This is turning out to be a good summer for geeks. Exhibit B: Super 8.
In the summer of 1980 (I think), a group of kids are working on a movie shot on a Super 8 camera. As they work on filming a scene one night, they witness a horrific train derailment, one that brings the Air Force to their small town in Ohio. They vow not to talk about what they saw (for a pretty good reason which I won't go into now), but nothing is ever that simple.
Power starts fluctuating throughout their town. Someone starts stealing microwaves and car engines. Dogs and then people start disappearing. Something strange is going on and the kids have to solve the mystery of what was on that derailed train.
Naturally, the audience knows thanks to the commercials and previews. I'm not complaining about that at all.
As a matter of fact, I really don't have any complaints about this movie. Well, one minor gripe about something that Joe, the main character, does. But again, I'm not going to get into that either. Major spoilers. But aside from that one moment, this was simply a great movie all around. It has some emotional heft to it, one that remains central to the plot as Joe and his friends try to survive the odd happenings in their hometown.
Probably the best part of this movie is Elle Fanning as Alice, a girl recruited to star in the movie. She was simply phenomenal. But then, so was Joel Courtney, the young man who played Joe.
And J.J. Abrams did a great job building the tension throughout the movie, teasing us with shots of the train-riding alien in the early going and slowly revealing what it is and what it's up to. In some ways, the plot reminds me of E.T., if E.T. wasn't a wuss.
This is definitely one of the better movies I've seen for a while and, like I said, it's just another reason why this summer is for us geeks.