I managed to see Super 8 on its opening weekend - which rarely happens for me. I tend to avoid large crowds when seeing films because most people tend to talk or text through them. Seeing the teaser trailer before Iron Man 2 last summer made it feel like it was going to be forever until I saw this film. The feeling I got after seeing the teaser was sort of a mix of mystery and suspense similar to when Cloverfield originally came out, and I was psyched to see what J.J. Abrams had up his sleeve. I have officially enjoyed almost everything he has touched in the past ten years (Alias and Undercovers excluded, but I don’t blame him for that).
Then all of a sudden, there was a new trailer. This one was even more outstanding than the last - giving off a nostalgic early-Spielberg vibe. When I saw the trailer, I thought back to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Stand By Me, E.T. and anything else from that era. Finally getting to see the film, I’m more than happy to say that it lived up to my expectations.
There is a lot of heart that went into this film; from the honest acting from every cast member (the children in particular) to the way the storyline was carefully laid out. It all just seemed very believable. I was able to sympathize with the problems the characters had and was sucked into the film. I didn’t check my watch or get distracted even once, all I could do was sit back and enjoy myself.
I have to admit that the “monster movie” part of the storytelling did seem a bit forced. I think that the film could have survived even as an honest portrayal of these lives and the hardships that they endure. Fortunately, the inclusion of the monster seemed plausible and wasn’t jammed down your throat as a viewer. The monster was able to exist without disrupting anything else inside the world of the film, which I appreciate.
I wholeheartedly recommend seeing this film. Out of the “summer” films I’ve seen so far, I think it is by far the best. X-Men: First Class would definitely place a close second in terms of an entertaining experience, but for great acting, incredible special effects and a storyline that is actually really believable (aside from the monster of course), I recommend Super 8 hands down.