Cloverfield Movie Review

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Cloverfield hooked me this past summer as an unknown movie trailer that preceded the Transformers movie. When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was for a yuppie movie, there was a party and the film was shot through a video camera, but then all of a sudden there is an explosion, strange howling, and the head of the Statue of Liberty sailing through the air, boy was my curiosity piqued! Roshawn (my son) and I were hype to see the film on opening day. My enthusiasm was curtailed somewhat when my dad called and said “Don’t see the film it will make you sick.” My first thoughts were “Man, how the film can be that gory with a PG 13 rating!” Being a little timid about gore, except for action and kung fu flicks (LOL!), I broke my rules and started reading some reviews to see if I should see this film and also bring along my 13 year old.  After reading the reviews about the film, I didn’t see anything overwhelmingly gory about it, and then upon further discussion with my dad, he stated that he meant a person could get motion sickness from seeing the film. After that, I decided that Roshawn and I could handle it. The premise of the film is fairly simple, a group of young late 20 something’s are celebrating the job promotion of a friend who is off to Japan.  During the party, the city of New York explodes into chaos as a giant monster begins to wreck havoc across the city.  On top of this, the monster seems to be loaded with parasitic bug squid like creatures the size of humans, that fall off the monster and terrorize the population. The number of the 20 something’s goes on a rescue mission to save the main characters friend/lover, who had just moved on to someone else.  Needless to say, their journey is fraught with danger and suspense. The unique thing about the film is the way the movie was shot.  The entire film was shot with a video camera, much like the Blair Witch Project movie.  It is filmed as if this is really taking place; there is no musical score to go with the movie at all.  The only music or sound effects that you hear take place in the movie itself, be it a party or monsters chittering away in the dark.  The concept is pretty cool, but for those who suffer motion sickness, or really hate the shaky cam techniques will suffer.  The reason being is that this is real time, and the guy behind the camera is running for his life and screaming and trying to film this historic yet tragic event at the same time, so most of the movie the camera shots are swinging all over the place.  A few of the older people in the audience were complaining during the entire film about the camera shots. Although I questioned some of the decision making made by the 20 something’s, I found it easy to justify what they did.  The filmmakers could have easily fixed the decision making issue, by having the people stranded on one side of the city, trying to escape, rather than going into danger to save someone. Despite that issue, which I deemed minor, the film did what it was supposed to.  It gave me some thrills and chills and drew me into its world.  Roshawn summed the film up simple by saying it was “Interesting and Different. 

Grade: B 

Roshawn’s Grade: B 

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4 comments

  1. I really liked the concept behind this film. I was never bored and the jittery effects did not bother me much. My favorite scene occurred after the terror on the bridge when the victims entered a television store. I loved how the video camera was utilized to film the televisions in the store which were showing the chaos and mayhem from CNN.

    Sure I doubt the next disaster to befall us involves some ugly big monster, but the idea of capturing the end of a city live on video isn’t that far fetched. Recall some of the footage of 911 for instance! Hell, did any of you see the live video of the near plane crash disaster in Germany form last week
    (http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23316894-948,00.html )? Live cam is here to stay and the idea of it capturing something scary and unimaginable is frankly no longer that unimaginable. My whole perspective on life has changed since 911.

    Producer J. J. Abrams is just kicking butt all over the place. “Clover Field” brought in big bucks and the current season of “Lost” is the best thing to ever be on television. What will Star Trek have in store for audiences? I’m very hopeful that it will be something great.

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  2. Yes Cloverfield touched on some interesting concepts with the videotape angle, which is the wave of the future. Reality tv, and reality news, live and in color.

    I have big hopes for Star Trek. This will actually be the first Star Trek movie that has a summer release! It has to be good if they are doing that!

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  3. I’m glad you had a good time on the bus. I actually missed going with the kids. Jay’s driving scared me as much as my driving scares him. 🙂

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