Title: Super 8
Director/Writer: J.J. Abrams
Music: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography: Larry Fong
This film is J.J. Abrams’ amalgam love letter to producer Spielberg’s E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) and CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), and in the meantime, to a great extent to pander to the new youngsters of the technology-era (the juvenile filming crew is awesome!).
In order to maintain an orthodox balance between a summer blockbuster family film and an Alien-like horror-fest, the film consummates a relatively shrewd paradigm (a PG-13 rating is well-suited): you will never witness the ugly facade of the monster until the acme moment and it is certainly not scary; no blood will be splattered (the only exception is literally fake blood); no children and animals will be dispatched on the scene, in spite of a seemingly hyper-perilous train-wreckage, while grownups are trashily disposable (under one condition is that as long as there are no actual slaughter shots); the mass-killing is all behind the scene and the sudden seizure tactic has been exerted a dozen of times, which is considered as irksome thanks to a wonderful young cast for their endeavor to make the scene credible.
Plot-wise, the film obviously suffers from some plausible expositions, the latter part of the film comparatively passes by hastily, The “communication with the creature” and the pinnacle “magnetic muster” scenes are too much similar and not original, what’s more all is done on the spur of the moment, which bugs me whether J.J’s inspiration well has running out of fuel? I’m still anticipating his new Star Trek project next year!
But overall, I do enjoy the film quite a lot, first the CGI effects are marvelous even watching on a television screen, and the young cast, I’m name-checking the lead boy Joel Courtney (the boy’s eyes can talk!) and another Fanning girl, Elle Fanning (a stunning mono-drama impression here and she is only 13 at that time), by far they are the best children performances I have seen for years among mainstream Hollywood films (along with Hit-girl in KICK-ASS 2010 and Dakota Goyo from REAL STEEL 2011).