Friday, November 21, 2008


My first thought upon seeing this movie was, Who are these people? They're stupid party mongers who got caught in a dreadful situation and act stupidly throughout. And then I was hit by the thought that I just got taken.

You may remember the very careful and clever advertising campaign of the movie to build up anticipation. Scenes of people rushing into the street during their party, but they don't know what the danger is, and then a gasp-producing special effect.

Cloverfield has the look of Blair Witch Project. That means cheap and useless, but it also means amateurish photography. In fact, the whole deus ex machina holding the plotlines together is that one party-goer is holding a hand-held camcorder, and it's his point-of-view throughout the entire movie.

It's an interesting concept. If the people were worth caring about, perhaps I'd be into it more.

We enter a party, which is Rob's going-away party in a posh apartment in New York, because the 20's-something guy just got a promotion and transfer to Japan. His brother, Hud, is given the camcorder to record guests' farewell to Rob. All of a sudden, the lights go out, gigantic noises and shudders hit the house, and they all spill out onto the street. After another roar, the Statue of Liberty's head goes flying down the street. And so it begins.

Most of the movie, at least after the party, is the camcorder recording Rob and his friends going after a former girlfriend, and the chase leads them to a part of Manhattan they really shouldn't be in.

It's all green-screen, mostly bad and, again, amateurish-looking. These are actors we've never heard of playing characters we never want to meet. And we get to watch them do things they really shouldn't be doing in a dangerous area. The ending is interesting, but it's not enough.

I expected more from producer J.J. Abrams (Lost and the new Star Trek movie, released next year). Instead, Cloverfield is all hype and no delivery.

Thumb's down.

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At 10:37 AM, Blogger Melinda said...

Thanks Linda, I had this one on my NetFlix list but now I'm going to take it off!


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