Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super 8

Super 8
Rating: 8.7/10

Director: JJ Abrams
Starring: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler
Written By: JJ Abrams
Music By: Michael Giacchino
Edited By: Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey
Produced By: Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk
Studio: Bad Robot Productions, Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Budget: $50 million
Runtime: 112 minutes
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and some violence

I was very skeptical about Super 8 when I first heard of it. I was in kind of a JJ Abrams hate stage, primarily because Fringe made it another season on Fox and Lie to Me was canned. Anyways, I went in the theatre with a pouty look upon my lips and my abrasive skepticism on my sleeve. But, with god as witness, I love this damn movie.
-Warning, contains spoilers after the break!-

The story is about a group of kids who, while filming a movie for a film festival, are witnesses to a massive train crash (the best crash ever, IMO), and eventually come to find out a giant alien is on board. What else could it be, right? Clearly not kittens or a bag full of rainbow smiles. Clearly.

These little rascals (with the male and female leads played superbly well by Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning) go on a harrowing adventure in order to stop the alien monster from ripping everyone in their town to shreds, and they do just that. The story itself ends with the boy reconciling with his father, and the alien leaving peacefully. I’ll leave it at that in order to not spoil the meat of the story.

What was so impressive about this movie was how they captured the essence of people. Now, that can be interpreted in different ways, and I mean it as so. They really show the dynamic of a group of close friends, and they do it in a funny, rude way, just as a close group of friends operates. They show that awkward young romance that we all went through, and do it in such a way that it makes your heart ache for Joel Courtney as his character stumbles over the idea that a pretty girl would be interested in him. The father-son reconciliation is a Spielberg trademark, and his dedication to that particular story line is very evident. Its well done and very heartfelt. You could feel the relief from the father and son as all the pain that they had experienced melted away in the face of incomprehensible danger. Nothing puts things in perspective like tragedy.

I love this film. I really do. I would see this movie again in a heartbeat. JJ Abrams direction is superb (as, I grudgingly admit, always), and the chemistry between Fanning and Courtney is fantastic. Its a funny, engaging movie that any age group can enjoy, and enjoy thoroughly. I tip my hat to JJ Abrams on this one.


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