on June 23, 2008
I take issue with the claim in the review that this was an uninvolving movie. I don't think that's the case--if you watch the movie more than once. I would consider the first viewing to be NUMBING. I choose this word carefully. The filmmakers are consciously referencing 9/11, and viewed through that lens, I found the plot to be representative of the human need to come to grips with that horrible event--the rescue narrative, which can be easily dismissed as romantic drivel, to me reads as the poetic expression of the human need to say the things that tragedy prevented us from saying.
The complaints about the way the film is shot--with the handy cam--are valid and fair. I was not bothered by them.
Finally, I will say this for the film. Yes, when I saw it in theaters, it felt uninvolving. However, it was also haunting. There was something about it that I felt compelled to come back to. I have now seen it three times. The more I see it, the more I see INTO it. I think seeing this movie once and dismissing it is a mistake.
on March 10, 2016
I loved this movie! I bought this to watch before seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane, and honestly didn't know what to expect. I had watched an interview with J.J. Abrams in regard to this film, and he explained that while visiting Tokyo, he and his young son checked out a lot of toy stores that were still filled with Godzilla related toys. He felt that it was amazing to see that even decades later, Godzilla was still relevant to the the culture that created him, and thought it would be so cool if the US had it's own monster.
I always read the critical reviews before I decide to watch any movie, and I took issue with some of the complaints. The first was to the reviewers that believed that there were too many unanswered questions. Okay, so let's be honest, if some mysterious "alien" creature just shows up out of the blue, it's not going to be taking the time to explain how it got there. It's just going to be following its instincts like all other non-english speaking creatures. Pshhh. Duh. I mean who knows, maybe it teleported through some crazy wormhole that it stumbled upon on its planet, or the military was experimenting with genetics and the thing got out, or even perhaps it crawled out of a tunnel that was exposed due to a sinkhole opening up in the earth. The point is, how it came to be there doesn't need to be explained, because if this really did happen, you'd be in the same boat as the characters in the film, wondering what the heck is going on. The second was the handheld camera approach, I totally understand why some people couldn't get past that part, but for me it added to the excitement, and at times made me feel closer to action.
Maybe this movie isn't for everyone, but it was definitely a hit for me.
P.S. To all of the reviewers reading WAY TOO MUCH into the script: "Hey, sometimes a story is just a story, and a monster is JUST a monster."
on May 9, 2008
The handheld camera.. or at leased they make it feel like one(theres good picture quality, but it still feels like a homemovie).. in my opinion it puts the viewer right there with the characters in the movie. there are very few examples for this subgenre, if thats what you want to call it. Blair Witch Project and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon come to mind.
this style of filming has been one of the best ideas in horror, because there are no other styles that make the terror and action feel so real. there were multiple times i got chills down my neck from this movie. its just.. intense.
but.. without the camerawork, it is little more than another monster movie, which isnt a bad thing. it would still be leagues above most in the genre.
it takes a little time to get to know the characters in the opening scenes. i found most of the characters very believable and engaging. i actually cared about their everyday lives, and past together.(the first time in a while a was fearing for characters lives. i usually like the "villains") it turns out one of our main characters is leaving to live in china or something for a while, and theres a surprise going away party for him. nows about the time to buckle your seatbelt..
simply put, this movie blew me away. the camera style locks you in for the ride, and wont let go till its over. my heart was racing throughout 90% of the movie. you really are right there with them, dealing with the situation in front of you.. it could be the wildest ride you ever have on the couch.
Cloverfield's got a lot of heat from viewers because they said the camera made them dizzy. Some also said a lot of things were not explained. Here's my 2+2 cents on Cloverfield. Well, I just finished watching the dvd and I must say I'm amazed. For the idea of Cloverfield alone, the film should get a lot of recognition. I liked this more than I liked 28 Days later and the sequel. This is modern cinema at it's best. I loved the characters esp the person who's taking the video. He stayed true to his character and not so much the drama element involved in tragedies. ("no camcorder advertising" was done)
Cloverfield a huge risk taken by the film-makers and I must say naysayers can whine for all their mouth but Cloverfield shuts everyone up and delivers. Another thing I loved about the film is that it's barely 80 minutes you know. I read so many negative reviews of this film but I must say the film is truly one of the better films I've seen in 2008. In 2010, when I'm watching 2008 films, I will still look back at this film and say Wow.
If you liked War of the Worlds, there is no way you can dislike this. It doesn't even have that irritating little girl screaming her mouth off. It has rats running for shelter, it has bridges collapsing, it has fire, it has sky, F16s, honest believable humor and flirting skills, it has 6.42 AM and mineral water.
I doubt I'll want to watch the ever so cheesy Transformer films again.
To me, Cloverfield was a kind of hybrid film that borrowed its concept from four earlier films: Godzilla, Aliens, Starship Troopers, and The Blair Witch Project. Like The Blair Witch Project, the film is supposedly from a camcorder found afterward, with the amateur videographer now dead. The giant monster that attacked Manhattan during a horror-filled evening was reminiscent of Godzilla without the atomic plasma breath. The big insect-like creatures that fall off the monster were right out of Starship Troopers, while their bites resulted in the human victims' chests exploding just like in Alien.
Put all that together, and it made a pretty good movie. The cinematography and special effects were the highlights of the film, with the Brooklyn Bridge being knocked down by the monster, and the Statue of Liberty's head landing in a street after being knocked off by the monster. The monster is never actually seen except for brief glimpses, and it's unknown if it was here all the time like Godzilla was, or if it's of extraterrestrial origin, but it was enormous, maybe 200-300 feet tall, and even bombs and rockets couldn't kill it.
Four stars and definitely worth a look if you're into scary monster flicks.
on April 10, 2014
This film is significantly above most of it's type, no hokey science fiction here, no heroes dealing with extended self introspection, no
morality here, no saving the world, just people, due to a lack of information and little time forced to deal with a terror that is overwhelming, unpredictable, and shifting. There is no opportunity for panic, the cast has to keep moving and make decisions at crossroads in which the options are not completely clear. It's ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances and whether you think they are heroes or fools, you are right along with them and you are forced to wonder what you would do in the same circumstances when caught up in a fog of battle with terror.
on May 30, 2015
This was an exciting film with an angry monster that will scare the Dickens out of you. It gets off to a slow start but the attractive, capable, likeable young cast keeps things rolling along until the real fun starts when the monster appears, inflicting unending destruction on Manhattan. The Cinéma vérité handheld camera technique is very effective and draws the viewer into the action and will definitely elevate your heartbeat. This film has the same limitations as the Godzilla series in that we do not know where the monster came from, why it is here or what it wants, but this monster has more personality than Godzilla, and the film is so visceral and terrifying that viewers will not consider this an issue. I found that some scenes where characters died needed more information for the benefit of the viewer, and the film started to put people at a lower priority in sort of a dismissive, perfunctory sense that made the film sort of shallow or lightweight. I think more intelligent dialog and storytelling would help in this regard, although the film is generally exciting. The hand held "you are there" camera technique really adds excitement, although it may give you motion sickness. One limitation with this style is that we only see what the cameraman sees, so this limits the impact of certain scenes. For instance, showing a long shot of the Brooklyn Bridge collapsing would really add some excitement. Nevertheless very involving and watchable.
on April 23, 2014
i didn't kno what to expect when i 1st viewed this wild flik!but when you see the statue of libertys head fly?your like what the??lol you just could not wait to see what caused this to happen.a must see totally original film.some ppl complain about the so called"cam shake"effect?but it didn't bother me a bit.i heard a pt2 was supposed to be made but still nothing yet.i would love to see it happen!great movie sick spec.effects.crank up your home theatre for this one!i can't watch a flik without surround sound or good headphones on late @nite.you miss 45% of the film other-wise!!
on March 20, 2016
Now, here's a story that hardly anyone really thinks about. Mamouth, Kracken-like Dinasour creatures visiting Earth from another world or dropped off on earth as war by proxy? Hummmmm... one has to imagine. If for one moment we can imagine the latter then it would seem that part 2 would be the owners of that ugly-ass creature would show up to assess the planetary destruction and take their rightful place as the new landlords of planet Earth! Of course, humanity would appoint them this lofty position be the new landlords OR giants who come from heaven to earth would have the secret for how to destroy that which they created!
Right now in the mind of the average person Cloverfield is just a movie.. until it finally happens.
This coming April 27th? I wonder... ;-)
on July 9, 2014
I liked the new twist on this old theme. A monster movie as seen from the trenches. Looking at the old flicks of this genre we see the scientist and the generally arguing about the best method of dealing with the monster while the masses flee, scream and likely crushed under the feet of massive beast. "Cloverfield" shows the audience how a group of regular people react and cope with the destruction. Good not great.