Mikey 6 comments

I am late getting around to watching Cloverfield, way passed all the internet hype and collective 'totally awesome film dude!' recommendations from friends and colleagues. But I don't think that's of any consequence and in fact leaving it this late I generally find it easier to review.

The story is about a giant presumably alien monster that invades Manhattan and starts running amok around town. That's it I'm afraid. There is nothing driving what little story there is along except the main characters running for their lives. It is never known where the monster came from, what its intentions are, or if there are any others.

The reason for the lack of information though is because of the gimmick that has been used from start to finish, and that is the entire film has been shot on a handycam in an attempt to provide an extra layer of realism. So with apparently no direction the protagonists are relying on what they see, which is all we see. Unfortunately it helps emphasise just how unreal it is and comes across as being shot in a very similar style to an obvious internet viral marketing campaign. You know, the ones that are supposedly 'real' but it's clearly evident that a film makers eye was behind the whole thing.

That aside, the main characters are all your typical 20-something 'Myspacers' with no redeeming qualities that are shown on film, although I am sure they are probably nice people. As a result it's difficult to care for their welfare throughout. One thing the movie did have going for it was the use of unknown actors, which I guess is necessary for a film like this.

All up I was not completely disappointed but I was mostly, and I will say it is certainly over-rated. There were a few 'that was pretty cool' moments but it takes more than that to convince me to give a recommendation.

2 Stars

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The Movie Whore

Sunday 13th April 2008 | 04:59 PM

Sir I will say this you missed out not seeing in it the theater. I can see the film losing on a smaller screen. I saw ti in the theater and found it completely entertaining. Much more so than The Blair Witch Project which used the same POV realism for their story.

When it comes down to it there are certain movies that are meant for the big screen and just don't hold up on the small screen no matter how big your TV is. I am reminded of Reign of Fire which was an OK movie the second time I saw it on the small sceen but was visually amazing on the big screen. the visuals of this movie on the big screen allowed you to overlook stuff that made it just an ok movie at home.

Cloverfield really is a theater experience to get the full effect.

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Sunday 13th April 2008 | 05:27 PM

I will take my home theatre over the cinema experience any day of the rest of my life. The cinema is dead.

Watching a 52" LCD from only 3 metres away is the same as watching a standard sized cinema screen from the back. 7.1 surround sounds better in my living room and I have control over rewinding, pause etc and there aren't noisy patrons to deal with and its the reason my friends and family now prefer to wait until I have the movie on DVD or Blueray to watch it at my place :-p

I thought Cloverfield was very entertaining despite the shallowness of the story. The ending was terrible though.

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Sunday 13th April 2008 | 10:54 PM

Well, meh, I quite liked it, but that might be because I'm very empathic so I even gained some feelings towards the "myspacers" through the movie and actually wanted them to survive. I'm always a big fan of different approaches so the handycam POV thingy totally (pardon the lameness) got me. Story was shallow indeed, but what's more to want from a monster horror movie? The presentation on the other hand was top-notch and it even rocked on my 17'' lcd with 5.1 in almost dark room.

Anyway, it's pretty pointless arguing over taste. Nothing personal, but I don't believe in reviews because I don't believe in objectivity so I read them only out of curiosity of what other people think, not if the movie is worth something or not. :)

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Nate >.>

Monday 14th April 2008 | 09:03 AM

I missed this when I saw the movie but apparently right at the end when the camera pans out to the ocean, you see a meteorite of some sort splashing down into the sea. (before all the shit hits the fan)

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Saturday 17th May 2008 | 10:08 PM

pretty interesting story, cured my missed for kind a "blair witch" movie ..

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Friday 30th May 2008 | 10:39 AM

I definitely enjoyed the movie big time in the movie theater for the entertainment aspect, but you are dead on with some of your points. Too many unanswered blips, especially the cataloging information at the beginning and end. The end was horrible.

I heard they will be making another one, from another "groups" perspective. Like we couldn't tell that from watching the first one! Ha!

Great review

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