If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Watching this movie (as a 90s kid) I had a blast from the past just by watching this movie. It felt like those old 70s era Sci-Fi Spielberg movies that i watched when i was a kid. It almost felt like The Goonies, E.T. and Cloverfield but Spielberg didn't direct this. J.J. Abrams did who gave us Cloverfield and Star Trek (2009) and he does great at his type of marketing when it comes to the trailers. Where we don't know what's going on and it made me want to see it to know what is going on. And because of that, The cinema i went to is a full house. I'm surprised it is rated G because these kids act and talk like they're older than 13. There we're even PG-13 F-bombs here and there (is 13 the new 20?). People obviously wants to see the alien but you don't see it halfway through the ending, he has no dialogue but the alien doing some Jump-scare action scenes are pretty badass.
So we have the plot of this movie. The plot i have to say is simple enough It is one big Sci-Fi, Mystery and Thriller movie and those 3 elements mixed very well. It's about these kids filming a zombie movie for a kids film festival at Cleveland. When they filmed one scene at the train station they encountered a crash. And something escaped from the cargo. They left they're Super 8 camera filming the entire crash and when they developed the film they caught a strange figure came out of the train that turns out to be an Alien trying to go home. When the alien escaped mysterious things are happening like engines from cars are gone, dogs and people are disappearing, and microwaves are disappearing. Just by reading the plot you can tell J.J. Abrams was really influenced by Spielberg's film. There we're inspirations from Spielberg's movies like E.T. an innocent alien trying to go home but the government thinks that he is going to invade the earth/ destroy the earth and yet these kids understand him that he is innocent. I think this movie is well done. It has a good script, great special effects and great acting. This is a movie that has kids that didn't annoy me, They're not irritating like young Anakin in Episode I. In fact they delivered they're lines well (both comedic and just plain serious lines). This was probably the main complaint of the critics and it is they have seen this done before already and yes i have to admit I (or maybe some people) have seen this before a bunch of times but that is the main point this movie is done because J.J. Abrams is paying homage to the Sci-Fi movies he was influenced by, back when he was young. I enjoyed the film for what it is and it is being a love letter to those Spielberg movies. I got the feeling of being a Nostalgia Critic because you really find the story and characters cliché but like i said it is a love letter to those Spielberg films and It definitely worked and i ended up loving the film.
Going back to the characters they are cliché but like i said it did work in this movie since it took place in the 70s era of film. I can see where you are coming from because these kids remind of you of the boys from E.T. . These kids are interesting and relatable. And as being one of these kids back when i was younger i totally relate to the fat kid in this movie. The movie did got slow after (probably the best scene in this movie) the crash. It was slow but it was interesting to watch these characters story arcs. The main kid, Joe Lamb played by (supposed to be me) Joel Courtney which i have to admit this guy looks a lot like the little boy in E.T. He was great and he connects well with the other kids and adults. Well in every group you gotta have that fat kid, the crazy kid, and that nerdy kid who acts like a total pussy. The fat kid is obviously the one to start off in the group because he is the interesting character in the group. He's this everyday obnoxious fat kid (There is an everyday fat kid in my school, trust me), He's bossy but still likeable. He was funny and he never had that cliché, stupid and failed joke. There's also a kid here which is nerdy and crazy but mostly crazy. I think the inspiration of this character is Michael Bay (or maybe it is Michael Bay). Because he won't stop talking and doing big explosions, pretty much all of the jokes never had one bad joke. It is written well and have a good script and we have the last main kid which is Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle Fanning. She was surprisingly amazing in this movie. Seriously the Fanning family is a very talented family. She was great and she made 13 the new 20. And i have to admit the movie they made played during the credits and it is a great short film made by 13 year olds.
So we move on to the special effects. The special effects is great and the most talked about special effects sequence is probably the train crash scene and the alien but let's talk about the train crash scene. The scene was the most badass train crashes i have ever seen. If that was the alternate ending to UNSTOPPABLE that would be glorious. Especially just by seeing it up close is just great to look at. Not to mention the scene is so freakin' loud, I was in the cinema and it is so freakin loud. And then we talk about the alien itself. Think of it as the Cloverfield monster with 4 more arms and the charger from L4D. But then it leads me to the pacing. Like i said it was slow but it almost felt like it's not an alien movie anymore. It became a whole different movie once they focus on the kids, Yeah it is interesting but it is a build up to the drama and the big reveal in the ending. The action scenes are great especially those scenes with the alien in the shadows. This does have Jump scare scenes and I'm pretty much of a pussy when it comes to Jump scares. Probably because I'm not used to watching horror/thriller flicks in the movies (because some horror movies ae bad nowadays). Overall the movie is flawless; There has been a lot of movies that makes an homage to the old great movies like Rango paying homage to the western movies back then and this movie that pays homage to the old sci-fi Spielberg films. This movie is a great popcorn Blast From The Past flick. I would recommend it to some people who are interested.
MY STORY THAT INVOLVES THE FILM:
I auditioned for the role of Joe last summer. I never had an E-mail back from Paramount until i saw the trailer months later (the one where they show the kids) and the kids look like 10 years old when the 1st draft of the script requires an age of 13-14 years old to audition for the roles. So i guess the two main reasons are one, I look old. Two, I'm not white. Because I have to require a western feel to my look (Well i don't look to western, don't I?). So yeah I gave that up and instead went on and enjoyed this film.
FOR THE WIN!- 4.5/5
TOO MANY F**KING LENS FLARES!!!