Frankensteined from my Big Screen review, edited for look-backs and 6 month later views.
Seeing this movie last night
in the theater on Blu-Ray still made me feel 15 all over again. Stephen Spielberg almost found that magic he had in the 80’s along with JJ Abrams….. almost. Don’t let me take anything away from the film, I loved it, 9 9.5 out of 10 in first second watching. I was only left confused in the final closing moments as to why the resolution took an hour and 40 minutes longer then it really needed. But the ride sure was fun.
In the 80’s Spielberg created these epic “Kid Adventures” with the Goonies, Gremlins, ET, and Back to the Future where it was a teen (usually a virtual nobody in Hollywood) in the lead role taking on the hero’s role and burden on a mission to save the town/friends. When I say he almost reclaimed the magic there is a fair amount of JJ Abrams sprinkled into the story. JJ is a wonderful storyteller with a knack for creating mystery around a far from benign creature that we only catch glimpses of as it passes just out of sight. And with that keeping the monster’s appearance a secret till it is only necessary.
I was not surprised by this, I saw the preview, but in front of my at the theater was a family with a maybe 13 and 9-year-old who really should not have been there in the first place. The film has some fairly intense moments that had me questioning the PG-13 rating as the Spielberg name might confuse too many parents to bring kids along. While Speilberg’s ET was a family favorite, this is anything but, way to intense for tween-agers even though the cast seems to be just that age.
The cast was reminiscent of many 80’s films with the hero, who I could not help but see Elliott (Henry Thomas) in him all film, the fat kid who is the butt of jokes, the nerdy kid who freaks out and cries at the drop of a pin, the hooligan, and the female love interest who falls for the hero. It had all of the ingredients sprinkled just right to make a classic.
I won’t say much as I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, I suggest just seeing the trailer and going from there. But long story short and without spoilers. A group of innocent kids try to make an innocent film and happen to be in the wrong place, filming at the wrong time and catch an event that they should not have seen. As the world unravels apparently what the Army, adults and scientists can not handle a rag-tag group of 13 year olds can solve.
Not seeing this film would be a disservice to yourself. Not only would you be missing what was probably the best film of the year, this is a movie I would easily consider one of sci-fi’s all time greats. I know there are other great sci-fi films and there are much better sci-fi films, but in a decade or so when they are looking back and ranking the greats this will be amongst the top 10 without question. If it is not, then they are wrong. And like most great films not about love and/or war this is a sure bet for an Oscar snub.