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Monday, January 21, 2008

Joe's Review: Cloverfield

ShowHype: hype it up!
How many of you have been aware of the hype behind the Cloverfield movie? I myself have been really intrigued, and after seeing it for the second time last night, I should probably write a review about it. For a quick, gritty review (I'll go into more detail below), this movie is great for what it was. While being extremely short (99 minutes with previews), I'd say that this movie was great fora bout 94 of it. The ending just didn't do it for me, though. I can picture many people saying that the movie was great but the ending was bad. If you disagree, please let me know why.

Anyway, the basic plot of the movie was that a going away party for one of the main characters (Rob) is being videotaped by one of his best friends (Hud). Hud goes through the party, gathering testimonials and video goodbyes of everyone at the party. The party takes a bit of a sour note when Elizabeth McIntyre, who Rob realizes he actually cares about, shows up to the party with another guy. Rob appears devastated, and after arguing with her, he heads back to the party and she leaves with her new friend. Hud and Rob's Brother try to make him feel better, and let him know that he should just try to make up with her, and are discussing it when an earthquake like shaking rocks the city.

Everyone at the party starts to panic, but it quickly subsides. After turning on the TV to find out what happened, everyone heads to the roof to see if they can get a better look. As they are up there trying to figure out what happened, an explosion is seen in the distance. Fearing a terrorist attack, everyone panics and heads back into the building.

Soon they realize that it's not a terrorist attack, but something else altogether.

Not going to spoil the movie, so there's just an intro as to what starts the movie. It's actually very intense, and I really enjoyed the way that they used handheld digicams for the entire filming of the movie. It made it seem more real, and showed you how people would really act in that kind of situation. I believed that a lot of that could happen if we were stuck in the same situation. Of course, being a movie it did have parts that you know would never happen, but at the same time this movie made it work.

JJ Abrams does a really good job at making you "feel" what the characters are feeling. You get frustrated, and are taken on quite an intense ride. I know I've said it before, but that's what it is. It's not really a horror movie, so you don't really have too much of the jump out of your seat being scared. It's more of an implied fear... as in a "what if this happened to us" kind of scared. It was really well done... but I wish that the ending was different.

The cinematography has made some people motion sick, so I do warn against that. Also, I found it very interesting that there was no music in this film. The only music is the music from the party, which I don't really consider part of the music for the movie, as it was really for the party. It brought up the suspense, as there was nothing to set the mood except for the characters themselves.

For those adventurous folks, there is a bit (no video) at the end that can clear things up a bit. The credits are really long though.

Overall, I'd give this movie a 9, and say that it's IAW approved. (I should make banners for this stuff, like Fletch...)

If you've seen it, let me know what you think!

Discussion: What happens next?

2 Comments Posted!:

Fletch said...

I disagree about the ending (spoilers below, obviously).

As much as you or I (or even the filmmakers) might have liked to wrap it up all nice and tidy, I think it's better (and should be respected) that they didn't - they stuck with their vision of "showing you what these people saw" and didn't cheat you or themselves. To abandon that would have been to sell out on their premise.

joen05 said...

Fletch, you are right about them ending it the way they did.. but didn't it still leave you with that... empty feeling?

I get what you mean though. It also opens could open things up for a sequel... thought I'm not sure about that.