Friday, October 9, 2009

This review originally appeared on 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.


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