Super 8 (2011)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
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Overall Rating 70%
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Ranked #401
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Review by Bill Wolford
Added: November 27, 2011
Well the thanksgiving feast was somewhat late, so my father and I spent some time doing what we used to do years ago. Watching a movie that neither one of us knew much about. If its a good film we're in for a treat. A bad film, and we're trying to joke our way through it. This time was an incredible treat. If there's a tag line missing it should be "Combine The Goonies and Alien and you have one of the years best films". Yes, it was THAT good.

We start out with a group of kids, probably in the 12-14 age, who are working on making their own super 8 film of a zombie attack that happens in their town. I love this stuff as it reminds me of my childhood. Not so much the film-making, as the friendship between the kids. We fill the bases here. We have the geek fire starter (Ryan Lee ), the fat kid (Riley Griffiths), the kid that just wants to go home (Jade Griffiths), the misunderstood son (Zach Mills), and the cute girl who is not allowed to be around the misunderstood son (but is anyway) (Elle Fanning, younger sister of Dakota.....that makes me feel old). There is a small, but good subplot between the boy and girls fathers (Kyle Chandler and Ron Eldard), that plays throughout the movie.

As the kids are working on a pivotal scene in their film, they notice a train coming along the tracks. They hurriedly reset the camera so they can have better "production value" with the train being in the shot. As the train passes by, one of the kids notices a truck careening down the road and turn and drive toward the speeding train, causing a huge crash. The reasons behind this bizarre occurrence is made slightly more revealing when we find the driver of the truck is still alive (barely), and holding a map with the trains schedule on it. The kids find thousands of white blocks that look like Rubick's cubes spread over the entire area. As the driver of the truck tells them to get out of there as some vehicles are fast approaching from down the road, one of the kids takes one of the white blocks with him.

And that's about all that needs to be given away of the plot. To divulge more would ruin your enjoyment of this delightful film. There are thrills and chills at a breakneck pace, and don't forget, our gang of misfits are still trying to create their super 8 film throughout the move as well. Every main character is developed very well, in a short amount of time. Even the periphery characters aren't to be tossed aside without a thought. I believe the reason for this is because Stephen Spielberg was the producer. Yes, Abrams might have directed it, but it felt like Stephen was right in the chair next to him the whole time. It has the feel of a Spielberg movie most of the time. E.T. And Close Encounters of The Third Kind come to mind. Although this movie has not the comedy of E.T., nor the plodding pace of Close Encounters, but the resemblance is there.

I'm not exactly sure why, but this movie is set around 1980. That makes it all the better for me, as I was about the same age as these kids that year. There is a great soundtrack to the film with some classic tracks by Blondie, E.L.O. and The Knack among others that will have you remembering the good old late 70's, early 80's with a smile on your face. This is really a movie that everyone in the family will enjoy, even if there are a few scary parts along the way. And please do watch the end credits as you will finally see the finished version of the super 8 film the kids were trying so hard to make throughout the running time of the main film. Kick back and enjoy this future classic now. 9/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added 12/20/2011, 11:07 PM
Definitely worth watching, although I will say that fat kid annoyed the hell out of me. And while her performance certainly didn't garner any complaints whatsoever, I did it funny how much better Fanning's meta-acting was than throughout the actual movie. 8/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 12/21/2011, 04:44 PM
Loved this one. Nice nostalgic feel. Nothing monumental but memorable and exciting. Go Amblin! 9/10.
AttnDefDis #3: AttnDefDis - added 12/21/2011, 05:26 PM
I didn't care for this movie much at all. What with it's Cloverfield method of revealing the monster. Did we really need another one of those? Also, the ending was completely lackluster. This alien has been killing and capturing people this whole time, but all he needed was one little boy to tell him to go home? Seriously, he had the ability, but needed that extra push? I didn't get it at all. The whole premise was pretty lame and some of the kids really annoyed me.
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 12/21/2011, 09:44 PM
I think the concept was more he was trying to collect all the cubes to make his ship, and the kid put the idea of a model in his head, and he made it out of other stuff.
Bill Wolford #5: Bill Wolford - added 12/22/2011, 02:34 AM
It was explained during the movie that the monster absorbed the memories of those people it touched. It touched the old black guy when he was trying to feed it. He was also the boys science teacher. So the monster had memories of the boys science teacher, and knew it wouldn't hurt it, nor try to. It was ready to go home anyway, the kid was trying to rescue the girl he liked......blah, blah....I've explained enough, if you don't like it AttnDefDis, me explaining the whole movie won't change your mind.
AttnDefDis #6: AttnDefDis - added 12/24/2011, 02:08 PM
Yeah, I'm just stating my opinion is all, but if you've got a better explanation of the ending, do tell. That was my biggest problem with this movie and if you can flesh it out more than it was on screen, go for it. I get that the kid was just trying to rescue the girl he liked and I understand the alien was initially trying to rebuild his ship to leave. What I don't understand is why he was hanging around continuing to kill and kidnap people when his ship was seemingly complete. From the amount of bodies he had in the cave, he was planning on sticking around for a while. It's like he was waiting for someone to tell him to go and the boy just happened to be the one. That's where I was completely lost. Maybe, I totally misunderstood.
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