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Super 8 Review by Xtra Butter

Super 8 (2011)  Directed by:  J.J. Abrahams 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars  “Better than the average movie, but not smarter than any masterpiece.”

 Now I consider myself a pretty big J.J. Abrahams fan. I really enjoyed his direction in Mission Impossible III. I loved his reboot of the new Star Trek, and I even thought Cloverfield was entertaining. Not to mention, the guy is also responsible for bringing LOST and Fringe to television, so the guy has skills. You add-in Hollywood legend Steven Spielbergto the producing credits and you would think “damn this movie is going to take me for a ride.” However, this movie just didn’t do it for me.

The characters and plot of the movie are solid, but instead of the fast paced action of previous alien movies by Abrahams, the film moves at a snail’s pace equal to Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Now don’t get me wrong…Close Encounters is a good movie, but I did not feel “Super 8” was as entertaining as the old classic. I mean besides the dramatic train wreck sequence in the beginning of the movie, the entire film just felt plain and boring.

“Super 8” does have the same family feel as E.T. with its predominately young cast. Leading the group is Elle Fanning, who does a hell of a job playing Alice Dainard. She does an amazing job nailing her scenes and the young actress shows the same potential as her older sister Dakota Fanning did at her age. Newbie Joel Courtney also shines in his first starring role as Joe Lamb. The young actor has the strong silent type mannerisms that are crucial to a skilled actor and I’m sure we’ll see him in plenty of movies in the future. I also loved the storyline of the kids making their own zombie movie during this entire crisis. It was very funny and Riley Griffiths, who plays the pushy young director Charles, is hilarious. Overall, the entire group of young actors did very well and added plenty of laughs which kept the movie going. Oh! And if you stay in your seat all the way through the end credits you’ll catch the zombie movie they made. It’s funny stuff and should not be missed.

Here’s my main beef with this movie…Since the first teaser trailer premiered over a year ago; I wondered what the hell this alien was going to look like. There was even a leaked photo (Click here) of the creature posted months before the film’s release which built-up the anticipation of seeing this thing on the big screen. Well my fellow moviegoers don’t even get your hopes up on seeing this creature in the movie either! A shadow here, a rumble over there, some legs crawling away etc…I mean the entire movie plays out just like the trailer with quick cuts and people getting yanked away by some mysterious monster. It’s not until the very end of the movie that we finally get a good look at this alien causing all this commotion. I personally wanted more alien action, but instead I had to wait till the end of the movie to see this goddamn thing! To top it off it was only onscreen (Visibly) for about 45 seconds out of a total running time of 112 minutes! Come on!!!! Then I felt robbed again! When the alien was revealed it looked very, very similar to the large alien developed for J.J. Abrahams in Cloverfield! At one point I started asking myself if this was a prequel. All in all, the unoriginal design of the creature and its lack of screen presence really hurt this film for me.

The hottie numbers in this movie are low, but there is one young beauty that deserves our attention. Amanda Michalka plays Jen Kaznyk who is the typical 70’s girl wearing skimpy blouses and rocking daisy dukes. She is the older sister of Charles, which is played by Riley Griffiths, and is barely in the movie. But when she is…man oh man. HOT! If you don’t believe me check out this pic of her!

To be honest this was a tough one to review. It was like watching one of those NFL replays where you just couldn’t tell if the player caught the ball inbounds or out. Maybe it was because I expected something different from the movie than what I got. The trailers made me think I was going to see a suspenseful monster/alien movie with plenty of action, but instead I got a family movie with little suspense. ~XtraButter@RollinSD.com