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Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.
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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.
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."
Shot from a first-person perspective (supposedly). Cloverfield follows several twentysomething actors in New York City as the story unfolds.
I'll only include minor spoiler here. The story starts very slow. That's probably my only critique is that it takes a while to get going. You can see that the director was trying to develop characters and do it in such a way that it doesn't feel pushed. It feels like you are following along with one of the characters who just happens to be filming a party and events afterward with a video camera. Bad things begin to happen about 30 minutes into the movie.
Unlike Blair Witch Project, while the motion of the camera is a little herky-jerky, it doesn't make you nauseous and feels pretty natural. I'm thinking a lot of it wasn't actually filmed with a hand camera, as there are some pretty amazing special effects which must've been green screened or added in later to some high-resolution video and then stepped down to look more like something you would take from a consumer level video camera.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Don't go into this looking for brilliant dialogue or insight to the meaning of life. It's just a fun ride with decent special effects and an interesting spin by the director on a first-person perspective movie.
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