2011-06-10

Super 8 – Be Seen And Be Loved

by Yo Snyder

Super 8 is not your typical summer movie fare. Its not all
sound and fury; theres actually quite a bit of substance here. That
should really come as no surprise considering those behind its making.
J.J. Abrams has shown he knows how to tell compelling stories with big
ideas, and Steven Spielberg has always brought a sense of wonder and
magic to most of his films. The touch of both these filmmakers is
readily apparent in Super 8, and its part of what makes it so
enjoyable. While at times underdeveloped, this is a summer movie that
will leave you feeling like you did when you went to summer movies as a
kid.

The core of the movie is the Scooby-Doo gang of kids who are spending their summer making a movie. This
is when the movie shines the brightest and feels the warmest. It
doesnt hurt that these kids put in some grade-A performances. Elle
Fanning is captivating in her role as Alice, and Joel Courtney perfectly
captures the awkwardness of a boy in a love and the adventurous spirit
of young man discovering his self. All of the kids are great in their
roles, giving the film a Goonies charm to it. The adults dont fare
quite as well, but thats mostly because they have less to do.

While the kids provide the heart, the something that has invaded
their town provides the excitement and action. However, this film
probably would have had even more impact and emotional resonance had the
story of of the something been as well developed as that of the kids.
Its story parallels that of the children, and when the two finally
cross, I couldnt help but feel that if I had known more about the
something, that scene would have been truly captivating. As it was, it
was merely interesting and helped lead to a very Spielberg-esque type
ending. In truth, a few things happen a little too easily to bring us to
this heartwarming ending, but its still a nice way to the end the film
nonetheless.

One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Joe is talking about
his mom. She was killed in an accident at the steel mill a few months
ago, and Alice, while watching some old home movies, wanted to know more
about her. Joe
said that his mom had this way of looking at him, and when she did, he
knew that was seen and that he existed. I know it sounds kind of weird,
but I understand what he was saying. Sometime the people who love just
have this way of looking at you, really looking at you, that make you
feel like no one else can. That look conveys so much, but ultimately it
lets us know that we matter, that we are significant, and that were
loved. God sees us; really sees us. He sees us for who we are; who we
really are. And whats more, he sees us because we matter to him. Psalms
chapter eight asks God what is man that he is mindful of us, that he
should care for us, and then goes on to say that God has crowned us with
glory. Perhaps it may seem like we are insignificant and that we dont
matter. It may seem that no cares or even notices our hurts and our
pain. But the truth is God sees, he sees it all, he loves us, and he
will always be there for us. God looks at you in that certain way where
you can know that you exist, you matter, and you are loved.

Super 8 is an interesting summer film. It has all the flash
and style of a summer blockbuster. It has the trills and spectacle, but
it also has something else. Its not afraid to be quiet and thoughtful.
Its willing to take some time to let us get to know some characters,
and to grow with them and get to care for them. Its a summer
blockbuster with heart, and thats a pretty rare thing to find anymore.
The film is not without its problems. The two disparate parts of the
story of the kids and that of the something and how it affects the
town doesnt always blend well. The adults are often nothing more than
props or scenery, and there are some changes and resolutions that come
just a little too easily to get us to the movies end. Despite these
issues, Super 8 is both touching and exciting, heartwarming and
thrilling. Is it the best movie of the summer? I dont know about that,
but its certainly the one thats had the most heart, and that makes it
something special.

Guide Rating: 5/7