Title: Super 8
Director: J. J. Abrams
Producer: Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams
Genre: Science Fiction
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 10, 2011
Runtime: 112 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Noah Emmerich, Ron Eldard
Synopsis (Product Description):
In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.
When Steven Spielberg and J. J. Abrams get together to make a movie, rest assured it’s going to be good. The only question is just how good. Super 8 is a mash-up of E.T. and Cloverfield. That’s an oversimplification and a big disservice to the hard work that went into Super 8, which stands on its own two feet as a sci-fi movie with a lot of heart. Much of that heart comes from Super 8’s child actors who far outshine most of their adult counterparts this movie season. Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning stand out in the two lead roles, but everyone in the movie did an A+ job, at times capturing the camaraderie of films like Stand by Me as well as the sense of wild eyed adventure from Goonies.
Super 8 tells the story of a group of friends in an Ohio steel town who witness a cataclysmic train crash, inadvertently capturing it on a super 8 movie camera while making a student film. It’s clear that something monstrous was aboard that train and made its escape during the crash. When the U.S. Air force comes to town, local law man, Jackson Lamb does his best to get to the bottom of a series of disappearances and thefts that plague the town in the wake of the crash. But the civilians who know the most about what happened the night of the crash are the kids who witnessed it while shooting their super 8 movie, including Jackson’s son, Joe.
Super 8 does an excellent job of taking you along the adventure with its characters. You’ll uncover the mystery alongside them. Unlike a who done it, I never felt the need to guess who or what was behind all the craziness. Super 8 just took me along for a crazy ride, and I enjoyed every minute of it, and as with the best thrill rides I totally lost track of the time. Going into the movie I feared there would be a boring half hour build up or some down time, as there is in a lot of 2 hour movies. I’m looking at you A.I. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Super 8 is pitch perfect. Action, laughs, human drama and a few scares. It’s all there. I won’t spoil the set piece action scenes in this review, but there is one in particular which is the best I’ve seen so far this year, and that includes action tour de forces like Source Code, Thor, and X-Men: First Class.
Special mention must be made at how the film makers captured 1979 down to the tiniest detail. Super 8 doubles as a time warp the same way Mad Men does with Don Draper and company. To sum it up, Super 8 is a must see and it’s very much a big screen movie experience, even at today’s inflated ticket prices.
FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.
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