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Super 8 (***)
directed by J.J. Abrams
written by J.J. Abrams
Principal Cast
Joel Courtney -- Joe Lamb
Jessica Tuck -- Mrs. Kaznyk
Joel McKinnon Miller -- Mr. Kaznyk
Ryan Lee -- Cary
Zach Mills -- Preston
Riley Griffiths -- Charles
Gabriel Basso -- Martin
Kyle Chandler -- Jackson Lamb
Ron Eldard -- Louis Dainard
AJ Michalka -- Jen Kaznyk
Andrew Miller -- Kaznyk Twins
Jakob Miller -- Kaznyk Twins
Jade Griffiths -- Benji Kaznyk
Britt Flatmo -- Peg Kaznyk
Elle Fanning -- Alice Dainard
Glynn Turman -- Dr. Woodward
Noah Emmerich -- Nelec
Richard T. Jones -- Overmyer
Amanda Foreman -- Lydia Connors
David Gallagher -- Donny
Brett Rice -- Sheriff Pruitt
Michael Giacchino -- Deputy Crawford
Beau Knapp -- Breen
Bruce Greenwood -- Cooper
Dale Dickey -- Edie
Jack Axelrod -- Mr. Blakely
Dan Castellaneta -- Izzy
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

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Super 8 I wanted to like Super 8 more than I did. It is not a bad movie, neither is it a great one. Maybe it's just me.

There is a character in the movie who says that movies are not just about action, they are about making the audience care about the characters. I got the feeling that J.J. Abrams was trying too hard.

When I see a Steven Spielberg movie, I bounce up and down in my seat when Indiana Jones cracks his whip, cringe when the shark smashes into the side of the boat, cry when ET returns to life. Watching Super 8 I found myself saying, yep, that worked in Indiana Jones, that worked in Jaws, that worked in ET. But I don't bounce up and down, don't cringe, don't cry.

spoiler warning

There is a scene at the end of the film where, in the space of a few minutes, the boy literally lets go of his attachment to his dead mother, is reconciled with his distant father, and the father is reconciled with his estranged friend, the friend is reconciled with his estranged daughter, and the man-eating monster lives happily ever after. It's too much. Abrams is trying too hard. Just one emotional moment would have had a greater impact than five in a row.

end of spoiler warning

In an interview in Entertainment Weekly, Spielberg describes how his love of film was transformed into a love of children. I think Abrams is still just in love with film.

No credit cookie, but a great Super 8 film is shown during the closing credits.

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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