Saturday, June 09, 2012

Super 8

Joe Lamb, a local high school student who recently lost his mother in an accident, agrees to make a Super 8 movie with his buddies, a vampire slugfest. While doing so on location near a remote train station, they experience a catastrophic train crash that doesn't look like an accident. Shortly thereafter, other unusual things start happening, and they start to piece it all together to unravel the mystery.
Most of this movie is a set-up to the last thirty minutes of the film. We meet Joe and his filmmaking buddies, we learn their idiosyncrasies, and we learn that Joe (Joel Courtney) has a crush on the newest member of their moviemaking group, Alice (Elle Fanning). We also learn that Joe's dad, a police deputy, isn't dealing well with the death of his wife, and has problems connecting with his son.
I found the movie rather slow, but if you like character-carving sequences, especially of young, funny kids who can really act, you'll like Super 8. Who here, those of us, that is, who grew up before the 1970's, hasn't handled a Super 8 movie camcorder and dreamed of making great films? So it's quite easy to see ourselves in the roles, and how we would react under bizarre circumstances, the ones these kids meet.
The last half-hour of the film brings it all together. We see what's been causing all the disappearances, and how the kids deal with it. So, patience has its payoff. And there's an emotional payoff, as well. You won't find a better actor than Kyle Chandler as Joe's dad. The guy can really wring any emotion out of a scene, and it all plays real.
It's so interesting to me that Steven Spielberg was the executive producer for this film and for one other that I saw this weekend: Men in Black 3. Both have similar themes. Both have taut stories, emotional heart, and great special effects. But one -- Super 8 -- is small, and the other couldn't be any larger. They're both good. Thumb's up.


Post a Comment

<< Home