The first reviews are in for Super 8, J.J. Abrams' monster movie throwback to the days of Amblin Entertainment and films like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies and so on. Early trailers and footage showed a film that seemed to rest most of its weight on a relatively unknown cast of kids who get all caught up in an out-of-this-world mystery when a train wreck unleashes something on their unsuspecting Mid-Western town.
And that something is what's been hidden from us throughout Paramount's marketing campaign, which, in this day and age, is quite rare. Whether it will have any impact on ticket sales remains to be seen, but one interesting note we've taken away from these first reviews is that the creature (or alien, or monster, or whatever) doesn't seem to have much of an impact on the overall film. Let's take a non-spoilerish look at what folks are saying around the web ...
"Super 8 isn't going to be the giant blockbuster event of the summer, and if you're looking for a nonstop creature feature, this ain't it. But the film's gentle charms and young cast won me over, and in the end, this is a lovely look at getting over pain and letting go, wrapped in just a bit of sci-fi and wonder." -- HitFix
"...while newer trailers indicate that early speculation of a moody, more fierce film might have been a little off base, Abrams still delivers an edge of your seat thriller with heart and humor that we predict will have audiences buzzing – and many positive comparisons being made to the early work of Steven Spielberg the executive producer on “Super 8. - The Playlist
"Abrams smartly avoids giving away too much of the monster too soon, but don’t worry, you’ll get your fill and it is nothing like CLOVERFIELD. The sequence in the gas station – once again, it is familiar yet gripping – is incredibly well shot especially how they hide the beast from audience view. Much like Jaws, where we were only given glimpses of the shark, Super 8 ratchets up the tension by keeping us in the dark until the end." - JoBlo
"The ever-present lens flares threaten to get in the way, but Super 8 sports some truly stunning photography. While action movies in recent years have developed this awful habit of filming everything too closely, letting details and comprehension fall by the wayside, Abrams always has the camera impeccably placed, allowing the audience to fully take in the film’s scope. The train crash alone is a sequence that will keep your mouth agape five minutes after the fall of the last car." - CinemaBlend
"The previous two scripts were by other people, but Super 8 is all JJ. And while he works his usual directorial magic on it – the casting is wonderful, the shots are often beautifully composed – it’s just not enough. In the end this is a script that Abrams cannot overcome, and it drags him down until by the end of the film scenes that are supposed to be emotional climaxes are just hollow, empty spectacle." - Badass Digest
"[J.J. Abrams'] newest picture, festooned with the retro-Amblin Entertainment logo, has all the hallmarks of the classic films of that halcyon era except one: a story that works on both a logical and emotional level. It's hurts more than usual, because there are sequences in this picture that are absolutely dynamite, enough so that I'd even recommend you go and see it with extremely managed expectations." - UGO
"Super 8 even works as a period piece. Everything about this era from the "mint" lingo to the clothing to the badass soundtrack will return you to a simpler time before eventually blowing you out the back of your movie theatre with explosions and carnage. Sitting through this flick, only one thing came to mind for this reviewer: "Wow," I said to myself as the monster action heated up. "I feel like it's Christmastime, I'm ten years old, and someone has bought me a pony." It's that damned good." - Dread Central
"Super 8 thrives on nostalgia and Abrams' admiration for all things Spielberg, but the results are as aggravating as they are satisfying, especially when the pace is dragged down by Abrams' attempts to stir up emotion and over-develop his characters." - Coming Soon
What do you think? Are you sold? Will you be seeing Super 8 when it hits theaters on June 10th?