Variety magazine has an article out titled "Young actors bring fresh approach to roles."
Besides translating the script to the screen, school-age thesps have the added requirement of staying current with their studies. That was the case for [Joel] Courtney and five other young actors at the center of "Super 8," J.J. Abrams' sci-fi yarn about a group of friends making a zombie movie who find themselves in the midst of a catastrophic train crash.
"I would get homework from my school in Idaho, do it and send it back. That's basically how it would go," explains Courtney, a high school freshman who starred as one of the young filmmakers. "There was one teacher for five of us guys, and she was very busy."
According to the Morgan Hill Times, Super 8 was the best alien invasion movie of 2011.
As often happens in the summertime, there are quite a few blockbuster movies that revolve around monsters. This year, aliens were the monster of choice with "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," "Cowboys and Aliens," "Paul" and "Super 8."
The best movie to make use of aliens was "Super 8," directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The movie has the feel of Spielberg's older pieces such as "E.T.," but it has a lot more action. The movie works better than all the rest because it has more character to it. The alien is really a side storyline to a tale of kids growing up in 1979 and trying to find their way in the world. It centers around newcomer Joel Courtney, who plays Joe Lamb. Courtney plays the lead role as a kid who is into making monster movies with his friends and has plenty of empathy for even a creature that is destroying his town.
The News Record rates Super 8 in the Top 3 Movies of 2011:
A charming mix between “The Goonies” and “Cloverfield,” “Super 8” is a wonderful Steven Spielberg homage written and directed by J.J. Abrams. The child performers (including Elle Fanning and newcomer Joel Courtney) have excellent chemistry and carry the movie without being too cute or cloying. The special effects are amazing (the train crash scene is one of the most technologically stunning sequences this year), but it’s the heart of the movie that makes it so special.