J.J Abrahams teams up with a handful of producers inclusive of Steven Spielberg, entirely irrelevant to the content discussed hereon, in the making of yet another sci fi thriller. Why they use Steven Spielberg on the poster is for obvious reasons of marketing. What most viewers have failed to understand is that the roles of producers have drastically evolved since the good old days of before I was born. Producers although are in charge of the whole show, have very limited creative control of a production. If this was the case in SUPER 8, unless you were part of the production companies involved in the movie you will never know. Do you all feel that I am sounding quite bitter and very cynical in my writing? I don’t intend to do so deliberately but I am quite disappointed with what I just saw. Let me start over.
J.J Abrahams; what do I know about this man? This great man wrote LOST (Most of it). If you don’t know what LOST is well I guess you need to Google it and find out. You will not regret even if you decide to watch it. One of the greats! This man was part of the team that wrote the screenplay for ARMAGEDDON & MI3. He will be at the producers’ seat for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL. What I am trying to get at here is this guy has a lot of talent. He has proven himself over and over again and when you sit to watch a title that has big names in it, especially on the directorial and production levels as hardcore movie enthusiasts you cannot blame if expectations are set at really high points. For crying out loud some of the names you see when the credits roll up have set the standards for Hollywood on their own.
So what am I rambling on about?
Making a movie has always been one of these farfetched dreams of mine that I always carried with me. Since from where I come from this is not a possibility and also even if you make it big, its nothing much to celebrate about. This resulted in me taking on the different form and taking a liking into stage plays. So when I first saw the trailer for SUPER 8 and since it was a few kids making a movie and with the great names behind the production I needed to see this.
Charles (Riley Griffith), Joe (Joel Courtney), Alice (Elle Fanning), Cary (Ryan Lee), Martin (Gabriel Basso) and Preston (Zach Mills) are hot on making an amateur zombie movie for the film festival. Set in 1979 during summer break the kids are out one night trying to shoot scene by an old railway station. Charles who spots a train in the far distance tries to make the most of it and shoot the scene with the real train passing in the background, Production Value he calls it. So they set up immediately and shoot the scene through the 8mm camera. Joe who is holding onto the mic spots behind him in the far distance a vehicle at top speed. To his amazement the vehicle gets onto the rail tracks and deliberately runs head onto the train and derails it with some huge expensive explosions to support the effect. The children all scatter until all the fancy fireworks is done and then regroup to find a teacher, Dr.Woodward as the driver in the vehicle all injured but alive after colliding with a massive train that derailed for over a minute! Guess he was driving a super car! Metal was much stronger in the 1979 vehicles I guess. So 2 minutes later the air force drops in. Oh did I mention, it was an air force train. The cargo; something very valuable to them and national security and they chose to send it via train unprotected, Not very smart back in 1979! Deputy Sherriff Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) corporates as the local law enforcement to search for this most valued cargo; however the manifest of the train cargo will not be shared with him. So he does his thing and the air force does their drills to retrieve the lost package. The lost package is an alien life form that has been trapped on earth since the late 1950s’ and is being kept in captivity by the military. However all he wants is to go home. Frustrated and afraid it goes on a massive massacre and on a high end loot of the cities electronic appliances. The citizens suspect it’s a Russian invasion. Why would the Russians steal Microwaves? At this point in time the military orders an evacuation , Alice is Kidnapped by the alien life form, Joe and his friends go on a rescue mission and succeed in saving her and in the meantime Joe selflessly speaks to the alien and asks him to leave. Amidst all the war tanks and the heavy artillery the alien uses his powers and puts together a ship in under 5 minutes. This is what messed it all up for me and this made me hunt for the flies in the ointment. If the alien life form had so much of super powers, how come he did not escape like a decade ago?
A movie always has to be taken with a pinch of salt, this is something I always say and I agree. SUPER 8 is a great movie and it’s wonderful to watch. The young actors were brilliant and it was almost as if I was in the middle of it all. However when some great names in the industry are involved and when they have done some fantastic work in the past, it is there duty to ensure they deliver. Would you disagree? This movie is a magical Sci Fi story that ruins it all on its own towards the end. It’s a shame to see such a great movie go to waste.
If you have never seen sci fi thrillers with alien life forms in them, I would assure you that this is a movie you would enjoy, however if you have watched your share of ALIENS , ET or even GOONIES you will regret this movie.
Personally, it was just a matter expectation for me? When you shop at a branded store, you expect the highest of quality.
Title: Super 8
Directed by: J.JAbrahams
Starring: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffith, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Glynn Turman, Noah Emmric and Kyle Chandler
Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use