In Contention


Super h8ed it

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 11:14 am · June 6th, 2011

Where to begin on “Super 8?” It’s so clearly the kind of film directors tend to make, unmolested, after a major hit, the kind where someone really needed to be pulling the strings and smoothing the edges and seeing the forest through the trees. “But I’m J.J. f***ing Abrams.” (I’m sure he’s a splendid chap.)

It’s a nostalgia wank, but you already knew that. I find myself wondering if the pitch meeting was little more than Abrams promising Steven Spielberg that the famed director’s oeuvre would be all but gilded and bronzed right there on the screen. But that can be forgiven…if there’s a story.

And there’s not. Well, there’s not a complete story. There’s a lot of mayhem that feels injected into a coming-of-age yarn that itself needed some tinkering, and then there’s a climax that is meant to bring it all together, but ultimately whiffs worse than Begbie’s scratch in “Trainspotting.”

The “script” for this film is like a frame made of fishing wire, so flimsy the high concept stuff (which definitely could have used some more time in the oven) weighs it past the breaking point. I found myself looking for reasons throughout to just forgive the film its hastiness because there is some great child acting on display, some genuinely visionary filmmaking craft and an overall vibe I wanted to submit to.

But that climax. God. It might be one of the worst-conceived in a film of this sort. Sinks the whole ship. Reveals the stark-naked emperor.

What’s really unsettling is that the nostalgia thing — which could be on the dangerous precipice of becoming a trend — begins to feel exploitative after a while. When I saw an arbitrary Batman poster on a character’s wall, I started to wonder if Abrams has simply found the pulse, picked his spot and mined the flow. He might be a legitimate geek, but he also knows how to push the right geek buttons, whether they’re organic to his story or not.

I was going to get into spoiler stuff, but I can’t really drum up the interest to do so. There are so many unmotivated instances (“We have to get to the cemetery! Let’s go through this neighborhood so we can have an out-of-place set-piece and go into this house because we’re seeing all these other houses get destroyed!”), so much potential squandered (the central puppy-love story betrays Elle Fanning’s clear talent by establishing her as little more than a cipher — and don’t get me started on Coach Taylor) and such an undercooked narrative that it’s kind of depressing to wallow in the specifics.

(On the lens flares: I dug them in “Star Trek.” They served a purpose in that film, i.e., to give the impression that there was always something exciting happening just off screen. It was thoughtful. Here, they’re borderline self-referential, and simply don’t make stylistic sense.)

Ultimately I think Abrams might have done well to cut back on the sci-fi “bigness” of this project, accoutrement that literally serves no thematic purpose, and scale it back to his interesting characters and how their lives play out in this sort of Stephen King-like community. But the movie is what it is, and despite being a spectacle film that will draw attention and ought to have redeeming characteristics in that vein, I would have a hard time recommending “Super 8” at all. It’s far too unsatisfying on even the most basic storytelling level. It might not be a bad film (though I wonder), but it’s definitely not a good one.

(Readers who will no doubt ask about Oscar potential: It’ll be in a contender for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects. Some consideration might circle Michael Giacchino’s score. I would discontinue talk of anything else whatsoever.)

ADDENDUM (6/10): The comments section indicates the level of umbrage some took with my perspective on this heavily anticipated film. I’m sensing that something I originally felt didn’t need saying, probably needs saying after all: I welcome any filmmaker’s vision that attempts to draw a line of tangible emotion through what would otherwise be little more than an entertainment. J.J. Abrams has succeeded in at least sparking that rarity this summer, and maybe others will look to this example — however not-quite-there I might believe it to be — as inspiration to go there, too. It’s a business of dollars, but I honestly believe it’s also a business where good intentions are more often there than not, so while I’d actually pay for a summer without something like “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” I’d equally pay for a summer WITH something like “Super 8.”

[Photo: Paramount Pictures]




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→ 142 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily · Reviews

142 responses so far

  • 1 6-06-2011 at 11:38 am

    americanrequeim said...

    shame…

  • 2 6-06-2011 at 11:45 am

    Sawyer said...

    Worst news I’ve heard in a while. I hope Abrams isn’t M.Nighting himself.

  • 3 6-06-2011 at 11:46 am

    tony rock said...

    I’m beginning to question your taste, Kris. I think I’ll listen to the majority on this one.

  • 4 6-06-2011 at 11:51 am

    Sawyer said...

    Kris and Devin Faraci have both trashed it, and I they are two reviewers I respect a lot when it comes to sci-fi. I look forward to hearing what Garth Franklin has to say, but if it’s 3 nos, I’ll have a hard time buying a ticket.

  • 5 6-06-2011 at 11:57 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    tony: Question all you want. (Also: What majority? The geek choir to which J.J. is preaching?)

    Sawyer: I believe Garth was underwhelmed. I think I saw some Tweet from him or something.

  • 6 6-06-2011 at 12:02 pm

    R.J. said...

    Well, this is disappointing. I’m still going to see it and judge for myself, but a negative review for a film you’re really anticipating is pretty disheartening. Hopefully I’ll get more out of it than you did.

  • 7 6-06-2011 at 12:04 pm

    reallydude said...

    Let’s face it, Kris doesn’t have an original idea in his head. He does his best to feel the room and then picks the opposite. I gave up on him years ago and Guy is the only reason I visit this site.

  • 8 6-06-2011 at 12:07 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***(Also: What majority? The geek choir to which J.J. is preaching?)***

    Well, considering the film is getting a large majority great reviews (so far), probably the critical majority.

  • 9 6-06-2011 at 12:07 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The way it should be done:

    “I’m still going to see it and judge for myself, but a negative review for a film you’re really anticipating is pretty disheartening. Hopefully I’ll get more out of it than you did.”

    The way it shouldn’t be done:

    “Let’s face it, Kris doesn’t have an original idea in his head. He does his best to feel the room and then picks the opposite. I gave up on him years ago and Guy is the only reason I visit this site.”

    Amazing, the dichotomy in consecutive comments. Like the difference between a grown-up enjoying a meal and a toddler smearing his face with mashed potatoes.

    Though I wonder. I honestly expect a similar reaction from Guy. Which will make the second comment above totally hilarious.

  • 10 6-06-2011 at 12:10 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    (For the record, I had really high hopes for the film and was heartened by the amount of positive reviews out of geek press last week and even thought Devin’s pan was a sign I’d love it. Alas, I guess I “did my best to read the room and picked the opposite.” What kind of a trollish moron thinks a person honestly does something like that, anyway?)

  • 11 6-06-2011 at 12:15 pm

    John G said...

    Interesting. It really smelled like a best picture nominee…

    It’ll no doubt leave more room for War Horse and Tintin.

    And Kris, did you ever see the LemonLyman episode of the West Wing? Internet comment boards sure can be a crazy place.

  • 12 6-06-2011 at 12:19 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    “h8ed it” Kris? It really seems like you’re trying to go down a certain path.

  • 13 6-06-2011 at 12:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    What path is that? The “I can’t think of a better headline” path? Then yeah, I guess so.

  • 14 6-06-2011 at 12:26 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I was being facetious. I remember you said that to Guy after he panned 127 Hours.

    I get kicks out of the talk back that results from reviews like this and the aforementioned 127 Hours review.

  • 15 6-06-2011 at 12:27 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I’m not entirely surprised. Most of the positive reviews I’ve read have said that the film has issues.

  • 16 6-06-2011 at 12:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Matt: I thought maybe that’s what you were referring to after I replied. Sorry.

    In any case, I have a strong feeling many of you will at least see where I’m coming from when you see the film this weekend.

  • 17 6-06-2011 at 1:20 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I was looking forward to this even though I thought Star Trek was atrocious. Now I’m thinking I’ll probably skip it.

  • 18 6-06-2011 at 1:50 pm

    Bilbi said...

    Our opinions on movies intersect 90% of the time. So I’m afraid I can remove this one from my anticipated list…

  • 19 6-06-2011 at 2:42 pm

    ez6 said...

    What a shame. I love Friday Night Lights and hate to see Coach Taylor mentioned in the same sentence as “potential squandered.”

  • 20 6-06-2011 at 3:05 pm

    Andrej said...

    Bummers. I’m still believing that my general opinion of the film will all come down to how good I think the main children worked in this film.

    To me, there’s nothing more like a cinematographic nails-on-a-chalkboard like an annoying or unfocused kid protagonist. That CJ kid from The Blind Side… hated that brat. Hated him. HATE!!!

    As long as they work nicely enough, I think I can forgive a few hiccups from the story itself. Can’t wait to check it out.

  • 21 6-06-2011 at 3:13 pm

    DylanS said...

    Chad: “I thought Star Trek was atrocious”. Please, explain, I’m trying very hard to wrap my brain around the choice of adjective there. Even with your questionable taste considered, that seems extreme.

    Kris: As much as I enjoy hearing your take on any given film, I’m hoping you’re dead wrong about this one, being that it’s the only summer movie I was looking forward to.

  • 22 6-06-2011 at 3:17 pm

    Joe W said...

    Sorry to hear that you hated it Kris. I will be catching a screening of the film tonight and I still have high hopes for it. But it looks like it won’t be a film that is universally embraced (critically that is). I wouldn’t discount it out of the race yet either, I mean if The Blind Side got in then anything can, IMO

  • 23 6-06-2011 at 3:22 pm

    al b. said...

    Well Kris, this is disappointing, as Super 8 was the film I was most looking forward to this summer. I’m still going to see it and hope that perhaps I perceive it differently, but seeing as our tastes are fairly similar, I’m a bit worried.

  • 24 6-06-2011 at 3:34 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    I saw it at a screening and thought it was pretty great. I agree with Kris more often than not and always enjoy what he has to say, but I don’t agree with him here… at all.

  • 25 6-06-2011 at 3:41 pm

    Maxim said...

    “I find myself wondering if the pitch meeting was little more than Abrams promising Steven Spielberg that the famed director’s oeuvre would be all but gilded and bronzed right there on the screen.”

    That’s not the case at all. In fact, Abrams went out of his way in the video interviews to point out that the movie was NOT a tribute to Spielberg but a tribute to their shared experience of making movies as kids.

    Perharps the issue is that you are approaching the thing from the wrong angle.

  • 26 6-06-2011 at 4:53 pm

    Casey Fiore said...

    I have been dabbling in this blog-board racket for a while now and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen people defend a film they haven’t seen so vehemently or maliciously. malicious defense should be a paradoxical statement but I guess not. At least with the Dark Knight the immature brats had Batman Begins to go on ahead of time.

  • 27 6-06-2011 at 5:29 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***… I don’t believe I’ve ever seen people defend a film they haven’t seen so vehemently or maliciously.***

    Have you ever been to rottentomatoes.com?

  • 28 6-06-2011 at 5:37 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “Perharps the issue is that you are approaching the thing from the wrong angle.”

    Or perhaps I don’t gobble and digest everything spun out of the PR wing of a film.

  • 29 6-06-2011 at 5:43 pm

    reallydude said...

    You are so classic Kris, I know what to say and when. This is why you will be nothing more than a blogger. Always willing to criticize, can’t handle a single moment of criticism. An industry joke, every word haunts you.

    Thanks for the laugh and why doesn’t Guy have his own site?

  • 30 6-06-2011 at 6:02 pm

    Tom said...

    I saw Super 8 this past weekend at a sneak preview. I thought the kids in the movie were great and ultimately what saved the movie. However, the screening I was at seemed very positive about the movie overall.

    I think Abrams is a solid director, but he needs better scripts.

  • 31 6-06-2011 at 6:14 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    DylanS- No use getting too into it, but I didn’t like a single thing about the movie. Except the two leads had good charisma.

  • 32 6-06-2011 at 6:21 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    If I don’t find enjoyment in the film, at least I’ll always find pleasure from the ignorant back and forth hatred that these comments sections usually bring.

  • 33 6-06-2011 at 6:24 pm

    Jake G. said...

    Just because the guy who wrote this review didnt like it doesnt mean its not good! Go See It People! Its getting really good reviews! Maybe you should watch it again Kris Tapley! And just stop being such a critic and enjoy the movie!

  • 34 6-06-2011 at 6:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    reallydude: You know “what to say and when?” I don’t get it. Am I supposed to be reacting in some way that legitimizes that statement? There seems to be some backstory in your head here that isn’t translating.

    And in any case, if the central point is criticism, I can handle criticism fine. When it’s actual criticism and not just offensive blather. But Paramount appreciates your efforts.

    You’re right about one thing, though. Guy deserves his own spotlight. Though I gather he’s happy here.

  • 35 6-06-2011 at 6:37 pm

    RichardA said...

    I’ll go see it anyway, if it means a vote for continued success for Coach Taylor.

  • 36 6-06-2011 at 7:18 pm

    Samuel said...

    I’m loving Kris’s snarkiness on this thread of replies. Defending a movie you haven’t even seen strikes me as somewhere near the height of irrationality and stupidity. But, each to their own. This is the interwebs after all.

    As for the film itself, I was not massively excited for it. I loved Star Trek, but i’ve been underwhelmed by other Abrams stuff. Plus, the title seemed to offer little more than a nostalgia film, which does not appeal to me at all.

  • 37 6-06-2011 at 7:46 pm

    Wade said...

    Well… at least it’s not a sequel. Or a comic book adaptation.

  • 38 6-06-2011 at 7:46 pm

    Drew said...

    sigh…well if this review rings true, then there really isn’t much point in going to the movies this summer. At least there’s Dragon Tattoo and Hugo Cabret (as long as they’re solid features) for the winter.

  • 39 6-06-2011 at 7:51 pm

    Paul S. said...

    I don’t get why people are criticizing Kris for criticizing a film they themselves haven’t even seen. I’d have to see the film myself before I could tell whether or not I agree with Kris. And so what if his opinion does not mimic that of the majority? That doesn’t make his opinion any less valid.

  • 40 6-06-2011 at 8:16 pm

    Fitz said...

    It seems a shame that Chandler always ends up getting one-note parts. The man can act, let him.

  • 41 6-06-2011 at 8:16 pm

    The Z said...

    accoutrement

    There’s a word you don’t see everyday.

    I was on the fence about “Super 8″ anyhow — I was planning to wait for it on DVD. I’ll wait for more reviews to come down the line. And perhaps a more in-depth review here?

  • 42 6-07-2011 at 1:47 am

    Rashad said...

    I don’t have a problem with nostalgia. I mean George Lucas became famous because of American Graffiti which was a nostalgic look at a period in his life. Same for Star Wars and Indy with pulps and adventure serials. Those things often aren’t criticized simply because we did not live through those times. All filmmakers are influenced by what they grew up with.

  • 43 6-07-2011 at 2:30 am

    Mark said...

    As someone who detested MI:3 and Star Trek I can’t say i’m surprised. Someday someone will explain to me why someone completely lacking Spielberg’s cinematic sense is lauded as his natural heir.

  • 44 6-07-2011 at 5:04 am

    JFK said...

    Eh, I’ll still see it. I can’t count Abrams out without seeing it myself.

  • 45 6-07-2011 at 6:59 am

    Sawyer said...

    If you’re an Abrams-phile, I totally get that you want to see it for yourself. But I’ve made the mistake of defending movies before just because I wanted to like them, and after multiple viewings, I had to admit the films were simply not good. Anything George Lucas has done in the past 15 years would be a good example of this.

    If David Fincher or Christopher Nolan made a film that Kris Tapley or Garth Franklin or anyone didn’t like, I’d still see it. But I’d like to believe I would keep an open mind about the movie’s quality, at least eventually. :)

  • 46 6-07-2011 at 7:42 am

    Gustavo said...

    I’m completely dumbfounded by the gullible idiots on this board saying, “Oh, Kris hated it, so I’m not gonna watch the film anymore”!

    Give the movie a chance and form *your own opinion*, for God’s sake.

  • 47 6-07-2011 at 8:12 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    I hate to be the cynical awards prognosticator on this discussion, but I have to ask:

    Kris, do you think most people will *eventually* take the negative point of view on the film (à la Superman Returns) and kill its awards season chances, or are you seeing yourself as more in the minority on this and Oscars are still in the cards?

  • 48 6-07-2011 at 8:16 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    Oh crap, that’s what I get for not bothering to read the parenthesis. Nevermind.

  • 49 6-07-2011 at 9:29 am

    Shane said...

    For the life of me I simply don’t understand why Abrams has received the attention he has. He’s a TV director with TV sensibilities. Shaking a camera about and then washing the screen in lens flares to disguise the fact that nothing you shot cuts together in any meaningful way is not the sign of a talented film-maker. This guys as ‘good’ as Peter Berg, McG, Marcus Nispel etc. He’s just playing at film-making.

  • 50 6-07-2011 at 9:53 am

    keylimee said...

    Shane – I agree with Abrams not actually being much of a director. But are we still using “TV’ to condescend? In an era when Tim Van Patten and others are bringing the good stuff to that medium?

  • 51 6-07-2011 at 9:54 am

    Joe W said...

    I saw the film last night and absolutely loved it. I thought the kids were the highlight. Great thrills, excitement, pacing, humor, and a lot of heart. It was exactly what I wanted it to be: a 1950′s monster movie meets Spielberg 80′s movies. And I thought Kyle Chandler was just fine in the movie. He didn’t have as much to do as the kids, but it wasn’t his movie – it was theirs. He played the part great.

    Couldn’t have liked the movie more. It’s by no means perfect but I couldn’t find a time during it where I wasn’t thoroughly enjoying what I was seeing. In response to things like “We need to get to the cemetery!” and stuff — they’re kids. Kids jump to action and conclusions based on very little and it usually they just go with their gut most of the time.

    I’m sorry Kris and some others didn’t care for it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (has there ever been a movie that EVERYONE on the planet liked? No). Early critics are loving it, some early critics are not. Go see for yourself, that’s the whole point of seeing movies — isn’t it?

  • 52 6-07-2011 at 10:51 am

    Kevin Ketchum said...

    Bummed to hear you disliked it that much Kris. I’m still very much looking forward to seeing it this weekend in IMAX, and to any discussion with you afterwards. I remember us disagreeing starkly on Inglourious Basterds two years ago but having some great, intelligent debate on it. Hopefully similarly good discussion awaits after I see Super 8. I will say that as a huge Giacchino fan, I was bummed Paramount saw fit not to release the score the Tuesday before the theatrical release, as is standard. Instead, the release date is listed as June 28th, which saddens me immensely. Does his score get the same great results his Star Trek score did a couple years ago? That’s one of his best to this date, his work with JJ Abrams (and Abrams related projects like LOST) has been consistently great so far, so I’m really excited to hear how this score turns out.

  • 53 6-07-2011 at 11:57 am

    DylanS said...

    Kevin: I would say that Giacchino’s entire body of work (throwing in Pixar as well) has been consistently great thus far.

  • 54 6-07-2011 at 12:03 pm

    Alan G. said...

    I saw the film at the DGA last night and was utterly charmed by it. The cast was first-rate and I was completely engaged in the story. I disagree with this review wholeheartedly — it’s a charming, old-fashioned film with a lot of heart. Many reviews say it reminded them of “E.T.” — and that was true for me. The film captured an innocence that I haven’t seen or felt from recent movies. It was a really good time at the cinema and I can’t ask for anything more from a summer movie. I also disagree that film lacks awards potential in the primary categories — it’s a solid picture that has a pixie dust / charm quality about it that may very well capture the hearts of voters.

  • 55 6-07-2011 at 12:04 pm

    Joe W said...

    As far as the score goes, I wouldn’t say it’s as present as his Star Trek score was (definitely not as thematic).

    I would say it’s a bit of his End Credits piece from Cloverfield meets Cocoon… if that makes any sense.

    Still, it’s great work (but you don’t expect anything less from Giacchino)

  • 56 6-07-2011 at 12:58 pm

    Shane said...

    @keylimee Not denegrating TV in anyway. I wish all movies had the wit and drama of The West Wing, just that JJ has no cinematic sensibility. Mi3 and Star Trek were mostly shot in close ups and mid shots with shaky cam and bad editing. It works on TV where the scale is smaller. I just shows a lack of understanding of film craft. imo.

  • 57 6-07-2011 at 1:28 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “The film captured an innocence that I haven’t seen or felt from recent movies.”

    I feel like this is the core of most praise, and unfortunately, I think it merely represents a starvation for as much. Because how do you reconcile how poorly the plot of the film breaks down? I love the innocence it captures, too, but it is stifled and drowned by half-baked sci-fi. What made E.T. grand is that, somehow, it dodged that scrutiny because everything was nicely played out in a matter-of-fact way. And — a big point — the alien in that film had a personality, which went a long way to folding the viewer in on the journey. In Super 8, those elements are so obviously green-light-safety, box-office-comfort junk that it’s just impossible for me to forgive and forget.

    But I do recognize the intense desire in this film climate to do so.

  • 58 6-07-2011 at 1:46 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***Mi3 and Star Trek were mostly shot in close ups and mid shots with shaky cam and bad editing.***

    “Star Trek” was BRILLIANTLY edited. If Abrams can do anything, he’s a master at directing action and keeping a breakneck pace.

  • 59 6-07-2011 at 2:03 pm

    Jake G. said...

    Dont listen to Kris Tapley! Hes a wanna be critic that doesnt know what hes talking about!

  • 60 6-07-2011 at 2:53 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah! Don’t listen to me! I’m a wannabe!

  • 61 6-07-2011 at 3:03 pm

    Joe W said...

    Kris,

    I can see the point that the sci-fi plot isn’t fleshed out as much as it could be. However, I felt the movie gave just enough for us to understand and kept things simple since the movie was really about the kids and their journey and the reconciliation in the father/son relationship.

    I can see why people would want more from a lot of the plotlines in the movie. More on the sci-fi elements, more on the father/son relationship, and others. But I felt the movie gave just enough on all fronts to satisfy and added up to a very well-rounded and entertaining movie.

  • 62 6-07-2011 at 3:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I wouldn’t necessarily say I wanted more sci-fi. I’d say I wanted less, since obviously the filmmaker wasn’t concerned with it in the slightest.

  • 63 6-07-2011 at 3:52 pm

    Hans said...

    Mm, a shame you didn’t like it, Kris. I’m still very much looking forward to it, I actually quite like JJ Abrams and I don’t think he’s anywhere near M.Night status (and I wouldn’t consider myself a scifi/comic book geek at all). Glad to hear that the child acting, the score, and the setpieces seem great all around, always nice to hear the good.

  • 64 6-07-2011 at 3:55 pm

    Joe W said...

    In now way is JJ Abrams anything like M. Night.

    No movie could ever be as bad as Last Airbender… except for maybe Happening… or Lady in the Water… no, Airbender takes it (Prince of Persia was Gladiator in comparison)

  • 65 6-07-2011 at 4:12 pm

    tony rock said...

    I suppose I just find it typical jaded blogger cynicism for somebody to “hate” a movie like this.

  • 66 6-07-2011 at 4:28 pm

    Lance McCallion said...

    “Plot,” meh. I’m all for films that can deliver on every account, whatever that means, and like a well told story as much as anyone, but I have to admit I tend to tune people out the moment they start talking about a film’s “plot” failing in one way or another. Television is another matter, being far more literary in nature, but cinema is a sensuous, lucid medium and I tend to value a work’s formal, visceral, emotional, and indeed intellectual (thematically or formally stimulated) properties over whether or not it’s s tidy, or even marginally well-assembled piece of plotting.

    All that said, I find J.J. to be a fairly stimulating director, in both his hands-on TV stuff and his two films thus far, especially Star Trek which is as thrilling a slice of big budget filmmaking as has come around in years.

  • 67 6-07-2011 at 4:32 pm

    Donkey said...

    Are you kidding me Kristofer Shmapley, this movie embodies childhood perfectly while throwing in great sci-fi elements. Were you abused as a child or something, is that why you hated it because it reminded you of your tormented childhood. DONK!!!

  • 68 6-07-2011 at 4:43 pm

    Andrew M said...

    My anticipation for this movie has dampened in the last few weeks, and so now this summer is looking as bleak as ever. First class was fine, and I’m excited as the next to see Captain America, but this year doesn’t seem the huge movie everyone is dying to see.

  • 69 6-07-2011 at 4:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Oh shit, I’ve been donked!

  • 70 6-07-2011 at 5:09 pm

    Filipe said...

    Andrew M.

    Yeah, agree. Will this summer provide us a great movie like Inception, District 9 or Dark Knight?
    Super 8 will have mixed to positive reviews, haters will hate it and lovers will just like it.
    If you take it the raunchy comedies, the comic-book movies and the sequels, there’s nothing else!
    I’m betting on Cowboys & Aliens. How about you guys?

  • 71 6-07-2011 at 5:15 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Another pan that, I think, gets the many, many issues with this movie:

    http://moviecitynews.com/2011/06/review-super-8-spoilers-noted/

  • 72 6-07-2011 at 5:46 pm

    Andrew F said...

    Kris, this thread is hilarious. Super-snark for the win!

    As for the film, I’ll go see it simply to be able to participate in discussions about the film. I found “Star Trek” to be supremely mediocre, and have a suspicion I’ll find the same with this.

  • 73 6-07-2011 at 6:11 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Maybe Kris left his glasses at home when he went to the movies. Along with his brains. DONK!

  • 74 6-07-2011 at 7:48 pm

    Donkey said...

    Nvm, just saw this movie in iMax and it was awful. What was the point of this movie??

  • 75 6-07-2011 at 7:50 pm

    Donkey said...

    I’m the donk now, but I’ll still take your whole stack and put you on tilt Kris!!

  • 76 6-07-2011 at 8:49 pm

    Clayton said...

    Tilted AND donked. What has the world come to?!

  • 77 6-08-2011 at 1:03 am

    Shane said...

    @Speaking English

    “Star Trek” was BRILLIANTLY edited. If Abrams can do anything, he’s a master at directing action and keeping a breakneck pace.”

    No, he’s a master at making you think you’re having a good time. What you’re actually getting is a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. A great action director knows how to choreograph and stage action scenes (see Jim Cameron). JJ just shakes a camera about and then dumps the footage on an editor to sort out.

  • 78 6-08-2011 at 3:37 am

    Rax said...

    You can make somebody ‘think’ they’re having a good time? When they’re actually not? Only on the Internet.

    The hyberbole in this thread from both sides on a film 99% of commenters haven’t seen is staggering.

  • 79 6-08-2011 at 6:40 am

    Glenn said...

    A mate of mine was the first – and for at least an entire day, was the ONLY – person to have a negative review of “X-Men: First Class” on Rotten Tomatoes and he was barraged with over 100 comments telling him he had no taste, was an idiot, had no point being a critic and so on. All of which was before any of these people had even seen the movie, of course. They wanted to love the movie and hate on anybody who doesn’t think it’s the greatest thing ever.

    Those people are – pardon the language – fucking stupid. They’re ruining the internet (hyperbole, but since they’re so prevalant in the online film world that I’m a part of it sometimes *feels* like they are)

  • 80 6-08-2011 at 8:56 am

    Rob said...

    What’s the difference between thinking you’re having a good time and having a good time?

  • 81 6-08-2011 at 9:46 am

    Joe W said...

    “What’s the difference between thinking you’re having a good time and having a good time?”

    My thoughts exactly

  • 82 6-08-2011 at 9:57 am

    Junsocko said...

    THANK YOU!! After a billion tv spots, trailers and whatnot of this movie I still found myself not really caring about it, then the guys at slashfilm and Collider saw it and began a J.J. Fest that felt more like a B.J. Fest to the Star Trek director and that bother me because the film doesn’t even feel like a summer hit.

    So again I will follow your advise

  • 83 6-08-2011 at 10:08 am

    Wheels said...

    Glenn – I agree that stupid people undermine the purpose of review sites, and yet I’m compelled to read through every comment of threads like these. There’s some interesting debate (“Is Star Trek a good movie?” is debatable, and I’m enjoying some people’s takes), but mostly it’s people who are angry that a web critic saw and didn’t like something they hope is good. Rottentomatoes is an even crazier phenomenom for whoever is unlucky enough to post the first negative review of something geek-preapproved.
    That said, I appreciate any critic that continues on honestly without being tempted to disable comments, so thank you, Kris Tapley.

  • 84 6-08-2011 at 11:47 am

    Shane said...

    “What’s the difference between thinking you’re having a good time and having a good time?”

    Ever been to a fireworks display. All the pretty fireworks – ooh, aah, but really your just a bit cold and wishing you were doing something else. My point was that Star Trek, and Mi3, were just firework displays – you think your watching something good but your just watching fireworks which you’ll have forgotten about 5 minutes after they’re done. They’re empty spectacle, and in my opinion, not worth a fraction of the ‘ink’ they’ve received. JJ’s a self promoter, a modern William Castle, and too many people are buying his BS.

  • 85 6-08-2011 at 1:02 pm

    GH said...

    “No, he’s a master at making you think you’re having a good time. What you’re actually getting is a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. ”

    Very good point. Cloverfield too, and now 8. movies which rely on the gimmick. found footage monster / star trek modern style… super 8 – “oh wasn’t it so nostalgiac/just like 80′s spielberg flicks!”

    It’s as if people are only responding to the gimmick instead of whether or not the movie was actually good.

  • 86 6-08-2011 at 1:16 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***All the pretty fireworks – ooh, aah, but really your just a bit cold and wishing you were doing something else.***

    Um, no. Sorry. I enjoy fireworks quite a lot and never wished I was somewhere else. So, speak for yourself. “Star Trek” was one of the best, most entertaining times I’ve ever had in a theater.

  • 87 6-08-2011 at 1:27 pm

    DylanS said...

    How many people who have been putting the film down for it’s nostaligia can actually say they’ve seen the film. I doubt very many of you. I fear the internet is creating something of a react first, watch later mantality in film enthusiasts.

    GH: Also, Abrams produced “Cloverfield”, so if your going to hark on the gimmick, blame Matt Reeves, he was the one who actually directed it.

  • 88 6-08-2011 at 2:30 pm

    Maxim said...

    Honest question,

    Is this topic being held atop on purpose? If, so it’s pretty sad.

  • 89 6-08-2011 at 2:31 pm

    Maxim said...

    Also, Cloverfield was a very good film that was entirely satisfying to me.

  • 90 6-08-2011 at 2:39 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Held atop? What do you mean? We just haven’t posted in a few days. And what’s sad about a review for the film opening at the end of the week being at the top of the site in the days leading up to said release?

  • 91 6-08-2011 at 4:19 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Interestingly, Paramount has decided to give the film a limited release one day early in 325 theaters consisting of the 200+ Imax screens it is going to have, and some regular theaters in major markets. Seems a bit like an act of desperation to me after there have been reports that the film’s tracking is low, though I agree with the stance the studio took in the Deadline Hollywood article that a $25-30 million opening weekend (which would be on the low end of the tracking) really isn’t so bad when the film cost just $50 million.

  • 92 6-08-2011 at 4:21 pm

    Maxim said...

    It’s just that it’s been an uncommonly long time before there’s been any updates on the site. “Super h8ted” is a pretty strong response and every time I came back to the site it was the first thing I saw for two days now. I don’t agree with your take in the slightest but If it wasn’t intentional than I am sorry.

    Meanwhile though the movie is sitting very comfortably at 83 percent and certified fresh rating on RT.

    And these aren’t just online fan critics anymore either. That first wave is over and it’s doing pretty much as well. The movie has been receieved and it’s been received perfectly well by summer standards essentially.

    And it’s another reminder than what Spielberg does when he directs himself is very very hard to pull off or replicate.

  • 93 6-08-2011 at 4:26 pm

    John G said...

    The “react first, watch later mentality” has a lot to do with the popularity of sites like this, where film fans can gage the general reaction to a new movie before laying eyes on it themselves. Readers are exposed to quality writing and thought-out reasoning, decide they agree, and then argue the point with only testimony as proof.

    Incontention has been attempting to curb this occasionally gratifying, often confusing trend with the “tell us what you thought of” threads, which shift the focus from prognostication to emphasis on what’s actually been seen, to some success.

  • 94 6-08-2011 at 4:36 pm

    Joe W said...

    Entertainment Weekly just gave it an A and called it the best movie of “many summers”

    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20483133_20483446,00.html

    Some people are going to like the movie, some aren’t. A lot of people are liking the movie. While I have complete respect for Kris and his opinion (which are always articulated quite well), can we stop this back-and-forth bashing over Kris not liking the movie?

    Save it for when he opens a thread for your own reviews. Then you guys can actually argue about a movie you’ve seen.

  • 95 6-08-2011 at 5:25 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Maxim: It’s not all that uncommonly long for the off-season, especially one so thin on coverage (willfully, mind you) as this one has been. But I’m sorry you’re not greeted with a headline the past two days that is more agreeable for you.

    As for the other critics chiming in, it has been noted. I think — as I’ve mentioned on Twitter, as well as above in some fashion — that there is a rush to approve of something that feels so against the quality-dearth grain of the season. I think something that has an ounce of feeling is bound to get an easier ride this time of year. And, in my opinion, it translates to hyperbolic praise (especially someone willing to call it the best movie of “many summers” — though the actual quote is “many years,” which is worse), but that’s my take.

    I have no doubt a number of critics enjoyed the film, but when you read the reviews, there is an apologetic tone here and there for admitted issues therein. I guess I’m just not willing to extend that tone just because of when a film is released and what is released around it.

    “It’s another reminder than what Spielberg does when he directs himself is very very hard to pull off or replicate.”

    I do agree with this. And the best adjective I’ve read to describe the film ties in to that: “re-heated.”

  • 96 6-08-2011 at 5:55 pm

    KBJr. said...

    I remember sitting in a movie theater a few months back, seeing the “Super 8″ trailer, and asking “WTF?” I HATE movie trailers that just lob together the loudest parts of the film and call that a teaser. No, it’s annoying. I’d like to have at least some semblance of what the film is going to be about before I drop $10 bucks to see it.

    So with that being said, since then I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth about “Super 8″. Then I found out J.J. Abrams was involved (I would’ve sworn this was all Steven Spielberg) and that sealed the deal: I’ll pass, thanks.

    I was one of those rare souls who saw Star Trek and hated it with the vengeance. Overrated. MI:3 was just as bad too.

    I’ll just say I truly enjoyed reading the back-and-forth banter on this comments thread. Pure comedy.

  • 97 6-08-2011 at 6:15 pm

    George said...

    Well there go my expectations for Super 8.

    Super 8 is managing quite a few raves, but Kris was also one of the very few bloggers last summer who gave a levelheaded early review of Inception.

  • 98 6-08-2011 at 6:43 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    This is getting beyond silly. Are we really trying to come up with theories as to why people are rating the movie higher than they should?

    C’mon now. People clearly dig the movie, it’s not just getting 6/10 reviews across the board that are compiling to give it a high percentage. The Metacritic rating is quite high, and the average rating on RT is quite high.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong for not liking it, but I think you should give the positive opinions as much respect as you expect for your negative opinion.

  • 99 6-08-2011 at 8:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s not really a singular “theory,” Brock:

    http://goo.gl/mxMQg

    And it’s not really a theory at all. Just reading what’s in the reviews. No malice intended.

  • 100 6-08-2011 at 9:25 pm

    Louis said...

    I am sure that deep down, there is a young Kristopher Tapley inside of you (the one who once was hoping for a lightsaber for Christmas) who Super L8ved it :)

  • 101 6-09-2011 at 12:50 am

    Rebecca Parker said...

    Just got back from seeing it as I’m on vacation in New Zealand, and I thought it was fantastic. Is it a bit of nostalgia fanwank? Sure, of course. It feels like a combination of Close Encounters & ET & The Goonies with a touch of Jaws. But I thought it was fantastic – moody, well paced, great score and some terrific acting. Sorry you didn’t like it Kris, but I think you will find you will be in the minority on this one.

  • 102 6-09-2011 at 2:36 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Maxim: No conspiracy theories necessary. Kris and I would both rather be posting than not posting — for the good of our readers as well as the site. Apologies for the lull, particularly on my end — there have been unwelcome distractions. More material coming your way today, though.

  • 103 6-09-2011 at 7:44 am

    reallydude said...

    I’m shocked as to why this is so surprising to so many. Kris, you lack the basic skills to be a true critic. The truth is, you’re rude and unable to discuss the opinions of others without elevating your own. I say this because I have seen you do so for a good many years now and have truly given up on you or the ability take you serious in any way. I come here to get insight on film from Guy and others, not to watch you bully your readers.

  • 104 6-09-2011 at 9:35 am

    Jack Pig said...

    For those of us who were underwhelmed by MI:3 and very impressed by Star Trek, how are we likely to rate Super 8?

  • 105 6-09-2011 at 9:47 am

    David said...

    Saw the film last night at a press screening. Gotta say, I agree with Kris. I didn’t hate it as much, as there were elements that were done well, but when all was said and done it added up to nothing. Story story story… good acting, great action sequences and absolutely no emotional investment. The ending was terrible.

  • 106 6-09-2011 at 1:40 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    reallydude: Who’s bullying readers? If you make a dumb-fuck offensive statement, you’ll be called out on it. Sorry that rubs you the wrong way. As for being a “true critic,” I’m long (emphatically) on the record as stating I’m NOT a “true critic,” nor do I want to be. That doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion and can’t convey that opinion with a-little-better-than-basic English.

  • 107 6-09-2011 at 5:38 pm

    qwiggles said...

    Full agreement: super bore. That said…

    “I have no doubt a number of critics enjoyed the film, but when you read the reviews, there is an apologetic tone here and there for admitted issues therein. I guess I’m just not willing to extend that tone just because of when a film is released and what is released around it.”

    I don’t know: the hedging tone one finds in a lot of the ‘it’s good, but…’ reviews seems to be only tangentially related to it being a ‘feeling’ movie coming out in the summer; which reviews do you mean? The gist of the B-B+ range seems more like: if only it had the balls to keep from degrading into a rote monster movie, what with all those good child actors. Not too far from your take in content, except in tone — they just liked it more.

    And on the other side, the raves don’t sound especially apologetic. The EW review also seems more concerned with depictions of ‘American summertime youth’ than with summer as a soulless release season, with that early potshot about superhero movies aside.

    At any rate…let’s say the critics who like it are banding together to say this one, for all its problems, is kind of sweet? Beyond the fact that this didn’t make up for the incoherence of the narrative for you (or for me: what a POS), why is this necessarily a problem? While it’s had an enormous marketing push, it’s still a new property that’s been sold haphazardly. There’s a good reason you hear a touch of advocacy in the positive reviews, just as you did in the ones for First Class, which was soiled by its predecessors.

  • 108 6-09-2011 at 5:44 pm

    Rebecca Parker said...

    Well, my “review” which, as you may put it, seemed “hedging” as I mentioned that yes, it felt like a “nostalgic fanwank” (not sure if that’s the correct term) was really more admitting that maybe, if they bothers you, it may stand out to you – but it’s not anything that bothered ME. Was it a perfect film? No, it had slight issues. But I don’t think there is such a thing – you can find fault in everything. I thought it was one of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year and very well done. Seems, to me, more that people who don’t like the movie are picking apart what the people who DO like it are saying just to somehow devalue our opinions. I don’t begrudge people not liking it (although I am disappointed) and I wish people wouldn’t begrudge those of us that do.

  • 109 6-09-2011 at 7:28 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    qwiggles: In truth, it’s not a problem. Not for me. Just an observation.

    Rebecca: No begrudging. I haven’t read your review, but there’s just a big imbalance in the critical community vis a vis what is and isn’t forgiven in mainstream cinema.

  • 110 6-10-2011 at 6:17 am

    Sophie said...

    I have read Guy and Kris’s film criticism for several years, but have made no comments. I have enjoyed the perspectives offered and made up my own mind by going to see the films I have had an initial interest in. Sometimes I have agreed with one or both of them. Sometimes I have disagreed. The point is I made up my own mind. I wasn’t a lemming. The only problem I see in the debate about Super 8 are those of you who have decided not to go simply because Kris didn’t like it. Are your opinions about film really in such lock-step synchronization with his? Wow! Maybe you were separated at birth. If you were looking forward to the film, go see it.

  • 111 6-10-2011 at 11:13 am

    corran horn said...

    Filipe: I’m with you on Cowboys and Aliens. Despite the goofy title, I really like what I’ve seen and heard thus far. As for anything on the level of District 9, Inception, and Dark Knight, I sadly doubt it. Hopefully, next summer’s promising lot (Prometheus, Gravity, TDK Rises, etc) will make up for this year’s lackluster crop (one of the worst I’ve seen in a while).

    As for Super 8 itself, I’ll be seeing it next week sometime (after I get back from apartment hunting in Boulder CO). I have no problem with Kris not liking it. He and I have generally been on the same wavelength these past few years. I’d happily take him over Wells and Poland any day.

  • 112 6-10-2011 at 11:41 am

    Noah Nickels said...

    Dood, your review is so far off base its borderline trolling.

    The lens flares were clearly used as foreshadowing, how you missed that is beyond me.

    How can the sci-fi be ‘accoutrement’ as you say, its a fucking movie about a giant space alien? jesus man, its like you wanted to use that word and were going to force it in there no matter what. the sci fi “bigness” is not an accessory it is the crux of the flow. And it doesn’t smash your face, abrams actually takes half the film to evolve the back stories and develop the characters.

    this is a prime example of hating for the sake of hating. contrarian just to be different. are you sure this review wasn’t written by Armond White?

  • 113 6-10-2011 at 2:13 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Trolling on my own site. There’s a first.

    But let’s see — the lens flare as “foreshadowing.” If it were a singular instance, I might buy it as a retro technique being employed, but it’s obviously a part of Abrams’s arsenal as it is and it just doesn’t work.

    I think maybe you don’t know what “accoutrement” means, but that’s what the sci-fi elements amount to on the screen. In fact I think they’re borderline clutter.

    If, as you suggest, the sci-fi “bigness” is indeed “the crux of the flow,” it’s an even bigger failure. But I actually see the “crux of the flow” (Do I get to make a snarky remark about how you must have been dying to use the word “crux?”) is the journey of the main character toward letting go of the past — unfortunately that’s played too much on the surface to have a deep impact.

    I’m sorry you think I’m “hating for the sake of hating.” I went into “Super 8″ hoping to love it. It was, in fact, one of the few films of the summer I was looking forward to seeing.

    But I’m glad you think you know more than I do where I was coming from when I typed out my honest assessment.

  • 114 6-10-2011 at 2:28 pm

    noah nickels said...

    *** spoiler alert***
    The lens flares we see throughout the film are the exact same lens flares we see when the lights of the air force glint off the departing spaceship. It’s a continuation effect employed to engage the viewer and subconsciously re-enforce this was the fate of the alien all along.

    You are entitled to your own opinion dood, your review just came off as, to use your own words, snarky.

    how is the alien clutter? what is this movie with the sci-fi elements? what is goonies without a treasure map and search? I really dont get what you’re driving at. How are the sci-fi elements an after thought?

    would you have liked them to delve more deeply into why he was here in the first place, his mission, his planet what we learned? but you yourself say the heart of the story is the protagonists journey to acceptance, how much more do we need to add in the sci-fi? its certainly not just mere salad dressing.

    you’re absolutely correct and i retract my statements about your state of mind, it just touched a nerve, because i honestly felt you are being overly dismissive. clearly you have a movie mind, but i don’t feel you are using it in this instance.

  • 115 6-10-2011 at 2:43 pm

    Shane said...

    ‘Lens flare as foreshadowing’ – gimme a break. So what were all the lens flares for in Star Trek? They’re an irritating stylistic device which distracts you from the fact that the nothing cuts together in a meaningful way.

  • 116 6-10-2011 at 3:38 pm

    Sophie said...

    You do yourself no favors by trolling your own website. Your nit-picky word analysis of some of the posts is just a convenient way of avoiding the points being made by the authors. When you aren’t telling someone they used the wrong word, you are far too defensive for someone who is comfortable with your knowledge of film. Saying less would serve you better.

  • 117 6-10-2011 at 7:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Noah: I think you’re misreading me slightly. I’m fine with the alien as a concept, but it feels half-baked, as others surely have pointed out (so it’s not some left-field perspective). Therefore it just feels like clutter when the real power was the relationships developed between the kids.

    I didn’t necessarily need an in-depth study of that aspect of the script, but I have to say, the moment it wraps itself up, it felt…cheap. Flimsy. There was nothing there, ultimately, and “bad things happen” doesn’t cut it. For me, anyway.

    Sophie: Are you addressing me? If so, I’m not following. It’s not trolling to engage discussion. (I was making a joke with that term, which was placed on me, by the way, by the commenter I was addressing.) What do you mean nit-picky word analysis? I’m just addressing the arguments made.

    Boy, there sure are a lot of pissed-in cornflakes and hurt feelings in this thread…

  • 118 6-10-2011 at 8:04 pm

    DylanS said...

    I haven’t seen “Super 8″, but having just re-watched “Star Trek”, I feel safe in assuming that Abrams uses them only as a signature stamp to indicate that it’s an Abrams work, also a means of breaking the fourth wall to occasionaly remind the audience that they re watching a movie. It’s sort of like what Alfonzo Cuaron did with the digital snow hitting the lens in “Harry Potter” and the blood splatter in “Children of Men”. At least that’s my interpretation.

  • 119 6-10-2011 at 8:18 pm

    Sophie said...

    Kris, Have you ever considered writing riddles for a living? You may be the only critic/blogger I have ever read who has a real shot at reviving that lost art. You have a real flair for not really answering your critics in the most inventive ways.

  • 120 6-10-2011 at 8:21 pm

    Andrej said...

    It’s because this is one of those ‘big’ movie which everyone seems to marry to before they’ve even seen it. If a criticism just as harsh had been applied to a rather low key film, no one would bat an eyelid for it, guaranteed.

    Not trying to be a whiteknight here, but geez, this isn’t worth getting all flustered for. It’s not like Kris is criticizing your mom or anything, it’s just a friggin’ movie.

    :-/ Stop getting so personal about it.

  • 121 6-10-2011 at 9:45 pm

    Alex L. said...

    Seriously guys, everyone just go see the movie for yourself! Whether your thought on movies match up with Chris most of the time or not. We go to the movies to be entertained, enlightened, and once in a blue moon, touched. My taste also matches Chris but after reading Chris’s Inglourious Basterds review then seeing that movie I knew that movies are a personal experience. If someone told you to jump off a bridge would you do it? (BTW I loved Super 8 a lot. My favorite Abrams directed feature so far!)

  • 122 6-10-2011 at 9:47 pm

    Alex L. said...

    Oh and I would really like to know Guy’s thoughts on the movie when he gets to it!!?!?!?

  • 123 6-10-2011 at 10:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Still not following, Sophie. You must know something I don’t know.

  • 124 6-11-2011 at 2:52 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Alex L: I’ll be sure to let you guys know. Quite intrigued myself.

  • 125 6-11-2011 at 2:52 pm

    Sophie said...

    I would never claim that. That is the difference between you and me.

  • 126 6-11-2011 at 3:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Claim what? What are you talking about?

  • 127 6-11-2011 at 3:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sophie’s recent detour into confusion aside, I do agree with her initial statement here. No one should take someone else’s word for it. See the film. (And see the addendum to this review added last night.)

  • 128 6-11-2011 at 3:23 pm

    Lesley said...

    Well, I loved it! JJ Abrams did a superior job at emulating Young Spielberg than Michael Bay or even… god forbid… old Spielberg! (have we all forgotten the nostalgia attempts from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?)

    And stop picking on Kris. He’s confident in his opinionsand sharp with his rebuttals but he also has feelings. Let’s be grateful that this thoughtful website exists in the first place and of all the coverage he does for you guys FOR FREE…

  • 129 6-11-2011 at 5:33 pm

    Sophie said...

    Just read the addendum. While perhaps a conveniently forgotten afterthought, at least you finally engaged directly with your readers complete thoughts, rather than mere semantic differences. Bravo!

    And Lesley…for free??? Are you really that naive?

  • 130 6-11-2011 at 6:06 pm

    Lesley said...

    How much do you pay to come here and read this content? Are you really that jaded?

  • 131 6-11-2011 at 8:53 pm

    Vinci said...

    Super h8′ed too. Just wrote my review. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Thank you Kris Tapley.

  • 132 6-11-2011 at 8:53 pm

    Sophie said...

    Lesley, Your original claim was that Kris isn’t paid for this. That is what I am referring to. Kris, I now have more sympathy for what/who you have to deal with on this site.

  • 133 6-11-2011 at 10:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think the point Lesley was making was that the content was free, not that I’m not paid for what I do.

    Kumbaya.

  • 134 6-11-2011 at 10:31 pm

    Lesley said...

    Yeah, that was pretty clear. Sophie must know something we don’t know, not that she would ever claim that though. That’s the difference between you and her, Kris.

  • 135 6-12-2011 at 12:23 am

    Nick said...

    I saw it before I read any reviews, and I gotta say, I had the exact same reaction. And for everyone that went completely bat sh*t crazy over this review, why would you even be reading reviews in the first place if you aren’t willing to listen to somebody’s opinion? I don’t agree with Kris’ reviews all the time, but he’s still probably one of themost honest and reliable critics that I know of.

  • 136 6-12-2011 at 9:36 am

    Vinci said...

    I don’t remember the lens flares from Star Trek, but I found Abrams’ use of them very distracting. In fact, I didn’t know what lens flares were until I read your review. At the time of viewing, I thought there was something wrong with the IMAX projector.

  • 137 6-13-2011 at 6:21 am

    Joseph W said...

    Agree on the lens flare. It was okay in Star Trek. Cause there was a lot of lighting inside the ship. But in this it was just – what? made no sense.

  • 138 6-13-2011 at 12:21 pm

    Sawyer said...

    Super H8ed it.

    Just kidding. I think I was more entertained than Kris, although he didn’t really get into that, but I had many of the same issues, especially with the script. Definitely no better than Cloverfield, and a not nearly as good as Star Trek.

  • 139 6-13-2011 at 5:50 pm

    Dan said...

    I am a longtime reader of this blog and have found it it to be one of the most informative and discerning film blogs on the web.

    I recognize that as film fanatics we have a variety of strong opinions about the art form we love and I have disagreed with the bloggers on this site many times. I was one of the minority who felt The Dark Knight was not worthy of an Oscar nom in a field of five. I loved Super 8, because although the plot was spotty, it accurately portrayed my own junior high fantasies. I appreciate the general professionalism of the opinions

    I don’t mean to be a snob, but if you are going to critique the contributers to this site, which you have every right to do, at least do it with a degree of maturity. If you want to be an a**hole about it, start your own blog.

  • 140 6-13-2011 at 6:47 pm

    Kyle T. said...

    The film did not work for me at all, and I agree with almost all of Kris’s critique.

    As a Canadian, and one raised in an urban setting, I wonder if maybe the film plays better for Americans, and specifically those who relate to the small town upbringing of the kids in the film. I had the ‘average’ Canadian childhood upbringing in the 80′s (although the film appears set in the 70′s) and found myself unable to connect with the idealized version of childhood Abram’s struggles to bring to life.

    I’m the last person who wants a vapid, empty entertainment, but I almost feel the opposite of Kris, that it would have been more successful as a straight on thril ride, and left all of the ‘stand by me’/'goonies/’et’ isn’t childhood great stuff out, instead of the much needed (and missing) complexity of something such as Lost or Alias (hell, even Star Trek)