MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Super 8’ mixes hodgepodge of elements

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

“Super 8” is an imaginative adventure that combines young love, grief, friendship, alcoholism, explosions, stoicism and a flesh-eating space alien.
That’s only a partial listing of what writer and director J.J. Abrams throws into this story.
For the most part, he manages to weave all of his elements together. Logic certainly fails him at times, but what’s a little stupidity here and there when you’re attempting greatness?
Our hero is Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney). The kid’s mom is killed in an industrial accident, and his relationship with his dad (Kyle Chandler) is practically non-existent.
But Joe is blessed with a crew of buddies who are making a movie. One night, they’re filming when a train crashes around them.
After the crash, military officials descend on the small Ohio town. People start disappearing, and all of the town’s dogs flee.
It’s curious stuff for Joe and his friends, but Joe’s most pressing concern is Alice (Elle Fanning). She’s agreed to be in the movie, and there’s an immediate attraction between them.
It should be noted that Fanning is a talented young actress and her work in “Super 8” signals big things to come from her.
This is a well-cast film, and it’s beautifully imagined, but there are logical breakdowns. At times, Abrams becomes more interested in spectacular “production values” than having his characters act in sensible ways.
There’s one scene where kids are running through a war zone that’s filled with military personnel. Not one of those soldiers thinks to help the kids in any way. It doesn’t make sense, but the scene still looks cool.
Such lapses don’t kill the fun for me, probably because there are so many elements in this kitchen sink of a film that work.
“Super 8” is a grand experiment of a summer movie. I give it a B.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

Wizard review
– Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “Super 8” a B.
“I had a great time.”