I had a few days of blissful silence last week when The Wife went to Chicago with Lemon. In that time I got quite a bit done. I was able to upload the first 42 pages of Jed Jr. so that interested individuals could buy it, I was able to record and publish a podcast about chapter two (by the way, I’m literally two pages away from the end of chapter three; I just need another weekend to record something before I’m able to publish it), and I was able to see a movie or two that I normally couldn’t watch (not because The Wife won’t let me, but because of our “livinginthemiddleofnowhere” situation, it’s difficult to find a sitter). One of those movies was Super 8.
Super 8 is what all sci-fi movies should be: interesting. There aren’t any parts where you marvel at how stupid you think the writers seem to think that you are (like when overpowering aliens of a far-superior intelligence are killed with punches to the head). There aren’t any over-the-top special effect pieces where people/aliens/buildings are falling all over each other while no one really gets hurt (unless it’s in a humorous way, like the cop no one likes from the first act being crushed by a giant donut). There isn’t a lot of exposition that bogs the movie down (although there is some; how else do you simultaneously explain that the creature is psychic and avoid showing him to the audience for the majority of the movie).
The only flaw I could really see with the movie is that we, as the audience, are supposed to have sympathy for the alien – he was imprisoned, he was tortured, and all he wants to do is get home; the main character and the alien actually share a common viewpoint in that, although bad things have happened to them that were out of their control, they have to move on with life. And that would’ve been a powerful message.
If the alien didn’t beat people to a pulp.
If the alien didn’t look like a cross between a spider and the alien from Cloverfield.
If the alien didn’t kidnap people and hang them upside down in some sort of spiderweb thing.
If the alien didn’t graphically smoosh the bad military dude.
If the alien didn’t eat people when he was hungry.
If he was just some sort of big E.T. – big eyes, a bit bumbling, and used broken English – maybe I could identify with him. But he’s not. He’s a typical alien in an atypical alien movie.
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