Perceptions of time and pacing makes a make or break whether you enjoy a movie, or a book. When looking up running times for JJ Abrams’ Super 8 I apparently looked up an incorrect source which said it was ~130 minutes long. Turns out it’s ~110 minutes long – not a massive margin – but the oh-lehrd-this-is-two-hours-long mental block is a hard one to get over. When your bladder has to endure half-an-hour of commercials before a movie starts and no intermission, you kenna start planning ahead: save the RunPee ‘pee time’ guide as an offline page in Opera Mini, book aisle seats (often pisses off people you go along to watch the movie with), order the regular-size Pepsi instead of large even though as the guy behind the refreshment counter thinks you’re cheap because as he always tells you “large is only 20 cent extra!”, practice Zen meditation, et al.
What I’m try to saying is, when I was watching Super 8, I thought it was going to be extra-long, and even though it didn’t turn out to be so I still felt it was long, which means the pacing is slow as treacle tart flowing downhill. It is a gritter version of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and yet at the same time felt like a PG-13 version of Battle: Los Angeles…which is saying something because Battle: LA itself is a PG-13 movie.
The hype surrounding Super 8 was so huge that maybe I expected too much of it. It’s not as bad as monster-disaster movies go – Super 8 certainly has its moments thanks to the kid actors (and the cutesy ‘short film’ they show over the credits) but in the final act it chooses too many Hollywood plot clichés for my liking. To compare with another JJ Abrams production, Cloverfield tried a fresh concept and (spoiler) wasn’t above killing off every single protagonist.
Super 8 is not bad, it’s B- movie but I still feel let down.