SUPER 8 (2011)

Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Amanda Michalka
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By:  UIP
Rating: PG (Some Intense Sequence)
Official Website:

Opening Day:
9 June 2011

Synopsis: In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth - something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

Movie Review:

Amblin, Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrahams. These 3 words by the people who swear to movies and hold their lives responsible of how they live their life would agree that by the powers combined, there is no force that can deviate an do no wrong. It 1st sneaked into our visions in the summer of 2010 and totally took us off guard. A car speeding in the countryside. It swerves onto the train track. As soon as we saw it driving towards an oncoming train, all hell breaks loose. Mayhem ensures and total destruction in its epic proportion exploded on the screen, leaving us with our mouth gap wide open. Then all was quiet in the mangle of destruction followed by a bang of the metal containers beyond. It grew louder and violent and that is when we knew, this is going to be an adventure, i can’t wait to hop on. It is times like these, i measure up how good a film is. Call it old fashion and superstitious or even downright silly but, most of the film that dies well, i happen to get goose bumps immediately. Super 8, gave me all those and i was literally hyperventilating.

And now upon watching this masterpiece, let’s dissect why such simple formulaic film does so wall with many. Besides the obvious nature of the reviewer being a total fan-boy of JJ and Steven, it’s the small details that matters. Many film-makers keep in tab of the big picture. the story, set-piece, effects, stars and many more. What these 2 superstars are so good at are human characters, no matter what situation they fall into, no matter how unbelievable or extreme, the core value of human character emotion will always be the connect to the audience.  A likable personality goes a long way and what joy to follow then tagging along kids who has been best friends grouping together making film as a hobby. And it doesn’t need to have big blockbuster Hollywood actors to boost up interest. Super 8 hardly had any star status that hit the ‘A’ list, in fact most are unknowns, but somehow, proper chemistry just makes the whole ensemble give such a wonderful masterful, joy to watch and experience by its side. It’s hard to pin point who was better than the other as each had its spot light to stand in when it was time for them to shine. Truly remarkable acting all around especially the kids, who seemed like they knew each other forever. Or perhaps it’s what they call, acting. So kudos to them.

And as mention before, the storyline is nothing to shout about. It’s simple, genuine but always wrapped around some secrecy that will never be unveiled (that is just SO JJ). But the true genius comes from the film making and storytelling of not telling or showing. Did I just confuse you. You’ll know what I mean when you watch the film. Many scenes scattered around were a gem to discover even with its first frame of film. A single non-moving shot showing a sign showed so much emotion that it gave me a big lump in my throat. Yes, it was that powerful. And the fact that JJ always leaves us to play with our own imagination is such a piece of art. Watching the gas station attack scene unfold before our eyes without even showing the monster (smoke monster anyone? yes, I’m a Lost-ie) or even the major carnage like seeing the car being trashed in the background, out of focus is pure genius. Although the film has an almost spotless track record, there are several pointers that might have pulled it down for others who does not share the same sentiment as I do. By far, everything else that was done right, trumped all and evened out many bumps and made it into a fun ride. It’s definitely the case of the Mystery box where curiosity and wonderment mix with excitement are the main key to bring audience forward.

Children of the 80s has long surrounded it’s pure imagination with the likeness of ET, Close Encounters of the Forth Kind, The Goonies and such. It was the age of adventure, innocence and camaraderie. Those films had heart and full of life and even though it gathered around children and of younger age, you never feel superficial nor fake. Gone were the days since then did we garner such classic storytelling that earned its place in the video cupboard with its rewind and forward burned from repetition. This is where you might call such phenomenon, a classic timeless tale, enjoyed by young or old, any language or religion. Sadly nowadays, film churned and vomited out of theaters have prioritize their target audience and has forced us to mature and grow up to touch on topics that are new and current. But very little people know that even us working adults, we do yearn the adventure of a lifetime. The pure joy of exploration and wonderment. And yes ladies and gentlemen, Thank you JJ Abrams for rekindling that young sole out as I sat there in the dark cinema beside my 8 year old self, hands gripping the arm chair in terror, gasping in excitement and screaming in shock. All that rolled in one. I truly had an adventure of a lifetime. Well, close enough.

Movie Rating:

(Film making at its best. A fulfilling enjoyment of cinematic storytelling. Must watch!)

By Lokman B S

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