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Super 8

A 2011 movie directed by J.J. Abrams.

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'Super 8' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree (Sort Of) This SciFi Coming Of Age Story Comes Up Short (Video)

  • Jun 8, 2011
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By Joan Alperin-Schwartz

'Super 8' is written and directed by J. J. Abrams. This film could have been the 'ET' for a new generation of film goers...Unfortunately...it misses the mark.

In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town set out to make a zombie movie.  While shooting their Super 8 film, the kids witness a catastrophic train crash and, after barely escaping themselves, they come to discover that this was not an accident. 

Soon after, unusual disappearances begin to take place in town and  local Deputy Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) along with these aspiring filmmakers, try to uncover the truth  about what's really going on.  What they discover is something more terrifying than any of them could have ever imagined.

There's two stories going on here...One works...One doesn't.

 First, we have the 'coming of age' story which deals with a multitude of issues including...the loss of a parent, neglect,  first love and friendship.  This story line works beautifully...

All the child actors inluding...Joel Courtney (Joe Lamb), Gabriel Basso (Martin), Riley Griffiths (Charles).Ryan Lee (Cary) and Zach Mills (Preston) are fantastic.  Elle Fanning, (Alice) the only girl in the group, is as usual... absolutely riverting.

What doesn't work for me is...the 'Alien' story line.  If you don't know what this film is about, then read no further...Don't won't to spoil it for you.

Anyway, the 'Alien' of 'Super 8' is one you've seen over and over again.  Think...'Transformers', 'Cloverfield' and even 'District Nine'.  And just  like ET, this gynormous, pissed off, ugly dude from another planet...Just 'wants to go home'.  Too bad the military, led by Noah Emmerich (Nelec) have other ideas.  After years of torturing this poor guy, he's 'mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore'...Can you blame him?  

This is where 'Super 8' lets me down.  Couldn't Mr. Abrams come up with a more original story line? A more original looking Alien?  If he had, this movie would have gotten a 5 bagel rating from me instead of 4.

 Make sure you stay for the credits...There's a great surprise that shows you...what this film could have been.

'Super 8' opens in theaters Friday June 10, 2011.
'Super 8' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree (Sort Of) This SciFi Coming Of Age Story Comes Up Short (Video) 'Super 8' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree (Sort Of) This SciFi Coming Of Age Story Comes Up Short (Video) 'Super 8' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree (Sort Of) This SciFi Coming Of Age Story Comes Up Short (Video)

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June 08, 2011
I added the topic to Movie Hype as you've asked! Your descriptions remind me somewhat of the Stephen King story 'IT' with a sci-fi thriller twist later on. Seems like it is a mixed bag and I kinda feel John's observations, but hey, at least it started out well. No "ET phone home"?
June 08, 2011
Nope, but love to know what you think when and if you see it. Thanks so much. So send the FOD video or videos. You got my address right?.
June 08, 2011
I'll try to see this Friday. Yes, I have your address!! Thanks again!! feel free to keep doing how you're doing and you can just message me to fix the topics. Thanks!
June 08, 2011
and I have your's. I didn't know you live in SF. You should meet my friend Amelia (she created Two Jews On Film) and her boyfriend - he's a super cool guy and a computer genius. They live in SF. she's also a filmmaker. We did our first interview on Saturday on Popcorn Mafia. Had to talk for an hour - It was exhausting but fun. We talked about Tree of Life, Great Santini and our relationship.
June 08, 2011
awesome!! "Tree of Life" just sent my head spinning....LOL!
June 08, 2011
Oh yeah. And will do.
More Super 8 (2011 film) reviews
review by . June 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
J.J. Abrams has mastery over marketing gimmicks and he knows exactly how to attract viewer attention. If you remember the ploy he pulled off with “Cloverfield” then you would know that he does the same thing with “Super 8”. He keeps the trailers vague as to tease and to arouse viewer interest. Well, Abrams is a great creator of cinematic hype but I have to say, this is not the movie as advertised. As much as I can appreciate the marketing skills of Abrams and his intentions …
review by . June 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
J.J. Abrams is a name that always raises eyes in the sci-fi community.  Teaming up with Spielberg, he first grew interest in Super 8 with one of the most remarkable trailers we've seen for a film of it's genre in a while.  Where so many trailers are hell bent on showing you as much of the movie as possible, the trailer for Super 8 only showed one small snippet that didn't actually spoil anything, but rather made people curious as to what exactly it was.  This marketing …
review by . April 01, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Let's make a hit, says JJ Abrams. So much for making a good movie.
JJ Abrams has made hit movies. Has he ever made a good movie? With Super 8, he wrote, directed and produced two movies, and sacrificed the good to make sure he had a hit.       Super 8 begins just fine, the story of a group of young teens making a movie about zombies. Charles (Riley Griffiths) is determined to enter his movie in a film contest. He’s the director and writer. Joe (Joel Courtney) is his best friend and make-up specialist.  When Charles recruits …
review by . February 18, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I had read Wookpak's review of this film an am definately in agreement. I have not seen The Goonies and or Cloverfield but I can say that there are a lot of similarities with this film to ET. A bunch of High School kids are filming a zombie movie in 1979. The mother of one of the boys (Joe Lamb) died in a factory accident. The boy's father (Jackson Lamb) is the sherriff and at his mother's wake we see the sherriff arresting a blond haired man (Louis Dainard) that came to visit. It turns out that …
review by . July 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     For each talented director, there is one film, or perhaps many films, that the man or woman was destined to direct. For J.J. Abrams, director of the recent reboot of the "Star Trek" franchise, his film is "Super 8". I knew the man was talented as both a writer and a director; a sci-fi geek who is always ready to explode with knowledge and insight. He has a fondness of the works of Steven Spielberg. And now, he's made a film not only about his fondness, but …
review by . June 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Super 8 aspires to be a lot. After the first few scenes of the film you can see the attempts at the charm of Spielberg’s charm from the 80s and 90s trying it’s hardest to fuse with Abram’s sensibilities about portraying suspense on the screen and his way of establishing mystery. Super 8 isn’t a bad film, in fact I actually really liked it. However I don’t think it’s as good as it thinks it is, or even as good as collaboration between two of the strongest filmmakers …
review by . June 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Super 8 clearly distinguishes itself from the other summer movies in the last years by simply approaching the old-school style of filmmaking when the story, the atmosphere, the narration, the feeling counted more than the tons of exploding cars and buildings we get to see today. Super 8 is a nostalgic reminiscence of the old-school cinema, a piece of little emotional film that addresses audiences of all ages.      The story develops around this group of kids from …
review by . January 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Set during the summer of 1979 in a small town in Ohio, SUPER 8 revolves around Joe Lam (Joel Lamb) and his friends as they attempt to finish a Super 8 zombie movie for an upcoming Super 8 Film Festival. While filming one night at the local train station, the boys and the star actress of their production are witness to and somewhat involved with a horrible train accident that unleashes a mysterious creature. Soon after, all the dogs in the town run away, people start disappearing, and all kinds of …
review by . June 18, 2011
4 Stars: Something this way comes
There are some things in this world that  humanity was never meant to  understand, never meant to  find out the truth, never meant to  grasp the reality of something more than the world  that we have built for ourselves and the prefabricated lies that we have been feed to make us believe the singular truth. The one all consuming truth that  in this world, in this universe we are the only life that exist, we are the only thing that lives and that Earth, our home  …
review by . June 14, 2011
It won't be for everyone, it won't be for those looking for sci-fi action flick. It is a fair expectation from the few details we gathered from the trailer. In that regard it has every opportunity to let you down, but if you are looking for strong story telling with a loving nod to film makers delivered in the hands of children than you are in for a treat. It has been a while since a movie has come out without any marks of irony, sarcasm, and pop culture references leaving only a well done …
About the reviewer
Joan & John Schwartz ()
Ranked #35
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
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About this movie


Abrams has refused to reveal the plot of the film as he wants to keep it a mystery and let the images speak for themselves.[citation needed] What has been confirmed is that it will take place in 1979 and it will be a homage/tribute to Spielberg's '70s and '80s science fiction films with a mystery and supernatural feel from Abrams.

Abrams revealed the plot will follow a group of children in the 1970s as they film a movie with a Super 8 camera but while they are filming, they spot an alien escape from an Area 51 cargo train and it runs loose in their small town.


Few filmmakers have ever had a run at the tables like Steven Spielberg, whose output from 1971'sSugarland Expressto, say, 1982'sE.T.displayed an amazingly unforced melding of huge set pieces and small human gestures. Even at their most chaotic, they somehow felt organic.Super 8, writer-director J.J. Abrams's authorized tribute to classic Spielbergisms, hits all of the marks (Lived-in suburbia backdrop, check. Awestruck gazes upwards, check. Parental discord, check. Lens flares, amazingly huge check), but its adherence to the formula squelches much of its own potential. Appealing as it is to see a summer movie that retro-prioritizes character development over jittery quick-cut explosions, the viewer is always aware at how furiously it's working to seem effortless. Set in 1979, Abrams's script follows a group of movie-crazy kids ...
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Movies, Movie, Steven Spielberg, Jj Abrams, Science Fiction Films


Director: J.J. Abrams
Genre: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: 10 June 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: J.J. Abrams
Runtime: 112 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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