Super 8: Movie Review

As expected from the genius mind behind television's "Fringe" and "Lost" and movies like "Star Trek" and "Cloverfield", J.J. Abrams once again delivers a spectacle with "Super 8". It starts slowly, a pace that captivates the audience’ interest by first getting to know the main protagonists, six youngsters whose shared interest – film making – becomes the instrument through which the story unfolds. Each character has their own quirkiness, giving rise to scenes with a mixture of serious and comic feeling. Early in the beginning you can already see that one of the film’s strong points lies on the young actors’ portrayal of their roles (which I theorized as another manifestation of Spielberg’s prowess in managing young actors, extracting their full potential as we saw in "A.I." and "E.T."). Even after a nerve-wrecking, traumatizing incident, everyone remains dead serious in completing the film to the point of taking advantage of the mysterious happenings in their town and even making it all part of their story. And maybe it is where the irony comes from – given the gravity of what’s taking place aggravated by the adults’ terror and persistence towards uncovering the truth, it is but the kids’ bold tenacity and whims, that finally lead the story to its resolution. Read on to catch the full-blown review of "Super 8".

Speaking of the technicalities of the movie (since it is Abrams+Spielberg we’re talking about here), I can say that once again, the two geniuses have won me over. All visual effects just come in right amount to contain your emotions and let your imagination breed more theories to what maybe behind all the mystery. Not to mention the ingenuity of how the shifting moods (from suspense to humor) are achieved, the scene showing the severe real implications of what’s happening juxtaposing another scene wherein the kids toy with their newfound film resources, just provide the audience a time for laugh and relief amidst all the suspense taking place. As for the sounds, oh please don’t get me started. The sounds just provide that needed daunting, looming atmosphere, cleverly placed along stretch of scenes with great timing and dynamic. And I just love how films excel with just their diegetic sounds, no background music needed but the mere sound coming from objects, people, creatures in the movie are just enough to intensify the simplicity of how everything is crafted thus making it all seemingly real.

But the one thing which somehow disappoints me is the revelation itself. So that’s it? After all the crazy things that happened, it all boils down to just that? I mean yes, there is definitely a twist but it isn’t that much, it won’t make you say “woaaaah!”, “awwww…” or “waaaah!” or *speechless with jaw dropping* but just an “ah okay…” in the end since it’s just like any other sci-fi concept. But then again, such is offset by how everything is magnificently concluded. The way things come to a dramatic end and finally resolved is really something to watch out for. Plus, the kids offer us an extra treat so stay seated until credits!

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg in the same project? Need we say more?
- The sounds were used effectively to bring the audiences to another realm

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- given all the hype with who or what the secret is, the film boils down with a thud by being too generic with its reveal

You can also catch "Super 8" at the Ayala Cinemas namely Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Trinoma, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Cebu, Marquee Mall and Abreeza. Log on to to reserve your tickets in advance.

This was a guest review by Sheila Gastillo. Sheila works as a financial analyst in one of the biggest fast food restaurants in the world. She is admittedly a scifi geek at heart.


  1. I've seen the movie twice now at sneak screenings and I thought it was wonderful. It's a throwback to films of the '70's, when kids were more innocent and imaginatio¬n more abundant. The trailer doesn't do it justice because the trailer makes it seem oh so super serious, whereas the movie is warm, funny, sweet, moving, has thrills, chills, jumpy moments, no gore, and characters you care about. Kids and adults. The adults here are not stupid, and take the kids seriously. There's more depth than you might expect in the main characters¬' personal lives too.

    It's a lot of fun, and a good time. Not everyone will like it, but not everyone likes everything¬. Their problem, not the movie's problem.

  2. This movie is very disappointing. The director of this film seems to have just graduated from a film school, and tried to put as much of his acquired knowledge to a high budgeted film.

    Think of this scene :
    The kids were jumping from house to house to find alice, their village became a war zone, guns blazing, tanks firing.
    - where is the enemy here? the movie failed to show that the enemy came out and suddenly soldiers are shooting from all different directions. (to think they know that the enemy is just one alien)

    This is just one of my observations
    For me this movie is a waste of money.

  3. If you like Spielberg and Abrams work, you will like this movie. The development of the kid's roles takes this movie to another level than many movies of today. Super 8 has an emotionally affecting quality that should get your attention, especially those of us who grew up in the 70's. It has a little language, though, like the Spielberg movies of the 80's - my only criticism.

  4. the reason the soldiers are misfiring everywhere in the town is because the alien is messing up communication, pay attention to the movie dumbass before you run around saying the movie sucked because of your own stupidity - this is directed towards an above comment

  5. I agree, the soldiers weren't just simply running around and aiming aimlessly, the alien has taken over control of the electronics, armaments and communications causing the chaos. That is why, if you observe carefully, some of the soldiers are even running away from each other or why they're even firing at each other. The whole place was scrambled by the creature...

  6. This film has the potential to be the E.T. for a new generation, and will be very satisfying to a younger audience.
    Unfortunately for me, who saw the original E.T. in the theatre, it was very disappointing, in the fact that I had high hopes that JJ and Steven would bring some fresh fun new ideas to the screen. They didn't. They used their same bag of tricks from previous movies.
    Bottom line: this is a good movie, if you are too young to have watched Goonies, E.T., et al. or you have a poor memory and don't remember those old plots. Not a bad film, just nothing new.

  7. yeah it was the very fine hit of this children's special movie in the world ... thank you....