J.J. Abrams, the man who set the deliriously enigmatic pace for LOST in that show’s pilot and upended STAR TREK by blowing up Vulcan (we still haven’t recovered) now sets his sights on the Spielbergian kids’ adventure in SUPER 8. Set in a small-town, rose-tinted version of 1979, the sf/fantasy film tells the tale of a group of tweens — prime amongst them Elle Fanning — who while filming their zombie movie capture on-camera a spectacular train crash and the unleashing of something malevolent from within. With Abrams idol Spielberg himself stepping into the producer role, will SUPER 8 be the film to take the Master’s visionary fantasy/drama template from the seventies and eighties and reconcile it with Abrams’ ability to work nuanced, character-based drama into a genre framework? Or is the inexorable pull of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS’ sense of wonder too strong even for the man who in the past few years has acquired a reputation for his own, unique storytelling style? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they discuss the issue.
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