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Things I Loved About Super 8

Super 8 was everything I wanted it to be. I was a kid all over again watching the Spielberg greats of the seventies and eighties. Here’s a list of why the movie Super 8 worked so well for me.

No glamour.
It makes a refreshing change to watch a movie where the main characters of a movie not aimed at kids are kids. No models, no teenagers running around semi naked moaning that X hasn’t broken up with Y because Z said they shouldn’t etc. A Proper script with three dimensional characters and played by relatively unknowns. No big name actors.

It Was Made With A Low Budget.
Super 8 cost fifty million dollars to make. In comparison to other movies this is extremely low. Michael Bay has reportedly added thirty million dollars to the Transformers 3 budget alone just to get the 3D right. By having a low budget a good story and script had to be the biggest priority. Back in the seventies and eighties the BBC had very low production budgets in comparison to other TV companies but brought out some of the best TV. How? By concentrating on the story, script and improvising where needed to save money. Super 8 had special effects and CGI (see the next point) but the story of the kids was at the centre of the movie and the alien actually took a back seat.

The CGI Was Throttled Back
Yes we had a CGI alien but not everything was CGI. We had real sets, a real town and the return of proper pyrotechnics. The director didn’t feel the need to use CGI to create smoke or explosions when the real thing will do.

The Setting
It was set in the seventies so for someone in their thirties this was just a return to their childhood. I smiled when I saw those BMX bikes, I smiled when I saw kids using a knife and fork in a café. The good old days.

The Spielberg References
There are a lot. Seeing the camera rising up over a hedge to reveal the town reminded me of E.T. The van driving across from left to right below a starry sky reminded me of Close Encounters (disappointingly minus the Spielberg trademark, a shooting star.) The single parent family which Spielberg has often written into his movies such as E.T. to name a few.

BMX Bikes
I so wanted to get on my bike after watching super 8 and pretend I was being chased by government officials. Those bikes looked so cool.
Seventies Toys
I collect retro toys and was looking out for all the great toys in the background. I spotted the Tie-fighter hanging from the ceiling. Also the fantastic posters on the wall and yes there was a Star Wars poster.

A Few Things I Didn't Like About Super 8 

Lens Flare

I know its a J.J Abram’s movie and lens flare is to be expected but I felt it got in the way of the whole retro feel.

The Staggered Release
Having to wait over a month to watch the movie in the UK. I know the movie had a setting in the seventies but you didn’t need to be this authentic.

Final Thoughts
I don't want to end on a negative so let me end by saying Super 8 is one of the best films I have seen in years and it shows that the old "Spielberg feel" to a movie still works. It just goes to show that another Goonies movie could work if done right, it also shows that 3D is not the anwer, CGI or big budgets. In fact why not cap all movie budgets to fifty million dollars from now on so the script and the story telling become, once again the most important part of a movie.

Super 8 Performance as of August 13th 2011
Theatrical Performance
Total US Gross
International Gross
Worldwide Gross

Rob Wainfur


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