Between Steve Martin's two segments on "The Colbert Report" last night, I caught up to the latest trailer for 'Super 8.' The movie doesn't open until June 10, and now I await it impatiently. What a relief to see a trailer that doesn't cut the action to ribbons. This trailer actually tells a story -- without giving everything away -- and gives you a sense of the movie's atmosphere and characters. "Friday Night Lights" fans, rejoice: Kyle Chandler looks in his element as a dedicated small-town cop and single father whose young son is helping a pal make a Super 8 monster movie (the year is 1979).
When the kids witness a spectacular train crash, it's only the hook that pulls you deeper into a tale of disappearing dogs, missing people, and mysteries that, for a change, are as intriguing (even haunting) as they are dangerous.
Steven Spielberg produced this film, and J.J. Abrams directed it; the movie appears to draw on late-70s/early-80s classics from Spielberg's "Close Encounters" and "E.T." to Philip Kaufman's "Invasion of the Body-Snatchers." (Even the boy hero resembles Henry Thomas in "E.T.") In the past, I've admired Abrams as a yarn-spinner, not a movie director. The highest compliment I can pay the action here is that it looks as if it could have been directed by Spielberg himself in the 1970s.