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on February 23, 2015
This is a great movie. The way it's shot really gives it an early 80's Spielberg feel... almost ET-like. The musical score is fantastic and will linger with you after you're done watching.

The story seems to be pretty much par for the course for J.J. Abrams: Starts very strong, great character development, lots of mysteries to solve... and then about halfway through it seems like the story doesn't really have a clear ending and they just threw together the ending at the last minute. This seems to be the case with almost everything from Abrams... Alias... Lost... etc.

Even with the somewhat lacking ending the film is still very enjoyable. There's a lot of nostalgia tossed in and the kids that make of the cast really work great together.

So I would give this five stars based on the technical merits of the cinematography, the scoring, and the cast... but only two or three stars for the story... so in the end I give it four stars mainly because I enjoy the visuals over the actual story.

The Blu-ray edition looks fantastic and there are some scenes that will absolutely shake your whole house if you have a decent speaker setup. There is also a great making of featurette that I enjoyed.
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on October 14, 2015
Good movie by Spielberg. Sort of a cross between the Goonies, War of the Worlds, and an angry eerie version of ET. There is lots of tension, mystery, some violence, and excitement balanced with ilky humor. Dont have the little ones watch this below teenage I think. A bit gory in one or two places but it won't mess with your digestion over dinner.

I think the ending was shorted out a bit. For all that build up, I think there could have been a bit more on the Visitor that would have made it worth the wait. Still, after seeing this in the theater, I did enjoy adding it to my collection of movies I know I will watch and enjoy again now and then.
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on May 3, 2018
"Super 8" is the type of a movie camera.This movie was a big hit when it was released in 2011. It is the 1970's era about a group of boys and their leader, a large over weight boy who believes he can tell everyone what to do; he is in charge a making a film (using a super 8 movie camera) to admit for a school prize about a vampire! They are in the local train station doing some of their scenes when they see one of their teacher's driving his pickup truck on the railroad tracks towards a train that is coming in the man's direction! There are very huge explosions and fires. They all go home...but why is the US Army and MP's in their town evacuating everyone? There is a large forest fire in another area, and the townspeople are told that it is dangerous for them to stay in the town....what they don't know is, what was on the train that got out when the train crashed? This is a science fiction film and it is a good movie!
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on July 23, 2016
A really good movie. I decided to buy this after watching Stranger Things, as it seemed to have the same vibe to it. I was not disappointed in the movie, as it is full of suspense, action sequences, and a well thought out plot.
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on March 16, 2013
I would recommend this movie to almost anyone. The easiest way to describe this movie is like a cynic's version of "Close Encounters" with a pinch of "The Goonies" thrown in for flavor. For a movie that tries to combine emotional scenes with some great action set-pieces, Super 8 succeeds. It's a big-budget blockbuster with a happy ending, but it's at least my opinion that this movie is one of the best of its kind.

The story is interesting, even if you change the channel when all of those 'true UFO stories' shows are on. Sure, stories of aliens, government conspiracies, and small towns helplessly caught in larger problems are nothing new, but telling the story with a cast of younger actors puts a different perspective on this type of sci-fi. The acting is great. It seems like those responsible for casting took their time to find actors both young and old who really make every scene shine. It's not just padding between action sequences. The action and special effects are great. Real-world and digital effects mix well in this movie, and both complement the other instead of looking fake or helplessly cheesy.

This movie may be more mature than it appears on the surface. If you're a parent, there is cursing, violence, and the alien in the film is pretty creepy for most of the film. Despite appearing this way you eventually learn that much of the alien's behavior has to do with the manner in which he/she/it was treated- unlike some of the worst sci-fi at least there's a reason for things being the way that they are. Those with children that are young and/or easily scared may want to look elsewhere. Be warned, this is one of those movies that's going to try and tug at your heart-strings. If you dislike films that aim for the 'Spielberg' ending this one is most certainly not for you (kind of hard to avoid since he was the producer after all).

Granted, this movie didn't re-invent the wheel as far as movie making or story writing is concerned, but it is highly entertaining. The first time I saw it I had to resist the urge to watch it again immediately. Very few movies do that to me.
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on April 22, 2013
Where to begin this review without spoiling anything? The movie opens in a small town in Ohio in 1979 with a boy sitting on a swing; he holds a necklace from his hand. It is winter and there is a gathering at the house adjacent. Shortly the audience learns that the funeral of this boy's mother. Joe Lamb's, the boy played by Joel Courtney, mother died in an accident at the mill.
The opening scenes are slow and mildly painful as director JJ Abrams' films usually start at a faster pace, however, this choice allows the audience to connect with the characters like Joe or his father, Jackson Lamb played by Kyle Chandler. It even allows for the audience to meet all of the characters but one.
The main section of the story takes place later when the boys begin to shoot their zombie film. One scene requires them to drive out to a train depot where they enlist the help of the film's lead and underage actress to drive them. Alice Dainard's, played by Elle Fanning, father is responsible for the accident that killed Joe's mother and naturally leads to confrontation between her father and Joe's.
It is at the train depot that a pickup truck drives onto the tracks and derails a locomotive that the action, special effects, and the already stored emotions for the characters come through to the audience. Of course there is something inside one of the cars that escapes, the Air Force is dispatched to cover it up and strange things start happening throughout the town. But all of the finer details will be left spoiler free.
Abrams does a brilliant job of getting that small town America feel throughout the film. But his true achievement is attaching the audience to each unique character. None of the characters step on each other's archetype and they all have their own reasons for being there. When the situation really starts the hit the fan, the audience has a feels for the characters and the events surrounding them.
It should be noted that Elle Fanning's performance is one that is difficult to come by. Her onscreen presence captivates and is immediately endeared. She sells every bit of her act. Even the film within the film is masterfully executed by Fanning. If she is not nominated for this film, she most certainly will be in the future.
This movie should have been reviewed weeks ago. Upon the initial viewing it was a 5 out of 5, now it is a solid 4.5 out of 5. The reason behind the reduction is not a reflection on the greatness of Super 8. As demonstrated from the glowing review above, it is a great movie. It is just that all other movies this year (or honestly since Inception) have not stimulated the mind in the way that Super 8 does. The movie is Abrams' best film and a testament to the early days of Spielberg (producer).
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on November 27, 2012
I'm not reviewing the disc and packaging itself as much as I am reviewing the movie. The packaging is pretty standard - Blu-ray quality is good, Digital Copy is good, love that it comes with a DVD as well. I'm not crazy about the cover art they chose for the Blu-ray release - the actual poster was much better that this cover. Now about the movie:

'Super 8' is very likable and very stable for a "monster" movie. It's so stable and such a throwback to the classic Sci-Fi movie feel that it may strike a contemporary audience as being a bit boring. I am very impressed with the child actors - they all do an excellent job, arguably much better than the child actors did in the films of the 1970s and 1980s, of which Spielberg of course pulls a lot of influence for this film from.
The most jarring thing about the film for me is the obvious visual queues for each director - Spielberg's fingerprints are all over the characters and J.J. Abrams' fingerprints are all over most of the action cinematography. If you know these filmmaker's work, you will find very obvious evidence of both here.
All-in-all, I say 'Super 8' is a good movie. Not great, but very enjoyable. It's fun but not overly so. It's thoughtful but not a tearjerker. There is an element of mystery here, and sadly it's not more pronounced. I would have preferred more of the 'Cloverfield'-type mystery surrounding the "creature", but instead it's not built up enough. It feels like we're about to get an 'E.T.' moment and then we end up with a somewhat harried ending that leaves the movie feeling flat. However, that's not really a huge complaint since the rest of the film is so much fun. If you have a choice, drive out to the middle of nowhere and watch this in your car. It'll make it feel like a good old-time drive-in flick.
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on May 14, 2013
What I like the most about this movie is the cast. The story although unusual and does a great deal, but it is the cast that brings it to life and makes us care about them and their fate. Any of us can imagine a year when we got together with friends for an event. In this case they are trying to make a movie, but they could have easily been going on a night out, a picnic, a party or some other event. All that is required is someone be using a video camera at the time to record the events. In this case a train wreck is filmed. Not the first time I'm sure a train wreck was filmed, and once again it could have been a truck or plane crash as well. Then we have the typical government cover up, we have seen that many times. In this case it takes awhile for the government to figure out a group of students filmed the event and caught sight of the creature that was being transported. Good action thriller. I recommend you at least rent it. This is better than several others like this. Good rewatchability.

Recommendations: Battle Los Angeles,Mimic: The Director's Cut,Monsters,Alien Raiders, and State of Emergency.

CA Luster
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on October 16, 2017
What and interesting story this is and very original too. When Spielberg and Abrams collaborate, the result is typically phenomenal. The young cast truly delivers this movie to the audience, and the adult actors are a nice compliment to moving the story along. It was extremely entertaining as well as suspenseful. It could have provided the audience with a few more closeups of the alien. That would have been a nice reference.
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on May 11, 2018
All I need to see are the names J.J. Abrams&/or Roberto Orci &/or Alex Kurtzman and I'm pretty much ready to's as if they somehow can sense what people like me love to watch (for pure entertainment); and it's not just this movie as they moved past Steve Spielberg totally! Note: the kids in this film appear to have had a great time making it and it shows in their acting!
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