innocent_man: (Default)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Cloverfield is a monster movie in which the monster wrecks New York. So hardly a new concept by itself, but what sets Cloverfield apart is the "found footage" approach - the whole movie is filmed by a dude named Hud (get it? he's our heads-up display?) who was filming a friend's going away party when the monster hit town. As such, the movie does a great job of avoiding the "gamer problem" of similar movies.

See, when gamers watch movies like Cloverfield, or any zombie movie ever, they tend to look at it "top down." That is, they have all this information that the characters don't have, and so they set to work solving problems. In Cloverfield, there isn't any of that. You know what Hud knows because you've seen what Hud's seen. The movie is very chaotic - one character, separated from the others when the Woolworth Building collapses, mentions that "it was eating people," but that just gets blown right over in the chaos. And the chaos looks damned convincing.

Likewise, the inclusion of the parasites on the monster (if that's what they were) was genius, just because it lets the creature be scary and a threat without being physically present. The scene in the tunnel is fucking scary, and it manages to do that without resorting to musical cues or other cheap tricks of the genre.

Now, I do have a couple of complaints. First of all, you could argue that the movie evokes 9/11 in a kind of exploitative way, particularly when the Woolworth collapses. I do like that we hear someone ask, "Is it another terrorist attack?" because that's appropriate, I just wonder how tasteful the collapsing building was (for the record, this movie came out in 2008).

Second, the looting scene - why are all or almost all of the looters black? I think bad form, filmmakers.

And finally, the movie does fall prey to the whole "if it's not on screen, it doesn't exist" fallacy (common in slasher flicks). That is - how the hell did a 300 foot monster sneak up on the characters in the last scene? How could they not have seen it coming?

For all that, though, I think the movie is really well-made, the monster is amazing, and the acting is convincing. I wish I'd made time to see it in theaters. Oh, and it's totally a curse the darkness movie.

My Grade: A-
Rewatch value: Probably medium-high, but I just saw it for the first time.

Next up: Corpse Bride

Chicken 4
Rice 4
Orange 1
Banana 1
English muffin: 2
Sauce: 3
Salmon: 5
Eggs: 4
Chocolate: 1
Misc: 1

Total: 26
Banked: 5
Weight: 236.4
Loss from last week: 1.6
Loss overall: 4

Date: 2012-01-23 06:25 pm (UTC)
gamerchick: Alistair from Dragon Age, looking happy.  Text: "Alistair approves +10" (Alistair approves)
From: [personal profile] gamerchick
I totally love this movie, for a lot of the reasons you mention. Also, as I have mentioned many times before, I am a sucker for anything found footage/fake documentary, and this is one of the better recent examples of that genre.

Also, I actually did see this in the theater, and it got the single worst reaction from the audience that I have ever seen any movie get. People were legitimately booing at the end and demanding their money back, to which I say, dude, most of you probably paid for Scary Movie 4 or something equally crappy, so stop complaining. So I guess the lesson here is don't go to movies in Edina because people there are really entitled.

Date: 2012-01-24 09:33 pm (UTC)
electricpaladin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] electricpaladin
I have to admit that I never saw Cloverfield, but from what I've heard (been spoiled about) of the plot, I'm not too interested. I'm told that theres a bit of a "defeat snatched from the jaws of victory" feel to the way it ends. That sort of writing, frankly, annoys the shit out of me. I've never seen Cloverfield, but I don't think I'm missing much that I'd enjoy.


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