I’ve been thinking a lot about Super 8 since I saw it a couple of weeks ago. It’s one of the films to which I’ve most been looking forward this year and I suppose I went into it slightly prepared to be disappointed. I know that the Book God, who saw it with me, was a bit wary because he finds Spielberg overly sentimental at times. But neither of us should have worried, this turned out to be a very enjoyable film.

So its 1979 (the year I left school, mildly depressing to think about that) and Joe and his friends are making a home-zombie-movie; they’ve sneaked out to film at the local railway station at night when they witness a train crash and “something” escapes. Cue disappearances, the military taking over the town, evacuations and so forth. Monster movie mayhem ensues. In the background Joe and his Dad are still trying to come to terms with the death of his mum a few months earlier; well actually all of the stuff about his mum is well in the foreground as you would expect, driving a lot of the relationships we see.

I thought this was great. The conspiracy stuff worked well, the effects were good (though I’m always mildly disconcerted by the Abrams trademark light flare), the kids were absolutely brilliant (especially Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney), the coming of age & first love stuff wasn’t too sentimental, the bad guys were suitably bad and the monster was cool. And I’m sure it isn’t giving too much away to say that it had a happy ending; this is Spielberg after all.

I’m sure it has more resonance with an American audience in terms of the references to the 1970s though I suppose you could argue that these are all fairly recognisable from other movies and TV shows. The clothes in particular were great fun.

Very enjoyable and it will be one to watch again.

In terms of the experience of seeing this in the cinema, I did feel myself turning into my mother several times as (mostly) younger members of the audience felt unable to watch the film without (a) talking (b) slurping or (c) checking their mobile phones every 2 minutes. Very distracting. I deployed my patented 9-megaton glare only to discover that it doesn’t work terribly well in the dark.

I ……. am getting old.

But that shouldn’t stop you from going to see this film, and for another view of Super 8 you should check out Carl’s blog here

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