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Old 06-14-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
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Super 8



(I really like this poster)

So, what did you all think? It seems like there was enough discussion of the film in other threads to warrant a thread of its own that didn't need to be completely full of spoiler tags for those who haven't had the opportunity to see it yet (but hopefully will soon because I'm sure they'll have a lot to addNSW).
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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I guess that "poster" is in keeping with the blue lens flare motif...
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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Ha, that didn't even occur to me.

It's not that I hated the blue lens flare, but it was incredibly intrusive. Especially in one scene where Joe's dad was leaving over someone (Alice's dad?) and it cut across the screen with no clear source of light and you couldn't see the other person in the frame at all really. There were a few moments like that, and it was in those that I hated the lens flare. Otherwise, I thought it was a pretty nice looking effect.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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The monster should have been a giant blue laser pointer.

Sadly, it wasn't. Sorry for the spoiler, NSW.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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Hotlinked image isn't showing up, B12.

Combo of my two posts in the Random thread:

On LM's opinion that the super 8 film becomes a subplot as the film continues...
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The super 8 film wasn't as much a subplot as much as it was an entry point to the grander story. The fact that the film-within-a-film's story shifts due to the circumstances around the kids is enough to support this.

Of the directors in the Amblin umbrella, Joe Dante had the sensibilities to blend his own love of genre cinema and storytelling into the narrative with Gremlins (which this film bears a strong resemblance to, along with using the same science teacher) as the prime example. Explorers isn't an Amblin flick, but the cube shooting through the wall seemed like a direct reference.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while Abrams models the emotional make-up of the film around Spielberg's work specifically, I found a particular inventiveness to it that puts it alongside the other Amblin flicks. Should the film be knocked for not aiming to be greater than a pastiche? Possibly. I had too much fun with what was present in the film to complain about things that it isn't trying to be.

Also, this is a perfect double feature with Attack the Block, though that film does a better job of marrying its influences into its own distinct narrative.
On the ending...

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I agree with you, JT. The focus of the ending is all over the place. It's both about the reconnection of father/child, but it also has to be about Joe "letting go" of his mother's memory. The issue I have with that is that the loss of the mother doesn't emotionally cripple Joe as much as it does his father, whose character resolution is handled in an almost throwaway moment with Louis in the truck on the way to the town. All of these emotional beats are trying to be hit in the midst of a cluttered landscape with a bunch of goofy shit happening to all of the electronics and soldiers running around.

E.T.'s ending works because its only focus is on the E.T./Elliot relationship. Close Encounters' 20+ minute setpiece manages to tie up every narrative thread in an individual way. We get Truffaut communicating with the main alien, little Barry waddling his ass out of the ship, and Neary being carried onto the ship. All very clear goals handled with the appropriate amount of pathos.
Aside from the emotional shortchange that Deputy Jack gets, he's a fun blend of Chief Brody and Indiana Jones in his demeanor and badassery.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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Thanks Jake. I'll be back to comment on what you said after I fix that.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while Abrams models the emotional make-up of the film around Spielberg's work specifically, I found a particular inventiveness to it that puts it alongside the other Amblin flicks. Should the film be knocked for not aiming to be greater than a pastiche? Possibly. I had too much fun with what was present in the film to complain about things that it isn't trying to be.
I think you and I have a similar feeling here, but you can correct me if I'm wrong. The film wasn't exactly original, and it definitely wore its influences on its sleeve, but the characters it introduces us to and the original elements of the story it tells was enough to leave me enthralled and definitely interested in everything that was going on.

I did find myself a little underwhelmed with the alien, but the fact was, I didn't care so much about the alien as I did the characters, and I think that has a lot in line with what PH24 was saying: The alien isn't important, it's the development of the characters because of the alien's appearance that matters. It's just that the film shifts a lot of its focus onto the alien's back story in a short period of time, and as a result, I didn't develop a care or interest in its character that I probably should have, had it been a film like ET where a lot more of the focus is placed on the alien character.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
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Yeah, we're more or less on the same page. The creature design's wholly unremarkable, much like the one in Cloverfield, which is a shame, given Abrams/Bad Robot's affection for creature design.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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I hadn't even seen Cloverfield, and I was anticipating the same kind of disappointment once we saw the alien, so being ready to be a bit disappointed led me to really not give a care once we finally saw it.

The hell of the thing was, I never could quite focus on what the damn thing looked like. I don't know if it was just too big and it was never quite in the frame, or if it's face was never in focus, but I just didn't get a good grasp of the thing at all, another reason why I just never connected with it at all as a character.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:38 PM   #10
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I'm generally opposed to CG creature design, but the scene where Joe and the alien meet in the catacombs holds a certain poignancy. The alien's eyes and the slight breath that you see it exert on Joe help that effect.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:43 PM   #11
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I was completely confused by the alien opening its eyes, because it was at that point that I realized they had been closed up until that point, so then stupid thoughts kept running through my head pretty much in the vein of "how did he see before?" /idiot.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:56 PM   #12
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The creature may not have been the most original ever, but it wasn't painfully uninspired either, and yeah it was quite emotive in that one scene. It reminded me of a cross between the Cloverfield monster and those Geonosis creatures from Attack of the Clones (the facial features).

And yeah, I'll probably copy my posts over here in a bit.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono_212
I was completely confused by the alien opening its eyes, because it was at that point that I realized they had been closed up until that point, so then stupid thoughts kept running through my head pretty much in the vein of "how did he see before?" /idiot.
It was a nictitating membrane like you would find on a crocodile, frog, eagle, etc. Some can see through them and draw them across their eyes when taking a bite out of something for protection. When the creature withdrew his, he was relaxing and letting his guard down
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhour24 View Post
It reminded me of a cross between the Cloverfield monster and those Geonosis creatures from Attack of the Clones (the facial features).

Let me say again how lame it is that they recycled the arena monster sound effects in AOTC for the creature in this film.

Hear for yourself, I think it's the first one that comes in:

YouTube - ‪STAR WARS: Palpatine, Obi-Wan & Anakin escaping‬‏
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jive Turkey

It was a nictitating membrane like you would find on a crocodile, frog, eagle, etc. Some can see through them and draw them across their eyes when taking a bite out of something for protection. When the creature withdrew his, he was relaxing and letting his guard down
You are awesome. Thank you.
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