Super 8

19 06 2011

J.J. Abrams’s “Super 8” is quite possibly the best film I’ve seen this year. It’s got everything, frenetic action, wonderful performances, gorgeous cinematography, a beautiful score, even Spielberg’s trademark troubled father. Everything about this movie is good, “Super 8” should merit a Best Picture nomination.

“Super 8” is directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, who back in the 70’s and 80’s directed films that inspired Abrams into making this film. Those films seem to be “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.”

Abrams’s last directorial effort was “Star Trek,” the space adventure film that mostly drew inspiration from George Lucas’s “Star Wars,” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” directed by Steven Spielberg, so J.J. Abrams is definitely a Spielberg-inspired filmmaker, but some critics have said that “Super 8” draws too much inspiration from Spielberg. But you can’t say something like that about a film that is produced by Spielberg. Besides, this is clearly a homage to him.

“Super 8” stars Joel Courtney as Joe Lamb, a 13-year-old boy living in the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio, who has lost his mother. The year is 1979, and four months later, when Joe and his police officer of a father Jack Lamb (Kyle Chandler) haven’t quite yet overcome the loss. Joe has an eye for art and uses his gift to help his friend Charles (Riley Griffiths) finish his Super 8 short “The Case.” In case you didn’t know, Super 8 is an old motion picture film format. Educate yourselves here:

Once of the scenes in the boys’ film needs to be filmed at a train station at night with a girl, so the boys ask Alice (Elle Fanning) to play the part. She agrees and they happily film the scene. Then, a car drives onto the tracks and crashes with a train, from which something then escapes. That’s when the mystery begins. The U.S. military appears, the dogs escape from the town, there are frequent power outages, missing people. It’s very thrilling to watch as the story unveils. We also get the Spielberg trademark troubled father who wishes to improve the relations between him and his son, and also a love interest for Joe.

From the John Williams-inspired score by Michael Giacchino to the wonderful performances of the entire cast, J.J. Abrams’s “Super 8” sprouts greatness. It is one of the best films I’ve seen in 2011. Let’s hope that films like these begin to appear more often this year. So far, we haven’t seen a lot of good films. Sure, we’ve seen entertaining films like “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class,” but they aren’t even close to the caliber of “Super 8.” It should receive a Best Picture nomination.

Rating: ★★★★





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