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Sunday, 10 August 2008

Cloverfield, 2008 - Movie Review

Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David
Running Time: 85 minutes

Score: 7.5 /10

This review by Andy D

I'm writing this literally as the closing credits roll up the screen. I'm mainly doing this because my laptop was right to hand, but also because I wanted to catch all my thoughts as fresh as possible. The thought I have at this very second is... bravo Hollywood for not having a soundtrack to sell! The only music we get is during these closing credits! That's very 'off-script' for Hollywood. They usually have a full package of crap to sell us including the themed dinners at McDonalds and the video game. Is there a video game for Cloverfield? Maybe I missed that one. Also 'off-script' I would say is the refreshing lack of product placement not to mention big-name movie stars to distract us, lack of obvious happy ending and lack of rubbish lame narrative. Bravo indeed Hollywood. You have done well.

Ok, the credits have just finished... does anybody know what exactly is said over the radio at the end? I've just rewound it 3 times to try and understand it. I can't quite fathom what's being said. Now its bugging me. I need some answers. I might open a forum thread if no-one can answer me this immediately! Or I might just google it.

Oh, yes. I'm reviewing Cloverfield. That's right. Ok... why am I reviewing Cloverfield in August '08? Why am I reviewing Cloverfield seven months after it was released? In short its because I hate movie hype. The more a movie is hyped the less I want to go to the pictures to see it. I consciously avoided all Batman TDK trailers in order to savour as much as possible on the screen at the cinema when film was released. As for the Crystal Skulls... I actually sat at the pictures, plugged my ears, closed my eyes and shouted “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah” during the lego advert which was played just before the movie came on... I DONT WANT TO SEE THE LEGO VERSION OF THE MOVIE BEFORE I ACTUALLY SEE THE REAL MOVIE!! yes, sorry. I have issues with hype and advertising. Cloverfield was being hyped something rotten when it came out so quite simply I refused to go and see it. Yeah... up yours Paramount.

This film would have been astoundingly good if it wasn't for two major hang ups. One: We all knew it was a monster movie done in a Blair Witch style before it even came out. Two: It was shot in 24 frames per second so it never felt like a home movie. These two points aside I thought it was excellent. It would have been mind blowingly excellent if all the surprises were intact and for it to be shot and presented in 60 FPS. Did I mention there were no surprises? Hell, I even saw the plastic toy of the monster in Forbidden Planet the week the film was released. How soul destroying is that? The film was wrecked simply by walking into a shop the week it was released. I sense the same has happened with Outlander: Vikings Vs Aliens. We all know what the monster is and the film hasn't even been released yet. Oh, and if you don't know what the monster looks like have a look at the trailer:
http://liveforfilm.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html ...oops, sorry did I spoil it for you? Damn. Wasn't my fault, sorry.

That's my main bitch in a nut shell. These days Hollywood wrecks most of its films during the hype period. Take the new Hulk movie. I'm a huge comic book to movie fan, but I haven't gone to see the new Hulk movie because er... I've seen it. I've seen it in the commercials for the movie. I know exactly what's in store. There are are no surprises!

Enough of this whining I hear you call. Ok ok, I'm sorry. My review of Cloverfield viewed in HD over cable is very positive. I really enjoyed it for the romp it was. I actually got drawn into the social issues in the 15 minutes before the shit hit the fan. And that's why I enjoyed it overall: I cared about the characters. I was worried about them. I found myself wondering if I would have gone back for my loved ones... well yes I reckon I would actually but another question would be: would I have followed my best bro to go back for his girl? Ya see that's a toughy... because that was a big fuckin scary monster and it was kicking the shit out of New York. Yep and everybody was dying. The film made me think of stuff like this whilst also providing the eye candy of a block buster. And, ok yes, the realism worked. It just should have been at 60 frames a second dammit!
7.5/10 Cloverfield crushes Godzilla

Discuss in the forum.


Anonymous said...

Nice review! i was “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-ing" all the way through the lego advert and indy it was so baaaad!

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt it knocked Godzilla into a cocked hat (whatever that is), but it really frustrated me as I felt no connection with the cannon fodder characters. It ended up playing like a computer game at points (such as the journey up the damaged tower), and apart from the last few scenes with the helicopters, there were few surprises in plot.

Disappointing, but still a good film.

Live for films said...

Totally agree with you. I think the viral marketing was more satisfying than the film itself. I enjoyed it but not as much as I thought I would.

Plus the constant movement of the camera was vomit inducing! :)

Anonymous said...


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