Super 8 (2011)
J. J. Abrams takes us vividly back to a colourful and enticing small-town 1970s in the opening part of his film Super 8 - a fascinating coming-off-age drama which, too soon and too relentlessly, mutates into an insipid monster sci-fi with all of that genre's most hackneyed plot elements and developments. Despite the fact that he has written some great characters and reminisces about teenage life in such impressive fashion that it could and should have been the basis for a fine film, Abrams eventually falls into the same trap as so many American genre films of later years has; trading his film's real qualities for genre-bound noise and violence. The intention was possibly to satisfy studio demands by making sure his younger audience would be impressed by all the effects. Or perhaps he just didn't have any more creativity or subtleness left in his bag and had to borrow the spirit and ending from his producer Steven Spielberg's thirty year old classic E.T.
Regardless, Super 8 turns dumber and more pretentious the closer to the finish-line it gets, and Michael Giacchino's overly pompous musical score is like a chewy piece of meat which becomes more and more impossible to swallow. And as if that wasn't enough, the neverending concluding scene turns out to be one of the most vainglorious of its kind on this side of The Return of the King. The warm and insightful acting by the kids and some really fun moments are what upholds this loose cannon of a could-have-been.