Super 8: A Gift Of Beauty

Rating: A

The less you know about this film, the better.  What I will say about this movie will be spoiler free and it is my hope that you enjoy this film as much as I did.

What I will say is that my generation had movies like The Goonies, Stand By Me and <blank>.  This generation will have Super 8.

JJ Abrams is the anti-Michael Bay.  Where Michael Bay films demand that they show every single thing in massive million dollar explosive detail, Abrams more often than not takes the more subtle approach.

The brilliance of Super 8 is the subtlety of movement that this film takes.  With so much going on, it’s what Abrams chooses to focus on at any given moment that sets him apart from other directors.

I don’t know what the budget to this film was, but I can for certainty that there was an economy where every single penny was spent in just the right place on just the right things when they needed to happen.

Also, much like Alias was less a show about spies and more about a father and daughter relationship, Super 8 is less a <blank> movie and more about the relationship of these friends.

The script is written to reward those paying attention.  The dialogue is not dumb and when it’s expository it’s usually done in the background.

As much as this feels like a classic Spielberg-era film, it also has all of the things that Abrams has brought to every project he’s worked on in his career.

Abrams knows how to write relationships.  He understands how to develop characters in a short period of time but still make you understand (and care about) them.

I can not say enough about how great the characters in this movie were done.

In addition to perfection in writing, this movie also has two hallmarks of any JJ Abrams project; amazing casting and detailed production quality.

First the casting.  Every single role is brilliantly cast, but the standout in this film will be Elle Fanning.  There is a scene early in the movie (and you’ll know it when you see it) where she is so good at conveying exactly what she needed to in the moment that you completely forget that you’re watching a movie and you buy her as the character.  Doing what she’s doing in the moment.  And you’re as mesmerized as those watching her.

I should also mention Austin’s own Kyle Chandler (yes, we’re claiming him now if that’s cool) is perfect in his role as well.

As for the production quality.  in the past I have Twittered extensively about how amazing the props and production people are on the TV show Fringe.  The crew that Abrams had on this film were equally amazing.  The hardcore nerds, like myself, will be amazed at the attention to detail.

I said on Twitter that Super 8 is a gift.  It is a gift from JJ Abrams to his audience and it does not pander.  It comes straight from the heart.  This is a movie that has soul and will both move you and be a lot of fun to watch and enjoy.

*and yes, the <blank> things are put there on purpose.  If you want to know what I was talking about specifically, you can Twitter me.  But they are references that might spoil the film.  

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