Super 8 (2011)


In a nutshell this is a swan-song to Steven Spielberg in the amazing hands of director J.J. Abrams who together brought to life Super 8 (2011).  Once you open that nutshell to see what substance there is a wealth to explore. Taking the childhood of director/writer J.J. Abrams who along with his director of photography, Larry Fong and producer Bryan Burk who as kids made numerous super 8 films themselves. Whilst their hero before them made 8mm film. Using a bunch of outsider kids to make a super 8 film, who remind me very much of the kids in The Goonies (1985) who themselves go on a larger than life adventure.

Here we have kids who have witnessed a horrific train-crash that sets the film in motion, unable to share their experience with the local town. Who are beginning to experience their own problems as havoc wreaks the town in all shapes in sizes. Nothing can be explained.

It takes a few steps back for our young hero’s to start to work out what is going on. Again reminiscent of Close Encounter of the Third Kind (1977), The lure of the incredible truth is too powerful to ignore the truth that is being hidden by the military who invade the town. Never letting on their mission until one of the boys (Joe (Joel Courtney)) father who won’t give in with the town at his throat for answers.

The kids are the heart of the film, much like many of Spielberg’s films, most like E.T. The Extra – Terrestrial (1982) bringing out the iconic bicycle that goes hand in hand with this film. We feel their passion for the film they make together which reflects the makers of the film, that put so much of themselves off-screen. With all the homages that appear on-screen, it’s the look of an Abrams film, complete with blatant out-of-focus and the bleeding light that is part of his style. The human ties of ordinary lives that changed forever by amazing events.

The special effects are seamless, thankfully we rarely see the alien that is trapped on earth, always in shadow. When we finally see him face to face the lack of light maintains the mystery and fear that we experienced as one by one people were captured. There’s a real energy and magic to the films that he makes, first discovering it in Star Trek (2009) that is fresh, taking the Spielberg ideas and infusing them with something new for a new generation of film-goers.

There’s a simple message in Super 8 as much as it’s a chance to relive a childhood again, to not be afraid, pursue your dreams, make it through the hardship and everything will be OK, just hold on in there. And also to have fun and I certainly had that whilst I viewed this.

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5 responses

  1. Great review for a great film. I absolutely loved it! 🙂

    March 6, 2013 at 1:29 am

    • Thanks Mike, I dunno why I waited so long to watch it, I guess because it came out whilst I was at uni, it literally passed me by.

      March 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      • I’d had this film recommended to me repeatedly by a mate and I kept forgetting to watch it. When I finally did, it blew me away! So I know that passed by feeling! lol

        March 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm

  2. Pingback: “Super 8,” eh? Maybe Supers 1-7 were better. | Mark Edward Wilk

    • Thanks again for the link, Much appreciated.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

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