DVD: “Super 8” Lives Up to its Name

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Two big-budget fantasy flicks will be available at your local video store or for digital download on Tuesday, November 22.

SUPER 8

RUSS: Are you nostalgic for the late 1970s? Do you wish Steven Spielberg still made the kinds of movies he used to make? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions, then “Super 8” is definitely the movie for you.

Although produced by Spielberg, “Super 8” was written and directed by J. J. Abrams, the creative force behind TV’s “Lost” and the re-boot of the “Star Trek” movie franchise. In “Super 8” Abrams has created a wildly entertaining and involving coming of age story that just happens to unfold during a bizarre science fiction event.

Newcomer Joel Courtney plays a 12-year-old kid living in a sleepy Ohio town. During on eventful summer, a captive alien escapes after a top secret Air Force train derails. Our young hero and his friends, who are making a horror movie on their Super 8 camera, manage to capture the creature on film and find themselves on the run from the alien and from the authorities.

Abrams ably captures the angst of innocent kids on the precipice of puberty, and while the production values are terrific and the movie has plenty of action and suspense, the sci-fi elements take a back seat to the involving story of kids facing a daunting challenge.

The dialogue is funny and realistic and it’s skillfully delivered by a very appealing cast. Movies like “E.T.,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Jaws” are the obvious inspiration for “Super 8,” so Spielberg must feel like a proud papa.

Russ: 5 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Shawn: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

RUSS: “I live, I love, I slay. I am content.”

That laugh-inducing line is delivered by Jason Momoa in the new adaptation of the sword-and-sorcery epic, “Conan the Barbarian.”

This well-produced but utterly humorless movie serves up plenty of violent action and gratuitous nudity, but winds up being turgid and plodding in spite of some impressive combat scenes.

Momoa is acceptably savage in the title role. While it may be more faithful to the spirit of Robert E. Howard’s books than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1982 original, this “Conan the Barbarian” has been sapped of all sense of fun.

Russ: 2 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Shawn: 2 out of 5 Popcorn Bags

Also new on November 22nd:

THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE
SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
THE L WORD: COMPLETE SERIES
TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA CHRISTMAS
TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS: SEASON 3

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