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sábado, 19 de novembro de 2011

Super 8

Getting older allows you to do lots of things, among them you can remember when you were a child and then think about how much of that innocence is past, about how much mature you may be now, worrying much less about all that things that seemed to be so complicated.

Getting older also means a more realistic view of things, based in how your expectations and dreams are transformed facing reality and all the experiences you will live.

Psychologists may say that a great deal of the truths which will guide your life come directly from your parents, or from the people who raised you. Until some deep I agree, but I believe that the most important truths, those that you will really not forget, are the ones that will come from what you will live yourself.

Super 8, from JJ Abrams, is about it, is about being a child, about being innocent and about live things that change what you believe and are, “making you get older”. At the same time, it is an action movie, that happens at the late 70’s, about a mystery, a creature, an accident with a military train that makes a small city get flooded by soldiers and army vehicles while strange events happen, such as car engines being stolen, dogs running away like crazy, unexplained electric energy failures and people disappearing. In the center of this, is a group of friends between 13 and 15 years old that decided to make a movie using a super 8 camera.

And then you may say:

But, guy from the internet, you just said what the movie is all about, you didn’t said if the movie is good.
Yes, you are right.
So, is it spectacular?
Well, it depends of your definition of spectacular.


The movie doesn’t have the pretension to be a “gigantic catastrophic monster movie”, but despite its focus in characters, their relationships, how they develop and discover each other, the movie doesn’t have the pretension to be a existentialist drama. It is made to make people remember how it was to have that age, at the same time in which the chaos happens.

The action scenes may not be revolutionary, but they are well directed. In fact, without saying much to don’t spoil your surprise, it is interesting how is possible to recognize the hand that directed the scene of the airplane crash at the first episode of Lost, in the scene of the train accident, right at the beginning of the movie.

The script is smart and, because it does not want to be so heavy, the deepness is in details, the movie does not throw it in your face with long expositions and speeches. If you are a person who like to pay more attention to details you may find many little things about how this and that character have something in common, the mother of one, the father of the other and the house where that other one was raised and what all that combined would do to the head of the character, explaining why they do what they do.

On the other side, if you don’t want to hunt little details, the story still makes sense, carries you easily and there are always things exploding to keep anyone awake.


Another merit of the movie is the cast. A movie that holds up so much in character development and their conflicts needs charismatic and talented actors. The challenge is even bigger considering that the main characters have 13 to 15 years old. The whole cast delivers well their job.

The young actors in fact work together so well that they seemed interesting enough to care a story on their own. The conflicts with their lives, their parents and among them summed up with the story of they doing their movie could be a whole movie itself. Before everything start to explode and crazy things start to happen I even forgot that this crazy things were about to happen. But, we all may agree that things exploding, weird creatures and mysteries are always a good add on to any character development story, right? Actually, thinking about what I just said, in some way, that is exactly the synopses of Lost, isn’t it? hehehe

We hear today many complains about how the movie industry doesn’t have new ideas anymore, that it is living of revivals, remakes and sequels. Super 8, despite the fact it is an original idea, it was criticized (strongly by some) because in some way it is also a “revival”, it was even called “revival of Spielberg movies”, and to make the movie even more “guilty” Spielberg is one of the producers. If you watched movies from the 80’s enough, like Stand by me, or even ET from Spielberg, or even that things not so serious like Goonies, or another thing where some group of friends fight monsters, or vampires, or whatever, you will easily recognize that same vibe in Super 8. However, at the same time, I can not see this movie as a simple formulaic revival, to me it seems to be Mr. JJ Abrams remembering his own childhood, since in 79, the year when the story of the movie happens, he had the same age of the characters. He told many times in different interviews the story about how his first contact with moviemaking was with a super 8 camera, doing his own movies with his friends, just like the movie tells. So it may be just a happy/sad coincidence.


To some people Super 8 will be a message beyond the mystery, the explosions, the children running and saving the day. I understand that to reach a broader audience the movie end up being less stronger than it could be considering the story and the characters it has. Super 8 won’t be the best movie of your life, but, worst case scenario, things will blow up, mysteries will be revealed and if you don’t have at least some fun, well, probably you had no childhood or you are a person who loves to complain.