The childlike sense of wonder so evident in Super 8 might well spring from director J.J. Abrams’ memories of an adolescent infatuation with monster movies, and his filmmaking as a boy on the long-obsolete Eastman Kodak cameras from which his latest work takes its name.
But try telling that to anyone weaned on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies and E.T. Whether Abrams is channeling the spirit of producer Steven Spielberg or paying tribute to his mentor’s most audacious fantasies, Spielberg’s influence on Super 8 is impossible to miss.
Just as winter is the season of Oscar hopefuls, the dog days belong to big-budget popcorn fare – star-studded comedies, explosive adventures and comic-book crusaders bent on saving humanity from imminent destruction. This June will be no different, with a strong crop of contenders mining for box-office gold, including: