Sunday, January 20, 2008


We rarely go to movie theaters these days. Babysitters are expensive and so are ticket prices. On top of that, the average movie audience is often comprised of rude people who are thoughtless of others.

Be that as it may, we couldn't stay away from "Cloverfield". The kids had a birthday party to attend and we took the opportunity to slip away to a nearby movie tavern to see the modern retelling of the giant monster story.

Does it live up to the hype? I would say, definitely so. I was engaged in the charaters within the first 10 minutes and was absolutely enthralled from that point on.

It was an incredibly visceral experience. Now, I think I have a pretty good idea of what it would be like to be just an average guy trapped in a city due to a sudden attack by a towering creature of unknown origins.

But, if you must have a musical score in films that you enjoy, don't see this. If you hate handheld camera work, I would suggest you stay at home also. There is a LOT of camera movement and slight nausea could easily result. The first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" are the best example of what this movie is like AFTER the first 20 minutes.

The movie is also pretty dark with only a handful of lite moments. There is room for a nervous giggle or two, but for the most part the personal sense of horror is prevalent, throughout.

This is a non-traditional film that takes the "Blair Witch found footage" concept that was so luke warmly executed in that film and knocks it out of the park. But, since the idea is that the viewer is watching "found footage", the ending isn't tied up in a neat little bundle like most movies. If this bothers you, do not see this movie.

If, though, you want to have a pretty unique film experience and you have nostalgia for old Godzilla movies, this might be the film for you. As a matter of fact, this movie is closer in tone to the original 1954 Japanese version of "Godzilla" than about anything else.

The primary distinction of this film from classic giant monster movies is the point of view of the protagonists. So, there are relatively few appearances of the monster with only a few good looks at the thing in it's totality. Is it a dinosaur? No. Is it Cthulu. No. BUT it could hearken to that concept.

Much of the details of the creature are unknown by movie's end. If that bothers you, don't see this movie. But becuase of the vagueries, a sequel could definitely be made. And if this creature is only one of an older race of cyclopean giants awakening from their long sleep on the ocean floor, then I could even see this becoming a franchise.

I doubt that will happen, as this all may be too much for the general public who like to be spoon fed all the answers. I think some filmgoers will feel cheated as they miss the point of what the director was trying to achieve.

If you go see "Cloverfield", I suggest you simply sit back and pretend you are actually watching a video tape found in camera, in what used to be Central Park, in what used to be New York City.


Blogger Brett Brooks said...

Wow. We have very different opinions regarding this film. Check out my blog for mine.

January 21, 2008 1:01 AM  

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