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SUPER 8 – Movie Review

Think back to your childhood between the ages of five and ten.  Now, think about what movies you loved and grew up with between those ages.  For me, some of those films include the old classics of Steven Spielberg, like Jurassic Park, E.T., and Duel.  And when I first saw the theatrical trailer for JJ Abram’s latest film Super 8, I immediately thought of those films.  Not to mention the fact that the trailer shows a quick flash of the classic Amblin Entertainment logo.

As previously mentioned, Super 8 is written and directed by JJ Abrams, the guy behind several majorly successful movies in TV series in the last decade: Star Trek, Cloverfield, and Lost just to name a few.  Super 8 is set in 1979 in a small Ohio town, and it follows Joe (Joel Courtney), a young, movie-loving teenager, who suffers the loss of his mother early on in the film.  Four months later, school is out for summer, and Joe, along with his amateur-filmmaking friend Charles (Riley Griffiths), sets out to finish a zombie movie they’re making with a group of friends, shot on a Super 8 film camera.

During a night shoot at a train station, a train zooms by and collides with a pickup truck, causing the train to derail and explode to pieces.  During the destruction, Joe notices something unusual about one of the cargo cars from the train.  He hears a roaring sound coming from the car, along with a loud, pounding noise against the car’s walls.

The film takes off from there, with many strange disappearances and occurrences happening throughout the town.

Super 8 is the perfect example of a summer blockbuster.  It not only has the explosion-filled action sequences moviegoers want, but it also has a very nice emotional core driving it.  You are with all of the kids the entire film, and you care what happens to each of them every time they get into a dangerous situation.

The film is similar in tone to a lot of the old Spielberg classics, which isn’t too surprising, as Spielberg is one of the film’s producers.  It has a great sense of adventure and mystery to it, which is what made the old Spielberg films so special.  Even the main character, Joe, immensely reminds me of Elliot from E.T.

Abrams directs this film superbly, as he brings the late 1970s to life.  The music, the sets, and the overall feel capture the time period perfectly, which ultimately makes this film a more unique summer blockbuster.  So many of today’s big-budgeted action movies are set in modern-day Los Angeles, New York, or any other major city.  As a result, most of those films run together and never really stick with me.  Super 8 breaks away from any summer movie clichés, standing on its own as an original, but also nostalgic film.  This is far and away the best action blockbuster I’ve seen so far this year.

Also, be sure to stay during the credits for a fun little treat.


Share your thoughts in the comments!  The film opens this Friday!

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