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Super 8

By Matthew Arnoldi - Posted on 04 August 2011

J J Abrams
J J Abrams
Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler 'Stand by Me' meets 'Close Encounters' in JJ Abrams’ retro sci-fi comedy thriller "Super 8" produced by Spielberg. The story begins in the Summer of 1979 where a group of budding movie youngsters are desperate to come up with an original short romance involving zombies that they hope will win a prize at a forthcoming festival. Geek director Charles lives, eats and breathes gore-fest movies and cajoles his mate Joe (Courtney) into starring in the movie alongside pretty blonde teen Alice (Fanning). Joe lives with his father, a local deputy policeman who throws himself into his work. Joe's mother has recently died and Joe's father is finding the single parent bit hard to cope with. On a location shoot by a railway line, the corny movie comes to life only for real life to overtake them in the guise of a stunning train crash sequence that is quite literally breathtaking to watch. The crash was brought about deliberately by the boys’ local science teacher. Why ? And what are the mysterious white cuboids that the train contained ? Why suddenly does the train crash become hush-hush and mysterious incidents begin to take place ? And just what will appear on the boys’ super 8 film ? JJ Abrams has great pedigree in this field. As the Director and Producer of 'Lost', the Producer of 'Cloverfield' and Director of 'Star Trek', he’s not short of experience of what can be done in a sci-fi action comedy, and this one works because its both entertaining and retains a level of suspense with the director ensuring that we don’t see anything unworldy too quickly. In the end this is a bug-hunt with a heart and a thrill ride that will satisfy most who go to see it. There’s good mileage through the kids' efforts and in tandem, the plot involving something extraterrestrial and the armed forces is also interesting as it unravels. Its also worth staying through the final credits as you get to see the brilliant footage the boys have been capturing on their camera all the way along. It’s a good blast all-told and a film that will be regarded fondly as a decent homage to 70’s sci-fi thriller comedies.
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U.K. Release Date: 
4 August 2011
UK Certificate: