December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

June 19, 2011

Super 8 (2011)

When it's over, I'm surprised Director/Writer J.J Abrams didn't come up with a more original story.  I mean, he's created some memorable shows (Alias, Lost, Felicity) and written some notable screenplays (Forever Young, Regarding Henry, Armageddon).  He successfully helmed Star Trek in 2009, so, I expected more from him than an anthology of Steven Spielberg films rolled into one, which is basically what Super 8 was - a Goonies meets E.T. extravaganza, plus a bit of Arachnophobia and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The film takes place in the late 70's about a group of kids from a small town who encounter a train crash while shooting an amateur film.  Unknown to the kids, but captured on their camera is something that crawls out of the wreckage - something mysterious that brings the Naval Forces into town and a series of unexplained disappearances.  I was intrigued by the story's premise, and thought the mystery surrounding that "something" would be worthy of a sit through.  However, the journey wasn't worth the destination reached. I saw bits of the "something" in the shadows, and a few times as a whole near the end.  This was very disappointing, because it's this "something" that causes such havoc in the small town, and it's this "something" that provokes an emotional response in the characters, re-uniting them on an emotional level (father and son, father and daughter).  If we didn't see E.T. until the very end, would the film still have had the success it received?  Probably not.  The secrecy behind that "something" shouldn't have been a secret at all.  It should have been up front and centre - lets see what we're dealing with.  Aside from the science fiction aspect of the film, there was also the human stories - coming of age, coping with loss, and forgiveness.  These are great themes, but they were poorly presented and supported.   I wasn't sold on the casting of the two main children - Joe, played by Joel Courtney, and Alice, played by Elle Fanning - who are two teens falling in love in the midst of the chaos.  If you're going to have two people fall in love, then you've got to make sure they have chemistry.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

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