Movie Review – Super 8
From the moment I saw Joe Lamb sitting on the swing set holding a locket, without being able to see what photo was inside, I fell in love with the movie SUPER 8. I realize I’m not seeing this movie the weekend on opening weekend, and so I am well aware of the references to the classics E.T., STAND BY ME and GOONIES.
The film deserves these grand comparisons for giving us rich characters we can care about, and for whom we can suspend reality for a couple of hours. The military cover-up of alien encounters is not a fresh story, but Abrams lets us simmer in suspense, when most movies would show guts, gore and too many details from the get-go. Yes, there are lots of special effects, but the relationship between the characters drives the story forward.
Joel Courtney who plays Joe Lamb delivered and outstanding performance. In one moment of defiance, he commands the scene and even overshadows Kyle Chandler who plays his father, Jackson Lamb. He’s the quiet leader among his pack of friends. Zipping through streets on bicycles and unable to reach parents via cell phones made me long for that time of innocence. Ryan Lee was a spot-on comic in his role as Joe’s friend and pyromaniac, Cary. Riley Griffiths, as Joe’s best friend, Charles also gives a notable performance. Elle Fanning’s Alice, the lone girl among the group of boys and the love interest of both Joe and Charles is sweet and charming with understated strength. Like the young characters in E.T., STAND BY ME and GOONIES, the movie-making kids in SUPER 8 are likable, memorable, and very believable.
After having just seen the much over-hyped film, BRIDESMAIDS (which I won’t even bother reviewing), I was so pleasantly surprised with SUPER 8, which to me, was a return to a classic style of filmmaking, a well told story and focus on the characters. If you haven’t had a chance to see this film yet, treat yourself to a matinee and sit back and enjoy.
Tags: Super 8