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Neil Middlemiss

Nov 15, 2001
Real Name
Neil Middlemiss
What do you get when you put Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and a few other creatives in a room to come up with a story idea from which to make a fun summer movie? Well, 10 years ago you got Super 8. What I have always appreciated about this film is its unrelenting focus on its characters. Abrams’ fascination with a driving mystery, a puzzle box that its characters must assemble as the picture progresses, is on display here but it carries the film along nicely. The conceit of trying to understand what escaped the crashed train is a fun one, but only as the carrot for the characters to chase. The mystery itself, or rather where the mystery lands, in and of itself isn’t all that compelling. No, rather the idea is interesting only insofar as it relates to the group of kids we’re following. That, curiously, is a strength and a weakness of the final product.
Now 10 years since the film premiered, Abrams’s skills and strengths as writer and director are more acutely seen. For fans it’s...

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Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Apr 19, 2000
This film holds a special place in my heart because those kids were my childhood, particularly my teenage and college years making movies on Super 8 film.

That's why I SHOULD love "Super 8", as I also made 8mm flicks as a kid.

And I loved those late 70s/early 80s Spielberg movies.

Everything about "S8" should resonate with me - but it doesn't.

I've watched it multiple times and always hope it'll click, but that never occurs.

It just feels like Abrams' self-conscious attempt to emulate Spielberg but it's too much homage and not enough of its own movie...

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