I Saw A Film Today… Super 8

In the universe of Nerd and Nerdism (Hi, I’m Kevin. Proud Nerd since birth.), J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg are royalty, specifically in the field of Science Fiction. Lord Spielberg has given us such films as Indiana Jones, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Minority Report, and much more that has been a part of the Nerd culture. In recent years, some of the newest and best in Sci-Fi has been brought forward by Sir Abrams, both in television and film. He has given us such things as Lost, Fringe, Cloverfield, and a reboot of Star Trek. So what do you get when the two combine forces for one film? Super 8, a loving throwback to true blockbusters from time past.

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The film opens in 1979 with Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) mourning the death of his mother, who died while working a shift at the town factory in Lillian, Ohio. Now it is just Joe and his dad Jackson (Kyle Chandler), who is a deputy sheriff of Lillian. Well, Joe also has one more thing: making movies with a Super 8 camera with his friends. They are currently working on a zombie film and are meeting at midnight to film a scene.

They meet up with Alice (Elle Fanning) who is a new addition to the cast. While filming a scene, the kids witness a devastating and massive train crash. After searching the wreckage they come across odd cubes of metal and insignia proclaiming that the train was the property of the U.S. Air Force. They decide that it is time to leave the scene before soldiers arrive.

This is when things start getting weird. Pets and animals begin running away from Lillian. Appliances and people have gone missing. And the presence of the Air Force grows stronger. What is the unseen force that is causing all these disturbances?

Right in the season of blockbusters, Super 8 is the best film that the season has produced. I’m even going to say it’s the best I’ve seen this year. Why? Because it’s a throwback to films from years past. It reminded me of the first time I watched Star Wars or Indiana Jones. It was thrilling, exciting, humorous, and more than once brought a boyhood grin to my face. Not only is it a film that explores the mysteries of childhood, it also has the ability to take you back there.

What J.J. Abrams has made is a fitting and original homage to films of the 80’s and 90’s. It makes use of the lost art of the thriller film, which is the mystery of the unknown. It doesn’t rely on things thrown at the screen for suspense, which seems to be the unnecessary trend at the moment.

As far as the cast goes, they were fantastic. I have heard from many people compare the kids from this film to that of The Goonies. While a nice and somewhat appropriate comparison, I believe this robs Abrams of his accomplishment. Joel Courtney is an amazing embodiment of child wonder. He really brings the film together. Not to mention Elle Fanning, whom I believe to be a better talent than her older sister, Dakota. And the rest of the kids are fantastic too.

I believe that the real reason that Super 8 works is because it is personal to Spielberg and Abrams. This is their childhood story in a way. That is why they put so much care into this project.  And that is why it is my favorite film of 2011 so far.

Verdict: SEE IT!

Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on Super 8. Leave them below.

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One Response to “I Saw A Film Today… Super 8”

  1. This is so far, my favorite film of the year because it shows that you can make an homage to a certain type of story-telling and still have an effective story yourself. Nice Review!

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