Saturday, January 19, 2008



Wow! That's about all I can say after seeing Cloverfield.
I've been looking forward to seeing this for about 6 months now, ever since I first read that J.J. Abrams was producing some new movie no one had heard anything about and that it had a preview before Transformers.

All anyone knew was that it was going under the codename "Cloverfield" likely because that's the street Bad Robots production offices are on. Then the trailer came out and it was breathtaking, and yet I still knew nothing about it. But the internets were abuzz with this new movie that was coming out of left field. Was it called Cloverfield, was it called 1-18-08 or was that simply the release date? Was it a new Godzilla movie? What does Slusho have to do with it? And so on and so forth.

And after months of hype it's here, and does it live up to that hype? For me the answer is a resounding YES! The movie was fantastic. Running at only 1 hour and 25 minutes because it's so intense it feels so much longer (but in a good way). The movie starts off slow and then goes all out at break neck speed with little time to breath. I noticed several times during the movie that my hands were curled into balls and sweating and had to make my self open them and dry them off. It was just a natural reaction to the movie.

I don't want to tell you much about the movie, as it's worth seeing without knowing anything, but basically it's about a small group of friends whose lives are thrown upside down when something attacks New York City. What follows is their struggle to survive the night all captured on a digital camera by one of them.

For the last few weeks I've been trying to avoid the tv ads which seem to be showing more and more, and I stayed away from all the reviews, because I didn't want to know anything before hand. And I'm glad I did. It's rare that you can go into a movie knowing almost nothing about it in these spoilerific days, but I'm glad I was able to as I think I was better off for it.

As I said it's best going in not knowing anything. In fact if you want to see this, stop reading reviews, stop seeing the commercials, just go. And go now, go see it with a packed house, who may or may not scream things like "Run, B****, Run" when something scary happens. It's best seen on the big screen with a big crowd.

I can't say everyone will love it, in fact I think it's one of those movies where some people will love it and some will hate it. The crowd I was with tonight had some of the haters in it, but I have my doubts about how much they "hated" it. Mainly because for the intense hour or so when things are going crazy, the theater was silent, everyone was so involved in the movie and wondering what would happen next that there was no real whispering, no murmurs from the people around you, just a silent enthralled crowd (in fact at one point I badly needed to cough, but refrained because what was going on onscreen was very quiet and in the theater you could have heard a pin drop).

I think because the movie doesn't end how some people had hoped or thought that it would that they decided they hated the entire thing. Something I think happens a lot, people love a movie, but once it ends in a way they don't like they decide the entire movie was bad.

One thing I should mention are the amazing special effects. This movie was made for tens of millions, which in today's age is considered low budget as more and more movies jump the 100 million mark, but the effects don't reflect the cost. They are wonderful and as my friend pointed out, all the more amazing because of the jerkiness of the hand held camera, which means they had to spend much more time making sure all the effects line up and track correctly.

If you have even an inkling of wanting to see this, go do it now. You really want to see this with a big crowd on the big screen.

5 comments:

Brian said...

I'm curious how this movie could be "spoiled" any further than what you and all other reviewers and even the previews have shown or said. A monster attacks New York. A few twenty somethings run from the monster and film their night. The military tries to shoot it. THAT IS THE MOVIE! It's a simple MONSTER MOVIE.

I liked it, but it's nothing more than a fun night at a monster movie.

And, after seeing the movie, I would like to repeat one of your first questions: What does Slusho have to do with it??? Other than the fact that one of the characters is wearing a Slusho T-Shirt under his sport coat? What does any of the pre opening hype have to do with the actual movie? Other than getting people to go see it?

The CineManiac said...

Brian,
People can have the Monster ruined for them, lots of sites have posted pictures, you can have the outcome and the ending spoiled.
You're right almost everyone knows it's a Monster Movie, but not what it is, what happens, etc.

As for Slusho, a lot of people think that J.J. Abrams has something up his sleeve for that, it's been mentioned in Alias, Heroes, and now Cloverfield, and with the website up, I'm sure it will come to something. Or it's just another of J.J.'s Mysteries with no answers.

Brian said...

I hate to sound dumb, but I saw the movie, and I don't know what the Monster is. Based upon the previews, everybody knows what happens. The monster knocks down buildings. The monster kills people. The monster ruins Manhattan. Whether or not certain people die, or the monster gets killed at the end doesn't really matter. The movie is UNSPOILABLE. Let's pretend they kill the monster at the end. If I were to tell people that, they would say "They always kill the monster in the end." If I were to say they don't kill the monster in the end, that certainly wouldn't ruin the movie. If I tell you the truth, and say "I don't know what the hell happens in the end because nothing happens in the end", that doesn't "spoil the movie" it just prevents anger. If somebody who doesn't want to know what happens in the end reads this, they'll be happy. Because I don't know.

Brian said...

This movie, when it comes down to the truth, is simply a prequel. If there is no sequel, it's just a simple unfinished monster movie. But again, I must say it was fun to watch. I just hope people aren't expecting answers to any Slusho questions or expecting any of the internet buzz to actually be relevent. I heard a girl before the movie claiming that somebody ruined the "monster" for her, told her what it was etc. Even if I showed you a still shot of the monster before you saw the movie, would you have been upset??? Seeing it certainly didn't make the movie. Roger Ebert said it best when he said that the monster was alot scarier when it was just a very large but mostly unseen creature stomping around Manhattan. When it was shown close up, I hate to say it, but it just looked like what you've come to expect a Godzilla like monster to look like.

adam taylor said...

brian i hope your right ...

i would so love for there to be a sequal and this movie is likely to get a hell of a lot better if a second one comes out...

but what is it gonna be called...

"Cloverfield 2" ... nope
"cloverfield lives" ... no thanks
how about "Cloverfield the aftermath"... nice

if you want to talk to me more about thise then comment when you are in the link http://ww2.yuwie.com/profile/?id=676103

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