I had not been paying much attention to J.J. Abrams new directing effort, Super 8. so far. First of all I am beginning to find too clever viral marketing campaigns a little tiresome (the kind where you have to find myriad of clues on some obscure website to take you to another site where you can catch a glimpse of something, give me a break! It was smart the first time!)
And if I am completely honest, I have found hype master extraordinaire J.J. Abrams to have never quite matched the very high expectations he has raised. Both Mission impossible 3 and Star Trek lacked originality or even personality as far as I am concerned. And Lost, well, lost itself at some stage around episode 3 of season 2, never to recover from his Russian dolls type of script that kept opening new narrative threads and ended up nowhere. It is almost as if the director gets all excited about his new projects but loses interest and does not quite follow through. It is ironic that his most achieved film to date is the one that he only produced, Cloverfield.
So it has been a real surprise when I finally saw the first proper trailer for Super 8 today, after an underwhelming first teaser. It looks absolutely fantastic, I am loving the whole retro 70's/early 80's nostalgic vibe, the Spielberg influence (unsurprisingly as he is producing), and the fact that it manages to be exciting still without showing too much quite yet (and no sight of the monster of whatever it is), unlike so many trailers nowadays that reveal too much too soon. Plus despite the promise of some big action set pieces, it really seems to put the emphasis on the story and characters. And then it has an almost old school sense of wonder.
As I said, there is a strong Spielberg (circa 1975 to 1981) influence, in fact, it feels like E.T., Encounters of the third kind and Jaws rolled up in one film: the magic of childhood, an largely unseen but deadly creature, unnatural phenomenons... It is interesting to see a renewed interest for all these films of the late 70's/early 80's, all being remade (such as Tron, Conan the Barbarian, The black hole) or heavily influencing new projects such as this one... It is almost as if the very impressionable children who saw them at the time have now grown up and are in charge of film studios.
I truly hope that the Alias director can finally match up his hype for once. Super 8 is released on the 10th of June in the U.S. and the 19th of August in the U.K.