Super 8 may not be in any way at all related to Cloverfield as a project, but you’ll feel a very familiar vibe while sitting in the theater watching it. It’s a bit of a different style, but the creatures are very reminiscent of each other. Though, this make sense as J.J. Abrams produced Cloverfield and the same guy designed both monsters.
Super 8 opens with one of the most powerful opening shots I’ve seen in a movie. It’s simple and nothing is said, but those first few seconds really set a tone for the whole movie and convey so much more than any words could have. Beyond this, the movie keeps with a steady pace and focuses on a handful of nerdy kids making their own film to enter into a contest. Abrams does a great job of creating characters that we actually care about and in some ways remind us of ourselves 15-20 years ago, almost in a Goonies or Stand By Me kind of way. Almost. When shit goes down in their small town (rhyme not intentional), you feel a legitimate connection to the kids.
While much of the movie’s success relies on an element of surprise that was carefully curated, you won’t actually find much to be surprised about. For the most part, you won’t be disappointed about not being surprised, however.
Super 8 brings a return to a more innocent time where integrity matters in a way that will remind you of the Spielberg-branded films of the 80s you grew up with. Super 8 is not the the perfect film, but it’s engaging, sucks the viewer right in, and has no lack of great acting carrying it through. The bottom line is that this is a solid film and worth two hours of your time.
I’m a huge Simon Pegg and Nick Frost fan so a movie that’s finally written by the two of them was something I’ve wanted for a while. Include that with the rest of the list of people involved in making Paul and it’s easy to set your hopes a bit too high. Though, having read some interviews with Pegg and Frost regarding the film, I had a good idea of what to expect.
Paul delivered on those expectations in every way that I could have hoped for and was everything I wanted it to be. There were nerdy jokes and just the right amount of cheese. There was a decent amount of stuff hidden in the movie for nerds, even some stuff that I didn’t pick up on at first. Paul proves that while Pegg and Frost work amazingly well with Edgar Wright, the two of them can survive on their own without him. In fact, the main reason Paul actually happened was because Wright was off working on Scott Pilgram vs the World and Pegg and Frost had some downtime to actually write the script for an idea they collectively had for a while.
Paul kind of reminds me of what I would expect ToeJam and Earl (remember those guys?) to be like if they had become assimilated into American culture and pair with a couple of British dudes. Friendly, a bit rude, and totally hilarious.
Surprisingly, one of the best parts of the film turned out to be an ongoing joke of random profanity that brought back memories of seeing Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back for the first time. Now, random cursing sounds like it could kill the quality of a movie real quickly, but it fits and it’s creativity actually adds to the quality of Paul.
Paul is simultaneously a sci-fi movie, a road trip movie, and a buddy comedy, but it is not at all a parody, instead it kind of tips its hat to these genres and stands squarely on its own two feet.
Paul is highly recommended as a see-it-right-now movie. Don’t wait.