I told you it was coming. Like the train wreck in the movie. It just took a LONG time to get down the track.
But, glorious days! My big wish, to see Super 8 on my birthday, came true. And I lived through it to tell you it is Super. But it has nothing in it for an eight-year-old.
I can get a witness, in the form of the couple who arrived 25 minutes before the movie, well ahead of us, and sat center and center to the screen.* They were also annoyed, no doubt, by the family behind Mike and I. Who brought kids who couldn't have been ten if their lives depended on it and proceeded to talk through the first half of the movie.
It was after almost an hour that I turned around, pointed out that we had hired a sitter to attend the movie, and asked them to refrain from talking.
Yeah. I've got girl balls. And singed ears. Because Daddy cursed at me. In front of his family.
But, they all shut up for the rest of the movie. Then, when it was over, exited stage left faster than I could turn around. I wanted to explain what I couldn't say without interrupting the movie: it's my birthday, we hired a sitter, and this is a rare occasion. And could you, please, just ask your kids to quit asking you questions every two seconds?
Anyway, I'll personally disown you if you take your kids to see this in the theater if they aren't at least 13, observant of details in movies and already have a blush-inducing, vulgar vocabulary.
And, that, would be my first point of the movie: cussing. There was LOTS of it. It ran the gamut from soft to hard. The kid-actors were probably the worst of the lot. But, if you were even slightly observant in the build-up to this movie and watched even one trailer, you know that from the "What the Hell?" commentary by the biggest kid in the show.
Second, unless you are a HUGE fan of 70's music, skip this movie. It is the backdrop against which the entire plot plays out.
I find myself, this morning, with "Don't Bring Me Down", courtesy of Electric Light Orchestra, as my mantra. I, personally, never liked that song, because of the "grroosss" at the end of the refrain. Sure, it's catchy. But, so are venereal diseases.
But, honestly, for people MY AGE, the rest of the soundtrack pretty much transports you back to your pre-teen/teen days. Kinda fun. And so much better than Lady Gaga.
The story itself is really tight. I couldn't find a "oh puleeeze" in the entire thing. Even the scene where a long-standing feud is resolved didn't seem forced or trite or out-of-place.
An interesting side note on the time I spent waiting to see this movie: when people heard I was going, there was one set of questions they asked. "Did you see E.T.?", "Did you like it?" And that is when I would launch into "Not only did I see the movie, but I read the book before I went to see it. And, in the end, E.T. dies. So, the ending at the theater was kind of a letdown."
But, regardless of my dorky response, every one who talked to me at Super 8 said "If you liked E.T., you'll like Super 8."
It took me a while to catch why they felt this comparison was apt. The question zoomed through my head a couple of times while I was watching the movie and made me, again, quizzical. But, eventually, I understood.
The comparisons to E.T. are relevant but not dead-on. The movie follows a very similar story line yet the creatures are nothing alike. I never felt I bonded with that freakish, spider like, mass of alien in Super 8, even though J.J. Abram CLEARLY wanted me to when the creature showed its green, human eyes.
Woven nicely into the script, but by no means forced into it, was an explanation of WHY this thing was acting like Godzilla and destroying everything in sight, another deviation from the E.T. storyline.
The downbeat of the story was that this alien just wanted to get out of dodge. But, we cruel humans were researching it and were blocking it from leaving planet Earth.
If I had been the powers that be, I would have been all "PPPHHHOOONNNEEE HHHOOOMMMEEE already, dude." Truly, this alien could have claimed to be the second coming and I still would have wanted it to go home. Get out of here. Leave us the heck alone. It was just that disturbing looking to me. But E.T.? I wanted to adopt him and feed him as much soda pop and dog food as he'd stuff into that plump little body.
Enough about comparisons. Let's talk endings. Since most Hollywood blockbusters these days contain a hook for the "If this thing makes a butt load of money, let's make a follow-up movie", as we watched freak-boy-alien take off, back to planet-who-knows-what, I turned to Mike and whispered "So what's the follow-up to THIS?" I mean, clearly, we had incensed this thing. Was he going to fly away, go get his home boys, and come back and open up a can of whoop-ass the size of New York?
According to Mike, we've already seen the second Super 8. And it was titled War of the Worlds.
Yup. That about covers it.
I would say power walk to see Super 8. Pay to see it in the theaters because of the special effects, the ear-popping volume, and the joy of watching a film that will release you from worrying about your own life for a couple of hours. Trust me: the first half of the movie you'll be wondering what the alien looks like and the second you'll be brain-willing everyone to move out of its way.
One and a half thumbs up from MommaJ.
*This is my fav place in a theater. Sure, if a fire broke out, I'd likely be toast. But, that's a small price to pay for middle of the screen, middle of the theater seats.