Sunday, June 12, 2011
Eight is Great
Dir - J.J. Abrams
Before I say anything about the film itself I will say that I was beyond excited for this. Aside from seeing the first teaser trailer, in a theater, about a year ago I stayed away from all online talk/stories on the film and never watched a commercial or full trailer. I wanted to go into it not knowing as much as possible. It was a successful mission and I'm really glad I did, it made it a lot more fun only knowing there was some sort of mystery (duh, it's J.J. Abrams) and there was a train.
A lot of people are split on this one. Some love it and others are vehemently against it (at least they are on my twitter feed). Well, I loved it and have no real big complaints. I love coming-of-age tales with groups of kids on an adventure and I love that feel of the 80s Amblin stuff that Spielberg and company put out into the world. This is heavily influenced by that sort of stuff, too much so some would say, but it works. The film does play rather strongly on the nostalgia factor, and that is part of the reason I enjoy it so. This group of kids might have well have been the friends I hung around in my youth. We were obsessed with the same types of things and had many adventures of our own. All of these kids turn in great performances and kept a smile on my face for nearly two hours.
The adventure itself is enjoyable, as is the film's mystery component. Do I wish they would have spent a little more time with it in parts? Yes, but to be honest I would have enjoyed another half an hour with these kids. I'm sure those friends of mine who aren't as impressed with the movie will roll their eyes at the thought of a ~150 minute cut. Ha!
Some of the film's shortcomings are due to trying to be a little too soft/sappy in moments that are not completely realized at times. My least favorite part of the film is that Abrams had to throw that damned lens flare in more that once. We're not talking Star Trek levels of flare, thankfully, but pretty much any would have caused me to roll my eyes as I did.
The FX are great and the big train scene near the beginning of the film left me wide-eyed and agape. Mind blown. I would speak more on the particulars of the more fantastical aspects of the film but I fear that's a tad too spoilery so I'll keep that veil on for now.
All in all Super 8 is just a ton of fun. It has plenty of adventure, some laughs, some heart, some jolts and a whole lot of good times. Since I went alone to see this at a midnight screening so I wouldn't be accidentally spoiled after the wide release I might go again with Jenny. This I am totally OK with.