Monday, June 20, 2011

Channeling The Spirit of Early Spielberg

Super 8
Directed by JJ Abrams
Produced by Steven Spielberg
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon
The Daily Bosco

There were several reasons why I thouroughly enjoyed the film Super 8, a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Director JJ Abrams (Lost) which opened this past weekend.

First, the movie takes place in the late 70's. For me, it's like walking into a time warp with the music (who amongst us have not rocked out to the Knack's "My Sharona" or Blondie's "Heart of Glass") and the attention to detail on the set is amazing. This is what mid-America looked like in the late 70's, this is what we were watching on TV, these were the toys we played with (ie, Walkie Talkies and CB Radios)...these are the clothes we wore. One of my favorite scenes is when the kids want to get their film developed quickly and they ask the film dept. clerk if they could get the film back the same day. "That's impossible" says the clerk..."Three Days is the fastest"...and he stamps it rush.

Second, if you have ever had a junior high or high school age child that is obsessed with being a film maker (like I do), you are going to love this. All the enthusiasm, the excitement, the sense of accomplishing something when they make a's all in this film. We see the kids in this film, making their film about Zombies for a festival, during the movie. Stick around for the credits...because you get to see the finished product while the credits are running.

Third, this film is a collaboration between Producer Steven Spielberg and Director JJ Abrams. While Abrams can stand on his own as an exciting film maker, it seems he really channels the spirit of Steven Spielberg's movies from the late 70's/early 80's. Think about it. You have a misunderstood alien (ET, Close Encounters), a band of nerdy kids banding together to fight against the establishment (Goonies), exciting chase scenes and great special effects (Indiana Jones). I actually enjoyed this collaboration even more than Spielberg/Lucas. Throw all that in with the great "coming of age" films like "Stand by Me" or even "Sandlot"...well you get the idea.

And fourth, I really enjoyed the work of the actors in this film. I am a huge fan of Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Hometown) and he brings the same calmness he displays in FNL when he is asked to step into the roll of the town's Sheriff while his world crumbles around him.

And the young actors are wonderful. This reminded me of the cast of the Goonies or ET.

There are so many reasons to see this film, especially if you grew up in the 70's.

Hopefully we will see more work with Spielberg and Abrams in the near future.

The Synopsis: In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth - something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

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