Monday, June 13, 2011

Super 8 Was Doggone Great!

By River Shaughnessy, Top Critic
Denver, Colorado

Remember when movies had original stories, compelling characters, and memorable moments that made you really feel something? I sure do. And there’s a word for it now, apparently. “Spielberg-ian.” It describes nearly all of your favorite movies from the mid to late 80s. But all good things must come to an end, and Spielberg can only churn out so much movie magic. Enter JJ Abrams, dishing out a healthy dose of nostalgia that will have you home, instant-streaming E.T. before you can say “close encounters of the third kind”. Such is Super 8.

And really, what is there not to love? You’ve got your ragtag bunch of adorable kids – think Stand By Me or The Goonies. Abrams goes the distance and casts real, authentic looking kids, with acting chops to boot. When their small town is shaken by a horrific train wreck, this motley crew has to piece together the clues immortalized in their grainy Super 8 film footage to find out exactly what went down. Because things are starting to get weird! First, all the dogs run away (what?!?!). Then the electronics start acting goofy, and the Army rolls in with something major to hide. People start going missing, even their plucky gal-pal Alice (played a hastily-maturing Elle Fanning). But hey, when you’ve got a mischievous alien running amuck in your town, you just can’t trust grownups to take care of business.

Super 8 was a breath of hot, fresh, summer air. But the real beauty of Super 8 lies in what it’s not – not a sequel, not a comic book adaptation, not a star-studded Chevy commercial, and not an remake of an 80s television show. What it IS is a solid, entertaining, purely fun summer movie. JJ Abrams may not be the second coming of Jesus H. Spielberg, but he’s good enough for this dog.

Summary: Two words: Kid Power! Four more words: Quit hogging the popcorn.
Wags: 4/5

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