Let’s say you are a filmmaker. How would you pay homage to more than three decades of blockbuster films? How would you pay tribute to the director who has delivered game-changing pictures such as “Jaws,” “E.T.,” and “The Goonies”? Well, if you’re J.J. Abrams, you achieve those things by making “Super 8,” the film now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
J.J. Abrams should be a familiar name to you. When it comes to television, Abrams has been the creative mind behind “Alias,” “Lost,” “Fringe,” “Person of Interest” and the upcoming series “Alcatraz.” He’s no stranger to film, either. He directed “Mission Impossible III” and the popular 2009 “Star Trek” reboot. He also produced “Cloverfield” and “Morning Glory.”
In fact, when the first teaser trailer debuted for “Super 8,” many thought it was a “Cloverfield” sequel. “Cloverfield” was a little unusual, and it never had a clear resolution. I was worried no one would want to see its sequel. But lucky for us all, “Super 8” turned out to be an entirely different project.
“Super 8” takes place in the summer of 1979 in small-town Ohio. It centers on a group of teenaged school friends who are making their own zombie movie using a Super 8 camera. Many of the most famous directors working in Hollywood today started out using Super 8 cameras as children.
While our heroes are filming, they witness one of the most horrific train crashes ever featured in a movie. To make this worse, there was something secret riding on the military train and now it’s loose.
I may not be a child of the ’70s. I’m a little bit younger. But “Super 8” still was very nostalgic for me. There is a modicum of magic between the film’s youngsters. They have to be authentic to the time period but also come off as cool to modern audiences. The group achieves this, thanks to chemistry and the dialogue written by Abrams. I’ve never been more reminded of “The Goonies.” The film also has near perfect timing as it flip-flops between mega monster film and moving drama.
My favorite part is the footage that rolls through the credits. Audiences get to see the finished movie within the movie that the kids have been putting together. It is classic Abrams. For instance, his hard-core fans know he repeats the use of the number 47 throughout his films. Be looking for it in this one.
I’m definitely a fan!
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