If you love movies as an adult, there's a good chance it's because you loved movies as a child.

If you love movies as an adult, there's a good chance it's because you loved movies as a child.

And if you were a child when I was a child, there's a good chance that interest was because of Steven Spielberg.

So the man who directed or produced some of the keystone movies of my formative years teaming with a director (J.J. Abrams) many dub the next-gen Spielberg? "Super 8," you have my attention.

From the beginning, it is apparent "Super 8" is meant to be a throwback movie. A summer movie that starts by introducing characters? Insanity!

It's 1979 in the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio. Young Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) is the son of a sheriff's deputy (Kyle Chandler of TV's "Friday Night Lights"), coping with the recent death of his mother in a steel mill accident.

Joe and his friends pass the summer making a zombie movie with a Super 8 camera when they witness a massive train wreck. As the Air Force swoops in to secure the crash site, unexplained events begin to grip the sleepy town.

To give away much more defeats the purpose. The film's marketing campaign was purposely hazy, which felt pretty old-school. If "E.T." or "Jaws" came out today, could they restrain themselves enough to the keep the alien or shark out of the trailer?

That wonderful veil of secrecy is a blessing and a curse. The buildup is intense, as you wait to regain that sense of awe you had as a kid.

Abrams is not yet Spielberg, but he's certainly read his playbook. Everything from "E.T." to "Goonies" to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" goes into this stew.

Abrams has a knack for building a secret until it drives you crazy (he did produce "Lost"), but he also shows promise at handling characters. Friendships and family relations may be more important than the special effects.

I had a hard time keeping my expectations in check. I came away with just a hint of disappointment - maybe just the product of my grown-up cynicism?

But I slept on it, and my feelings got warmer and warmer. The nostalgia crept in, along with that gripping desire kids have for movies. "I wanna see it again!"

Let's hope a new generation latches onto this kind of wonder and storytelling.