Cloverfield

I know that if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you probably don’t want me to ruin it for you so I’m putting spoilers after the “more” link and then a warning.  If you just want to know how I felt to decide whether you should go to the movie, click on “more”. I’ll warn you before you get to the spoilers.

To sum it up, after the movie, Lisa said “I thought I was going to throw up” (because of motion sickness).  I replied, “that’s what was so scary… you never knew when you were going to throw up.”  Everyone around us laughed.  That’s because it’s pretty much the only scary thing about the movie.  There are a bunch of ineffective jump scenes that just sort of maintain a constant level of almost scariness.  It never really manages to make that jump into actually being scary.

Ok… here come the spoilers

Basically, this is only a few steps above 1998’s Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick.  The only reason it’s better is because it doesn’t have a silly frenchman hamming it up.  Sorry, Jean, you know I loved you in French Kiss.

Let’s compare it to the other movie that it has been compared to time and time again… the Blair Witch Project.  Imagine if that movie was less realistic and you didn’t care as much about the characters.

For about an hour and a half, you watch a bunch of twenty-somethings run away from a giant bat-turtle.  Or is it a turtle-bat?  Maybe it was half man, half bat, half turtle.  Whatever… it was kinda dumb.  It also gave birth to the insects from Starship Troopers except they make you explode if they bite you…?

As for the suspense.  In the first few moments of the film, it tells you that the video was taken from a memory card recovered by the military from what used to be Central Park. Here’s what we can tell from that simple statement.  They kill the bat-turtle in the end, because they wouldn’t be “recovering” anything if they hadn’t.  The camera was recovered from what used to be central park, so either the characters died or they dropped it.  If they were to drop it, it wouldn’t suddenly switch to regular cameras and change the PoV for the whole movie.  In other words, they had to die there to give the movie any kind of ending.

Also, the whole “romantic” story line?  I never saw that coming.  I haven’t seen that in a bajillion movies.  Couple breaks up, disaster brings them back together.  Except this time, the couple was only together for one day.  Movie of the year material.

One Comment

  • I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sam and I saw it in a small theater, so I didn’t feel motion sick at all. I thought the Bourne movies were much worse as far as motion sickness goes, but I saw the last one of those in a huge digital theater and sat wwwwwwaaaayyyyyyyy too close.

    On to the review: who cares that it wasn’t scary? Godzilla movie != horror movie. The last thing I want is a campy fright fest. (FWIW it scared Sam 😉 )

    I loved the silly romantic storyline too, mainly because you don’t care about it at all. That was perhaps the most brilliant thing about the move: the main characters were simple plot devices to guide you through the experience of a Godzilla attack. I think its an ingenious way to re-tell the Godzilla story uniquely. Instead of following legions of soldiers hopelessly firing rocket after rocket, you follow some helpless 20-somethings trying to find true love.

    (Of course I’m a sucker for sappy love stories, so that probably helped me not mind its presence.)

    I also loved that there were probably only 5 total minutes of film with Godzilla in it. (I’ll concede that Godzilla looked pretty silly, but so did a guy in a rubber suit in the originals.) My imagination could just fill in the blanks. So many action movies pride themselves in making 95% of the screenplay contain explosions so you can shut off your brain and just soak it up. Thats fun, but with something as campy as Godzilla, I enjoyed letting my mind do the imagining instead of being spoon fed unoriginal action sequences.

    And you’re so wrong about the end. Godzilla could have easily slipped back into the ocean. (I suppose it was obvious that the main characters would all die, but like I was getting at earlier: who cares? Godzilla just destroyed all of Manhattan!)

    RAWR!

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