Cloverfield

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A monster is terrorizing New York City and a few people with camcorders record the entire thing.

The movie starts out as a classified video document that the U.S. Army has found and keeping it as evidence of what happened. It begins with a going away party for a guy who is about to start a new job in Japan. There is turmoil with the girl he is leaving behind. A friend of the guy is filming goodbye testimonials from all his friends at the party while also trying to hit on a girl he has a crush on. Between trying to identify and enjoying the party music in the background and the very natural party atmosphere, I completely forgot about the monster coming until it did.

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I don’t know if it was the excellent sound in the theater or just the closeness of the digital camcorder that is used to film the entire movie, but I really felt like I was in the middle of everything. For a portion of time, everyone thinks an earthquake has hit New York before they realize something is terrorizing the city. I loved when the Statue of Liberty’s head comes flying into the middle of a street and almost everyone stands around taking pictures of it with their cell phones before they realize the thing that threw it is not far behind.

The creature is an odd mixture of other creatures. You see glimpses of it throughout the movie and are trying to get a good look at, but I enjoyed the little glimpses of it instead of just seeing it straight on. It made it creepier. I also enjoyed how I really felt off center when a group of people are trying to make their way up one high rise that is still standing upright to jump over to another high rise that has fallen over to lean on the one still standing. Then they have to walk all slanted to make it to the correct apartment. If it wasn’t shot on a camcorder, I don’t think it would have the same effect or give the same feeling that they could slide off the high rise altogether and right into the street below.

I jumped a few times and almost kneed myself because I felt right in the middle of all the action. You never do get to find out what the monster is, where it came from, or why it is there. The way it ends is both very final, but also open ended. I didn’t mind that ending, but I think some people that want the answers for everything were bugged that they didn’t learn anything about the monster. I went to see some crazy monster movie that might scare me and I think it did its job.

Rating: B+

velveetahead

Created this site in 2002. Pop culture and entertainment lover for much longer-- tv, movies, music, books, cowbells, and armadillos.

5 thoughts on “Cloverfield

  • January 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm
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    Awesome review…I did not know it was all shot with a digital camera….that makes it more enticing to go see. I also did not know this place you call Cinetopia existed. Sweet!!!

  • January 30, 2008 at 9:59 pm
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    I was also pretty enthralled by the beginning of the movie. I thought the first half of the movie, when everything that was happening was still very unclear, was really tense and good.

    Once the people realized what was going on and started doing dumb things like heading to where the monster is and going up in buildings that were tipped over, I started to like it a lot less.

    I liked Hud and his inane comments during the film. Like “Wouldn’t it be really scary if a flaming hobo came running out of the dark right now?” You bet it would!

    Normally the shaky camcorder type shots make me kinda sick, but it didn’t really bother me much in this movie. The only part that made me a little woozy was towards the end when the helicopter was crashing.

    I really liked that the movie offered little explanation of the monster and that the ending was so ominous. Other people in the theater seemed to disagree with me though and actually kinda booed at the end. I’m pretty sure they’re idiots though.

    I’d give it 3.5 stars. I loved the idea of making a monster movie from this perspective, but I just think it kinda fell flat in the end.

  • January 30, 2008 at 11:26 pm
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    It was really quiet in the theater when it ended. Marci saw it and said that in the last Coney Island shot you are supposed to see the monster fall out of the sky into the water behind them on the ferris wheel. If that happened, I completely missed it.

    I forgot about the flaming hobo part. Haha! Hud was awesome.

  • February 2, 2008 at 8:18 pm
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    Something hits in the water behind them while they’re on the ferris wheel, but from everything I’ve read, it’s not the monster. It’s actually a satellite, owned by a subsidiary of the company whose name is on the tanker that tipped over in New York harbor at the beginning of the movie.

    You have to go to all the viral sites that go along with the movie to figure that out. Or just read the spoiler sites like I did. Apparently, there’s this whole crazy sub-story of rival Japanese companies, one of which is the company Rob is supposed to go work for.

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