YEP – With unmistakable elements of E.T, Jurassic Park, Goonies, Lost, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind all thrown together in a retro kitsch blender owned and operated by Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, Super 8 is a mish mosh adventure aimed at kids – and it mostly works.
Super 8 looks good, has a nifty collection of pop hits from the 70s, and manages to cobble enough suspense moments – and edits – together to hold your attention amidst a convoluted story.
Surprisingly, the strongest thread in the film is the young love story between Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister). These are two very good young actors.
NOPE – Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in director Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 is a neat freak bore, the relationship he develops with his health insurance provided therapist (Anna Kendrick) is contrived and silly, and Seth Rogen needs to put on the shelf his “inappropriate, vulgar, pot head slob” persona that fits him too well. It worked in Knocked Up, but that was almost five years ago. Time to grow up, Seth.