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Auteurs and aliens,
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This review is from: Super 8 [DVD] (DVD)
Kids these days. They don't know what they're missing. Back in 1979, in the days before the internet, mobile phones, and computer games [computer games that were more sophisticated than pong, that is] folks had to make their own entertainment.
You could make models, put up posters of tv stars or the space shuttle, ride around on chopper bikes. And you could make home movies with handheld cameras.
Lost creator and star trek director JJ Abrams takes us back to those days with a movie all about that kind of life. And it's the kind of movie you might have seen at the time.
Set in small town america our main character is young Joe. An emotional opening shows he and his father, one of the sheriffs deputies, struggling to connect in the wake of Joe's mother's tragic death.
One release for Joe is via his friend Charles. Overweight and somewhat bossy, Charles makes movies and is desperate to get his zombie horror story completed in time to enter a movie festival.
Enlisting Alice, a girl from a few grades above them at school, to play the female lead, the three plus their other friends are out shooting late one night when they witness a train crash. Which someone caused deliberately.
As the air force move into town, secrets and strange events abound. Can Joe and the townsfolk find what's going on before their home is torn apart?
Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and with the Amblin entertainment logo at the start, thats another way in which it harks back to the period. Along with a wealth of period detail and a fun scene of someone trying out a certain new invention. That looks very dated now.
The picture quality does also look like something that's thirty years old, but that may be intentional. It doesn't stop it from being perfectly watchable.
The train crash is the most convincing one I've ever seen in a movie - there might be minimal cgi involved - and does create a great feeling of being caught up in the middle of it. just as the characters are.
Managing a good job of blending character interaction and development with the ongoing mystery of whats happening in the town, this is an involving and entertaing watch, but it does falter slightly at the end. The size of the cast of characters does mean by this point a few become rather sidelined and don't play as much part in the finale as they could. Plus the motivations of the thing that is behind it all aren't as clear as you might hope.
Billed by many reviewers as a perfect family film it does contain some mild profanity on occasion.
But all in all it's a fun return to a style of movie making that we'd thought vanished long ago.
It's also worth watching the end credits. Where you get to see another movie entirely......
The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:
Languages: English, Hindi.
Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish.
English audio descriptive track.
The disc begins with several trailers but you can get past those via the next or the menu buttons on the dvd remote control.
The only extras are:
A commentary from the filmmakers.
A fifteen minute long feature about how people made movies with super eight cameras back in the day, and how it inspired the film. This is interesting and delightful nostalgia and well worth a watch.
There's also an eleven minute long feature about how the alien of the film was brought to life on screen.
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Initial post: 5 Apr 2012 19:50:11 BDT
Def Jef says:
"The train crash is the most convincing one I've ever seen in a movie - there might be minimal cgi involved" Minimal? It is entirely CGI. Hope you didn't think it was a real train flying around like feathers from a burst pillow. Have a listen to the commentary. Even Abrams knows it doesn't look real - he claims he wanted it to feel like a train crash remembered rather than seen. Personally I'd rather have seen the train crash done properly, it would have been far more scary. Other CGI effects are impossible to spot in the movie and are a great credit to Industrial Light and Magic but not the train crash. It's fun these days to spot the CGI moments. I was proud to get the water tower but many others slipped me by.
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