July 11, 2011

Movie Review: Super 8

Super 8 is a movie about kids but it's not a kid's movie. I mean it's great for kids but it's as much a movie for adults. It's also about an alien being but it's not science fiction.
It's 1979 and a group of kids are at a train station shooting their own zombie movie, not on a Flip Camera but with a regular old movie camera and sound equipment. They accidentally record the crash of a truck into an oncoming train and then the action begins.
Incidentally, the guy driving the truck doesn't die, and okay...that takes some effort to suspend disbelief but it's a small point.
It's really an intelligent script. It's been compared to ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and it certainly pays homage to those films but it's its own movie. The performances by all the kids are great, especially by new kid Joel Courtney as Joe, and Elle Fanning as Alice. The best part of her performance is the performance within the performance, when they're making the movie. But I love the chemistry between her and the Joe character. And I always like Kyle Chandler.
The music's gorgeous, perfect for the time, and I loved the camera work, especially the shots when they're in the holding area.
Oh, my other nit to pick (you know I always have something) is the kid with the braces - I'm sure he doesn't have braces in real life. He seems to have an extra set of braces-encased teeth over his own, and he can barely speak, his mouth is so full. Weird.
But all in all it's a well-done movie that grabs you and holds you until the end. I loved it.
4-1/2 out of five stars for Super 8.

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