I have always been a fan of coming of age movies which include young actors in starring roles and have followed the careers of youngsters like Fred Savage, Elijah Woods, Haley Joel Osment, Josh Hutcherson, Thomas Sangster, Freddie Highmore, and more recently Troye Sivan, and Jaden Smith.
Now, along comes newcomer Joel Courtney, who more than captivated my interest in his portrayal of Joe Lamb, in “Super 8”, J.J. Abrams’s 1979-set film about a group of kids who witness a spectacular train crash while attempting to film a horror flick.
This movie was more than what I even expected. With all the Hollywood special effect films that have come out recently, I have sometimes walked away feeling disenchanted due to a lame storyline or poor acting. This film was a pleasure to watch largely due to the cast of youngsters who portrayed their roles with professionalism that would usually be expected from much more experienced actors. I was quickly drawn into the story because they convinced me that I was more than an observer but one who was a part of their unique company of friends.
Of course it’s no secret that I’m a Sci-fi Action Adventure freak, but I also enjoy a good drama that causes you to think, not just duck bullets or things flying out of the screen at you. This film did both for me. Not only was it exciting, with a crazy unknown alien creature running about destroying things and striking fear into the small town of citizens, but it also wove a wonderful story of friendship, understanding, grief, and emotion which must be seen in its entirety to be fully enjoyed
The success of this movie is not found in the special effects even though my hat is off to Steven Spielberg for once again captivating me with his amazing film producing talents. It’s this group of young actors that really brought the story to life, making the unbelievable convincingly real, through the excellent portrayals of their characters.