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Super 8 (2011) Movie Review

June 11, 2011

These days, it seems the summer movies have moved away from what made them so popular in the past.  Where once there was a sense of wonder and adventure backed by a highly thematic orchestral score, we get superhero after superhero and loud, incoherent special effects films primarily focused on action.

“Super 8” brings back much of what has been missing lately with a rousing adventure in which the main characters are mostly kids, the audience is pulled in with a sense of wonder, and the orchestral score is front and center without using the orchestra as an expensive synthesizer.

The main cast of children is compelling because they are an imaginative bunch, spending their free time creating independent films.  They are swept up in a series of events when a train crash triggers a number of mysterious events around their small town.  In a refreshing move, the basic premise of the film has been largely left out of the trailers, a stark contrast to trailers that seem to contain the entire plot of a movie.

Adding to the sense of wonder is the fabulous orchestral score by Michael Giacchino.  The music is featured prominently and enhances the film greatly, giving it a sense of grandeur.  I was glad to hear themes associated with characters.  Giacchino took a more intimate approach to scoring, leaning in favor of solo instruments presenting themes over bombast meant to sound epic.

I have been purposefully vague in my description of the film because I thought that it was much more enjoyable because I didn’t know what was behind the strange occurrences.  The story is the perfect combination of character development and action, with a deeply emotional climax that is highly effective.  If you only watch one movie this summer, “Super 8” is the one to watch in theaters.  You won’t be disappointed.

5/5

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From → Action, Sci-fi

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