June 10, 2011

Super 8 (Filmed on Fruit Roll-Ups)

**Warning: this film review contains a picture of a guy with glasses so huge he makes blind hipsters look like unironicly dressed fighter jet pilots. And I'm not even talking about JJ Abrams. You have been warned.**

When you were younger, did you ever watch Jurassic Park? ET? The Goonies? Poltergeist? Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

I am going to assume you haven't just come out of hiding in the Rockies where you lived in a shack and sent package bombs to industrialists in your spare time, so therefore your answer is yes.

If you remember anything about these films, you'll understand what J.J. Abram's new film, Super 8, is all about. Super 8 focuses on a group of kids making a film in small town Ohio, when suddenly a train accident drags an unexpected monster right into their shot. Super 8 drips with nostalgia, but not for the period the film represents, but for the film styles of the late seventies and early eighties. This film harkens (yes, harkens) back to a time when movies with kids were allowed to be both family friendly and thrilling as all get-out. Super 8 is a monster flick with the same sort of thrills that made the original Jurassic Park such a great summer blockbuster, the same sort of characters that made The Goonies so memorable, and the same sort of heart that made ET so magical. It's got lovable characters, amazing actors, great dialog, heartfelt moments, and a monster that will really make you jump. This is The Goonies versus Predator. This is ET gone Cloverfield. This is Poltergeist meets... Poltergeist.

It is hard to capture the tone of the film in words. Imagine if golden-age Steven Spielberg woke up from the coma he fell into in 1994 and started making movies again. Real movies, like he used to. I can imagine him, coming around in the hospital ward, George Lucas dutifully holding his hand the whole time, and not believing his eyes. He'd be disoriented for a while-- I went from directing "Schindler's List" to "Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn?" I did a three-hour flick with that kid who could see dead people? And did I seriously put the money together for *three* movies about robots who turn into cars? The first thing he'd do is pull the catheter out, kick Lucas's ass over "Crystal Skull," and put the scratch together to make this movie.

This is Spielberg popcorn at its best. Imagine if you could watch ET again for the first time. That's what this movie is like. Go out and see it right the fuck now.

PS. Kaczynski's favorite Goonie was Chuck.