Super 8 is the story of a group of young friends who inadvertently film a train crash, that puts their small town on the map, and which unleashes a terrifying secret.
1 One of the few times I have felt a nostalgic need for late 70s , early 80s cinema. J.J Abrams manages to encapsulate how an audience would have felt at first run cinema screenings of E.T, Stand by Me, and The Goonies.
2 An outstanding lead performance by youngster Joel Courtney, that seems to channel previous outstanding child performances from Henry Thomas (E.T) to River Phoenix (Stand by Me). One of the best of the year.
3. The use of camera lens flares that not only supplements the ‘Super 8’ / Amateurish film making of the main characters, but that acts as a nostalgic trigger to my youth.
4. The superbly filmed and digitally altered train wreck, that roars throughout the cinema, and contains many loud and unexpected explosions that jolts the viewer from their seat.
5. The post credit ‘Super 8’ film created by the main characters, that is not only corny, amateurish, and full of plot holes, but which perfectly sums up an innocent youth full of opportunity.
6. Paramount’s teasers and TV spots that deliberately obscure the main plot device. Couple that with the outlandish and over the top security upon the film’s advanced screenings (no mobile phones allowed, security searches and infrared binocular scanning).
7. The touching scene where Joel Courtney’s character applies zombie makeup to Elle Fanning. Youthful, innocent, touching, funny.
8. The film’s cast are unfamiliar actors/actress who allow a more natural and personal story to unfold. I would have not felt connected to several of the character if more famous actors were cast.
Super 8 had me yearning to be a young filmgoer again.
This is as close as a filmmaker will ever get to the output from Spielberg in the 1980’s.
Super 8 is engaging and touching, and delivers with lovely performances (especially Joel Courtney), and maintains a terrific pace that only really fails in the last act.
It is how a blockbuster should be made, with no names actors, a storyline and character development that is enticing, and a film that is accessible by teenagers and adults together.
This film is the ‘Goonies of this Generation’. As much as we speak about E.T in glowing reflective terms, this generation in future years will think back to the way that Super 8 touched them, scared them and made them laugh.
Highly recommend: Score: A.