else make them? Fine by we, and apparently fine by Spielberg, who produced JJ Abrams‘ Super 8, which is soaking in so much Spielbergian Spielbergedness that someone has rightful dubbed it ‘Spielberg porn‘. Still fine by us. We all loved Spielberg’s 70s & 80s output (if you didn’t, you must have skipped childhood), and no big flicks these days has come even close to (re)capturing that magic and wonder (maybe Pixar stuff, but that’s computer cartoon stuff, and thus doesn’t count). Abrams must feel the same void we do, and he certainly aims hard to fill it. Good for him
For 2/3rds of his first real film, Abrams hits the E.T. marks to perfection. By the time we get to that last third, he’s still following in Spielberg’s footsteps, but instead of karaoke-ing on the good stuff, he gets Super 8 bogged down in the lesser and louder Spielberg stuff, like his War of the Worlds. That’s not a good thing (we can never forgive Spiels for everything that happened after Tim Robbins showed up), but still, it’s OK. We’d rather have movies that hearken back to older movies that work, and not just be extensions of franchises and name brands (we know yer siked for that Battleship movie… SIKE!). We must support this kinda stuff, hispecially since Abrams comes awfully close to nailing it
Recently, we were watching The Goonies (another Spielberg related 80s gem thingie) and felt sorry for today’s kids who don’t have their own Goonies. Movies where kids are the focus and there’s fun AND serious stuff going on (read: NOT Hotel for Dogs) are too far and few between. Again, Abrams is gunning for that same territory, and is A THIRD CLOSE to having an encountery-kind there. They did cast a great bunch of youngins, who all fit into some sorta Spielbergesque kid role/look – Mikey Walsh (Joel Courtney… hope this kid’s around 9ever), Chunk (Riley Griffiths), Henry ‘Elliot’ Thomas (Zach Mills), Elliot’s brother (Gabriel Basso) and Mouth (Ryan Lee), but in 10 years time, no one will be remembering these characters’ names or any lines of their dialog. It’s kinda like Joe Dante’s Explorers, which sorta looks and feels Spielbergay right, but juss aint eggzactly the genuine article. Wait, what the hell was Explorers about?
So what is it that doesn’t work? For one thing, Elle Fanning should have played every role. Yep, she’s that hammazin. She’s even more hammazin than her sister is/was. If you haven’t seen her in the nowhere going Somewhere, yer going nowhere, MISTER mr!!! Our lil Joel Courtney (see, who cares what his character’s name is) falls for her, and you will too. You will!! So much so that yer gonna start rooting hard for them tweens to hook up. Kids making out is a pretty sick thing to root for, but thats how compelling and believable their budding relationship is! That shiz is Super-gr88888!!!
So what is it then that keeps this Spielbergy thing from being totes Spielbergeded???? If we told you, we’d have to kill you, or spoil-ish the movie, sorta. We will tell you this – Abrams is grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr8 at keeping the lid on mystery (and keeping the pace fast!!!), but once the lid is lifted, what’s behind the curtain was probably better left being a mystery. Remember how Lost began and ended? Bang and whimper? Still, we’re not going to complain here. This is only Abrams’ first stab at Spielbergvilletown. Looking forward to seeing his Indiana Jones rip-off. Just don’t let George Lucas anywhere near it
ps, Kyle Chandler is so good at being a screen dad. we so wish he could be our screen dad!!
ps 2, we agree with Leitch, Abrams’ buddy Matt Reeves’ Let Me In is THE Super 80s throwback over Super 8
West Virginia Is The New Ohio: what happens when yer town is rundown and hasn’t changed in 30 years? YOU GET TO STAR IN A SPIELBERG JJ ABRAMS MOVIE!!!!!
welcome to Weirton, West Virginia, home to ‘Lillian, Ohio’! watch this! read this! & look at this!
Verdictgo: Jeepers Mos Def Worth A Peepers
8 is duper-enuff tomorrow at a theater near jews
and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…