Sunday, 14 August 2011

Review: Super 8



The monster, ultimately disappointing, wasn't what I loved about Super 8! It was the superlative cast (seemingly plucked from The Goonies, Explorers and E.T.) and JJ Abrams' deft handling of action (showcased in Alias, Lost and M:i:III) and concealment of the monster (see Jaws or Alien for further masterclasses in suspense).

Super 8's finest moments are reserved for the interplay between childhood friends, as they shoot a zombie movie in the summer of '79, and the emergent romance between Joe (Joel Courtney) and Alice (Elle Fanning) in the wake of his mother's recent death - magnificently punctuated by visual nods to producer Steven Spielberg's sci-fi oeuvre replete with lens flare.

Mise-en-scènes that transported me back to the first time I saw Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in the theatre, not long after I'd suffered a serious head injury at Primary School; two movies that have profound familial significance; Star Wars received special mention at my mother's funeral service in 2007.

None of this should be surprising given JJ's penchant for intimate human drama as evinced by the director's innumerable hit TV series. All eloquently underscored by long time musical collaborator Michael Giacchino (Alias, Lost and Star Trek). Giacchino's soundtrack evokes the celestial yearning of John Williams' scores for Spielberg's early career.

Not since WALL-E has a film so successfully distilled a sense of enigmatic wonder; even if it falls short of Spielberg's greatest cinematic achievements in the final reel! Star Trek II and Cloverfield II can't come soon enough...