Written & Directed by J.J. Abrams
Produced in part by Steven Spielberg
Starring: Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Ron Eldard, Jessica Tuck, and Kyle Chandler
During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town.
I know I’m an Abrams fanboy of sorts, but this film would have been awesome regardless of who created it. Super 8 is pretty much an amalgam of The Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and even Stand By Me as far as interpersonal relationships go. This is a total throwback to a time when movies were movies.
The kids in Super 8 sold me; they brought charming performances and characters to life. That fresh-faced innocence always serves a film like this well. I’m a sucker for child protagonists. I’m also a sucker for films set in the Midwest in the 1970’s. Throw in the Halloween and Star Wars posters in the kid’s room and you’ve created a perfect retro flick for me to enjoy.
The acting is fantastic in Super 8. Courtney and Fanning are destined to grow up as tier one actors if this film is any indication of things to come. Their fresh approach to a many layered sci-fi click is wonderful. The scope of the movie is epic as well. Military cover ups, face-melting special effects, and the alien itself work in a sublime way. The position the kids take in trying to help it just sealed the deal for me. As the film progresses, the fledgling love between Courtney and Fanning grows. It’s touching. Really, it is. By the time the film ends, many broken and stressed relationship are reborn and healed along the way. As much as this is a sci-fi thriller, it’s a movie about love and family as well.
Super 8 made me love my time in my small Midwestern town and all the adventures I had with my friends. If you find yourself turning your nose up at this, well, maybe you need to go back to your 50th viewings of Alien or 2001. Super 8 has forever found a home on my Blu Ray bookshelf and I’m sure it will get frequent viewings here.
By the way, the film the kids spent the movie making is shown during the credits and it’s great. Much better than some actual movies I’ve seen lately.
Rent it, buy, download it; just watch it. There’s tons of killer extras on the Blu Ray.