The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Sparkles of Nostalgia

with 4 comments

So, here’s the deal:

I was 11 years old in 1979, when this movie takes place. Blondie, Walkman players and the nuclear accident in Harrisburg isn’t just something from the history;  It’s a part of my childhood. I saw and loved Close Encounter of the Third Grade and E.T. when they were new – not years afterwards as a part of my film education. I suppose this makes me a little bit biased seeing Super 8. They’re aiming for me.

Deep inside I know it’s sort of a cheap trick they’re doing, but with eyes wide open, I must admit that I enjoyed all the nostalgia Super 8 offered. I’m not the only audience though. Apart from me and my generation fellows, it probably appeals to our children. Even if the 12 year olds won’t have a clue about the references, there’s enough of a simple, straightforward save-us-from-the-monster-story to keep them entertained.

Apart from the nostalgia I also fell for the shameless nudges to people who love to see and to make film. The scenes where the kids were shooting their Super 8 movie were totally adorable.

I’ve seen some complaints about the ending, and in one way I can agree that it’s a bit overly sentimental without actually managing to bring out any tears from me, but that might have to do with the sad fact that I’m old and jaded. However, weren’t Spielberg movies always like that? Actually I think it’s quite appropriate, the kind of ending you would expect from a movie that is all about nostalgia and references to previous films.

All in all Super 8 felt a bit like one of the sparklers the kids used. It burned brightly but ended quickly. It brought me a few smiles and a little bit of excitement for a couple of hours, but as soon as it was over, it was all gone. There was nothing that lingered within me; it didn’t leave any trace since it was basically feeding on whatever traces I’ve had from other movies.

Or wait, I lied. I did notice one effect it had on me: it sparked a sudden longing for me to revisit Stand by Me. As far as I can recall it had the same wonderful magic children-on-a-summer-adventure feeling (just more and better), but without the long stretches of endless explosions that are fun for a little while but gets a bit old eventually and makes you wonder if they somehow have mixed up the tapes with the latest Transformer movie.

Super 8 (Abrams,US, 2011) My rating: 3,5/5

Written by Jessica

July 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

Posted in Super 8

4 Responses

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  1. La… Jessica,
    You know, movies are my biggest hobby, moreso than that other thing you wrote about. Now that I’m fully aware of this site, you may see even more of me than you used to.

    Anyway, I loved this movie. It struck me as this generation’s Goonies (or E.T., fine. I was only 2 for E.T., so Goonies is more my speed). The adventure from the kids’ perspective, constantly being thwarted doing things that adults would easily do, the awe of trying to solve a separate problem (like In Goonies the houses being foreclosed on) in the middle of another adventure, the coming of age elements. I found it great. It didn’t linger for days, but I did feel a bit of a buzz of potential history here.

    What worries me is that our young generation my not be able to even appreciate something 2 hours long. With bites and snippits of things on Youtube, I wonder if something like this can even be fully appreciated by kids. Anyone out there with some perspective on this? Were I still in school I’d just ask my kids what they thought, but I’m not. Anyone?

    Anyway, great to have you back and discussing another topic I’m quite fond of. We should exchange some suggestions about movies some time.



    July 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    • I wasn’t aware of that, but it’s wonderful to have you here. Do you by chance run any movie blog as well? And if not, why not swip over? 🙂
      A wonderful place where people like us discuss movies, which I really can recommend, is the forum connected to the Filmspotting podcast. The latest show is just a minor thread, but there are about half a million posts there about moives and a very lively discussion going on constantly. Have a look and see for yourself!

      Re: length of movies, I’m not so sure that younger generations want them shorter. I have the feeling that they’re going just the opposite direction at the moment, the film producers I mean. More and more movies are far above the 2 hour limit, and I can’t remember that it used to be that way. Back in the days movies could be 1 hour 20 minutes. Nowadays many of them are 2 hours 20 min… And I guess they listen to the market demands? It’s not necessarily for the good though. For instance Avatar could easily have lost 30 minutes and gained a lot on it.


      July 26, 2011 at 7:27 am

  2. […] notes Two movies ended up just outside of the list: Super 8 and Bridesmaids. They’re not unforgettable, but still good […]

  3. […] Super 8 – The kids were wonderful, but we had to take the monster as well with the bargain, which pulled it down. Very entertaining as long as it lasted though. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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