Thursday, June 23, 2011

In Review: Super 8

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg teamed up for one of the best films of the summer thus far...the last Harry Potter is just around the corner so I don't want to give it the solid number 1 just yet.

The film is about a group of middle school kids in 1979 who are making a film over their summer vacation. One night they sneak out to an old train station in the middle of the night to film some of their movie when a military train collides with a truck and the super 8 camera they they are using is left rolling giving them a peak at the top secret cargo.

The film carries on with the kids not telling the adults what is going on and the town being overtaken by oddities. The kids, just like in real life (eye roll), end up out-witting the adults and saving the day.

Could this movie be the next generations The Goonies? Mikey and Joe could be on some kind of parallel, but I think Sloth may have freaked me out more than the alien creature in this movie. This may be the case because I saw The Goonies for the first time when I was about 8 and around that time Oliver Twist the cartoon gave me nightmares (true story). Whatever the case, Super 8 is a little more and a little less ridiculous but the core group of kids is the same kind of fun. Each with their own little quirks making the hilarious moments seamless and enjoyable.

You have the bossy director Charles, who hasn't 'leaned out' yet; the quiet main character Joe (Joel Courtney in his film debut), who does the make-up and is dealing with the death of his mother; Martin, the friend who barfs when emotionally lead; Preston, the friend whose job it is to play the extra in the film; Alice, the girl who was brought on to play the chick in the movie and the love interest of Joe; and Cary.

(RtoL) Martin, Cary, Joe, Charles
Cary, played by Ryan Lee, was my ultimate favorite of the crew. He is the little friend who is in charge of the explosions for the movie. The kid caught the pyro bug and carries around a backpack full of fireworks. His character reminds me a little bit of Squirts from The Sandlot, but a little less nerdy.

I am just going to throw it out there that the character was actually written to be a young Michael Bay.  If I were to picture Michael Bay as a child, Cary would be it. And I am not that off base...since the movie was based in 1979 and Bay was born in 1964...that would make him 15, about the age of these kids. If Bay had a sick rack of braces when he was 15 it would seal the deal.

This isn't the best thing Abrams and Spielberg have ever done, but it is definitely a fun one. People will compare it to E.T. which will ultimately lead to them feeling it fails expectations, but it was great for what it was.

Verdict: 3.9 Stars


Side note: I think it is hilarious that the guy who played Simon on 7th Heaven was a long haired, pot smoking, wannabe player.

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