Super 8 (2011) - Abrams
There is no way I can write a legit review of Super 8 without sounding corny. But this nostalgic look at movie-making hits all the right spots for me. Yes, there was a time when filmmakers cared about making a good film for kids with characters full of charms and dialog witty and funny. It was before the whole toy tie-ins, ad campaigns and franchises.
The film is not all that original. But it doesn't cater to the lowest common denominator which is rare for a PG-13 rated children's movie. If The House of the Devil faxsimile'd late 70s- early 80's slasher to a T, Super 8 does it for late 70s- early 80's Sci-fi fantasy. The kids' middle class upbringing, suburban setting, their flaws and inadequacies, harmless grownups, all are very authentic. Even the way it was shot, not relying on mangled metals and CGs has that 80s feel to it.
It's safe to say that this film was not a big success at the box office because it was targeting my generation, who's jaded, cynical and would not go and pay $13 on a film unless it's something special (we'd rather go see something more sophisticated, say, a period piece about Freud and Jung doing hanky panky instead- for the record, A Dangerous Method showing that I went to was sold out and I didn't notice anyone who was younger than 30 in the theater). Super 8 has got scares, awkwardness of growing up and a lot of heart. Abrams has got it right in every way and it's a good film.