Earlier today J.J. Abrams and company released the first good long look at Super 8, and we picked it apart to try and uncover all of the hidden nuggets of plot.
The trailer starts and the logos for Amblin and Bad Robot are back to back. Yes, it's OK to get excited.
Aaaand boom we're transported to Anywheresville US. Or, what we like to call "Steven Spielberg's movietown." The shops, cars, everything is, well, a perfect movie set. Sure, it's like looking at the past through gorgeously directed rose colored glasses, but we eat the Spielberg goop up every time.
According to the synopsis the movie is technically set in the year of 1979 in a "small Ohio town."
We meet the main character and his gang of awesome friends who make movies for fun. The main character's dad (Kyle Chandler) disapproves of this hobby, but more on that later. For now, just love the delicious look of this scene. This movie already feels like Stand By Me, Goonies, and ET all in one.
Chandler has a voiceover in which (we're assuming) he's telling his son that "things have changed for us." We then see this necklace swinging back and forth. Clearly, this is what has "changed" for the father and son. Whomever wore this necklace is no longer around.
Reaffirming our theory that Chandler and son are either are from a single parent household (a common Spielberg movie trope) you see footage of the family during happier times.
The necklace returns. Clearly it belonged to the Mother. But who is watching this sad video?
The son! Does this mean that Chandler isn't handling the break up, death, abandonment, tragedy, whatever, poorly? Most likely he's demanding that his son give up the fun after-school activity of making "monster movies."
Unfazed by his father's demands the boy says. "I have to help Charles finish his movie."
This is Charles (to the right).
But this is probably the real reason he wants to finish the movie. Elle Fanning. Also wearing a necklace.
And could this be a costume test for the movie that Charles is making? Spielberg made a lot of war films when he was young. I wouldn't be terrible surprised if they used his infamous old trick to create fake movie bombs by burying sticks in the sand and having actors stomp on them to create near-miss explosions.
Chandler protests that his son shouldn't spend so much time with kids that run around with cameras making monster movies, but clearly this is where his son's heart is. Look at all the models in his room. He's currently painting a Hunchback model. What else do you spot?
First look at Chandler. So grizzled.
First sign of JJ Abrams. Lens flare on Fanning's little nose while the boy powders it for the movie.
A scene from the film.
Charles yells action.
And then everything goes to hell!
The truck from the first ever Super 8 teaser blasts onto the scene, possibly blinded by lens flare.
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.
The tiny film crew flees!
But they leave the camera behind. The SUPER 8 camera. Which no doubt caught some amazing stuff on film.
And the "alien" "giant mecha" "gov. created mutant" escapes into the small Ohio town.
The media is aware of the big exploding train disaster.
The son is listening to his walkie talkie...or is it a gun? Spielberg joke!
The military rolls in. With guns. And possibly on the 4th of July.
The gang goes back to the scene of the crime to survey the damage.
Also possibly still in their movie outfits. Are these whippersnappers making a zombie war movie?
Oh and by the way, Kyle Chandler is the SHERIFF.
But Noah Emmerich is playing someone called Nelec from the Air Force, who has seemingly taken over this small town.
Then the weird stuff starts happening. A voice says, "We're getting calls from people finding local dogs. Only, the calls aren't local." Meaning all of the towns dogs are getting the HELL out of dodge. Because they know something and we don't. Cue the dog map, how much you want to bet that the center of that circle is Chandler's town?
Even the main character's dog, Lucy, is MIA.
Then the "alien" starts attacking members of the community. With water, or perhaps telekinesis!
The store clerk is carried off. What, no Slush-O product placement? Boo.
Switch to a shot of the outside of the shop, after the attack. All that remains of the front of the store is a giant hole. Is this the size of the monster?
The Sheriff says 9 more people have gone missing, and stops to pick up an ominous piece of blue glass. Or alien skin.
A piece of alien rubble (or a tin ball) in the kids bedroom levitates and then takes off across the room.
It crashes through the the Space Shuttle poster, coincidence, we think not.
Framed in the hole the tin ball created is some sort of Water Tower. Might be important later.
The military rounds up the locals. Martial law?
Gratuitous ass shot. Also reveals that the civilians are probably stuck under the thumb of the military for some time.
Gorgeous family dinner scene, it's like every single Spielberg table shot ever. Just some old fashioned good camera work.
A bloody hand picks some film off the ground.
While in the refugee camp the kids concoct a plan — "we have to find this thing!" GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE.
Something turns the cars on and off, we think it's the alien.
A house explodes.
A tank smashes a playground.
A bloody man screams GO! Perhaps this is the owner of the hand on the film earlier? Yes? Yes.
A bus drives on two wheels! It kind of looks like the Sheriff is behind the wheel.
The town starts blowing up. There can't be much town left to explode soon.
MORE BURNING HOMES.
More Alien Water Blasts!
The previous bus flips and Noah Emmerich fires his weapon.
Ron Eldard screams, and bleeds.
No one believes crazy old Ron Eldard, except the kids.
And finally something (the alien) moves cars around in the sky.
In between the final Super 8 title page and the last frame is this image. What is that? Burn marks?