MOVIE REVIEW: Super 8

Wil Avitt
Wil Avitt's picture

Super 8 is the highly anticipated, though not highly hyped, science fiction thriller from the acclaimed filmmaker (who I am personally dubbing the new Steven Spielberg) JJ Abrams and produced by the old Steven Spielberg (who also happens to be the actual Steven Spielberg). As the follow-up to Abrams' reboot of the Star Trek franchise, Super 8 had some fairly large shoes to fill (size 12 at least), and it fills them quite nicely. The best thing Abrams does to follow-up his Star Trek film is to go the exact opposite direction. Super 8 is the antithesis of what we've come to expect in a summer film. If you were to take the X-Files, the Stephen King coming-of-age story which was the basis for the film Stand by Me and throw in just a pinch of the Spielberg classic ET and mix it all together, well, you would pretty much have Super 8.

Super 8 tells the story of a group of adolescents who are making an amateur zombie movie via a Super 8mm movie camera. While filming a scene at a local train station, hoping to get footage of a real train passing by for "production values," the kids witness a tragic accident as a pick-up truck pulls in front of the train, causing it to de-rail. Not only did they witness it, they got it all on film. Upon investigating the truck which caused the crash, the kids find out that it was being driven by their Biology teach who tells them, at gunpoint, that if they talk to anyone about what they've seen, it could cost them their lives. It doesn't take much time for the Air Force to surround the small Ohio town, and it also doesn't take long for people in the town to start turning up missing.

Along with having a strong script, written by Abrams, and having great direction, cinamatrography and production design, not to mention a few subtle scares, Super 8 benefits the most from great acting from an amazing cast, and nary a "movie star" in sight. The lack of big names adds to the realism and credibility of the piece a great deal. From start to finish Super 8 keeps you in the movie 100 percent, which is an increasing rarity in the era where summer movies are dominated by superheroes, car chases, big explosions and millions of dollars of CGI. All-in-all a must-see for anyone who appreciates a good, story- and character-driven science fiction tale, that isn't cluttered up with all the gratuitous "eye candy" (which I have nothing against, but it is nice to get a break every so often).

Will Conservatives Like This Movie?

As with all movies, it comes down to what you expect from a movie, politically. The military is the bad guy, acting as the storm troopers of a corrupt government, and most of the airmen you meet are huge jerks. However, in a movie as rife with government conspiracies and cover-ups, it's hard not to paint the military in a negative light. I don't think there was anything malicious in the villification of the Air Force in this film. They just filled a need in the story, and quite logically at that. So yes, I think most conservatives could come away from this movie with a sense of enjoyment.

SheldonCooper can be reached at sheldon@republibot.com

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