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Super 8 - Spoiler-iffic Discussion Thread


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#1 of 16 Doug Miller

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Posted June 15 2011 - 03:31 PM

Time to bypass the Review thread for this one and just get into the spoilers and general discussion for Super 8.


I saw Super 8 last night, and I LOVED it.  The movie literally made me feel like I was 12 again, and that's a high compliment.  You have to understand that I grew up w/Spielberg's movies.  If he directed it in the 80's, I was there.  Movies were a huge part of my youth -- I can't count how many Saturdays or Sundays that my mom would drop me off at the theater.  I'd have a pack of Redvines in my backpocket and a coke from the counter.  Redvines still make the best straws, even today.

While I loved it, my friend Jesse thought it was average at best.  He absolutely hated the ending.  He thought it was too abrupt and a big letdown, while I thought the movie was nearly perfect.  The tone, the look, the cast.  I didn't have any complaints -- and that included the ending.  I was totally fine w/it.  When we talked about the end of the movie, I realized it wasn't just that I grew up w/Spielberg-era movies (He's 30, I'm 37), it was the way I watched the movie.  Bear w/me on this one, I'll be curious to see which camp the rest of you were in.


What I realized after Super 8 was that how we viewed the movie was based entirely on what I'll call "Subplot B".  For Jesse, the story was about the kids and the alien.  For me, the story was about the kids and the boy moving past the grief for his mother.  I looked at the alien as an entirely secondary plot, I didn't care about it, it was just there.  I was completely engaged in the kids, and the relationship between the families and the grief for the kid's mom.  Jesse was completely opposite.  That's where I coined the term "Subplot B".   The "Subplot B" was the completely unnecessary part of the movie.  For me "Subplot B" was the alien, so when it wrapped up in a flash and he blasted off (which a ton of people hated,) I was totally fine w/it.  For me, the best part of the movie had already been resolved.  For Jesse, "Subplot B" was the mom.  He thought it was a throwaway part of the story just trying to build a character background -- his focus was all the journey to finding the alien, so when it wrapped up quick and neat, he was disappointed.


Which side of that arguement did you fit in with?  Were you outraged by the convenience and speed of the end?  If so, was it because you saw the mom as "Subplot B"?

Doug


#2 of 16 Cameron Yee

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Posted June 16 2011 - 01:41 AM

I lean more towards your side Doug about the subplot being the alien, but I also feel like your friend and think the movie was only average. It failed to make me nostalgic for anything but the movies it was drawing upon for inspiration, making me wonder why I wasn't just watching those Spielberg movies instead.
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#3 of 16 JoeBond

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Posted June 16 2011 - 05:04 AM



Originally Posted by Doug Miller 

Time to bypass the Review thread for this one and just get into the spoilers and general discussion for Super 8.


I saw Super 8 last night, and I LOVED it.  The movie literally made me feel like I was 12 again, and that's a high compliment.  You have to understand that I grew up w/Spielberg's movies.  If he directed it in the 80's, I was there.  Movies were a huge part of my youth -- I can't count how many Saturdays or Sundays that my mom would drop me off at the theater.  I'd have a pack of Redvines in my backpocket and a coke from the counter.  Redvines still make the best straws, even today.

While I loved it, my friend Jesse thought it was average at best.  He absolutely hated the ending.  He thought it was too abrupt and a big letdown, while I thought the movie was nearly perfect.  The tone, the look, the cast.  I didn't have any complaints -- and that included the ending.  I was totally fine w/it.  When we talked about the end of the movie, I realized it wasn't just that I grew up w/Spielberg-era movies (He's 30, I'm 37), it was the way I watched the movie.  Bear w/me on this one, I'll be curious to see which camp the rest of you were in.


What I realized after Super 8 was that how we viewed the movie was based entirely on what I'll call "Subplot B".  For Jesse, the story was about the kids and the alien.  For me, the story was about the kids and the boy moving past the grief for his mother.  I looked at the alien as an entirely secondary plot, I didn't care about it, it was just there.  I was completely engaged in the kids, and the relationship between the families and the grief for the kid's mom.  Jesse was completely opposite.  That's where I coined the term "Subplot B".   The "Subplot B" was the completely unnecessary part of the movie.  For me "Subplot B" was the alien, so when it wrapped up in a flash and he blasted off (which a ton of people hated,) I was totally fine w/it.  For me, the best part of the movie had already been resolved.  For Jesse, "Subplot B" was the mom.  He thought it was a throwaway part of the story just trying to build a character background -- his focus was all the journey to finding the alien, so when it wrapped up quick and neat, he was disappointed.


Which side of that arguement did you fit in with?  Were you outraged by the convenience and speed of the end?  If so, was it because you saw the mom as "Subplot B"?

Doug

I believe this is the case and I agree that the subplot was the alien. I loved the film but I guess I am a tad bit biased since Close Encounters of the third Kind is a personal favorite. The audience I saw it with seemed to like since after the film ended I heard someone behind me say "Wow that was actually good."




#4 of 16 Chad R

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Posted June 16 2011 - 07:44 AM

I liked it purely for nostalgic reasons, because it reminded me of old Spielberg films from that era as well. However, if you stack it up against those films it doesn't fare very well, specifically the vein of Joe and the loss of his mother. J.J. takes the time to show that the father is still upset over the loss of his wife, but Joe seems to be handling it just fine. He's playing with his friends just fine, and even starting a healthy relationship with a young girl. So I didn't feel like there was any "letting go" to be had there, honestly. He seemed pretty well adjusted. Sure, he disobeyed his father with regard to seeing Alice, but it seemed pretty clear that was a hormonal decision rather than any lingering feelings about the death of his mother.


So at the end when he literally "lets go" of his mother, it didn't really work for me. Sure, I understood the significance of it, but just didn't feel it.


To me, the emotional nadir of the movie was Joe deciding to go back to town to save Alice. That was him deciding to grow up. That tied much better with the idea that his dad was trying to choose a life for him, i.e. go to football camp and stop making monster movies. Instead of doing what he was told, he did what he felt was right, and that was the culmination of the character arc that J.J. actually put into his movie -- not the phony stuff about Joe's mom.



#5 of 16 Colin Jacobson

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Posted June 17 2011 - 02:31 AM

I also grew up with Spielberg movies - I was 10 when "CE3K" came out - but I thought this one was a bore.  Didn't care about subplots A, B or DD.  Thought the whole thing was such a blatant amalgam of parts from other films that it was tough to get involved in it.  Abrams wore his influences so obviously on his sleeve that all I saw was the influences.


Wasn't moved, wasn't entertained, wasn't much of anything...


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#6 of 16 montrealfilmguy

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Posted June 17 2011 - 04:48 PM

got a link to a very interesting spoiler full review by Devin Faraci who wrote for the website CHUD for 10 years or so.


see if it agrees with you,


http://www.badassdig...terrible-script



#7 of 16 TravisR

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Posted June 18 2011 - 05:12 AM

Let me guess, Devin Faraci didn't like it? Also in the news today, the sky is blue and water is wet. :)

#8 of 16 Colin Jacobson

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Posted June 18 2011 - 06:56 AM



Originally Posted by montrealfilmguy 

got a link to a very interesting spoiler full review by Devin Faraci who wrote for the website CHUD for 10 years or so.


see if it agrees with you,


http://www.badassdig...terrible-script



Pretty good review - and he makes a lot of good points.  The ending feels like Abrams stole it from "ET" but the movie doesn't earn the same emotional payoff.  We don't know the alien and we don't really care about the alien.  Sure, the movie gives us some indications that he's just some poor schlub who got stuck here, but we still don't have an ET-style connection with him.


The movie's main problem remains that it's little more than a conglomeration of scenes/notions from better movies without much to make them fit together...


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#9 of 16 Brandon Conway

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Posted June 18 2011 - 07:32 PM

I'm with you, Doug. The alien/sci-fi action was the genre and vehicle to move the plot, but the characters and drama are what I went to see the film for and it delivered in spades. Loved every minute of it, and thought it was pretty damn near perfect. The literalness of "letting go" of his mother via the necklace was a little on the nose, but I felt the film earned it. Otherwise I have absolutely nothing to complain about - the humor was great, the action was great, the direction was great, the performances were great, the dialog was great, on and on and on.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#10 of 16 Alisha2

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Posted June 21 2011 - 10:50 PM

thanks for sharing this information, This is very useful.



#11 of 16 Windbreaker

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Posted July 01 2011 - 12:35 PM

I had virtually the same reaction as Doug. I said or thought most of those things before I got back to the car. With one exception--I wanted to be 10 again, not 12. :)

#12 of 16 Johnny Angell

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Posted July 02 2011 - 01:50 PM

I'm with you, Doug. The alien/sci-fi action was the genre and vehicle to move the plot, but the characters and drama are what I went to see the film for and it delivered in spades. Loved every minute of it, and thought it was pretty damn near perfect. The literalness of "letting go" of his mother via the necklace was a little on the nose, but I felt the film earned it. Otherwise I have absolutely nothing to complain about - the humor was great, the action was great, the direction was great, the performances were great, the dialog was great, on and on and on.

I mostly agree with you, especially about the kids. I was watching the review of the movie on Ebert's new show (I'm behind the times but two thumbs up) and they showed the clip were Alice was demoing her zombie skills to Joe. She's in her zombie makeup and Joe is just so taken with her. And I'm forgetting I'm just watching a clip and I'm disappointed when it ends. I'd like to have known a little more about the monster. Was he really eating people? That really makes it harder to sympathize with him.
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#13 of 16 Albert_M

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Posted July 07 2011 - 04:53 AM

I have to agree with the first post - I'm also 37 and grew up with his films and this was a great throwback to them (with a little "Lost" thrown in thanks to Abrams). The kids were great and there was a nice balance of suspense and a few great action scenes. I do think the ending was abrupt, but the ride was very satisfying to me, so I didn't care about the abrupt ending - for me, it's as if the alien's departure etc didn't matter and it was all merely a macguffin to enable the nostalgic ride and characters etc.

#14 of 16 Pete-D

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Posted July 07 2011 - 04:54 PM

Best popcorn movie of the summer. By a country mile. Go ahead, Hollywood, top that. I dare ya. ;)

#15 of 16 BradD

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Posted July 08 2011 - 04:56 AM

This was ok. Better than GL but not as good as X-men. It will probably have a reference audio track when released on blu though.

#16 of 16 Patrick H.

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Posted July 10 2011 - 04:13 AM

This film was basically an accomplished apprentice paying homage to a master, and from that perspective, I thought it was great! This is the kind of thing Spielberg would oversee in the 80s (Goonies, Back to the Future), that I've been desperately wishing he'd get back to instead of financing Michael Bay. And Abrams is able to pull it off...his dialogue and direction of the kids injects heart into the story, which is basically a fluid mashup of Close Encounters, E.T., Goonies, and some Jaws/Jurassic Park stuff for the monster. I loved all those movies, and appreciated seeing those elements again in a warm homage, instead of countless cynical ripoffs. And I agree that the emotional arc of the kids was the point of the movie...the monster stuff was secondary, yet DOES tie in at the very end. Plus I have to say I actually liked Abrams' approach to the creature as a truly dangerous monster, yet still worthy of some sympathy. It had a hint of the tragic, Frankenstein-esque about it. Interesting that the military-types were the true villains here...in the classic Spileberg alien stories, they were the antagonists, but their aims were never deliberately malevolent. So in that sense, they got the monster they deserved.




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