Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Super 8

Grade: A+

In the summer of 1979, a group of middle school friends are all working together to help make a zombie movie in a small town in Ohio. One night, while shooting at an abandoned train station, the group witnesses a massive train crash and barely escape with their lives. The Air Force shows up immediately to pick up their mysterious cargo and help clean up the wreckage. The next day, strange things begin to happen all around town. First, all the animals seem to have run off in every direction, then people start disappearing and the Air Force begins to act weirder and weirder about what’s going on. The group of kids accidently stumble upon some information and begin their own investigation as to what is truly happening in their town.

Super 8 is the latest movie written and directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Mission Impossible III) and it is amazing. If nothing else, Abrams is the master of marketing; he released a teaser for this movie over a year ago and had me interested immediately. The movie is produced by Steven Spielberg (War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park) and he and Abrams seemed to work brilliantly together in creating this movie. In fact, Abrams clearly is inspired by Spielberg because this movie draws a lot from movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws and E.T. Now, despite that this movie is clearly inspired by those movies, it is an incredibly original movie, and is possibly the most original movie in years. It is just great.

The story is fascinating as well. From the first scene I was completely hooked and couldn’t wait to see how it plays out. The movie really keeps you on the edge of your seat because you never really know what is going on and you are just as curious and suspicious as the kids are. They also don’t show the creature until very late in the movie, which is great. Throughout the movie, you keep seeing flashes and possible glimpses of the creature but you really don’t get a good view of it until somewhat close to the end of the movie. Really, the only complaint that I have about the movie, and it is a minor complaint that I can ignore, and that’s that Abrams really likes lens flares, I knew that before, but there were some scenes with lens flares where they were kind of out of place and unnecessary.

The characters and actors in the movie were great as well. In my opinion, it is extremely hard and very rare that filmmakers find good child actors. Somehow, they found six amazing kids to be in this movie. Every one of the kids in this movie were amazing and you really grow to love all of their characters. Just amazing. The kids, who are the main stars of the movie, are played by Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Ryan Lee, Riley Griffiths, Zach Mills and Gabriel Basso. The rest of the cast was great too and included Kyle Chandler, Noah Emmerich, Jessica Tuck, Joel McKinnon Miller and more.

Super 8 is an amazing movie and a spectacular sci-fi/suspense movie. I would have to say that it is currently my favorite movie of this year and one of the best movies to come out in the last couple movies. I cannot recommend this movie enough. It can play to almost any audience. Everything about this movie is just amazing and I haven’t enjoyed a movie watching experience this much since Scott Pilgrim last year. Seriously, go see this movie, now!

Great quote: “I’m telling you this as your friend; your obsession with fireworks concerns me… and my mom.”

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