For this weeks throwback blog which happens to fall on #ThrowbackThursday I’ll give you a review of one of my favorite films called Super 8. It appeared on the big screens back in the summer of 2011 written, produced, and directed by JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg. Super 8 is a mix of Sci-Fi fantasy plus drama. Super 8 is a lot like Netflix’s Stranger Things which is one reason I love it so much. The movie was great, yet the ending kind of stunk, but we’ll take what good we can get from modern films.
The movie follows a group of teenagers who are creating a monster movie over the summer for a European horror film competition. The film is set during the 1980s.
The leading actor for this film( Super 8 not the monster film) was Kyle Chandler who plays Sheriff Jack Lamb who keeps the town from losing its cool completely. He’s also the father of Joe(Joel Courtney) one of the boys helping his best friend Charlie direct the film. Joe does the monster make up. The boys create this film off a Super 8 recorder. They did not have Ipads or Iphone’s to film things so easily back in the 1980s. When the film began we learn about how Joe’s mother died in a steel mill accident. Elizabeth worked in place of her co-worker Louis Dainard, so there is this huge fued between the sheriff and Louis, during the entire film. More fuel is added to the fire when Louis’s daughter Alice( Elle Fanning) helps the boys create their monster film.
One night, as the kids are creating a dynamic scene for the monster film at a train depot, a train has a head on collision with a truck that was driving straight up the train tracks. This creates a huge explosion although I have no idea how this small, old truck took out such a large train. After surviving the explosion, the kids find these strange white cubes that fell out of crates from the train. They also find Dr. Woodward, their biology teacher, sitting at the driver seat of the truck. While catching his breathe, Dr. Woodward points a gun toward the children, urging them to never speak of this event to anyone not even their parents. Soon a convoy group of US soldiers arrive, so the kids grab their stuff and bolt. A day or so later they return to the wreckage point to film more of their monster film.
Strange things begin to unfold around them like everyone’s dogs leave town, townsfolk go missing, and toasters and other rubbish stop working. This upsets most of the townsfolk, so they bicker with Sheriff Jack over what to do. Sheriff Jack tries to find out what is going on, but the Air Force give him reasons to stay out of the situation. Joe deals with his father as well as Alice’s dad while all of this is going on. Soon the boys figure out what Dr. Woodward was warning them about and there adventure begins.
Super 8 was a brilliant film. The casting for this film was rock solid. I really enjoyed the youthfulness of the kids. While all of this crazy stuff is going on they’re still worried about creating this monster film. Joe and Charlie’s friendship is nearly destroyed, because of their feelings for Alice. Joe learns to move on from his mother’s passing although him giving up the locket she gave him to the aliens spaceship was pretty naïve. The scene was sweet, yet a head scratching moment. My favorite characters of Super 8 are Cary( Ryan Lee). Martin(Gabriel Basso), and Donny the stoner(David Gallagher). There is so many great lines between each of the characters. These type of films tend to come across more real and not as fiction. My main knock on this film is the monster. They tried to make it seem as if the alien was innocent only trying to return home. If so, why was the monster attacking innocent people and dogs? This alien was no ET. It would not shock me if this alien returns to space to get his friends and come back to take over earth in the distance future.
One important lesson from this film is to not hold a grudge. For years Joe and Alice’s fathers hatred of each other grew. In the beginning, Alice did not like Joe, because of her father’s opinion. Likewise Jack did not want joe hanging around Alice, because he assumed she was like her father. I think this tends to happen to a lot of adults which can harm their children the most. Without forgiveness there is no chance for a poor relationship to blossom.
Those are my thoughts on Super 8. Did you like this movie too? Let me see your thoughts in the comment section.