Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Other Half and I saw J.J. Abrams' Super 8 last weekend. It was billed as his homage to the classic Steven Spielberg movies of the 1970s and 1980s such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial. Interestingly, Spielberg is listed as the producer for this film.
The story is set in the 1970s and is centered around the lives of four young teenaged friends who live in Lillian, Ohio, a small. mid-Western town. The main protagonist of the film is Joe Lamb, a 13-year-old who lost his mother in an industrial accident and whose Dad is one of the deputy sheriffs of the town. His best friend is Charles who is trying to make a zombie movie with his Super 8 camera. While filming late at night the kids witness a horrific train derailment, which looks like it was caused intentionally by their biology teacher. The military shows up to clean up the train wreck, which was apparently a military transport. The audience starts to see people around town disappear in strange circumstances, providing us brief glimpses of what could be some kind of alien creature.
The movie is very suspenseful, with some amazing set pieces (the train crash sequence is incredible) and there were moments when either myself or my husband literally screamed out loud in surprise. Abrams skillfully deploys the "children-in-danger" motif which occurs so often in Spielberg's films to great effect and combines it with a coming-of-age story. The later aspect of the plot was less interesting to me, and the resolution of the alien creature storyline is full of Death Star-sized plot holes but overall Super 8 is a very enjoyable theatrical experience.
Title: Super 8.
Running Time: 1 hours, 52 minutes.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use.
Release Date: June 10, 2010.
Viewing Date: June 12, 2011.
Overall Grade: B+/A- (3.4167/4.0).