Writer-director J.J. Abrams reaches into the grubby brown Midwestern landscape of the 1970s and the fond memories of cinema audiences for what is sure to be the summer's superhit, Super 8
. The story of a crew of misfit middle-schoolers filming their own small-gauge zombie movie after hours intentionally evokes beloved Spielberg films like E.T.
and The Goonies
. Commencing with a spectacular train crash, the excitement never falters as a pack of kids with a camera stumble upon an alarming military secret. Deftly combining sentiment and fright, comedy and suspense, the endearing star-free cast is led by Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths as geeky besties. The film celebrates the model builders, monster make-up obsessives and amateur directors who, as grown ups, still populate the dream factory. We desperately need this adventure movie free of irony and counterfeit cool. Sequels and prequels? Comics and robots? Meh. Super 8
is destined to be a popcorn classic.