ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Super 8 Definitely Hearkens Back to Classic Spielberg

Updated on February 15, 2018

Complete with daddy issues

Super 8 is not a perfect movie, but it is definitely quite enjoyable.

Set in the 1980's, it has a very strong feel like one of those classic Spielberg movies like Jaws or Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So it should come as no surprise that (1) Spielberg himself is one of the producers of the movie, and (2) writer/director JJ Abrams has stated that he set the movie at a time when he himself was enjoying Spielberg movies and making home made films himself with his own Super 8 camera.

The whole movie feels like a labor of love from the same guy who brought us (with varying degrees of involvement) such entertainment as Felicity, Lost, Alias, Cloverfield, the latest Star Trek movie as well as Mission Impossible III and IV. Yeah, Abrams has quite a list of successes under his belt, and this movie just piles up on top of that.

The movie follows a young man named Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his friends and father. As the movie starts, we learn that Joe's mother was recently killed in an accident at the town's steel mill. His father, Jackson (Kyle Chandler), is a local deputy and has apparently never been particularly involved in raising his son. Now that their wife and mother has passed away, the two have to learn to adapt to their new situation.

A few months later, Joe is helping his friends make a movie for some film competition. Charles (Riley Griffiths) writes the scripts and acts as director using his Super 8 camera. Joe works makeup and the rest alternately act as grips and actors as the situation calls for it. Joe has a crush on Alice (Elle Fanning) who is brought in as the lead's wife.

One night, as they're filming a scene at the local train station, they witness a horrible accident. Soon afterward, unusual things begin happening. Animals and people go missing. Car parts and appliances are stolen en masse. Power lines are taken down and disappear.

Super 8 trailer

There are two major plot lines to follow here. One is a sci-fi story that is, truthfully, rather basic but competently told. The other revolves around how the people in Joe's life react to the situation they're in. How their situation brings some of them together and drives some of them apart. And that story is quite compelling.

The difficulty is that the final climax mostly involves the serviceable sci-fi story, while the human element is along for the ride here. It would have been more powerful if the climax had more of a human resolution. Some kind of clear evolution of the characters. There's a bit of it, but I wanted more.

That isn't to say that the movie particularly suffers for that. My wanting more simply means that the film makers really made me care about the characters. I just think they could have done more.

And frankly, the movie has what I would probably call the most spectacular train wreck ever filmed. And that ain't bad.

I give Super 8 a 8 / 10.

Super 8 is rated PG-13 for language (including one word that would have gotten me sent to the principal's office), a fair amount of bloodless action violence, and suspenseful situations.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • The Odd Spartan profile image

      Christopher Rago 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, NJ

      Another great review. That train wreck scene was pretty damn epic.

    • slmorgan profile image

      slmorgan 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I have not seen it, but I love movies with great train wrecks. The movie "The Fugitive" had a great train wreck as well as it was a good movie in its day. I was not sure of the plot of Super 8. Nice info.

    • Nickalooch profile image

      Nickalooch 

      7 years ago from Columbia, MD

      i agree.. i felt kinda snuffed by the ending. It was nice to see the father finally embrace his son and such but i felt like the entire ending was a bit cliche.

    • YadiraE profile image

      YadiraE 

      7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I completely agree!!! Super 8 was wonderfully done, and it wasn't because of the sci-fi element, but because of the characters. Those kids made the movie. It was funny and heartfelt and classic Spielberg. The resolution could have used a little, i don't know, more? But I haven't enjoyed a movie quite as much for a long time! Great Hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)