Black Sheep reviews "Super 8"

Blacksheep's "best of" contains a review of Super 8. 

Most people expected SUPER 8 to be simple homage to the film’s executive producer, Steven Spielberg, king of the family adventure film. While the influence is undeniable, the execution contains a more modern understanding of emotional communication. Films like E.T. and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND are event pictures that commanded attention but the depth in SUPER 8 is at times completely flooring. For instance, Joe has a crush on a girl he shouldn’t, Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning). Their fathers (Kyle Chandler and Ron Eldard) are messed up and can’t stand each other but these two can’t help but gravitate towards each other. In one scene, while watching footage of Joe’s deceased mother on a projector, Alice says through her tears, “I know I don’t know you at all, even though it feels like I do.” It is as if they’re discovering themselves and healing their hurt right before our eyes. It is truly moving.

SUPER 8 can be called a tribute and be proud to wear the moniker but the truth of it is that Abrams’ latest is a unique experience unto itself. It is often frightening and tense, surprisingly touching and contains some of the most massive special effects extravagance I’ve seen. Perhaps what it shares most in common with Spielberg’s earlier works is that it too demands to be seen and experienced in theatres, sitting amongst family and friends. It is an event that is utterly thrilling and yet somehow manages great insight and comfort as well – a rare feat as I’m sure we can all agree. In the end, watching these kids come of age made me wish my eyes were still just as wide as theirs. Thanks to SUPER 8, for a couple of hours, they actually were.

Joel Courtney