61- Super 8 [5.0]
In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.
J.J. Abrams becomes so interested in trying to re-create the feel of 1980s Amblin films that he forgets he has to tell a story and make something of his own. Regardless of whether or not his incessant lens flares bother you, the trademark Abrams flaws are on display in Super 8: all mystery, with nothing to warrant care in the answer to what is being posed.
In a film such as this, a lot of the success or failure also falls on the child actors, and that–for the most part– may be the films saving grace. Both Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning are terrific in their respective roles. Riley Griffiths as Charles is tasked with cursing every few seconds, because we all remember the kid who couldn’t help but curse at every instance.
I count myself as a big fan of Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise. Perhaps he’s better suited working on projects with established canon instead of trying his hand at pure originals. Super 8 suffers most from not leaning too heavily in either homage or anything new.