Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Super 8"

J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” is about grief, young love, and the allure of filmmaking. Not to mention something huge from somewhere else. Self-consciously a tribute to the oeuvre of the film’s producer, Steven Spielberg, and set in a small Ohio town in 1979, it follows a group of pubescent amateur filmmakers who get caught up in a train crash (spectacularly realised) and the ensuing military cover-up. The special FX are as magnificent as one might expect, and the child cast, particularly Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning as the would-be couple, are charming, but it’s Kyle (“Early Edition”) Chandler, combining the roles of bereaved husband and action hero, who carries much of the emotional weight. Towards the end, Abrams ladles on the sentimentality in a shamelessly manipulative manner; but the fact that his main protagonist is the film-within-a-film’s make-up artist/model-maker rather than the writer/director is a clever comment on contemporary commercial cinema, of which this is a technically flawless example.

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