“From producer Steven Spielberg,” it says at the very beginning. At the 59 second mark it says, “And director JJ Abrams.” As if people needed to be told. Super 8 (Paramount, June 10) is Abrams’ heartfelt, highly assured homage to Classic Spielbergland as it used to exist in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It’s Close Encounters + E.T. plus scary threat. It’s Abrams saying to audiences, “Remember when Spielberg held mountains in the palm of his hand?”
Small-town America, misunderstood kid with dreams on his mind, dad doesn’t get the obsession with home movies and monster makeup, pretty would-be girlfriend, chubby friend, monster is discovered/escapes, arrival of troops, Noah Emmerich (hide in your homes and bolt your doors shut….it’s Noah Emmerich!) and a John Williams-like score by Michael Giacchino, who’s worked with Abrams before on Star Trek and Cloverfield.