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Review – Super 8

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Super 8Summer movies are supposed to be magical.  There’s something about going to a movie, grabbing some popcorn and getting so lost in the film you feel like a child.  It’s rare a movie pulls this off and to me Super 8 made me forget my worries and think back and feel just like that.  The movie brought me back in so many ways to those movies where your jaw drops at points and you stare at the screen wide eyed.

Directed and written by J.J. Abrams the movie is an homage to the early career of Steven Spielberg who was involved as producer.  The story is the usual E.T. type fare.  A bunch of kids film a train accident while they’re filming a zombie movie.  Is the cargo bad or good?  That’s a theme of the movie, what is bad and what is good?  There’s also the subtext of redemption.

The film is a mish-mash of Spielberg greats, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and a bit also like the Goonies.  The actors are relatively unknown and quite good as far as child actors go.

But the movie’s stand out is it’s heart.  Whether it’s the relationship between the kids or with their parents, the movie has what’s missing from so many of today’s films, there’s an innate goodness about it.  It’s a warm movie wrapped up in sci-fi and you can’t help but feel good at points.  I felt like a kid, and was lost in the film.  That’s how I want to feel about a movie.  I wasn’t angry towards any characters, I didn’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone, I just had a sense of awe and wonder throughout.

Much like the movie’s throwback as far as a time period I too was transported to my childhood, and that’s truly movie magic.

Direction:  I’m not a huge J.J. Abrams fan and feel he’s a bit over rated like Joss Whedon but this movie was fantastic.  If he keeps it up, I’ll quickly change my tune.  Everything feels like a throwback, the setting, style, look, it just feels like a classic movie plucked out of the 80’s.

Acting:  The movie is a bunch of actors you might of seen, but can’t name.  All are solid, especially the kids.  I don’t expect much from child actors and tend to overlook them, but everyone here is fantastic.  Each has a role and few show any signs of weakness.  I’m expecting a lot from them all in the future.

Plot:  The movie is a mish-mash of Spielberg classics and it works.  Other than the last half hour which I think is a the weakest part, the movie overall is really good.  There’s very little I’d change, maybe just the ending, and even then the rest is so good, I can overlook it.

Overall:  I walked away feeling like a kid, I want more movies like this.  One of the top films of the summer so far.

Grade: A

One comment

  • For all its obvious touches of Spielbergia, Super 8 feels a whole lot like The Iron Giant meets Stand By Me. In a good way. Good Review!