Expectations are a dangerous thing. The higher they are, the harder they are to meet, let alone exceed. Being a huge J.J. Abrams fan, my expectations for ‘Super 8’ were high – ridiculously high – but much to my surprise, they were met and far surpassed.
J.J. Abrams is a master of mystery. The original teaser trailer for ‘Super 8’ showed nothing more than flashes of a train crash and something huge trying to escape from a sealed boxcar. Story-wise, the movie itself doesn’t give you much more than that. Not knowing exactly what’s going on causes the film’s heightened and drawn-out intensity to relentlessly never let up.
If you made the assumption from the first trailer that ‘Super 8’ seemed to match the nostalgic tone and feel of kid adventure flicks of the ’80s like ‘The Goonies’, ‘E.T’. and ‘Stand By Me’, you were right. For the last few years, Abrams has been called the “young Spielberg,” and none of his films or shows better exemplify this claim than ‘Super 8’. Instead of merely showing you events, ‘Super 8’ allows you to experience them. You never feel like a spectator. You feel like one of the gang.
Much like ‘The Sandlot’, ‘Super 8’ makes you relive your childhood – even more so if you ever made genre movies on the family camcorder. The dialogue between the kids is spot-on with the way I talked with my friends when I was that age. The naïve teenage first-love story will make you feel the emotions you experienced with your first encounter of the opposite gender. Being set in 1979 is not a gimmick. It adds the nostalgia of an era that makes it even easier to connect with its young characters.
Paramount is expecting ‘Super 8’ to only open in the $25-$30 million range. I’ve made it my personal goal to get enough people out to see it this weekend that this prediction is blown out of the water. ‘Super 8’ is what I deem a perfect film. There isn’t a single thing about it that needs tweaking. It’s moving, entertaining and whole lot of fun, and is definitely my favorite film of 2011 so far.