Movie Review: “Super 8”

by Mark Davis and Karsten Fischer

“Super 8” (PG-13)
Starring Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler
This week, we review “Super 8,” a film about a group of unwitting kids who, in the midst of creating a film of their own, accidentally get caught up in a huge government conspiracy.

One of the teens decides to poke a little further and ends up discovering a truth that has baffled conspirators for the longest time. The name for the film, taken from the type of tape used to record back in that time frame (8mm) suits the film well.

The film is not necessarily considered very new any longer, but if you are one of those people wondering if they should add “Super 8” to their film library at home or just missed it at the theaters and wonders whether or not to rent it when it is available, read on!

VISUALS: ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶
From the masterful cinematography to the jaw-dropping effects, the visuals in this film leave nothing to be desired. After the train crash sequence, we slid back off the front of our seats, turned to each other and, at the same time, said, “This is amazing.” Amazingly, that level of visual experience kept up for the entire length of the film.
PLOT: ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶
“Super 8” is a very well written film, but the plot isn’t ground-breaking. The pacing also often breaks suspension of disbelief for the sake of an emotional moment or a good plot point. The plot and writing are good and respectable, but not flawless.
ACTING: ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶
The adults acting in this film did as well as we would expect from professional actors, but surprisingly, the child actors in this film were on the same level.
We were pleasantly surprised by how genuine the acting from the young stars of the film felt. This was one of the places where “Super 8” really could have messed up, but the casting was smart, and the younger actors drove the film and made it a unique cinema experience.
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Lens flares ✶ ✶
We’re not quite sure why JJ Abrams is so emotionally tied to lens flares, but we’re glad the film wasn’t ruined by them. They can be cool, but, as with “Star Trek,” they got distracting by about the 50th use in “Super 8.”

When the scene isn’t particularly climactic, they’re incredibly noticeable and kind of distracting. Though lens flares could have added to the film if they were used more sparingly, they barely dodged distracting from very important moments in the film.
We’re just glad that in emotionally crucial moments, they didn’t distract from the actors.
OVERALL: 9 out of 10 stars
This film had all the elements of perfection, but we don’t think it’s the legendary film of the generation. But while it might not be a masterpiece for the history books, it is by all means a must-see.

Karsten Fischer and Mark Davis are both seniors at Ramstein High School and co-founders of Rheinland-Pfilmz, a local independent film production company. Karsten is an independent filmmaker who has spent the last few years creating short films with Mark Davis. Mark is an independent filmmaker, previously a professional child actor.