As I came out of the theater after seeing Super 8, I couldn't help but ask the world a question. Technically I asked the sky, but it was really addressed to the world and so I assume that Morgan Freeman (God) passed the question along to the rest of you. The question was: when did we stop simply watching a film? When did we start analyzing and picking apart the movie instead of turning off our minds and getting absorbed into it? My friend once asked me if I found that I had a hard time watching movies and NOT writing about them. At the time the answer was yes. I was in my prime stride of horror blogging, and everything I watched was no longer a movie--it was an opportunity. Even if you are not a film blogger, I find that more and more these days people are exiting movie theaters and blabbing away about how a movie is like another movie. Or how a director is a hack. Or how the themes and the tone of the film did not match up with the story.
Granted, I do talk about those things but technically I am a part of this world and therefore my own question was also posed to me. The point is. Why do people hate Super 8? At some point during the movie I did start thinking about "things". I started questioning things and trying to figure out why other people did not enjoy the film. Before long however, I snapped out of it and from that moment on dismissed any real deep thoughts. I wanted to savor the moment. I wanted to always remember that feeling of being completely absorbed into a film. That moment where you aren't even aware that people are sitting around you. I had heard people talk about that moment and realized tonight that I have never truly felt it until now. Naturally, if you need a definitive answer on whether or not you should see Super 8 the answer is yes. And after some ranting, I'll tell you why.
I really wish people would stop comparing movies to other movies based on central themes or characters. I ranted about this once before and now I'm bringing it back. Super 8 is nothing like E.T., Alien, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, so stop comparing them on a base level. Also, stop accusing Steven Spielberg of A. sucking and B. making the same movies. Why? Because Super 8 is not Steven Spielberg's movie. Sure, there are subtle smells of the Spielberg creeping in here and there, but as an avid L.O.S.T fan, I'm pretty confident in asserting that Super 8 reeks overwhelmingly of J.J. Abrams.
The thing that sets J.J.Abrams apart from just about everyone else is what he puts at stake. Thanks to whatever strange super powers the man possesses, his films and TV shows always end up putting something at stake for the audience rather than the characters. Think about it. If Steven Spielberg's strengths are his characters and his ability to make even the strongest man or woman cry, then J.J. Abrams' is his ability to deeply involve the audience. His mysteries and the idea that something is hidden beneath that film that WE need to figure out before the characters do, is always something that I feel very strongly. It's like I can't get to sleep that night until I crack the code myself. I remember once staying up all night reading a summary of "Our Mutual Friend" because Desmond had a copy of it in the hatch. I was positive that no one but me had thought to do that and that I would be the one to find out some earth shattering clue about the island.
The mysteries in Super 8 are condensed a bit to the point where the window that you have to solve it before the characters is disappointingly small---but luckily it doesn't take anything away from the film. These strange happenings, these mysteries are always presented as trees, with giant roots spanning for miles. Little things seem like nothing then quickly evolve into highly important and life changing details. I love this. I cannot get enough of it in fact and luckily for me Super 8 is crawling with it.
What am I even talking about anymore? Is this even a review? Probably not and I realize I'm not making the situation any better. Whatever. I'm also coming off a two week high of having a real job and actual things to do doing the work day. It blows my mind and I'm not adjusting properly, which is probably why I can't even form coherent sentences and interesting things to talk about. In case you wanted to know by the way, the best way to tell if I'm having writer's block is when I start talking about hookers.
Ummmm what were we talking about? Oh yeah. Super 8 is a great fucking film. I don't care if you have all these important things to say about it or why you think it sucks. You are wrong (according to me and Kurt Russell) (I don't even know if he's seen it, but he usually agrees with me so I think we're safe) and I am right. Go see Super 8 and have a good time doing it. Enjoy it for its entertainment and its mysteries. Enjoy it for its blatant displays of cheesiness or its hearty doses of Daddy issues. Enjoy it for how it reminds you of your childhood or when people still suspected that the Russians were behind everything. Enjoy it for its laughs, for its thrills---but most importantly---enjoy it because it's a movie. Simple as that.