Friday, June 10, 2011

Super 8

The Flick: Super 8

The Actors: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, etc.

The Dealio: It is the '80's in microscopic Lillian, Ohio. Joe Lamb- and his deputy-father- are still stunned and stunted by the sudden death of Joe's mom in a mill accident. Joe's dad wants to send him to baseball camp. But Joe prefers to stay put, seeking distraction and comfort from the clutch of misfits whose major topic of conversation- and main focus during every hour of every day- is the completion of the zombie movie Charles- a self assured young man with an eye for the 'mint shot'- is constantly struggling to get onto film. If only they had a story.
One night, the usual suspects are joined by the latest addition to the script- 'the PI's wife' (Fanning in an incredibly moving performance). As they secretly film at the local rail station, the group watch, shocked, a horrendous crash, an explosion and a...what? Just before they scatter, the band is warned by another witness- this one, an adult- that 'if they find out you know, they will kill you and your families.' Naturally, the teens immediately agree to keep 'it' a secret. Easier said than done. Especially when weird things start happening: all the dogs in town disappear. Then people, too...then things like microwaves and washing machines, and...well, before the budding film-makers know it, they have got themselves some sort of really great, action-packed story. And a trunk-load of trouble.

The Grading Session: 4.85 pengies out of 5. I really liked this one, as you can tell. I admit that part of the enjoyment was in reliving the days when my own sons were running the area, scouting locales and recruiting neighbors to star in their very, very early indie films. That part truly touched this mom's heart. In addition, there was some pretty corny music that we uncool adultoids still find somehow endearing. Adults and juvies alike were all well-developed, multi-dimensional portrayals. Why not give it 5 pengies? Well, in the last 20 minutes, I started to feel a sense of 'Come on, wrap it up...but make it heartfelt and like that.' The conclusion was both over-hasty and over- simplistic, almost as child-like as the film-makers' assumption that they were making grand art. It just didn't quite fit in with everything that had come before. But I quibble.

Lessons Learned: I do not trust Noah Emmerich any time he has shown up on screen since Frequency. He has lost some ground with me and will have to earn that back. Also this: when did the ultimate in scariness (Starship Troopers, Alien, Predator) suddenly become...bug-like creatures? I think peeps who look and act just like us, but...(da-da-da-DUUUUUUUHHHH) some how aren't, are far scarier. Lastly this: if you are in the practise of leaving the theatre as soon as the show is over, you are gonna miss a lot of really cool stuff, my friend. So- a word to the wise? Just don't do that. Sit. Relax. Enjoy.

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