WATCHED & RATED: Super 8

Super 8 has been on my list of ‘must see’s’ for sometime, mainly because the log-line states it is about a bunch of amateur film-making kids that discover something unexpected. So I knew that I could relate to this being an amateur film-maker and all. In addition to this Steven Spielberg’s name was attached to the film, so even as a producer you can expect Super 8 to be a film that sticks. Little did I know the kids film-making ambitions was just a starting point for the film to go into familiar territory that we have seen in various Spielberg films. Super 8 is a mystery adventure set in a 1970’s Ohio amidst a suburban backdrop and follows a group of friends on what seemed like an innocent quest to shoot a film on a super 8 camera. This quest soon turns into a roller-coaster of discovery and survival. It begins with a catastrophic train crash on the location they were shooting at and it follows with unexplained disappearances of electrical goods, metal, and people.

Writer/Director JJ Abrams has successfully paid homage to Spielberg classics like E.T. and Close Encounters which allows the audience to empathise with the extra terrestrial threat. And what Abrams also does is follow every formula in good Screenwriting handbooks. This is evident in every piece of dialogue and  relationship, which appears to have been created meticulously to ensure Super 8 will be a blockbuster, as they say. And although not every review of Super 8 has been of immense praise, I feel that Abrams demonstrated that a tried formula can work in the best conditions. Key to the success of Super 8 was to have a cast that don’t already have a genre that they feature in continuously; so this allowed audiences to discover who these kids were and grow to love them. Lead protagonist Joe Lamb ( Joel Courtney) is a sweet prepubescent kid that breaks into manhood by the end of the film. His character transforms from a grieving submissive wallflower to a hero fueled by love.  This love being for the curious Alice played by Elle Fanning, Dakota’s little sis. Elle Fanning’s role was key to bringing out a lot of the emotion in the film and this she did well.

There are various interwoven plots going on within this film, but because they are fairly typical and  not focused on too deeply it makes it easy for audiences to follow. Super 8 is still a ‘must see’, but do not expect it to reveal anything  new or challenge any stereotypes. It is purely funny and gripping and nothing more than that.

DS RATED: 8/10

Super 8 
Production Year: 2011
Countries: US, Rest of the World
Cert: 12A
Runtime: 112 mins
Director: JJ Abrams
 
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About Cheryl
Screenwriter and Director in the making. Inspired by music, style, literature and people. Learning to love life more everyday.

2 Responses to WATCHED & RATED: Super 8

  1. Great review! ..er… sorry I meant Super review!

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