A lone voice crying from the Sonoran desert.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cloverfield: Movie Review

I was anxiously awaiting this movie since the awe inspiring preview in front of Transformers this summer. I fully hoped to be blown away by this movie. Friday night after work I sped to my local cineplex. Found a decent seat in a VERY crowded theater, and waited for the lights to dim.

First let me say this, except for the new Star Trek teaser Hollyweird is really reaching for new ideas. All the other previews but one were just rehashes of other older movies. I saw an updated karate kid only this time with MMA, that's just sad, as much as I love Djimon Hounsou (Amistad) he's no Mr. Miagi. I saw a conglomeration between Dawn of the Dead and Escape from New York. this movie is not even out yet and it looks like it was bred for another generation of film. While the chick in the movie is hot, in black leather she looks too much like she's channeling Beckinsale from Underworld it's scary sad. And unfortunately she's not as much fun to watch as Kurt Russel and the bad freaky guys look like wannabe villains from John Carpenters fun ride.

Back to Cloverfield.

First when someone tells you to take dramamine before watching this movie, they probably aren't referring to the action scenes. Once the big monsters shows up the camera works really well. No you'll need dramamine for the first 24 minutes during which a going away party bores you to death. You probably won't care waiting for the monster to show up but you'll feel it later in the movie. If I were to go see this flick again (maybe...) I'd show up about 17 minutes late, just so I could miss all that crap.

For those of you who saw the preview they could have doubled the length of the party AS SHOWN in the preview and still conveyed everything they needed to without wasting time and giving you a hand-held hang over. And for a movie that clocks in, including credits, under an hour and twenty minutes, 25 spent on a party that I wouldn't have shown up to in real life, is just sad. The whole 25 minutes introduces the main character Paul or Ron or something or other, his brother, his girlfriend who he slept with four weeks before the movie starts just before he's supposed to leave for Japan. His best friend HUD ( thought that was a display) and his brother and his brothers girlfriend. Names are really not important because frankly you won't care. They could just as easily be guy 1, guy 2, guy 3 and it would work just as well.

Once the monster gets there though, this movie was actually a lot of fun. I'm not going to give much away, but this movie went from simple "the godzilla movie" to incredibly original, fast. The turning point for me, was when watching CNN and the military is up close to the big guy and "things" start falling. WOW! Did not see that coming.

I would like to take a minute and address the bridge scene. Everyone whose seen the preview has seen the bridge collapsing. No biggie. Now we've seen bridges fall in the last few years in War of the Worlds, I AM LEGEND, X-Men3 and dozens of other films. What the heck was the point of this one? Visually it wasn't impressive since we were POV on the bridge and guy 2 dies (or is implied dead).

I know they were trying to escape but you never know what brings down the bridge, it's only assumed it's the big monster, and it causes people to wander around like cattle until the authorities tell people where to go and what to do. Maybe I'm too independent but that bugged the hell out of me. It's like Katrina and N.O. I'd have corraled my family and boogied outta dodge folks! Why wait? Is that why they were on the bridge? Ok I'll give you that, but then why would they head back in and stumble around. It's like the director wasn't sure how much time to give them to get the ball rolling again.

Props though, watching our military go to work right over the top of our intrepid camera guy was awe inspiring. We've seen things like that on the evening news with imbeded photographers, but rarely in a movie, JJ Abrahms and the director get big props, because that was terrifically done.

To get away from the battle and monster the wander down into the The subway scene, holy crap, i'm not excited about being trapped undergound, no way I would have stayed put in the subway for that long but I understand they needed a breather but be real, dust is falling on you because of a big monster above and the military dropping bombs and your going to stay in that exact spot? But when they head into the tunnel! WOWZA! leapt out of my seat! For those of you who've seen it, were those "things" different that the things fighting the military? Oh and girl 2 gets chewed on trying to save jackass camera guy, or guy 3. She starts to get woozy from loss of blood, then things get wierd.

Now being a monster movie fan, I was really excited to see the familiar bitten person falls victim thing. But victim to what?!? Answers I want them now!

I was glad to see something different in the next scene. They intrepid foursome find their way into a ?Department store where the military has setup shop. And unlike so many movies of late they don't paint the military as the bad guys, again props JJ.

Finally when they go into the skyscrapper, I was excited. I thought that was pretty cool, again not saying anything for folks who haven't seen it, but building to building rock climbing. But I desperately wanted them to find a working elevator just so the camera guy would stop moving! ug. (If I ever meet that camera guy hud I'm going to kick his @$$!)

At that point, no elevators and having to climb 49 floors, I would have told the others, "i'll wait here!" But they all climb and they do it in just a few minutes. These people make Lance Armstrong seem like a pansy. Running and stairs etc. I know adreneline does crazy things but DAMN!

Lastly I loved the helicopters and the park. The stealth bomber was a nice touch. There was at least one shot that was straight out of Jurrassic Park, and the blow sacks were freaking cool!~

But after that, eh. It just didn't have an awe inspiring ending, but was still a rather good movie.

When the lights went up I heard dozens of people talk about going home and making a better movie than that. However if this challenges people to try making their own movie, we all win, except of course for the bad ones. Over all I disagree with those that think this was a bad movie, it was an amazing experience. I think this was a truly innovative and original movie, we bitch about Hollyweird and how dumb the movies coming out are, and now we get one (like the matrix) and people pan it.

I hope people recognize it for that, that this was a more original movie than most anything they've seen in a long time. I probably won't buy the DVD, but I'd happily pay to see a sequal, a real movie this time though, with pans and dolly's and sweeping vistas and more military action. I want answers this time though! Answers damnit! What is it? Where did it come from? How do we kill it? What are the little things? What about the things in the subway? What happened to the bleeding girl? Did she blow up? WTH!?

JJ Abrahms your a mad genius and until I get more, I hate you, but I want to see what you can do with Star Trek!

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