Super 8: 4 Things We Liked, 8 Things We Didn’t

Editor’s Note: This article contains words that often arrange themselves into SPOILERS and should not be read by anyone.

Cole Abiaus was a bit too kind in his full review of Super 8 and glossed over the disaster that is the film’s third act, but it’s still worth a read for everything he got right, so check it out here. As a response to the review and to start a discussion on some of the film’s secrets, Robert Fure and Rob Hunter have compiled the list below of the things they liked and the things they didn’t. Give it a read and then let us know what you thought of the movie below.

Things We Liked

4. The Kids

The movie has already been compared to The Goonies and The Monster Squad in regard to its portrayal of a tight group of friends embroiled in an adventure, but this is the first to really capture kids that I knew. The gleefully destructive Cary, the creative but shy Charles, the big but in many ways weakest Martin, the unnecessary fifth wheel Preston… I knew these kids and I miss them, and much of Super 8 brings a smile to my face as it beautifully captures those perfect few years of my childhood. [Hunter]

3. They Party Like It’s 1979 Because It Is

There really isn’t much of a reason to set the film in 1979 other than the Pee-Wee’s Secret Word NOSTALGIA, which has been mentioned in 99.9% of all reviews of this film. By setting it in the past, it automatically appeals to your memories of “Hey, I remember when things weren’t like they were today!” And you know what ‐ it might be a sucker move, but it worked. In a real world full of cell phones, apps, computers, CCTVs, and a billion other digital headaches, it’s not too terrible to be reminded of pay phones and playing outside. [Fure]

2. Joe And Alice

As he does with the usual suspects above, Joe forms a believable relationship with Alice that truly feels like an honest first crush. Both have home issues that the actors (Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning) imbue with real emotion, but they really come alive in each other’s presence. They’re also the two best characters individually. Strong, fleshed out, and given real depth, these two could lead an entire film with or without an alien plot-line. [Hunter]

1. The Case

The end credits feature Charles’s full super 8 zombie movie, The Case, and it’s great fun. And Abrams deserves credit for not tossing in a lens flare or two. [Hunter]

Things We Didn’t Like

8. Lens Flares

We know complaining about lens flares in a J.J. Abrams film is like complaining about extended dialogue scenes in a Quentin Tarantino movie or stupidity in a Michael Bay flick, but goddamn they are everywhere. Sometimes even when there’s nothing in the scene to cast light. [Fure/Hunter]

7. Curler Girl’s Death

Joe descends into the lair to rescue Alice and discovers she isn’t the only one left alive when a young woman in curlers pops up with a funny line. Then she’s killed and no one seems to give a shit. There’s a good chance she was someone’s mom too, but she exists solely for a laugh and a thrill. [Hunter]

6. Alien Is Not A Sympathetic Character

The alien kills innocent people, so why exactly should we give a flying fuck whether or not he makes it home alive? Sure Nelec the Army dude is an ass and deserved to die, but the sheriff and the lady in the curlers weren’t threatening the creature at all which makes the alien a murdering bastard. [Hunter]

5. Train Crash

First, why would a smart guy opt for this method of rescue? It seems bound to fail and supremely reckless, not to mention he most likely murdered a couple of train operators. Second ‐ why would a smart guy think a small pick-up truck could derail a train and not be disintegrated. Because, you know, the truck would be disintegrated by that impact. Third ‐ this isn’t Star Trek, what was this train made of, gunpowder and dynamite? With so many explosions, why didn’t at least one kid have his internal organs turned to pudding? [Fure]

4. Town As War Zone

What exactly was the deal with this whole scene? Tanks, rocket launchers, machine guns all firing uncontrollably because of the alien’s activity (presumably), but no one thought to take the key out of the ignition? Or stop loading tank shells and magazines? And why were they even there with those weapons when they should have already known they’d be useless against the creature? The whole scene is loud, messy, and unnecessary. [Hunter]

3. Alien’s Dick Move

After touching Joe, the alien knows his pain and of his recent loss, but still takes the kids last memento of his mother to make a useless part of his ship when he could have taken another Oldsmobile, a wrist watch, or any of the one hundred thousand other pieces of metal laying around. [Fure]

2. Sometimes Bad Things Happen To Good Aliens

Really? The heartfelt end speech can be summed up with a platitude straight out of a self-help book? The emotional conclusion here isn’t earned by the kid or the alien. Especially the alien. Because he’s still a dick. [Hunter]

1. Louis Dainard’s Unforgivable Crime

Was calling off work. The beginning makes it seem so heavy ‐ its as if he dropped a girder on the mother, smashing her into bloody bits, but all he really did was call off work? Why would that make two families hate each other? Would the Sheriff still hate him if he had a cold that day? [Fure]

What did you like or dislike about Super 8?

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