SUPER 8 (J.J. Abrams)
Either Steven Spielberg possessed the body of J.J. Abrams, or Abrams can really make someone else's movie and call it his own (not sure if it is a compliment or not).
Nevertheless, SUPER 8 is a thrill-ride Sci-Fi adventure where dreams come alive once more. Despite the film screaming "Spielberg!" all over (traces of ET and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS are everywhere), Abrams is able to yarn a good coming of age story that is at once nostalgic, and the next, dazzling, though I hate to admit that the awaited moment of revelation where the alien comes out a big blah. SUPER 8 is a collage of Sci-Fi alien films that include those of Spielberg's, a dash of DISTRICT 9, and then there's that Rob Reiner STAND BY ME feel.
If at all, SUPER 8 showcases the acting chops of Elle Fanning, the younger sis of Dakota Fanning, who may soon overshadow her better known sibling. First seen on Sofia Coppola's SOMEWHERE, and now here in SUPER 8, Elle Fanning is quickly becoming the next big teen star. In that scene where the kids are doing a guerilla-type movie by the train tracks, this charming little girl with such expressive eyes gears completely into character and loses all bits of Elle Fanning the actress.
Movie-within-a-movie concepts are always fascinating for me. There's lots of humor, and discovery in SUPER 8 that even the most cynical moviegoer will gasp in disbelief. It's a mainstream movie that pays homage to the 70s, and quite overtly to its Executive Producer, Steven Spielberg. Not that there's anything wrong with that. SUPER 8 is a fantastic movie where it counts, but it doesn't rise above the plot expectations come second half.
And please...another government conspiracy? I've had it since THE MIST.
I got my money's worth of cinema ticket when that wall to wall surround sound heightened the experience during that scene where the train derails and the cable cars are flying around. Those are those moments you can never recapture on DVD. However, could you call it luck or Hollywood magic that none of the cars landed on top of the kids?
Oh, mainstream cinema and its tactics.