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Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH www. su­per8-movie. com Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

RE­VIEW SU­PER 8 ( M) ★★★★■ Di­rec­tor: J. J. Abrams ( Star Trek) Stars: Joel Courtney, Elle Fan­ning, Kyle Chan­dler, Ri­ley Grif­fiths, Noah Em­merich, Gabriel Basso, Ron El­dard

Shoot first, run for your lives later

THIS is the only, I re­peat, only orig­i­nal tent-pole re­lease of the US sum­mer block­buster sea­son.

To trans­late: Su­per 8 is not a se­quel, pre­quel or spin-off. It has not been adapted from a well-known book, or comic book, for that mat­ter.

So for any­one com­plain­ing that main­stream Hol­ly­wood is hell-bent on re­peat­ing, re­mak­ing – and if all else fails, 3D-ing – it­self into obliv­ion, this is about the fresh­est pro­duce avail­able for the next few months.

But while Su­per 8 is to be ap­plauded for its orig­i­nal­ity in terms of its con­cep­tion, there is some­thing very fa­mil­iar about its ex­e­cu­tion.

Writer-di­rec­tor J. J. Abrams has taken the mod­ern crea­ture-fea­ture ( a genre he ear­lier med­dled with as the pro­ducer of Clover­field ) and blended it with fam­ily-friendly ad­ven­ture fare of a very spe­cific vintage.

If films such as Stand By Me, Grem­lins and E. T. were part of your grow­ing-up, you will be sure to ap­pre­ci­ate what is go­ing down in Su­per 8.

The year is 1979. In a small town, young Joe Lamb ( new­comer Joel Courtney) is com­ing to terms with the death of his mother by help­ing out a wannabe teenage Spiel­berg named Charles ( Ri­ley Grif­fiths).

With Charles’s no-bud­get pro­ject ( a zom­bie movie of sorts) near­ing com­ple­tion, a fe­male cast mem­ber is needed for one cru­cial night scene to be staged at a nearby rail­way sid­ing.

Just as the cam­era is clos­ing in on the beau­ti­ful and tal­ented Alice ( Elle Fan­ning, pic­tured), a back­ground ef­fect goes from spe­cial to spec­tac­u­lar. A pass­ing freight train has a head-on col­li­sion with a pick-up truck, send­ing jack-knif­ing car­riages in all di­rec­tions.

With all hell break­ing loose around them, the fledg­ling film­mak­ers are forced to flee the set. Im­por­tantly, the cam­era they have aban­doned is still run­ning. There is still some way to go for Su­per 8 from this first in­trigu­ing plot point.

Those fa­mil­iar with the cryptic vi­ral mar­ket­ing cam­paign for the movie will al­ready know there is a big – and I mean, big – some­thing con­nected with the train wreck which ul­ti­mately drives this tale.

It’s some­thing big enough to bring the mil­i­tary im­me­di­ately to the crash scene and also bring the town to a ter­ri­fy­ing stand­still.

Whether or not you are blown away by the ‘‘ big re­veal’’ is of lit­tle con­se­quence com­pared with how closely you will come to re­late to the young char­ac­ters.

The last­ing charm of Abrams’ work is the warmth he finds in the youth­ful and awk­ward pro­tag­o­nists of Su­per 8. There is a whole town to be saved and a wonky lit­tle ama­teur mo­tion pic­ture to be com­pleted, and you’ll be sin­cerely urg­ing them on to get both jobs done.

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