(A few weeks ago, I saw three movies in one week. Now I’m gonna write about them. This is post 3/3.)
Super 8 only came out a month ago, but it feels like its sort of gone from people’s consciousness in a way that, say, Bridesmaids, hasn’t. I saw it the first weekend it was out, and cried, and then mostly forgot about it. And I was one of those people who totally saw Cloverfield and loved Coach Taylor and was really excited!
Which is not to say it wasn’t a good movie. It totally was! It was funny and moving and sad and very gorgeous, with some really cool kid actors. It told an engaging story, well. It had interesting characters, if only one girl (sorry!), and it had a whole town, and you were really engaged. And it was thrilling, in a very basic, non-jacket-copy sense of the term. J.J. Abrams excels at thrills, at giving you these jolts and scares that are cheap, I guess, but so fun. You are just thrilled to hear the noise behind that guy, to cower from the slavering jaws, to wonder about the wind in the trees and then jump when it bursts out at you. This is a skill! They are scares, or jumps, or shocks – they are thrills, and they are so fun.
And for a movie that came with a seven-page New York Times article about J.J. Abrams’s inability to open the mystery box, there actually was not too much buildup and mystery. You figured out what was going in gradual installments, but pretty quickly, and then once you knew what was going on there were further problems to solve. In fact maybe it could have used more mystery? Probably not though. It was very well-handled.
It sounds like I’m being sarcastic, doesn’t it? I’m not though, I mean all these things. Sometimes you read in a review that some movie or whatever is exceptionally “well-made,” and that word is so clearly positive and yet it never really sounds like a compliment. “Well-made” is what this movie is, and yet, and yet…
The pieces work smoothly together, and they are all carefully put in there, and very quality, and somehow, something was missing. It felt sort of closed, an homage with very specific rules in its own sealed Speilbergian world. Maybe. Maybe it was too earnest, and there just wasn’t enough irony in it for me? Which, really, I’m not liking what I’m learning about myself in all this….
Anyway, Super 8. You should see it, maybe?