Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cool VS Stool - Super 8

Super 8, combining E.T., Cloverfield, and The Goonies.

Paramount releases its 3rd "summer blockbuster" this weekend with Super 8. This film brought out the big guns with Exec. Producer Steven Spielberg and Writer/Director J.J. Abrams. Abrams, an accomplished screen writer (e.g., Armageddon, ABC's Lost), is perhaps most known for his 2009 directorial take on Star Trek.

The film pays homage to what I can only think was Abrams' childhood with dreams of becoming a film maker, and obviously to E.T. and Close Encounters.The title refers to the use of a "Super 8" video camera. The film is the story of a group of middle schoolers who inadvertently witness an Air Force train wreck while making a film with a Super 8 camera, and the subsequent happenings there after.

Kyle Chandler (NBC's Friday Nigh Lights) plays the deputy sheriff in the small town of Lilian, who must make sense of all the strange events that are taking place in the town soon after the near by train wreck. Joel Courtney plays the deputy's son, Joe, and is the lead role in the film. The film follows Joe as he makes the heroic journey from insecure shy preteen to assertive life saving hero (all within the diegetic time of less than a week).

There is a monster / alien in the film. You've probably already heard that. The suspense that leads to the unveiling of the creature could be described as, well, loud. The film relies on sudden explosions / surprises and shrill scoring in the soundtrack to heighten intensity, and succeeds masterfully.

The visual aspects of the film are fantastic. The acting is superb. The only place where the film actually falls short should have been its forte: the writing. The film falls to classic cliches that make it rather predictable and suffers from multiple inconsistencies that pull the viewer out of the film. Perhaps those flaws wouldn't be so noticeable if 20 minutes were trimmed from the film productions... That said, the film is entertaining and worth seeing versus the other films released this week (e.g., Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, Trollhunter). But if you are tight on cash, wait and save your money for next week's Green Lantern.

This film is a B- to B, and could have easily been a solid B to B+. See this film if you like E.T., Cloverfield, ABC's Lost.

Cool VS Stool Rating: Cool

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