While I was watching Super 8, I was thinking a lot about Fringe, the sci-fi show J.J. Abrams co-created that I used to recap for Vulture. Like Fringe in its early seasons, Super 8 is what I'd call "theoretical fun": It's put together in a way that should be fun, but it's not nearly as fun as it should be (or thinks it is). Plus, like a lot of Fringe episodes, Super 8 is in part a mystery: What's the creature? What's its objective? Why are animals and machine parts going missing? In both the show and the movie, you can basically figure it out before the explanation comes, which isn't very satisfying.
None of these observations would have fit in my Super 8 review for Screen International, which you can read here, but I wanted to pass along those comments in case you are/were a Fringe fan. If like me, you always wanted to like the show more than you did -- and I'm not talking about this most recent season, which the few episodes I saw convinced me was a huge step up -- I'm here to warn you that you may have the exact same reaction to Super 8.