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SUPER 8

Wow, this was way over-hyped. Nothing that gets so over-hyped can possibly live up to it, right? Right. Donít get me wrongÖI enjoyed Super 8. Itís good movie with a nice story and great acting. But when all is said and done, itís just another sci-fi flick.

The stars of Super 8 are young, mostly unknown kids. And theyíre great. Theyíre the best thing about the movie. Especially Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. Their friendship is the heart of this movie. Everything else is just background. Very loud, grinding metal noise. You know like crashing trains and stolen appliances and car engines.

Kyle Chandler, the deputy sheriff struggling to get a handle on the strange goings on in his town is also struggling to get a handle on being a single father to his son. Chandler is really good here. I know heís been around forever, but I was impressed.
Noah Emmerich plays an Army colonel, and heís a jerk, but Emmerich is a great character actor, and here thereís no exception.
Joel Courtney owns this movie. This kid came out of nowhere and just owns this movie. His performance rocks. If he chooses to stay in acting, I have to imagine this kidís going places.
Elle Fanning is Dakotaís little sister, but I think soon people will be referring to Dakota as Elleís older sister. Elleís that good. And at such a young age, she has a presence that really, well, was almost disturbing. Her scenes with Joel Courtney are pitch perfect.
The rest of the kids: Riley Griffiths is pretty great as Charles, the future superstar director. His character was a little annoying, but he did a good job. Ryan Lee is pretty awesome as the kinda wacky Cary, possible future pyromaniac. Gabriel Basso was good as the future leading man. Zach Mills is also good, but I canít think of what his characterís future could be.

Writer / director JJ Abrams knows what heís doing. And he knows what he likes. He created a love letter to Steven Spielberg, and thatís pretty great. A movie where kids in the early 80s save the town from a menaceÖtotally Spielbergian. A more innocent era. Kids that are geeky but not little snobs or know it alls. Toys and magazines; Model kits and walkie talkies. Yes the nostalgia factor is in full effect here, and Abrams knew it would make people of our generation smile.
I wasnít crazy with the big reveal or the ending. Itís all a bit much, and rather nonsensical. There are also some issues I have with dialogue, but I know that Iím nitpicking. Overall, Abrams has made a pretty nice movie here, and Iím sure itíll be a big hit. Enjoy.

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