Movie Review XIII

by zenquaker

Super 8

A group of young friends filming a movie with a super 8 camera witness a strange train wreck. The army comes in and assures everyone that all is well, even though machines start disappearing all over town. Then dogs start disappearing all over town. The people start disappearing.

I recently saw an article proclaiming that sci-fi movies had killed themselves by getting into an effects war with each other, trying to come up with the better, cooler CGI/green screen extravaganza. In doing so, they left behind the actors, and the stories of the people that those actors portrayed. If you’ve been reading my reviews you know that I like good characters, and I like a good story line. But this movie proves that you can go too far in that direction.

The movie starts out just fine. It’s a little slow introducing things, but it introduces you to some decent characters, even if their interactions aren’t written very well [+-]. After the train wreck (on screen, not metaphorical), the tension is built very nicely [+]. If you show everything up front, there’s nothing left to build suspense with. But if you hide everything, there’s nothing to build suspense about. It’s a fine line to walk and I think it works in this movie. The plot works decently at first as well, with the child director’s plans for his movie keeping both the kids involved in what’s going on around town and the love interest going. But stuff starts to go down hill as the real director or writer abandons the sci-fi story line. The entire sci-fi plot line is revealed in one shot. A little while later the entire sci-fi plot line is resolved in one shot. They spend all this time building up tension in the plot line just to piss it away in two shots that take up maybe five to ten minutes [-]. On the other hand the people story lines seems to be working out: the boy saves the girl from the pathetically written alien, and the adults resolve the conflict vaguely alluded to in the opening scene. But then they piss that away too with an attempt at a button pushing scene that is the metaphorical equivalent of hitting you over the head with a shovel [-].

If you do manage to sit through the whole movie, I do suggest watching the credits. They show the super 8 movie within a movie that the kids supposedly made, which I think I actually enjoyed more than the main movie.

Final rating: 3/10

Best Quote: “Stop talking about production value, the Air Force is going to kill us!”