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Super 8 is a nostalgia movie for those of us who remember the fun, group of boys movies running around, fixing stuff, breaking stuff, blowing stuff up and generally solving problems even when adults can’t. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. (especially before reading this, as I talk about major plot points of Super 8)

The common theme that all these movies, including Super 8, have is that there are problems that either adults can’t solve, or don’t care to. Therefor, the kids (who are the main characters) take it upon to solve it themselves.  The main problem in Super 8 is a big monster is generally wreaking havoc and eating people, and the kids seem to know how to solve it better than the adults, including the police and the government guys. We’ll talk about what the main problems in each these movies are, and how the kids solve it better than the adults in their lives.

SPOILER ALERT!
In order to discuss how similar these movies are to Super 8, I will be discussing the ending and plot points of all of them, including Super 8. So,...be warned.

E.T. (1982)

et

What can I say about it? Nothing that has already been said. If you haven’t seen it, then you should.  One interesting note here is that Steven Spielberg directed E.T. and co-produced Super 8, so one would expect similarities.

Main Problem

    * Alien wants to be with its mommy

How it’s like Super 8

    * Alien trying to get home
    * Government guys trying to keep it
    * Parents are virtually useless
          o (though, I have to admit, the father in Super 8 didn’t take any shit from the gmen)
    * Kids get shit done
    * Older kids are either tools or useless
          o but handy the use of under age driving
    * Spielberg produced & directed it

Goonies (1985)

gooniesHere’s another classic that needs no introduction, or shouldn’t. You might be interested to know, however, that Josh Brolin (yeah, that guy in No Country for Old Men) is in this one. Yeah. And, oh yeah, Steven Spielberg wrote it.


Main problem
Rich guys wanna buy up their homes to make a golf course.

How it’s like Super 8

    * Parents can’t solve the problem
    * Kids have the only idea to solve it (that actually works)
    * Spielberg co-wrote & executive produced it
    * Older kids are either tools or useless
          o but handy for the random piano skills
          o and older girl kisses
    * Unsafe use of fireworks by minors

Explorers (1985)

explorers

Explorers is, in my opinion, the closest to Super 8 out of all of these, including E.T. If you haven’t seen it yet, I DEFINITELY recommend it. It’s about a few boys who start having the same dreams which are sent by aliens. One of the boys, played by River Phoenix, is super smart and able to remember the complicated designs that are sent in the dreams. Ethen Hawk and his new nerdy friend build the circuit board and turn it on. In the middle of the a small, floating blue sphere appears. They hit a button and it zips through their wall, punching a hole clear through. Remind you of a scene in Super 8 where the cube goes through a wall? Yeah, me too.

Main problem
Not enough hangout time with the aliens.

How it’s like Super 8

    * Floating thing punches hole through wall
    * Nerdy kids working on something nerdy
          o in Super 8 it’s filming a zombie movie
          o in Explorers it’s making a spaceship
    * Adults given the opportunity to do the same thing as the kids, but blow it
    * Kids encounter aliens and have a WAY better experience than the adults
          o in Super 8 the adults just get mauled or eaten
          o in Explorers the kids hang out with the aliens, where the adults never get to because they knew they’d freak out.

Stand By Me (1986)

standbyme

Stand by Me (based on a book by Stephen King called The Body) is classic in which River Phoenix (looks like he gained a little weight for this role since Explorers), Wil Wheaton (you know him from Star Trek TNG as Wesley), Corey Feldman (also in Goonies), Jerry O’ Connell (you might know him from Sliders) all go on a trip to see a dead body of a boy they knew. Two other names you might know in this movie are Kiefer Sutherland and John Cusak.

How it’s like Super 8

    * Adults are barely in this movie at all
          o so of course the kids do more than them
    * some really funny scenes of kids puking all over the place
          o in Super 8, one of the main boys pukes every time he’s nervous...which is a lot when there’s a huge alien stalking you
    * Train almost kills the kids




Monster Squad (1987)

monstersquad

Monster squad is one of those little movies that didn’t do so great when it came out, but later after DVD release, it got huge and developed a cult following. The main idea here is that all the classic monsters we know are real and, for some reason, all decide to show up in one little town.  Dracula, wolf man, swamp guy, vampires and Frankensteins monster (you know, ‘cus Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster, but in the end, he really IS the monster, ah forget it).

Main problem
Monsters killing and eating people...probably bringing about the end of the world.
bummer

How it’s like Super 8

    * Something not normal eating and killing people in a small town
    * Cops are trying their best but failing
    * nerdy kids doing nerdy things
          o In Monster Squad, they’re a group of kids who just like monster movies and comics
    * One of the monsters turns out to be not that bad
          o Frankensteins monster is just a kind hearted undead dude who likes teddy bears
          o the alien in Super 8 just wants to go home and ends up not killing killing everyone

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