‘Super 8’ a Mind-Blowing Masterpiece?


23 June 2011| No Comments on ‘Super 8’ a Mind-Blowing Masterpiece?     by Sean Chavel


At bdkreviews.com, Kevin McCarthy of Big Daddy Kev calls Super 8, to quote the ads, “a mind-blowing masterpiece.” Yes, the quote made it onto national television fifteen days after its release, I am still seeing the quote on television.

I guess I can see why someone might think “Super 8” is good. Yea, well, let sleeping dogs lie – I can accept a positive reaction. But more immediately, I can’t imagine any critic calling it either mind-blowing or a masterpiece not unless that critic was a blurb whore to get his name into the ads. I guess I would gush those words to get my name in the ads, but only if it was merited. I would do it for a Bunuel or Fellini movie, for sure.

I don’t think “Super 8” could be mind-blowing because the alien is commonplace and lacks three dimensions as well as being similarly texturally designed to “Predator” or the “Alien” movies. J.J. Abrams doesn’t even have a monosyllabic alien, it only shrieks. When the alien hangs people upside down, the people are unconscious and unaware when they awake, so what kind of slop punishment of humans is that? The quarantine and evacuation of the town is not played out very well, either, whereas the flashback scenes in “I Am Legend” of an evacuation were done well, and “Dreamcatcher” also made gasping excitement out of the quarantine  scenes – and that movie sucks as a whole. The kids are a bunch of stock characters less cool than “The Goonies” cast. And the parents are clichéd badgers of their own kids. Not even close to mind-blowing.

I don’t see how “Super 8” could be a masterpiece. A masterpiece is something wholly original or an unprecedented spin in a workable genre. A masterpiece is something that cooks invention scene to scene, not saunters along. A masterpiece is something with a strong or shining cast of unforgettable characters made distinctive as well as real. A masterpiece is something that happens when it showcases a remarkable number of classic scenes made with such innovation and rapture that it seizes the higher regions of your mind. A masterpiece is something that contains untraveled and fresh thematic territory. A masterpiece is something that changes your outlook on movies or the world. Not a movie with teasing alien attacks, stock characters, unexplained gimmicks, plot holes, and an abrupt lets-just-end-it-here while the central members of the cast look up. Not a masterpiece. Come to think of it, “Super 8” is so derivative that the formula can be broken down into a rehashing of “E.T.” meets “The Goonies” meets “Predator” meets “Lost.”

Also overhyping is Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly who said, “Easily the best summer movie of the year – of many years.” So wait a minute, “Super 8” is more exciting and sensational than “Toy Story 3” (2010), “Inglorious Basterds” (2009), “The Dark Knight” (2008) or “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007)?

Hey, she said it. I didn’t.

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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