Here's a trailer for Super 8, this summer's J.J. Abrams-directed, Steven Spielberg-produced monster movie about a bunch of kids in the '70s who, while making a monster movie, end up in the middle of an actual monster crisis. Or at least we assume it's a monster. Who knows!
Though this was directed by Abrams, there's definitely something Spielbergian about it — the wholesome quaintness that gives way to grand adventure, a young boy with an imperfect home life who is somehow "different," that soaring dawn-of-man music. (Abrams worked with his regular composer Michael Giacchino, not Spielberg's go-to guy John Williams, though in this trailer — I'm pretty sure this is original? — Giacchino's music sounds almost like Copland.) I like what this trailer suggests: that this movie isn't trying to be anything hipper than a more dangerous version of E.T., the kind of "kids movie" where a child can stand at the center of a big swirling story without resorting to wiseacre precociousness.
If you're of the belief, as I've begun to be, that Abrams is the most obvious heir apparent to Spielberg, this movie could be another piece of evidence. Of course, by the time Spielberg was Abrams' age, he'd already directed all three Indiana Jones movies, and E.T., and certainly wasn't spending so much time on television, but there's something so similar in their work. They both have that same kind of confident nerdiness and both exhibit an exciting sense of filmmaking inventiveness that never alienates a mass-market audience. Spielberg is a master of polished popcorn, and Abrams seems well on his way there. He'll just have to venture into more serious territory, and direct a hell of a lot more movies, to truly take the mantle.
Anyway, all that mumbojumbo theorizing aside, I think Super 8 looks super great? I mean, Kyle Chandler!