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Super 8

June 14, 2011 - Brandi Bowers

Super 8 finally opened this past weekend & I was lucky enough to snag 2 tickets. I have to say, I was a little skeptical about the movie. It was so hyped up in the area, and rightfully so, it was filmed here after all, but I was worried it wouldn't live up to the expectations. It did for me, however. I think it is definitely worth checking out at the movie theater.

It really did feel like a "Goonies/Stephen Spielberg" type movie. And the kids being mostly unknown actors, was a great touch. Sometimes I think we see actors so much, that we start to see them and not their characters. Well, these kids really nailed their characters in my opinion. I thought the two leads, Joel Courtney (playing Joe Lamb) & Elle Fanning (playing Alice Dainard) were fantastic! They had a very wide emotional range for such young actors. I also liked Riley Griffiths (who played Charles, Joe Lamb's best friend). He was good for some comic relief. And even though people are relating Elle to her sister, Dakota, I think her acting stands just fine on its own. She was very interesting to watch.

There were a couple more known actors in the movie. Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights, played Joe Lamb's father, Jackson, the deputy. Ron Eldard from ER & numerous movies, played Alice's father, Louis Dainard. And a surprise to me because I didn't recognize him until after, David Gallagher from 7th Heaven, played the hilarious photo place worker/stoner.

I thought all the acting was really good. I also thought the special effects were great. There were a few times when I jumped, so that's always a plus. If you haven't heard much about the movie, there's a reason. The director (J.J. Abrams), producer (Stephen Spielberg) & production company (Paramount) decided to keep the story a bit of a secret. They wanted audiences to be intrigued enough to go see the movie & then surprised when they are watching it. And although you have an idea of what's going on, you don't totally get it until a good way through the movie. I thought that was a great move. So many movies these days, show enough previews for you to not even need to see the movie.

If you haven't heard the main idea of the movie, it follows several kids, making a zombie movie with a super 8 camera (in case you didn't know what super 8 meant. It's ok, I didn't at first and I'm a movie buff). While making the movie, they witness a train crash, after which something has escaped from the the train. No one knows what, but the Airforce quickly shows up to cover everything up. Easier said than done.

So that's the main story. It also takes place in 1979 in a small Ohio mill town called Lillian. It was actually filmed here in Weirton. I thought there would be a few recognizable scenes, but a good majority of the scenes were, so that was really cool.

So a combo of local things to check out, good special effects, good actors & a touching part in the story (it was very Spielberg-esque), made for a great summer movie!


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