12 June 2011

Review: Super 8

Genre: Drama (Fairy Tale) / Sci-Fi

No doubt billed as one of the major blockbusters of this Summer, the Steven-Spielberg produced J. J. Abrams' film Super 8 nevertheless resists bearing such a "noble" mantle; to say that Super 8 was an attempt at recurring the past would be far more accurate an assessment of the film than to say that it busted any block or even single square of narrative storytelling. Dependent from the tropes that initially made Mr. Spielberg a commercial and personable success, the film by its film-makers fails to recognize that the manifestation of those tropes needs to be different now. The tropes, manifest originally among the technological and social conjunction of the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s, necessarily took on the popular characteristics of their sources; and, similarly, any manifestation now would need to become of the times. Social networks, plastics, even cell phones should be the devices turning this story's engine; resetting the clock to a time before all these elements and others is not just unchallenging story-telling but also niche nostalgia. To those few spectators whose childhood memories are synergistically stirred by the cliché '70s reprisals and industrial-aged futurism, the aesthetic and didactic consequences of the film may be comforting; but to the masses at large, they should just appear perpetuative of the thoughtless reshufflings of the deck that, highly stylized, now deal all forms of entertainment to gaping eyes. Needless then to say, a starving critical spectatorship fares no chance; quippy dialogue and a bit with a meta-medium are no sufficient stuffs for satisfying attraction. What could have been so much more distrusts itself to becoming so much less.

Grade: C+, simple simple sugar-tainment.

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