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movie poster for super8
Paramount Pictures

First off, “Super 8” is a celebration of some of Steven Spielberg’s great 70’s/80”s: movies: “The Goonies”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T.” along with Director J.J. Abrams' two big monster creations: “Cloverfield” and TV’s “Lost”. This combination ultimately makes for a unique blend of childhood misfortune and scary monster action, which is a great mixture and works very well.

Super 8’ is one of those “films-within-a –film”. It’s about a young group of kids 13 t0 15 who are trying to make a zombie movie in the summer of 1979. While they're filming a scene at the train station late at night they witness a terrible train wreck that causes their small town to become the hot spot of an Air Force Military Investigation. It quickly becomes clear that the military is attempting to keep a horrible secret from everyone else and when people and mechanical items begin mysteriously disappearing things get even more scary and foreboding.

“Super 8 captures the nostalgia of the 70’s/80’s perfectly; from the sets, the attitudes, the costumes, the language – everything flows perfectly. In keeping with the theme with the era, the story had an innocence about it, and even through there is a lot of mayhem and destruction all round, the sweetness is never lost between the characters. Making it even better is a cast of wonderful child actors which is the main reason you’ll be reminded of “The Goonies”. Especially noteworthy are Joel Courtney, as the lead teenager who has the sweetness that Henry Thomas brought to “E.T.” ; and Elle Fanning who is so natural in her role and, amazingly ,she’s only 13? The Fannings must be breeding with child actor genes or something. She was fantastic. Not only does the cast display strong acting chops, they capture the essence of the era brilliantly. If you grew up during that time, it will bring you back to your own childhood which for most of us is a pleasant remembrance.

Rated PG-13, it is not that violent, a little scary but most kids can handle it.

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