student Joe Lamb has lost his mother and his father, Sheriff's Deputy Jack Lamb, starts to become a little overwhelmed by
it. Flash forward four months later where Joe is making a Super 8 zombie film with his bossy best friend, Charles.
They get Alice (Elle Fanning), a girl that Joe develops a crush on, to be in the film. One night, they go near the
railroad tracks by a train depot to film a scene when a truck collides head-on with a passing train. Somethings
gets out and electrical equipment starts disappearing (along with the animals fleeing the town of Lillian, Ohio). Jack
Lamb starts to suspect that the crashed Air Force train is part of a bigger cover-up while Joe continues making the film with
his friends. Soon it all collides as Joe's group fo friends must find the thing that is causing all of the havoc.
SUPER 8 is a homage to
all of those films that kids made when they were growing up and the Steven Spielberg films from the period of the late 1970s
and early 1980s. At the center of the film are two things: the bonds of friendship and family, and a look at a different
time period before internet and digital video cameras. The mysterious creature is like the MacGuffin of the movie.
The characters and their lives are the most important things of SUPER 8 as you witness their dreams and the
problems in their lives. Jack doesn't want Joe to hang with his friends making a monster film while he is
dealing with the loss with his wife (and Joe's mom). Then Alice is trying to run away from the guilt her father feels
for what happened to Joe's mom. SUPER 8 is a time capsule of sorts as J.J. Abrams paints 1979 in a wave of
nostalgia from what what he did as a kid (he made Super 8 films) to the things happening in that time (disco, Three Mile Island).
I thought SUPER 8 was
a solid film with fleshed out characters and story. The alien isn't important. It is a nice homage to
some of the films I saw when I was growing up during the 1980s. Go see this summer film. It is good as the last
film Abrams made, STAR TREK. It is hopefully a good sign that the summer is starting to put out good summer films like
this one and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. Also stay tuned during the end credits for the Super 8 zombie film which is charming and
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