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By James Whittington, Monday 7th June 2021 Super 8 Paramount Home Entertainment Certificate 12
The popularity of Stranger Things sparked an interest in all things retro sci-fi/horror 80s style but for many the true resurrection in interest came from a corker from J.J. Abrams, Super 8.
It tells the story of six friends who witness a train wreck while making a Super 8 movie, only to discover that something unimaginable escaped during the crash. They soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is what it wants.
Bathed in retro chills and period detail, Super 8 manages to capture the innocence of youth with a punchy script and a very talented teenage cast. The smart part though is the way the all-important crash and possible invasion sometimes takes a backseat to the story and allows the emotional build up between the gang to grow and mature. As adults blame the Russians for the power outages, disappearances, and other weird goings on, the kids are discovering the truth about what's really happening.
Emotionally charged throughout, the movie manages to take a fantastical story and ensure it feels real and possible. The theme of loss or that something is missing from each of their lives is worn like a scar by the kids here which gives added depth to their characters. Produced by Steven Spielberg, his influence can be felt throughout, so much so this could be the first truly great love letter to his career with added lens flares for good measure. In other hands this could have been an uninspired mishmash of sentimentality and cheese, but Abrams gives the story time to breath and develop naturally whilst keeping things focused and relevant.
Effects wise the movie is littered with cool set-pieces and sneaky peeks at the alien creatures, plus there's nods to past classic movies (look out for Romero references) as well as dialogue which is filled with heart and honesty.
The image on the disc is pin-sharp, containing some superb detail, especially during the train crash sequence. Here you can see every piece of debris from the many explosions. The surround sound is powerful and deep without losing any of the dialogue.
Extras wise there's a commentary from Abrams alongside producer Bryan Burk and director of photography Larry Fong, 8 featurettes, a look in detail at the train crash sequence and 14 deleted scenes.
If you're new to 4K then this is the perfect disc to try out your new set up.
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