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ceenindee
06-11-2011, 01:18 AM
No thread yet? I guess I'll be the first. My two cents:

There's no denying this is a well-done movie, but I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. Here's why (again, rampant spoilers)...

1. This is advertised as an alien movie. It's not. It's a movie about kids, small towns, summer, and the 70s. Aside from the train crash (which was spectacular) and a few scenes at the end, there's very little of the action and disaster I've come to expect from sci-fi films, and very little of the monster itself.

2. As great as the build-up was, the payoff didn't seem to equal it. The ending felt easy to me, and for as much as we waited to see the monster, he wasn't nearly as scary as I was expecting. Also it looked a lot like the cloverfield thing.

Otherwise, I enjoyed it. It was funny, I love Kyle Chandler, and I'll support any original script in this wave of sequels and reboots. But I worry it's being overrated. EW.com is calling it the best summer movie in years. Personally I liked Inception better. I think even Xmen First Class is on par. EDIT: I also loved the score.

Thoughts?

katiemac
06-11-2011, 06:04 AM
I didn't get the strict "alien movie" vibe from the marketing, but to be fair, being familiar with Speilberg and Abrams and Amblin, I was expecting something more character-driven. And that certainly delivered. The alien could have never been shown and I would have been fine with that.

I agree with the bit of cheese factor with regards to the end, but I think it's an incredibly well made movie and I adore the retro-nostalgia feel it brings to the screen. Kyle Chandler is great but so were the rest of the kid actors.

ceenindee
06-11-2011, 07:34 AM
^And I'm beginning to think part of the reason I didn't "get it" is because I didn't grow up around then, so the nostalgia was lost on me. That seems to be people's favorite thing about the movie.

MrWrite
06-11-2011, 07:41 AM
The train crash was stunning. The kids were great. There were a lot of the Spielberg magic touches reminiscent of his classic movies like ET and Close Encounters. There were a lot of jump out of your skin moments too.

And then there's the ending. Probably the worst ending to a movie since Signs. I'm sorry but you lot were too kind to the ending. Contrived, silly and far too easy. So go see the film because the first 90 minutes were great. Just be aware that the ending lets the film down. Badly.

DavidZahir
06-11-2011, 08:15 AM
I enjoyed it, but you can tell Steven Spielberg had his hands all over it--no matter who supposedly "directed" it. The story is just too neat, with every little plot point tied up with a bow. No emotional baggage is left with any major character. No matter how insanely dangerous a situation will prove to be, no one we know and like will even get seriously hurt (when frankly some of them should have been killed). The ending was a special effects extravaganza, amidst several such sequences (driving up the cost and thus the difficulty in making a profit) and includes as heavy-handed a piece of symbolism as I have ever seen. Children almost never talk like real children, but more like a slightly modern-esque version of Norman Rockwell characters (if they could speak).

But it was fun. The story was exciting. All the cast did really fine jobs (I'd never seen Elle Fanning before--she's very talented and btw she's also TALL for her age). I had a nice time. But then, I also saw it for free (one of the perks of living in LA).

NewKidOldKid
06-11-2011, 10:15 AM
I liked the Goonies vibe (maybe because I LOVE The Goonies!) but I didn't love the movie. I don't know, I guess I was expecting more? It was good, just not amazing.

childeroland
06-11-2011, 11:24 PM
I didn't pay much attention to the marketing, so I just thought this would be a nostalgia film anyway, which it is. I saw enough of the alien to suit me--I usually prefer it when that kind of thing is kept mostly out of sight anyway.

I liked the ending a lot, since I thought they were going to kill the alien and I'm happy it didn't. I don't think the monster was supposed to be that scary, only sympathetic, which it became for me after what the kids learned of its history on Earth.

The film is overrated. Then again, this seems to be the summer for that; Filmspotting, a great podcast, called X-Men:First Class the best sci-fi film since the original Star Wars! I thought the score was okay, but nothing John Williams couldn't knock out in his sleep.

It also seems to be the summer of finding stars. Chris Hemsworth, Michael Fassbender, Elle Fanning.

Kelsey
06-11-2011, 11:43 PM
I am a HUGE J.J. fan. Huge! So of course I was first in line at the midnight show. I enjoyed the film -- thought the kids were great, loved the limited views of the alien, felt awesome tingly sensations at the excitement of spotting Slusho signs. As much as I liked it, "Cloverfield" was better, as far as J.J.'s alien movies go.

katiemac
06-11-2011, 11:57 PM
I am a HUGE J.J. fan. Huge! So of course I was first in line at the midnight show. I enjoyed the film -- thought the kids were great, loved the limited views of the alien, felt awesome tingly sensations at the excitement of spotting Slusho signs. As much as I liked it, "Cloverfield" was better, as far as J.J.'s alien movies go.

Missed the Slusho signs, but glad to hear they were there!

Zoombie
06-12-2011, 03:39 AM
I liked it a lot!

Manuel Royal
06-12-2011, 11:22 PM
I enjoyed it. Really was like a Spielberg movie, but with a more mature director and a better composer. (So glad it wasn't John Williams; his crap gets hard to listen to for a whole movie.)

Note: not a monster movie. It's a character, not a monster. The monsters in the movie are Air Force brass, who really seem to be dicks.

Interesting interpretation of a very advanced imaginary technology.

It's irritating that nostalgic movies are being set in years when I was already an adult. But I agree with Roger Ebert that Super 8 isn't nostalgic for a time so much as for a style of film-making.

It was fun to see the kids' movie during the credits.

robeiae
06-13-2011, 05:19 AM
Great freakin' movie. Humor, action, scary stuff, romance, drama. It's all there.

The whole thing had a Stand By Me feel, not a Goonies feel, to me anyway.

Took my ten year old (Stand By Me is his fav, btw) and he loved every minute of it.

That's the test of a good movie, in my view: I loved it, my kid loved it.

Leah J. Utas
06-13-2011, 07:28 AM
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Kept having to remind myself it was Abrams, not Spielberg, directing. Loved the Super 8 movie during the credits.

Nightmirror
06-13-2011, 08:53 AM
Loved the Super 8 movie during the credits.

Oh, yes. The credits were adorable.

TheMindKiller
06-13-2011, 06:55 PM
Man I hated the ending. So... stupid. I mean, I get it. I saw it coming. They kept talking about how they could feel just how terrified the creature was, but when he picks up the kid and all the kid says is "Bad things happen!" and then flies off in a spaceship made from a water tower... Apparently they don't have bedtime stories on that alien's planet cause he had never heard the phrase "Bad things happen" before?

I agree with the rest of you. Liked the movie but the ending was wrapped up way too quickly and way too neatly.

I didn't stay for the credits though. I don't have patience for that. Will have to YouTube it :D

katiemac
06-13-2011, 06:59 PM
They kept talking about how they could feel just how terrified the creature was, but when he picks up the kid and all the kid says is "Bad things happen!"

I feel as though this is something they could have done to greater effect without words. Since they established the alien's ability to psychically link, they could have made the point without the dialogue.

DavidZahir
06-13-2011, 10:13 PM
Totally missed the Slusho bits. Duh.

The closing credits were great--up there with 300 and The Incredibles for great closing credits of a movie!

Kept thinking afterwards that if Stephen King had written this, one of the kids would have died. Meanwhile, the lead and his Dad wouldn't really have settled the issues between them but would have gained the wisdom to forgive his father, enough anyway. And the two fathers would not have 'made up.' Too many plotlines tied up with a very, very neat bow.

The alien was great until we got too good a look at its face--which seems weirdly human for such an alien creature.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
06-14-2011, 11:07 AM
And then there's the ending. Probably the worst ending to a movie since Signs.Hey! That's what I thought of as we were exiting the theatre--I even said: "Swing away."

amrose
06-14-2011, 11:43 PM
Jaws + Goonies + Stand By Me + Close Encounters of the Third Kind = Super 8

Overall I liked it but I could have done without the alien, honestly and had some other mundane problem the kids were facing with their movie making hijinks. Everything with the alien came off half-baked to me and I agree the ending was "meh."

veinglory
06-14-2011, 11:45 PM
I agree that the pay off was a bit lackluster and some of the bits at the end didn't make a lot of sense. But I enjoyed the buildup.

Zoombie
06-14-2011, 11:50 PM
I thought the alien was pretty cool...

Also, he has a good plan: Build a giant electromagnet to collect his space ship part.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
06-15-2011, 02:01 AM
Also, he has a good plan: Build a giant electromagnet to collect his space ship part.I objected to neither the alien nor his(?) plan. I felt a little betrayed by the out of the mouths of babes revelation that "Bad things happen." Apparently even on interstellar excursions.

lukereynolds
06-15-2011, 02:33 AM
I loved the story about the kids and families and everything. That whole part of the movie was perfect. But when it was time to reveal the whole alien part, I was so disappointed. It just looked like a tiny version of the Cloverfield monster. And it switched back and forth between good and evil more than Sylar on Heroes.

DonnyTheDinosaur
06-19-2011, 12:24 AM
I went into this expecting a good movie, but then it turned out to be a great one. It really reminded me of what's been missing from recent blockbusters, as well as bringing back all sorts of memories of my '80s childhood.

Eldritch
06-19-2011, 07:18 AM
Loved this movie. (Especially the pyro kid.)

Toothpaste
06-19-2011, 08:24 AM
This movie (as my friend puts it) is as much a movie about an alien as JAWS was about a shark.

It's about the kids. About the dad. About grief, guilt and letting go. So maybe the actual plot plot is a bit predictable, but I don't know when JJ Abrams got mistaken for M. Night. He's not about the twists, never has been. Have you seen his Ted Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html)? His interest is in characters and the mystery. NOT the resolution. He's not a twist guy, he's just been marketed as such.

Some people think the ending was awful, I saw it as the only possible ending to the film.

This movie was lovely.

And charming.

And there ain't much charm these days in movies so that's saying something.

KTC
06-19-2011, 10:49 AM
This movie (as my friend puts it) is as much a movie about an alien as JAWS was about a shark.

It's about the kids. About the dad. About grief, guilt and letting go. So maybe the actual plot plot is a bit predictable, but I don't know when JJ Abrams got mistaken for M. Night. He's not about the twists, never has been. Have you seen his Ted Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html)? His interest is in characters and the mystery. NOT the resolution. He's not a twist guy, he's just been marketed as such.

Some people think the ending was awful, I saw it as the only possible ending to the film.

This movie was lovely.

And charming.

And there ain't much charm these days in movies so that's saying something.



I agree completely. Wonderful movie about kids, relationships, healing, grief. I so loved it. Just saw it last night...and I would go see it again today.

And my wife paid me a huge compliment, several times, while we watched. She kept saying, "You wrote this...those are YOUR kids." She thought the whole thing sounded like something I would write...especially the kids' dialogue. Man! Now that's a compliment!

Charming is a perfect word for it, as is enchanting!

KTC
06-19-2011, 10:52 AM
Great freakin' movie. Humor, action, scary stuff, romance, drama. It's all there.

The whole thing had a Stand By Me feel, not a Goonies feel, to me anyway.

Took my ten year old (Stand By Me is his fav, btw) and he loved every minute of it.

That's the test of a good movie, in my view: I loved it, my kid loved it.



Yes...so Stand By Me...that's what my wife and I said to each other about 10 minutes in. We were geeking out!

Zoombie
06-19-2011, 11:02 AM
There was a twist in this movie? People thought there was a twist?

KTC
06-19-2011, 11:05 AM
No twist.

heyjude
06-19-2011, 03:17 PM
Went to see this last night--I rarely go to movies, but I was so excited for this one, and it didn't disappoint. Sweet and funny and holy-crap scary (poor dh has bruises on his arms).

I liked the ending. Hokey? Yes. But somehow perfect, too.

RuthD
06-19-2011, 06:14 PM
It's about the kids. About the dad. About grief, guilt and letting go. This movie was lovely.

And charming.


Agree with Toothpaste.

Re: the end--Joe and the alien had a moment of connection. No real words of wisdom--what he actually said was "Bad things happen, but you can still live." I saw this as something he was telling himself (about his mom's death, etc.) as much as the alien, if that makes sense.

I thought the kid actors did an amazing job--especially Riley Griffiths (Charles) and Elle Fanning.

Toothpaste
06-19-2011, 06:36 PM
There was a twist in this movie? People thought there was a twist?

I think because the movie was advertised as "what is in the train???" people expected some kind of twist or something, or that that question was in essence what the movie was about.

But it wasn't. It was just a catalyst for the rest of the film to exist. So the fact that it isn't really a huge mystery, and that what it is is pretty easy to solve annoyed some people who were expecting a "wtf" kind of movie.

ceenindee
06-19-2011, 10:04 PM
I think because the movie was advertised as "what is in the train???" people expected some kind of twist or something, or that that question was in essence what the movie was about. So the fact that it isn't really a huge mystery, and that what it is is pretty easy to solve annoyed some people who were expecting a "wtf" kind of movie.

Yeah, that was exactly how we felt! Maybe I'll just have to see it again with Stand By Me in mind. I did like that movie.

Zoombie
06-19-2011, 10:52 PM
Well, I learned about the trailer by playing the Portal 2 bonus level.

It was actually pretty cool. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_9feTVWk_Y)

Perks
06-20-2011, 05:06 AM
I just saw it and I thought it was great fun. A real throwback to the summer blockbusters I loved as a kid. Conveniently, my kids felt the same way.

CatharsisChild
06-23-2011, 05:37 AM
I thought it was a typical, big budget, lifeless, cynical Hollywood product of the week with absolutely nothing to recommend it.

MDSchafer
06-28-2011, 07:16 PM
I'm surprised no one said this already... I saw it yesterday and felt like it was a remake of E.T. It was a smart remake of E.T., but I really felt like I had seen this movie before.

Beyond that it felt massively self indulgent. J.J. Abrams was 13 in 1979, the same age as the kids in the movie. Spielberg grew up in small town Ohio, and was just coming into his own as a film maker then and it seemed like a massive homage to everything the two loved. J.J. I'm sure dropped a ton of references to his own childhood into the film. Spielberg basically used the same themes and he's used in most of his alien movies. Not to mention both of them ran around making films when they were kids.

Zoombie
06-28-2011, 09:26 PM
Whats wrong with using your experiences as a child (or anything else) to make a film (or write a book around)?

I do it all the time. Does that make me self indulgent?

No! What makes me self indulgent is all this delicious dark chocolate I have!

mario_c
06-29-2011, 08:46 PM
Well, I learned about the trailer by playing the Portal 2 bonus level.

It was actually pretty cool. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_9feTVWk_Y)
Well, what will they think of next? Interesting!

I think because the movie was advertised as "what is in the train???" people expected some kind of twist or something, or that that question was in essence what the movie was about.

But it wasn't. It was just a catalyst for the rest of the film to exist. So the fact that it isn't really a huge mystery, and that what it is is pretty easy to solve annoyed some people who were expecting a "wtf" kind of movie.
Thank you! I went into the movie thinking there was supposed to be some kind of twist, because that was how the movie was advertised - "The secret is out" and all that BS. But the minute they set up their train station movie set you pretty much know where the story is going, what's on the train, and on and on. So I've been wondering what that was all about, and that clarifies it a bit. How strange, that unexpected twists have become so de rigeur in modern storytelling, that it's a surprise to NOT have one.
Still, I liked the first half and I loved the kids' movie at the end - I just couldn't get into the second half and all the sentimental reconciliations and all that silliness. I'm just a cynical bastard, I guess.

lndsymllr
06-29-2011, 08:53 PM
The train crash was stunning. The kids were great. There were a lot of the Spielberg magic touches reminiscent of his classic movies like ET and Close Encounters. There were a lot of jump out of your skin moments too.

And then there's the ending. Probably the worst ending to a movie since Signs. I'm sorry but you lot were too kind to the ending. Contrived, silly and far too easy. So go see the film because the first 90 minutes were great. Just be aware that the ending lets the film down. Badly.


I was also thinking it reminded me of ET on steroids. The crash was great and the kids actors did an amazing job. But it seemed like they rushed the ending. All of a sudden, BAM he has a ship, and can freely take off as one kid told him to leave.

Toothpaste
06-30-2011, 09:58 PM
Well he didn't all of sudden have a ship. He got free for the first time ever (thanks to the guy who drove onto the tracks, sacrificing himself so that the alien could be free), then spent time collecting bits etc. It might seem like convenient timing, but for me it all hinged on him getting free. Once he was free, he could leave. He didn't leave because the kid said so, he stopped his rampant attack on the town because the kid said so. It wasn't about revenge anymore, it was about going home. Or rather, letting go.

At least that's how I saw it.

Toothpaste
06-30-2011, 09:59 PM
How strange, that unexpected twists have become so de rigeur in modern storytelling, that it's a surprise to NOT have one.


I know right? I also have to wonder how many twists are truly unexpected these days when people are constantly expecting them.

Zoombie
06-30-2011, 10:05 PM
Of course, the alien wasn't really hurting anyone, he just grabbed people that SAW him so he could continue working in secrecy. That's what I thought at least.

LOG
11-30-2012, 06:15 AM
Anyone know where the radio clip the kid was listening to before he left to film at the train tracks came from?

Love when the train is coming and the kid yells: "Production value!" And then it becomes production value for the actual film as well. :P
Though I'm not sure about how realistic that accident is, would a train really be derailed because of a car?

Amazing how much more approachable is seems once you give it eyes. Gotta love mammalian instincts.
Though I believe I notice a scar (maybe from the biopsy) around its right eye.

What a strange magnetic field, it seems to pick up objects at random. Or maybe it's only picking up objects that people have strong emotions about . . . would kind of explain why the kid let the locket go at the end if he recognized what was happening because of the psychic connection.

Ending zombie movie is still a better love story than Twilight. :P

4/5