A newer, longer trailer for the Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams summer sci-fi drama “Super 8” has been making the rounds — and the more we learn, the more we understand why this movie is set in 1979.
The first time we saw it, we just sort of lazily noted the circa-“E.T.” vibe.
That movie and “Super 8” could have practically shared a wardrobe department, and the “Super 8” mood feels like a return to classic, pure Spielberg.
Now that we’ve watched the trailer a second time (fine — seventh time), we realise the mood isn’t really the point.
The story of “Super 8,” which involves supernatural activity triggered by a train accident, just wouldn’t work in a modern setting.
The obvious relic is right in the movie’s title: aspiring middle-school auteurs don’t need to shoot things on Super 8 mm film anymore — they’ve got iPhones and YouTube.
But more importantly — from what we can tell so far — much of the movie’s tension relies on antiquated communication.
There’s mention of calls that can’t be traced back to their exact origins.
There’s a bulletin board crowded with flyers for missing people and pets — no Craigslist or cell phones to the rescue.
The characters wait apprehensively for the evening news, once a day, to update them on the investigation into the unexplained activity.
And the whole thing hinges on trains, which — aside from in last year’s “Unstoppable” — aren’t exactly at the forefront of pop culture or our daily lives the way they were in the last century.
In any case, if “Super 8” unfolded today, we’d be watching a succession of cable news reporters talking about citizen journalists’ camera phone snaps.
The missing people would text their loved ones, “Chill out. I’m fine.”
And, at the risk of sounding crotchety — the kids probably wouldn’t ride their bikes so much.
Best of luck to the filmmakers of 2030.
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