“Super 8” Blu-Ray Review

super 8 bluray review

It's sad that all of this is coming to an end, but at least now we get to enjoy "Super 8" in all it's glory whenever we want. Paramount was nice enough to send me an advance copy of the "Super 8" Blu-ray so that I could check it out and let you guys know if it's worth picking up. Honestly, I'm pretty sure if you're reading this site you were probably going to pick it up anyways, but I'm still going to give you a little preview of what you can expect out of this Blu-Ray/DVD. Keep in mind that I am reviewing the Blu-Ray copy of the movie, so there may be some slightly different things on the DVD, but I'm guessing most of the same features will be included on both versions.

The Movie

I don't have to tell you guys about the movie, pretty much everyone that's been here since day 1 has seen this flick already and has their own opinion. I thought the movie was great. JJ tells a great, heartfelt coming of age story, but also manages to scare us and creep us out with an alien creature. If he was going for the "Close Encounters..." feel, he succeeded. The movie is full of emotion and great characters. I don't want to spend too much time on the movie itself because, like I said, everyone here already knows all about the movie, so let's get on to whether or not you should buy this Blu-Ray.


The Blu-Ray is presented in beautiful 2.40:1 1080P and looks even better than it did in the theater. The blacks are jet black and the 70's color palette is incredibly vivid. I can't find anything wrong with the video on this disc, it's one of the best Blu-Ray transfers I've seen in a long time. I was especially happy that some of the dark scenes were extremely well lit and the details were crisp and clear when they were supposed to be.


The sound is just as good as the video. If you have a good surround sound system you're going to want to turn up the volume to 11. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 blasts through the speakers with full force bringing you right into the middle of the incredible train crash scene. If you live in an apartment expect some phone calls from your neighbors as they try to figure out where the train is coming from.

Special Features

The features on the disc is really the only part that was slightly disappointing, and I do mean slightly. There's a full length commentary with JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk and Larry Fong which was pretty good. I'm not a commentary person myself and I found that a lot of what was talked about in the commentary was also touched upon in the other featurettes on the disc, so if you're not all about the commentary you can just watch the other features and get most of what was said.

There are 8 featurettes on the disc that cover everything from the casting of the kids, Joel Courtney's first movie making experience to creature design and audio composing. These featurettes were my favorite part of the disc. At slightly over an hour and a half, these kept me extremely entertained and interested for the entire duration. I was a big fan of the first couple of them where JJ is explaining how he got involved with Steven Spielberg and and their history together as well as a lot of the crew's history with super 8 films as kids. These featurettes are exactly what I look for in a DVD/Blu-Ray, they give you incite into the thought process behind the movie, how the movie was made, and how the casting came to be. The only thing I am going to complain about, which I also did with "Cloverfield", is that there absolutely no mention of the internet viral campaign on the disc. I really think they should have included all of the pieces of the puzzle that we so meticulously searched for over the course of the production. It just would have been nice to see everything pulled together on the disc so we have the whole package in one spot. However, even with the lack of viral featurettes, this disc is packed full with fun stuff.

Deconstructing the Train Crash is a self guided tour through the different stages of production in regards to the train crash scene. You navigate through a menu system, setup like a railroad, where each train car is a different part of the puzzle that created the crash sequence we all love. I thought this was a cool idea, but I feel like it was a bit lacking. A lot of the train cars are just images of script pages or storyboards. There's a fair amount of actual video clips, but again, a lot of it can also be seen in the featurettes. It's a cool idea and was interesting, but I felt that they could have done more with it. On top of that, navigating the menu system was a little annoying at times.

And rounding out the special features at 14 deleted scenes from the movie. In total these run about 13 minutes and really don't add a whole lot to the story so it's obvious why they were trimmed from the final cut. And as with most Blu-Ray's these days you also get a disc that includes a DVD copy of the movie as well as a digital copy.

So if you're a fan of the movie and are really interested in what happens behind the scenes on things like this or what it was like for Joel Courtney on his first movie, then you're going to want to pick up this Blu-Ray to watch on your xbox one, when it comes on on November 22nd. I'm sure most of you were going to pick this up without my recommendation, but maybe this will help those of you on the fence to make a decision. I feel like this is a movie that will be able to stand the test of time and anyone would be happy to have it as part of their collection.

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Details have emerged regarding the DVD/Blu-Ray release of "Super 8". You can find a press release below outlining what will be on each disc. I don't see anything regarding the viral marketing or things of that nature as being part of the disc which is a little disappointing. I was hoping to see everything that went into the marketing of the film, but I guess if I really wanted to I could just go back and re-read this site.

You can pre-order the DVD here.

Thanks again to everyone that came here for all your Super 8 news over the last year or so, I really appreciate it. If Abrams and company decide to do another film with this kind of marketing, you can be sure I'll be all over it.

Called "this year's most thrilling movie" (Richard Corliss, Time), writer/director J.J. Abrams' (Star Trek) breathtaking adventure SUPER 8 debuts in a Blu-ray™/DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy November 22, 2011 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Produced by Amblin, Bad Robot and Academy Award® winner* Steven Spielberg, the exhilarating story follows a group of friends in a small Ohio town who witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie. When they realize that it was no accident, they set out to find the truth—something more shocking than any of them could have imagined. Combining action, humor and heart, the film features outstanding performances from a fresh young cast including Elle Fanning (Somewhere), Gabriel Basso ("The Big C"), Zach Mills (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl) and newcomers Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths and Ryan Lee, along with veteran actors Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") and Ron Eldard ("Blind Justice").

The SUPER 8 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy includes more than two hours of enthralling special features including eight behind-the-scenes featurettes exploring the origins of the story, the casting, the locations, the music, the impact of 8mm film and more; an in-depth deconstruction of the breathtaking train crash; interviews with cast and crew including J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg; deleted scenes; and commentary by J.J. Abrams, producer Bryan Burk and cinematographer Larry Fong. SUPER 8 will also be available as a single-disc DVD.

SUPER 8 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack with Digital Copy

The SUPER 8 Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Surround and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Digital Copy is presented in English 2.0 Stereo with no subtitles. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack contents are as follows:


Commentary by writer/director J.J. Abrams, producer Bryan Burk and cinematographer Larry Fong
Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
-The Dream Behind Super 8
-The Search for New Faces
-Meet Joel Courtney
-Rediscovering Steel Town
-The Visitor Lives
-Scoring Super 8
-Do You Believe in Magic?
-The 8mm Revolution
Deconstructing the Train Crash
Deleted Scenes


Feature Film
Digital Copy

SUPER 8 will also be available in a single disc DVD presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround, Spanish 5.1 Surround and English Audio Description with English, French and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes the following:

Commentary by writer/director J.J. Abrams, producer Bryan Burk and cinematographer Larry Fong
The Dream Behind Super 8
The Visitor Lives


Street Date: November 22, 2011
Pricing: $29.99 U.S. (DVD)
$39.99 U.S. (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Runtime: 111 minutes
U.S. Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use
Canadian Rating: 14A for frightening scenes, violence and coarse language

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