The missus and I got to see Super 8 on Thursday morning at a sparsely-attended “secret sneak preview” that they had promoted only through Twitter. It’s the first time I think I’ve seen a 4K projection locally, and let me tell you — the entire thing was amazingly clean and detailed. But not in a bad, glossy, Star Wars prequels sort of way. No, this thing felt like film, if film could ever be so stable. Amazing picture.
Anyway, as for the film itself — highly recommended. Not just for the early-Spielberg feel (there is a definite Close Encounters/ET/Goonies vibe to it, not to mention several subtly direct references — check out the kids at the dinner table), but for the great story with the kids making a Super 8 movie for a local film festival; it totally reminded me of my experiences making short films as a kid. Haven’t seen a movie like this that made me fall in love with it in the first 15 minutes in a very long time.
Best to go see it without spoiling it with trailers or reviews, if you can. Watch it clean.
Maybe the last reel isn’t perfect, but who cares? It’s got so much great stuff going for it (pitch-perfect location, great performances, especially from the kids), that I think it can be forgiven an overused trope here or there. After all, it is a nostalgic film at its heart.
You should check out my podcast about movie magic and VFX: The Optical.