The nostalgia at the heart of JJ Abram’s Super 8 is both the reason for it’s existence and completely pointless. The film could very easily have been tweaked for the modern day. My experiences with Straight 8 show that there’s still a vibrant 8mm community out there that love and appreciate the format’s idiosyncrasies. The film-making kids that make up the prime cast could have very easily shot on new stocks with a camera they picked up cheaply on eBay. (even the yummy Eumig that does such sterling service as the hero camera in the film.)
But then, of course, we would not have a film that panders so deeply to our fanboy love for the 80s films that built the foundation for the modern summer blockbuster. For Abrams, Spielberg and films like ET and The Goonies are not just the starting point. They’re the engine of the film. They’re pretty much the whole point.