‘Super 8' has that familiar Spielberg style
To those who’ve experienced the more kid-friendly sci-fi fantasies that bear Steven Spielberg’s name, “Super 8” will seem like all too familiar narrative terrain. The formula calls for a
In this case six kids in a small Ohio steel town are spending the summer of 1979 making their own zombie movie, armed only with a Super 8 camera, a makeup kit and their wild imaginations. It’s during one of their late-night filmmaking forays, shooting on location down at the dimly lighted, vaguely spooky train station, that they witness a catastrophic freight train derailment, barely escaping the tumbling, airborne chunks of wreckage.
They also witness what caused the crash and are sworn to secrecy about what they’ve seen, believing something sinister is behind the disaster.
Very soon after, unusual disappearances begin to occur in town. First, such simple things as kitchen utensils and tools go missing, then the local dog population begins vanish and, finally, missing persons reports begin to pile up in the office of Deputy Sheriff Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler). Since the sheriff is suddenly nowhere to be found, it falls to Jackson to solve the mystery.
Meanwhile, the six kids have set out on the same mission, and what they find is more terrifying than anyone has imagined.
It’s true that J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III,” “Star Trek”) gets sole credit for writing and directing “Super 8” while Spielberg is listed as one of the producers. But Spielberg’s stylistic fingerprints are all over this film, from camera angles and distinctive atmospheric lighting to character quirks and storytelling from a child’s-eye view. And it’s a matter of record that both Abrams and Spielberg began shooting narrative movies on 8 millimeter film when they were still children.
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