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Super 8 Movie Review

Super 8 movie review

 

  What is Super 8? It's just your typical coming of age love story, with sci-fi, and monster movie elements, set in small town America of the late 1970's. Wait What?!

 

Super 8 movie math

Movie math is getting stranger and stranger.

 

   The film opens up with a worker changing a sign that shows the amount of days accident free, that the steel plant has had. We then switch to the funeral of a young woman named Elizabeth Lamb (Caitriona Balfe) who died in a tragic accident at the plant.

 

  We have seen many mothers over the years die off from the mysterious off screen diseases that seem to run rampant in Hollywood films, but at least in Super 8 they tell us how she died.

 

  Now young Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his father Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) must come to terms with their tragic loss and deal with the grief that has forever changed their lives. Joe handles his grief by keeping busy helping his friends make a Romero-esque zombie movie called "The Case" in Super 8 format. Joe's father does his best to internalize his grief, throwing himself into his police work and distancing himself from his son, while seeking solace at the end of a beer can.

 

Super 8 still

The prequel to Reservoir Dogs, not exactly what you expected.

 

  Joe soon learns that his friend has convinced a girl named Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning) to act on "The Case" as the detectives wife. It is obvious from the start that Joe has feelings for Alice and in turn she might have feelings for him. Yet both of their fathers are adamant that they cannot remain friends.

 

  All of their lives change again in an instant when Joe and his friends witness a not so accidental train accident, while filming a night scene for "The Case" at a local train station. But there is more to this accident than meets the eye. Soon after, strange events start to occur around town and just what is the military trying to hide when they show up?

 

  Super 8 is a movie that pays homage to several different movies from several different genres. This movie is filled with cliches that could have turned out much more eye rolling and cheesy. However like a master baker, director J.J. Abrams carefully measures out the ingredients to his scenes and creates a very entertaining story for us to follow.

 

The cake is a lie!

Not always it seems.

 

  I was pleasantly surprised on many occasions that the story or a particular scene in the film, did not follow a path that I would expect it to. It is a funny feeling when you find yourself amazed that a movie does not follow the obvious choice. For one example I was certain that with all the empty beer cans floating around the Lamb house that we would have a scene with the father accidently hitting his son in a drunken rage, but it never happened, and I am thankful for that. It is this ability to weave the cliches in with the non cliches that make all the difference in making Super 8 a fine film to watch.

 

  There are of course exceptions and certain characters could have easily been removed without hurting the story at all. A good example of this is the pyromaniac kid who should have carried around a baseball bat that had the words "foreshadowing" painted along its side, because I felt like they beat me upside the head with the fact that he liked fire and explosions. The other character that could have easily been removed would be that of young Richard Lewis er I mean Preston (Zach Mills). The least kid like kid in the entire movie. I don't really blame these two performances on the young actors, as I do with the way they were written, which is a real shame as the writing for the other roles was spot on.

 

  There are also two scenes in the movie that strain your sense of disbelief, one involves weapons malfunctioning while being carried by obviously incompetent ground soldiers (point them down for god's sake), while the other involves the selective nature of magnetism (I thought Magneto was in a different movie this summer).

 

Movie Blender 3000

I think J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg might own this appliance.

 

  The good acting and scenes in this movie far surpasses the bad parts. I think that both young leads, Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning have bright futures ahead of themselves in movies. I also find myself looking forward to the next project that J.J. Abrams brings us.

 

White Rubik's Cube

World's easiest Rubik's Cube.

 

  Super 8 is not without its faults, yet it is still a fun ride that you should definitely go out and see this summer.

 

Final verdict for Super 8 8/10

 

  Make sure to stay and watch the credits for a fun little mini movie ("The Case") ;)

 

 -Professor

 

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