SUPER 8 (2011)

TMG Scale 6.0
Starring Elle Fanning (yes Dakota’s little sister) and really no one else.

Wow how disappointing was this?  “Hmmmmm….hmmm…..hmmm mm…okay…yeah…maybe.”  This is what I mumbled as I left the theatre. I asked the guy next to me “What’d you think?” Answer: “Eeee…. ahhh uhh oh…so so.” That pretty much sums this film right up. And from Steven Spielberg? TMG is getting to sound like a big broken record. You can have big budget (About $50 million–none of which was spent on acting talent), great effects and even a very cool plot, but you have to have good writing. The writing on this film rates right up there with such all time “greats”  like Volcano (1997) and Vertical Limit (2000).

This movie was anything but “super.” It certainly had a promising plot though. Young tweens circa late 1979 are wanna be film makers using Super 8 cameras. But right off the bat, here we have fact problem number one. Video cameras were not common in most households but Super 8 was over. Video cameras were pricey but even TMG owned one then. Sure this was the small town of Lillian, Ohio (actually Weirton, West Virginia…and the point was?). Most Super 8 cameras had no sound and were gathering dust by 1979. Why not pick 1970? The town certainly looked more like 1970. Details Spielberg does not usually miss.

Anyway, while filming a touching little scene (and the laughs from the kid at the phone booth were almost priceless) a train wrecks and suddenly we find ourselves in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) all over again. We have a bunch of 1950’s era looking US Air Force bafoons running all over trying to contain some escaped alien from the prop room of Aliens (1986). Despite some promising child actors, the adults were all awful and delivered cheesier dialogue than Elsie the Cow. Sure the train wreck scene was awesome and I jumped a few times and laughed a few times. But I can get that while getting a physical.

And what the heck was all the blue streaky stuff all over the film? The little mini film super 8 clip during the credits was just dumb and really had nothing to do with anything. I think it was just Spielberg trying to trip down memory lane how he got his start but it just did not fit.  This was one of the films of summer 2011 I was looking forward to. Bummer.


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