Amazon Holiday

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cloverfield

(Guest Review by Jack)

Q: What’s the movie about?


A: A faux-documentary about a Godzilla-like monster attacking New York City.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Nobody you know, yet. But since J.J. Abrams tends to reuse the ones he likes, you will probably see some of these people again: Michael Stahl-David, Odette Yustman, T.J. Miller, Jessica Lucas, Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Brian Klugman, Chris Mulkey.

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! Despite all the hype, it boils down to a disappointing Godzilla movie shot “Blair Witch” style, where in order to maintain the conceit, the filmmakers (and the actors) are forced into a multitude of situations that ring completely false.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Only because of the inane, forced commentary by the guy documenting the mayhem.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: No, but it may make you throw up. The frenetic and dizzying camerawork of the supposedly amateur videographer makes The Blair Witch Project feel like a smooth Steadicam shot. Watching this on DVD should reduce some of the motion sickness.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Hmmm… Highest number of dates ruined by vomit?

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Hit and miss. Mostly miss.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: They certainly took a concept and ran with it. But the concept of “found footage” is exactly what brings the film down. The movie is not completely without good scares, but due to the Point of View shooting style, they miss a lot of opportunities to build suspense. The one cool element of the film is the introduction of small creatures that fall off the main creature – but even those are only a set up for two scenes and then they totally disappear from the film.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The first 20+ minutes consists of boring party footage that is supposed to endear us to the main characters, and yet I still didn’t care who lived or died. Worse yet, the plot about the hero going back for his girlfriend does not create the emotional arc the filmmakers think it does. It only allows the main character to stay in the danger zone longer than he should, becoming just one of the many set-ups that ends with little to no payoff.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: I have to say that the sound design is quite good. The film opens with creature footstep noises that literally shake the theater. Unfortunately, the film’s suspense peaks there.

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4 comments:

RT said...

Jack you must be crazy. This movie was very entertaining. It was like a rollercoaster and kept me on the edge of my seat.

RollerKaty said...

We saw the movie last night. After watching the trailer in the theater I was dying to see it (I suppose their marketing campaign was successful in that regard). My husband thought it was ok but wasn't too impressed. I found it very entertaining but like you I wasn't exactly enamored with the main characters (some of them were downright annoying). And some of the whiplash video filming was definitely too much - I almost felt sick a few times. But other than those complaints I enjoyed the movie.

Rudy said...

I have the some complaint about the camera work in Bourne Supremacy. Watching it on DVD was much more enjoyable.

Film-Book dot Com said...

This movie is not only great, it is original. I loved it. The camera work was the best part.

My review for Cloverfield is here: http://film-book.com/review-cloverfield/