Friday, January 18, 2008

Cloverfield: Movie Review

cloverfield posterCloverfeld
CS Rating: Like a rollercoaster into a brick wall

This is one of those movies that everyone is going to love to hate. You might love it... it may be the best thing you've seen in a while but at least 2 of the people you saw it with hated it. They hated it because it made them nauseous, or it didn't have enough resolution for them or they just love to hate things that are different.

The audience I saw this with both booed and clapped. People that sat silently may not have really known what they just saw... it hits you like a brick in the face.

There's no 'formula' here. The movie starts with some titles, indicating that what you are about to watch was found footage, property of the US Government. Then it starts, and for about 20 mins it sets up the characters though different points of view via the camcorder. Just as I thought to myself "Ok, when are the yuppies gonna shut it and..." BOOM - the whole city shakes. From there it's not really a movie as much as it is an experience. This is the closest thing to putting on some virtual reality glasses and 'living' through a monster attack of epic proportions.
Michael Stahl-David in CloverfieldThe actors are good enough. You might feel like they aren't re-acting enough but when I imagine what I would do in that situation - I imagine that you wouldn't have time to stand around and scream. You move or get a plan going because you'll die if you don't. You don't have time to process what you're seeing. Fight or flight time, the adrenaline is kicking in and I know that if someone I loved needed help I would everything I could to get to them.

This is the story of the film - at it's simplest is a love story: save the one you love, against all odds. These young people are in love but are forcing distance between themselves because Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) is going to Japan to start a new job and Beth (Odette Yustman) is starting to date someone else in retaliation. When all hell breaks loose its Rob's mission to save Beth.

The camera is Rob's, the story is Rob's and that's it. There are no explanations for the monster. The military are there fighting it, but we're with Rob and crew and we never cut away. To me that was refreshing. How many monster movies can we watch where it's the same military, the same screaming pedestrians and the same Presidential orders to blow it up with every bit of arsenal we have available?

Now the monster is awesome. This is Rob's story but the monster gets more than enough NYC-wrecking screentime. I felt the CG was seamless with the video footage and you feel the danger when Rob and party get too close. The things the monster does are surprising and orth the price of admission for any monster movie fan.

I really enjoyed this film, er- experience and it goes by so quickly that I'm sure I missed things. Knowing JJ Abrams theres got to be some hidden fun things to find on repeat veiwings. If it had been a roller coaster I wouldve gotten right back in line to ride it again.

If you hate 'shaky cam' you're probably gonna hate this too.

So choose your side of the fence and prep your watercooler arguements! You'll need them I'm sure.

1 comment:

holzy said...

ya i loved. it was what i expected it to be. ever since seeing the oritianl (titleless) trailer at transformers ive been really "drinking the koolade" on the whole thing. i only wished that they would have given some what of an explanation about the monsters oragins but i think huds theor that it can from a krevas is the most reasonable.

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