Actor, Roy Scheider uttered similar words in his role as Chief Brodie in the iconic movie, Jaws, as he was chumming for the 25- foot long aquatic omnivore. It emerged, quickly submerged and scared the already scared lawman even more. He backed into Quint’s wheelhouse and proclaimed in that now famous deadpan manner, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”.
Jaws was Steven Spielberg’s first epic motion picture. His first cinematic oeuvre, Duel awakened the movie going public. Sugarland Express dazzled them, while Jaws damned near put beach resorts out of business in 1975. Spielberg is indeed a one man tour de force. He’s a brilliant director and worth all the accolades he’s received.
This summer, Spielberg is the Executive Producer of just about every film in theaters. One of those movies is Super 8.
It was directed by J.J. Abrams and is nothing but an homage to big blockbusters….big blockbusters made by Spielberg, more specifically. Now, is that because Spielberg’s style is so recognizable and copied OR….. is it because by this time, when it comes to sci-fi flicks that feature space aliens and the normal everyday kids who somehow, understand them, Spielberg’s stuff is a bit hackneyed and well, done to death?????
I’m not sure I know the answer to that, but perhaps it’s because I’m something of a cinematic nerd and I watch the entire screen, not just who’s stalking that I saw a substantial number of well, let’s call them nuances of so many Spielberg films in Abrams’ effort….from Goonies, Jaws, the Indiana Jones series, Close Encounters, War of The Worlds and, had it mentioned the Holocost, I would’ve stood up and screamed, BING!! BING!! BING!!!–Abrams wins the Spielberg trifecta, but mercifcully, it didn’t. Even the ending, the very last scene in the film (you’ll know it when you see it) absolutely reeked of Paranormal Activity which ended the same way. If you remember, Spielberg was asked how he’d end the horror flick which made a zillion dollars a few years ago. It was the one that took Hollywood by storm…shot for something like $58 dollars over a ten-day period. The ending was re-shot as per Spielberg’s suggestion and it’s evident in Super 8’s ending.
Abram’s film is ambitious but over zealous in parts. Dare I saw Swiss Cheesy, even? Yes, there are holes in the plot, timeline issues and inexplicable events that happen, that make you think, what the hell? Yes, I know it’s a movie and yes I know some alien that looks like it’s part bat, part rat and a smidge like Jonathan Frid ( TV’s Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows) and has a penchant for small town water towers (see the movie…it’ll all make sense) is pure fantasy, but for those of us who like sensical flow and at least a semblance of truthiness and plausibility in our sci-fi, Super 8 is sorely lacking.
Great effects; lots of incredible crashes and real looking, Vic Morrow-esque explosions, but for me, personally, I have to care about the characters who are chased and risk death at the hands of the evil kill…kill…die…die military who just can’t and won’t understand the alien as the caring, feeling entity is really is under all those scales and eyes and tentacles. I found it very hard to muster ANY emotional connection with any of the characters. Even the misunderstood alien.
Super 8 is entertaining enough–I’ll give it that, but it isn’t completely satifying. I walked out the the theater disappointed (as did Martha Martinez, my ‘date’) because we both really, really wanted to love this movie.
But we couldn’t.
And it’s not like I’m Roger Ebert’s love child and Rex Reed I’m not (thank God) but for the serious cinema lover who goes to films to revel and wallow in their subtext as much as anything else, this movie isn’t for you. It lacks an amazing amount of heart, which is something very uncharacteristic for a film with Spielberg’s name on it.
But if none of that matters, and you feel the need to prove me wrong AND you want to see cool special effects, to witness trains destroyed, cars blown to bits, mindless explosions and kids who try too hard to be kids as adults think kids would act, then hightail it to your nearest theatre and plop down your money on the counter before the acned, gum smacking, braces-wearing 19-year-old attitude with pigtails named “Brie” at the ticket booth.
But take it from me, go stoned. Swiss Cheese is always MUCH more appealing when one is in an altered state.
I give it two out of four bags of popcorn….unbuttered; children’s size..