The Movie: 8/10
What a great movie. That’s as complicated as it gets. Super 8 is an adventure, drama, humor, memories, romance, growing up, and a huge train wreck. As we go along with a small group of teenage friends making their own super 8 movie we encounter some extraordinary circumstances along with some very human emotional bonuses.
Has there every been a time in your life when you thought the whole world was out there to explore with wide eyes and a zest that’s indescribable? That’s the vibe of this movie. Youthful excitement and fear and determination all wrapped up in a story that takes us from family traumas to secret creatures, cover ups and a hint of a message about how to be a good human being. I can handle all of that. I actually got that tingle in my gut and heart palpatations throughout the movie. I was so excited for these kids and so sucked into their ordeal I would have been on the edge of my seat if I hadn’t been so comfortably reclined.
Every performance is just right. There might be the occasional lack of confidence or wooden delivery of a line or two, but so what. These are kids under some pretty intense pressure, a big story to tell, lots of thrills and spills to deal with so the charm of it all is enough to keep me from being too picky.
If there was a way to measure fun I would like to see how my brain was coming along during this movie. I was smiling, afraid for the characters, invested in the outcome of every single being, crying when needed, laughing, and the smile on my face was shining all the time just from pure joy. The spirit of this story did lift me up, even with the harder bits to digest now and then (see the movie and you’ll know what that means). I have said this before about some other movie, but if you are a jaded grown up with no sense of humor or adventure you will grumble at a few things, but COME ON, get over it and have a good time for goodness sake!!!
If I were to make a day of watching this kind of movie I would start with Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, followed by ET, The Goonies, and finish with Super 8. What a day that would be!! Get me some popcorn and Kleenex, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
- Deconstructing The Train Crash – An interactive look at the train crash sequence.
- 8 Featurettes – Some very well produced featurettes that feature JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg. My favorite is a retrospective of the Super 8 format.
- 14 Deleted Scenes – Lots of deleted scenes in full HD.
- Director Commentary – J.J Abrams talks you through the movie and has some interesting insight into his life as a young filmmaker.
- DVD & Digital Copy – Lots of ways to view the movie, make sure you don’t watch it on your phone the first time though 🙂
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I do not like slip covers. This time they did a nice job. It’s graphic and bold and it applies in a kind of sweet way to the movie. I would have the slip cover design as a poster because it’s so colorful. It’s red and yellow in the style of super 8 Kodak film boxes. The menu is really cool, even if I don’t see the point.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Super 8 is quite a dark movie visually and this transfer by our friends at Paramount really delivers where others might fail with this kind of material. Set in the late 70’s the film stock used here is quite grainy and makes the time period more believable. The Blu-Ray preserves the grain and gives the whole movie a wonderful filmic quality that is missing from a lot of today’s movies.
Black levels are simply perfect and throughout a lot of the scenes set at night everything holds up with no crush or noise in the video. Skin tones are also natural if a little on the warm side, but again this is a creative choice not a technical problem.
Audio is delivered using the Dolby True-HD 7.1 codec and sounds incredible. From the train scenes on-wards you realize you are in for a treat. In fact I would go as far to say the train sequence alone is one of the best showcases for HD audio to date. The sound engineer on this sequence needs to be nominated for an Oscar as it really is that good. Listen out for the subtle hint of something otherworldly as the train screams by you are literally introduced the films protagonist and you don’t even know it.
Super 8 is a superb film and a great love letter to the adventure films of the 1980’s. I would recommend it to anyone. As usual with most PG-13 movies these days there is exactly one swear word so put your hands over the kids ears during that and you will be ok 🙂
Value is a funny thing. This movie is really good, really fun, and I will be watching it again for sure. The extras are excellent. I can’t say enough good things about it, however, it’s not worth almost 30 bucks. If they drop this gem down to maybe $17.00 I can get behind it as a purchase. Otherwise it’s a perfect rental and a whole evening of action fun. Add some Goonies and Close Encounters and it will be the perfect movie home date.
Overall Score 8/10