Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mike Vogel, Jessica Lucas, Lizzy Caplan, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David
Director: Matt Reeves
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Genre: Action/Adventure Rating: PG13 Release Date: 16-SEP-2008 Media Type: DVD
Cloverfield won me over yet I see why people despise this
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 09/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Now that all the hype has die down I was able to give this film an objective look. I have to admit I was impressed. This movie throws out the music, set-ups, and cheap scares out the window - in a good way. Nothing in this movie tells you you're watching a movie of course. You're completely disorientated from start to finish, completely uncomfortable and on edge. And that is a hell of an achievement in today's de-sensitized movie environment. While I didn't jump once, I did find myself clutching the chair arms at various points.
I see why viewers would fine this derivative but every monster movie cliché is in there, and so it should be. The monster destroys landmarks. The military fight the monster. News reports advancing the plot. But it's delivered with such style and such punch that you can't help but be awed. You're seeing these events on an ant's eye level. There are no sweeping special effects shots of the White House being demolished by aliens, no aerial shots of buildings being destroyed - instead we get distant, unidentifiable bangs, fires obscured by the cityscape, an enormous leg moving behind a skyscraper - and a distant object which comes hurtling through the air, finally landing amidst chaos in a street, revealing itself to be the head of the statue of liberty.
This personal touch goes deeper - characters disappear from the story, and we (the audience) don't know their fate because the main characters don't. To be honest, I don't know whether I love this or like it but I was impressed. The subway scene was probably the best bit for me, and the ending slightly disappointed. I really wish they had elaborated more on the bites but I suppose that wouldn't really have been in-keeping with the point of the movie, same theory as 'Alien'- it's scarier when you DON'T see the monster. Not that I'm saying this movie is scary in any way. As a horror fan, it takes a lot to scare me also.
The effects, with one or two exceptions (the money shot of the monster at the end springs to mind), are seamlessly integrated. A lifelong "effects spotter", I found myself not even noticing when something that MUST have been CGI was on screen. Beside that it's a good film and I have to give thanks to those who had given me the extra push to finally watch this. Recommended to those who need to kill there curiosity.
Its greatest asset is most people's biggest complaint
Raul Duke | Pittsburgh | 05/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The handheld camera.. or at leased they make it feel like one(theres good picture quality, but it still feels like a homemovie).. in my opinion it puts the viewer right there with the characters in the movie. there are very few examples for this subgenre, if thats what you want to call it. Blair Witch Project and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon come to mind.
this style of filming has been one of the best ideas in horror, because there are no other styles that make the terror and action feel so real. there were multiple times i got chills down my neck from this movie. its just.. intense.
but.. without the camerawork, it is little more than another monster movie, which isnt a bad thing. it would still be leagues above most in the genre.
it takes a little time to get to know the characters in the opening scenes. i found most of the characters very believable and engaging. i actually cared about their everyday lives, and past together.(the first time in a while a was fearing for characters lives. i usually like the "villains") it turns out one of our main characters is leaving to live in china or something for a while, and theres a surprise going away party for him. nows about the time to buckle your seatbelt..
simply put, this movie blew me away. the camera style locks you in for the ride, and wont let go till its over. my heart was racing throughout 90% of the movie. you really are right there with them, dealing with the situation in front of you.. it could be the wildest ride you ever have on the couch."
3.5 stars -- do the terrorists win this time?
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 01/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Cloverfield" is about equal parts 9/11, "Godzilla" and "The Blair Witch Project", with the latter providing the technical model, the center film providing the manifest content, and 9/11 providing the questions that are put forward and left unanswered by the film.
If you haven't heard, "Cloverfield" is the story of a group of 20-something Manhattanites whose late night party is spoiled by the arrival of a monster in New York that goes around killing people, knocking over tall buildings, collapsing bridges and wrecking things a la Godzilla.
The production is cleverly modeled after Blair Witch Project, with the entire 90 minutes of goings on filmed by a hand held camera. The computer-generated scenes of monsters, wreckage and the headless Statue of Liberty (check out the scene that comes up with this title) are all done very well. I doubt they took the computer-generated scenes then filmed them a second time with a moving camera to get the ship on the rolling seas affect; it was compelling however completed.
The narrative story is full of exciting moments, one of which -- a moment where the hero has saved a damsel in distress and escapes midst up close warfare between the giant and the military -- left my heart pounding and my breathing accelerated when quiet returned in the theatre. The sound effects also work to the advantage of this actioner, which won't be very cogent when you see it on your television unless you have a screen at least 60 inches across.
The storyline, as we know from films just like this one made half a century ago, isn't about an actual monster; it's about the war on terror. Just like the dinosaur that invaded New York in the 1953 sci-fi classic, "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" -- which was a metaphor for communism -- the monster that invades New York this time is the reincarnation of the 9/11 terrorists come for a return visit.
That beast from the 1950s was killed by the military and we were all saved from the ravages of communism. Here, the outcome is less clear. Because of the way the story is told, it is clear in the filmmakers mind that terrorists are winning this war, or at least making a dent in our way of life. Because of the way the movie ends, it is unclear if they think we (members of the good old U.S.A.) are making headway against our 21st century worldwide adversary.
Even without the metaphor, "Cloverfield" is an exciting afternoon at the theatre and, for people prone to seasickness, a wild and dizzying ride. If you choose to see this film, and discount the supplementary metaphor, this movie won't make much sense and will leave you frustrated. When you put all the parts together, you'll see it's a contemporary story told pretty well in the clothes worn a half-century in our past."
Vinnie Oliveri | Seattle, WA | 06/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I take issue with the claim in the review that this was an uninvolving movie. I don't think that's the case--if you watch the movie more than once. I would consider the first viewing to be NUMBING. I choose this word carefully. The filmmakers are consciously referencing 9/11, and viewed through that lens, I found the plot to be representative of the human need to come to grips with that horrible event--the rescue narrative, which can be easily dismissed as romantic drivel, to me reads as the poetic expression of the human need to say the things that tragedy prevented us from saying.
The complaints about the way the film is shot--with the handy cam--are valid and fair. I was not bothered by them.
Finally, I will say this for the film. Yes, when I saw it in theaters, it felt uninvolving. However, it was also haunting. There was something about it that I felt compelled to come back to. I have now seen it three times. The more I see it, the more I see INTO it. I think seeing this movie once and dismissing it is a mistake."