Last night I had the opportunity to see an advance screening of Paramount Pictures’ "Super 8" (PG-13) at Muvico Parisian IMAX in West Palm Beach. "Super 8" was written and directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg.
Among his credits, Abrams is the creator of "Alias," and co-creator of "Lost" -- two ABC hit TV series of which I've seen every episode. Don't get me started on "Lost." I still lament Wednesdays at 9 p.m., as my favorite TV show is no longer on the air. He also directed "Star Trek" (2009), a nonstop, sci-fi thrill ride. And, Spielberg's roster of award-winning films contain countless of my favorites.
In “Super 8,” strange things are happening in Lillian, Ohio in 1979 following a late night train crash. The intense crash, almost apocalyptic, is witnessed by a local group of pre-teens in the area filming a zombie movie, using Super 8 film, to submit to a film festival. Dogs began to flee the city, electronic devices like microwaves go missing, and so do people, local police and military clash. Intertwined in the plot are stories of family relationships. The dynamics between main character Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his father, Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler), after the death of Joe’s mother in a factory explosion, represents grieving, anger and acceptance, important themes in the film.
I will not discuss the actual mystery. It's a pet peeve of mine when someone spoils a plot, ruining one’s desire the go see the film. What I will tell you is there’s no for need 3-D glasses, and you needn’t see a prequel to understand what's going on. What I enjoyed about "Super 8" is good storytelling, with a message. The film made me nostalgic, actually. It's a nod to the Spielberg movies of my youth like "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and "The Goonies" directed by Richard Donner, story by Spielberg. In films such as these, children used as main characters remind us of goodness, tolerance and acceptance, which should always be at the core of humanity. Yet, "Super 8" also incorporates the mystery sequences, elements of surprise and symbolism that made "Lost" so popular.
At the theater I sat in front of two pre-teens. The two really related with the youth in the film, laughing with them, shouting, "Oh, no!" when they were in peril. I got the feeling they were affected in a positive way, especially by the ending when I heard a sniffle. I think the point of cinema is to be affected, and clearly these girls were, as was I.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Check out “Super 8.” And stay for the closing credits.