Super 8

23 Jun

It was either this or Green Lantern which honestly is getting pummeled by the critics for being the worst superhero movie for a while (it’s being compared to Cat Woman *shudders*). Having watched only the first trailer of Super 8, I entered the theater expecting something along the lines of Cloverfield (loved that movie). What I got was something along the lines of E.T., which in my books, is a good thing. Super 8 – to my utter surprise wasn’t some super awesome monster as I initially expected but a motion picture film format.

In a fictional town of Lillian in Ohio, Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) lost his mother to an accident at the factory. His father, Deputy Sheriff Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) had never had the need to be a father until now. Unable to cope with the loss, Joe finds solace in an amateur zombie film he and his gang of misfit friends are making. His friends are Charles (Riley Griffiths), the best friend ‘production values, production values’ director; Cary (Ryan Lee), the bug eyed zombie explosives expert; Martin (Gabriel Basso), the pipsqueak zombie detective and Preston (Zach Mills), the geeky, smart cameraman. Charles manages the rope in ‘oh my god you spoke to her’ Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning) to play the detectives soon to be zombie wife.

The zombie film team

What unfolds next is what Po would call ‘AWESOME!’ The kids are thrown in the midst of a train crash caused by their professor Dr. Woodward (Glynn Turman) that releases thousands of metal objects that are the size of Rubik’s cube, along with something else. Soon the Air Force under the command of Colonel Nelec (Noah Emmerich), is all over the wreckage and the town that is marred by mysterious events – from missing electronics and people, to runaway dogs. So while the adults are busy with the chaos, the kids carry on making their film while solving the mystery in their spare time.

Riley Griffiths, Joel Courtney, Zach Mills, Gabriel Basso & Elle Fanning

The casting hits the nail on the head. Joel Courtney as the movie’s protagonist does an impressive job in his very first film, showcasing the emotional depth the character demanded. Riley Griffiths was just right as a stressed out director whose constant gripes about completing his film were entertaining. He, like Joel’s character had a crush on Elle Fanning who is fantastic; nothing more to it. Ryan Lee is a complete scene stealer with his funny one liner, Gabriel Basso’s constant whining and Zach Mills as the totally non-obnoxious know-it-all is nostalgia stirringly good. These kids together carry the film from the first funeral scene to the climax. This is as film about them, everything else is secondary.

Elle Fanning & Joel Courtney with the Rubik's cube like object

Kyle Chandler as the edgy father/deputy does justice to his character with controlled sentiments. Ron Eldard as Louis Dainard was believable as the remorseful drunk father while Glynn Turman and Noah Emmerich had one dimensional straightforward roles.

Ron Eldard & Kyle Chandler

Character development was a bit of a mixed bag with a good amount of back story for the three main characters while everyone else was left in the dark. This doesn’t bother you as much though, because it isn’t of high important in the complete picture. CGI was good and doesn’t overshadow the actual actors. The soundtrack composed by Michael Giacchino echoes the emotions shown on the screen but fails to leave a mark. The story written by J.J. Abrams has plenty of potholes but with the compelling way it is presented with humor, drama and mystery; you tend to turn a blind eye to it.

Train station

This is out and out a Steven Spielberg film from the moment the Amblin logo shows up on the screen. As pointed out by numerous people, this film does feel like homage to sci-fi films made by him in the 1970’s and 80’s that were power packed with emotions and drama. J.J. Abrams at the helm makes you relive that childhood with wise wittiness and nerve wrecking scares with eerie excellence. He is turning into one skillful story teller.

Riley Griffiths & Joel Courtney

The best film I’ve seen this summer that will go into my DVD collection. Oh and btw, wait for the credits to roll by to see one of the best parts of the movie; the completed zombie film.

Super 8 film

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2 Responses to “Super 8”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Green Lantern « I review - June 30, 2011

    […] the seriousness of it all. Negative reviews plastered all over the internet made me choose Super 8 (review) over this last week but then curiosity got the better of me and here I am voicing my opinion […]

  2. Real Steel « I review - November 3, 2011

    […] a gem among the cliché-ridden big budget snooze-fests. After the surprisingly good Super 8 (review), Real Steel (Directed by Shawn Levy) sucker punched us with an excellent package even with a […]

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