Video Blog + First Reaction: J.J. Abrams' Spectacular Sci-Fi 'Super 8'
by Alex Billington
June 6, 2011
It's hard to sit and chat about J.J. Abrams' Super 8 now because, well, you've gotta see it first! There's so much to talk about — but only once you know what the "secret" is. I was lucky enough to be shown Super 8, and Paramount has finally allowed us to talk about our reactions to the movie, so let's get into it. Upon seeing it my first time, I recorded a video blog with Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm and you can watch that below. I would honestly say that Super 8 lived up to all of my very high expectations. It's a true Amblin film and was not only entertaining, but genuinely thrilling and exhilarating to watch. Suffice it to say, I loved it.
Below is the video blog Peter and I recorded a few weeks back. It's spoiler free in regards to our thoughts on Super 8. I've had the chance to see the movie again a second time to hone my thoughts on it, as it's one of those movies that needs two viewings. The second time around, I don't have any expectations anymore and can sit back and watch it for the movie it actually is. More of my thoughts on Super 8 after the video, but check this out, as this shows my true instant reaction within hours of stepping out of my first screening of it.
It's tough to get into a more formal review when everyone else has yet to see it, but I really did love Super 8. The problem going into a movie like this is expectations, as everyone has insanely high expectations which are hard for any film to ever reach. That was definitely the case with Super 8, as I expected it to pretty much perform miracles. For me, it met most of those high expectations in a very satisfying way, mostly because I had seen quite a bit before and had an idea of where it might be going. Like Cloverfield, it doesn't branch out into a bigger story, but doesn't need to, this isn't a huge action movie. It's still about a father and his son and it's still a story about the characters in this town. However, the adventure we go on certainly is a thrill.
As I say in the video, Super 8 really felt like a classic Amblin movie that we don't see anymore. And this time I can say that having seen it, multiple times. Yes, it's inspired by the Steven Spielberg classics of the 70's and 80's, and yes it's an homage to a few films, but it still seemed original and exciting. It's truly an experience in the sense that everyone must go see this in theaters, with a group of friends who are excited for it, but have no clue what's coming, you'll have a blast. It's that kind of viewing experience that makes it a classic beyond just being a great movie. However, for me, it was the emotional moments (near the end) that really made me love it, as I connected with them the most and they're beautifully crafted around the story.
As much as I did enjoy Super 8, I didn't walk out feeling blown away in the "instant classic" sense that I was ultimately hoping for, but I knew that was going to be unlikely. When I watched it a second time, I was still entertained by the story as it unfolded, including all the character moments as well as all the action, which proved that it holds up and I wasn't just caught up in the hype the first time. I can't say enough good things about Super 8, from the score to the performances, to the action and story, it's unquestionably worth seeing on the big screen. I'm also looking forward to getting into more discussions once it hits theaters on Friday.