Spielberg and Abrams masterpiece or just too much effort?

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writer: J.J. Abrams

Cast: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Joe Lamb

A film shot on a home movie camera with the army involved and a monster on the loose. Sounds like Cloverfield right, well at first people thought this film was going to be in the same vein. Directed by the Cloverfield producer, J.J. Abrams teased us with a um teaser trailer that showed lost of promise and a hard core monster movie. Then we get the 2nd trailer which as one person said had turned into The Goonies meets ET. So what is the verdict?

The plot revolves around some young kids in the 70’s making a zombie movie and they witness a train crash and then the mystery starts to unfold.

This film was produced by Steven Spielberg but you cannot help feel that it is Spielberg’s film and not Abrams. This is not necessarily a bad thing but rather a result of how much Spielberg’s has influenced movies in the last 30 years. Abrams has his fair share of flare as well in fact it is the lens flare that was used on Star Trek so well that makes a return here but unfortunately it is used so much that after about 30 minutes you are sitting there praying for it to stop.

The rest of the film look gorgeous and you can imagine yourself transported back to that child you were when you first watch ET. The cast are all relatively unknowns with a few familiar faces in there and this works really well as you focus on the plot and not the faces.

The music is all very mysterious and fits in well with the slow build up of the film finale. The scenery is as good as you will get in a small town America set story.

There are enough explosion and monster mayhem to satisfy the action crowd but also enough kid friendly action for the family group as well.

This film works well on a lot of fronts and is really an homage to all those wonders of films that made you fall in love with cinema. However it is not without it’s faults. It is too long and there are way to many plot holes that you are suppose to ignore in order to enjoy the film. This worked in the 70’s but the audience is much more intelligent now and expect more.

Overall I loved what this film was about and what it is intended to be but I feel it was a lost opportunity for something new. In fact one film fan I was with said it was a terrible film so I guess it has that Marmite effect.

GS Rating: 4/5

GS Reporter: Montoya


P.S. If you want a drinking game with this film look below.

Have a drink when:

Kids are riding on their bike

Kids look up at a shining light in wonder

Kids outsmart the military

The camera moves up from behind a hill to show a town or wide shot

Every time a lens flare appears (this will get you drunk in about 10 minutes)

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