Jun 132021

Super 8 is yet another well made film by J.J. Abrams, a solid follow-up to the sci-fi reboot/re-imagining of Star Trek. The movie is certainly a nostalgic trip back to the 80s but Abrams puts his own stamp on it, albeit still with plenty of Spielberg’s influence.



Super 8

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure
Paramount | PG13 – 112 min. – $25.99 | May 25, 2021

Date Published: 06/13/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Writer(s): J.J. Abrams (written by)
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


Note: This was copied from my 2011 Blu-ray review.

J.J. Abrams’ follow-up to his popular reboot of Star Trek, is more than a tribute to Steven Spielberg movies of the past, but downright almost a copy of films like The Goonies and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. That said, Super 8 is one hell of an entertaining movie with heart, soul and a fine blend of sci-fi action and comedy.

The follows best friends Joe (JOEL COURTNEY), Charles (RILEY GRIFFITHS), Cary (RYAN LEE), Martin (GABRIEL BASSA) and Preston (ZACH MILLS) as they set out to make Charles’ zombie film. With the help of Alice (ELLE FANNING) to drive them and play the female lead, they go to the town’s train station to shoot a scene when a train comes roaring in… right towards a truck that sped onto the tracks. The train derails and is set afire and smashes into heaps as the kids scramble out of the way. After the mayhem subsides, they find the truck driver is their science teacher – somehow he survives – who warns them never to speak of the event or else they and their families will be in harm’s way.

While at first they heed the warning, being kids they can’t leave well enough alone. Of course, they don’t have to say much as the military more or less invades the small town as whatever they were transporting is on the loose and not only taking out the locals but a good number of their electronics as well! Now it has crossed the line because how else will I make my popcorn… Anyway, the Goonies (yeah, I’m going to call them from now on) begin to investigate and find that the Super 8 camera they used caught a glimpse at the creature. Meanwhile, Joe’s father (KYLE CHANDLER), the town’s deputy, does not trust what the military and the man (NOAH EMMERICH) leading the charge.

The rest of the movie basically finds the Goonies and a few of the town folk trying to find the truth behind the military invasion, why some people keep disappearing and tracking down the creature while also instilling every nostalgic feeling as possible by the emotional end.

And that’s where Super 8 excels: the nostalgia factor. The question remains, is it any good when taking that storytelling element out? Eh, I’m not so sure. No doubt the story itself is pretty good but also fairly basic and without the nostalgia, it would come across as a visual effects heavy and pretty looking film, but nothing more. Now, looking outside of the story, I did like the chemistry the Goonies 2.0 had with one another from Joel Courtney as the primary character, Riley Griffiths as the token fat kid/comedy relief and Elle Fanning all grown up and giving a fine performance in the female lead.

Written and Directed by J.J. Abrams, he continues his success with not only providing a glossy looking motion picture, not unlike Michael Bay (see Transformers, The Island) and Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Conan the Barbarian) but also writes films with some substance and an emotional core as shown in Mission Impossible III and Star Trek.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the features from the original Blu-ray have been ported over. Note, there is no Blu-ray disc included.

Feature Commentary – Writer/Director J.J. Abrams, Producer Bryan Burk and Director of Photography Larry Fong provide an informative but lively commentary track. They delve into the filmmaking process, coming up with the story and a variety of other topics.

The Dream Behind Super 8 (16:28) is a behind-the-scenes featurette gives insights from J.J. Abrams about himself and translating it into the movie. It’s surprisingly insightful blending personal experiences with making the film.

The Search for New Faces (17:46) tackles the casting process for the kids and includes their audition footage. The featurette includes comments from the filmmakers, casting directors and the actors themselves.

Meet Joel Courtney (14:35) – This is an extensive featurette where we get to meet the young actor as he goes through his daily routines of rehearsals and shooting. This also serves as a bio him providing a background of where he grew up, etc.

Rediscovering Steel Town (18:24) covers the location scouting, production designer (to convert buildings to 1979 era) in the old, small town of Weirton, West Virginia. Like the other featurettes, it actually goes beyond just some EPK feature and provides information on the town’s history.

The Visitor Lives (12:22) takes a look at creature/alien in the movie, filming the big action sequence where it escapes from the train cargo car and just the overall development of the monster via visual effects.

Scoring Super 8 (5:29) – This short featurette shows how long-time Abrams composer Michael Giacchino came up with the score for the film.

Do You Believe in Magic? (4:29) is another short, but funny, featurette where DP Larry Fong shows off his magic skills for the viewers.

The 8mm Revolution (8:15) – Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and others talk about their early years shooting on Super 8 film and its uniqueness.

Deconstructing the Train Crash is an interactive feature where viewers can check out the scene from pre-production, production and post-production watching interviews, storyboards, script pages, rehearsal footage, etc.

Deleted Scenes (12:47) – There is a ton of footage, 14 to be exact, left on the chopping room floor and while none of them would’ve added to the movie but they’re nice to watch.


VIDEO – 4¾/5

Paramount releases Super 8 onto 4K Ultra HD where it’s presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and has a 2160p high-definition transfer. If I recall, the original Blu-ray already looked rather good and this one takes it a slight notch. Detail is very nicely defined throughout with the natural film grain and noise retained and colors well balanced, along with black levels which are stark without appearing crushed. Compared with other 4K transfers, can’t exactly say it’s the best I’ve come across, however I’d say without doing a direct comparison, it’s a decent upgrade over the Blu-ray.

AUDIO – 5/5

The disc is equipped with a roaring, bone-rattling Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. When I said bone-rattling, I meant it because my entire body was trembling during the train crash sequence; it was easily the most insane scene that I’ve heard since The Incredible Hulk. The rest of the track is good, of course, though nothing could match that sequence… not even the finale. In any case, this 7.1 channel track offers crisp and clear dialogue along with amplifying Michael Giacchino’s beautiful score. **Copied from Blu-ray review*


OVERALL – 4½/5

Super 8 is yet another well made film by J.J. Abrams, a solid follow-up to the sci-fi reboot/re-imagining of Star Trek. The movie is certainly a nostalgic trip back to the 80s but Abrams puts his own stamp on it, albeit still with plenty of Spielberg’s influence.


 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>