The Spartans Speak
"Super 8," the new "E.T."Monday, March 19, 2012 By Jennifer Currier
Young kids, aliens, and Steven Spielberg form the perfect combination for a moving science-fiction thriller that challenges audiences to question society’s motives. Set in 1979 in Ohio, “Super 8” introduces its main characters at a funeral. Deputy Jack Lamb (Kyle Chandler) and his son Joe (Joel Courtney) are mourning the loss of a beloved wife and mother. The father and son begin to separate as Joe becomes involved in his best friend’s zombie movie. Four other classmates join the pair, including Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning), Joe’s fantasy girl. While on location for the film, the group witnesses an explosive train derailment. After barely surviving the accident, the teens investigate the scene. Joe discovers the Air Force logo on the side of the train and watches as some large creature escapes one of the cars. In the days following the accident, the Air Force occupies the town, power supplies fail, numerous people go missing, and electronic devices are stolen. As Deputy Lamb is swarmed with complaints from the locals, Joe and his friends try to discover a connection between the night of the accident and the strange events that followed. Directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Spielberg, the cinematography in “Super 8” is nothing short of genius. The detailed and intense graphics are a large contribution to the overall film quality. The train crash is horrifyingly realistic, the chaos the town experiences after the crash is unnerving, and the appearance of the alien at the center of all these issues makes the viewer’s skin crawl. In addition, the eclectic cast enhances the artistry of the movie. Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning, as a pair, prove that children are more than capable of fending for themselves. As their characters go through personal turmoil, they turn to each other for guidance. Courtney and Fanning perfectly execute adult emotions, allowing a wide variety of viewers to relate to the film. “Super 8” poses as a modern answer to Spielberg’s 1982 classic, “E.T.” With superb acting, beautiful cinematography, and an original storyline, this film deserves all the esteem it is receiving.