Review - Super 8
Super 8 (2011), PG-13, 112 minutes - Super 8 is yet another movie that made my Most Anticipated Films of 2011 list. Come to think of it, there are only 3 movies from that list yet to be released. Maybe I should have made it for the first half of the year. Oh well, that's a conversation for another time. Anyway, Super 8 is brought to us by the minds of JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg, so it must be good right?
Abrams tells his story through the eyes of Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his friends, a group of teenagers making a zombie movie over their summer vacation back in 1979. While filming one late night at a local train station in an attempt to add more 'production value' to their film, the group witnesses and survives a horrendous train derailment. Ordinarily such an incident would be bad enough for a small town, but this train was carrying top secret Air Force cargo, something that escaped the crash. After the incident the Air Force takes over the crime scene, blocking out local law enforcement (including Joe's dad, a deputy). Around the same time, the town experiences strange occurrences like random power outages, neighborhood dogs running away, and missing persons. While they continue working on their movie, Joe and his friends - Charles (Riley Griffiths), Alice (Elle Fanning), Cary (Ryan Lee), Preston (Zach Mills), Martin (Gabriel Basso) - start making connections between the odd events and begin to investigate themselves.
Super 8 is a throwback to the movies of our youth (read: anyone near my age). Films about childhood friends and the trouble they manage to get into over summer break. Films of the 'coming of age' genre before they all started trying to one up each other with more and more raunchy/gross out humor. Films about aliens that aren't trying to annihilate the planet. It isn't nearly as classic as ET or The Goonies, but Super 8 does have the same feel to it (no surprise considering Spielberg's participation). I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be curious to see how it plays with the younger generation though, as I'm not sure that they'll connect with the time period in which it is set. If any of you take your kids, please let me know how they liked it.