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gaming since 1997

Super 8

The Summer of 1979. Joe Lamb and his friends are making a horror movie for a local film competition when the sneak out of the house in order to shoot a scene at night at a nearby railway station. While doing the scene, they see a car driving up the rails and heading towards a train that’s passing by. The result is a huge crash but when inspecting the remainders of the car afterwards, they find its driver, their teacher Dr. Woodward, to be still alive though severely hurt.

While rescue teams are getting closer, he tells the kids to get away before they’re spotted. It’s not safe for them and if they don’t leave quickly they’ll be captured. Joe and his friends quickly head back home and decide to tell no-one about what they saw. But when strange disappearances start happening all around town and the military arrives to take care of the train wreck, it becomes clear that there was something in the train that escaped and is out for revenge…

Sound and Vision:
Super 8 has a ton of night scenes and that means the image quality needs to be impeccable in order to fully show off the movie. We can be happy to say it is. Skin tones are natural, the level of detail is high, and the blacks are very deep while contrast is spot on. We didn’t spot any compression errors either and overall Paramount has delivered a beauty when it comes to this Blu-ray transfer.

We get a TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack that’s very dynamic and has constant action that puts the viewer in the middle of it all. The LFE doesn’t stop bursting bass onto your living room but without ever overwhelming the dialogues. Positioning is also very good and especially the train crash is demo-stuff that you can use to show off just what Dolby TrueHD can pull off. Excellent!

Extras:
– Audio Commentary
– The Dream Behind ‘Super 8’
– The Search For New Faces
– Meet Joel Courtney
– The Visitor Lives
– Scoring ‘Super 8’
– Do You Believe In Magic?”
– The 8mm Revolution
– Deconstructing the Train Crash
– Deleted Scenes

Conclusion:
JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg teamed up for making Super 8 and although that should be plenty for having a fantastic movie, it kinda isn’t. The reason being that the movie lacks originality and is more like a rehashed version of E.T with a sniff of Stephen King’s “Stand by Me”.

Just like in E.T., we find an alien who wants to get home but has the military after him like the bad guys they are, and in the end it’s a little boy who saves the world but this time with the help of his friends. Of course there’s more spectacle present this time with the train crash being a great display of special effects, but still.

It’s just that it threads the same paths as other movies we’ve seen in the past just a bit too much, doesn’t dare to go outside known boundaries and borrows too much from other movies. Even the scene where the army comes in and gets everyone out of town is like a copy of a similar scene we saw in the recent adaptation of “The Crazies” with Timothy Olyphant. And then we haven’t even gone into the rather unconvincing setup where the alien has tried rebuilding his space ship for years and failed until when he escapes and meets up with Joe Lamb.

Still, all in all, Super 8 is a big budget coming of age movie that appeals to large audiences and most people will enjoy watching it. Just make sure to not think too much when viewing.

Our Score:
7.0

posted in: BLU, Paramount, Reviews
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