Monday, January 21, 2008


Saw it yesterday and I really liked it. (Alleged rendering of I don't know what at left.) After seeing the progression of ads for the film, I'd lost all hope at enjoying this movie. All I could think was, Great, another Godzilla movie. Oh. Boy. Here's what: For a "monster-attacks-the-city" movie, it's the best you could wish for. The handheld camera is disorienting (in a theater, you have to close your eyes a few times) but also makes it a visceral experience. There is a firefight that feels like it is really happening in a breath's reach.

The handheld mode also keeps you just as informed as the characters you are following, running through the streets, evading all the different kinds of danger that evolve as the movie progresses. You don't know what is going on, what is coming next, what to expect. I spent a lot of the movie freaked out and gasping. Considering the abundance of scary movies out there, I couldn't have hoped for more.

One part did bother me: When very bad things start to happen, several of the first events are entirely too reminiscent of September 11. I realize that it is fast track way of getting the audience fully emotionally vulnerable--and if the movie maker denies the intent, he's lying and that's that--but it felt unnecessarily manipulative all the same. Plus I wasn't really thinking "Oo, monster movie" at that moment...I was thinking, "What the hell are you doing. Stop that." Because one too many people are currently exploiting the horror of that day for self-promoting endeavors. No need to pile on.

Luckily, the familiarity stops there. No doubt, monster movies trek the same beaten path with few true moments of originality. Cloverfield managed to surprise and thrill and I am happy that my initial fears were proven wrong.

Speaking of TREKS, the previews for Cloverfield featured the first ad for the upcoming Star Trek movie, also from JJ Abrams. I have to admit I geeked out a little, even though the original Star Trek was never really my thing. In my defense, the whole reason I hated it was Kirk...and that heinous 60s futurism. Mostly Kirk, though. As a child, he reminded me of that adult friend of a friend of my mom's that was always entirely creepy and probably harboring a hot case of crabs. You know, the type that tells 8 year olds how pretty they are one too many times and always smells of dead beer? Gross.

I am, however, forever in lurve with Next Generation, which means I'm always going to keep an open mind about whatever new derivation of Star Trek comes along. And this one has Sylar as Spock! I mean, come ON. I'm kind of required to already love it.

Note to Trekian power, can you put Michael Dorn in all of your dang movies, ok? I mean, seriously. Look at him. Mm hmm...

Go see Cloverfield!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, first thing. Why did they name it Cloverfield? It's a pretty silly name for a scary movie. And what's with you being afraid of not being scared enough? What's that about? And that illustration. Is that supposed to be scary? It's no more enlightening than the promo's. My little twisted sister daughter. Glad you enjoyed it =)

9:37 AM  
Blogger Shiny said...

Good Morning Inquisitor!

I don't know why they named it Cloverfield. Either I missed it or it is some bit of information we'll never know. Since the movie is entirely from the handheld--and that is what the official film "document" is called at the beginning of the reel--there is no way to know the answer. It actually makes sense to not know when you consider the context of the film.

As for your psychoanalysis about my desire to be scared? Erm. Well, it is supposed to be scary, so therefore it should be. You may not have seen the glut of torture porn "horror" movies that have dominated the genre as of late (Saw, Hostel, etc.), but it is all about the gore with cheap scares ("startles," really) and no real terror. I'm not really interested in seeing buckets of blood when what I paid for was screaming meemies.

And, finally, you be nice! My rendering of the Cloverfield monster was dead ON! Love you, Anon!

12:34 PM  
Blogger Adairdevil said...

I was ambivalent about seeing this movie for the 9/11 reasons you cite. Then, I found out it was written by Drew Goddard, who got his start writing some really great episodes of Buffy. Now I want to see the thing, but you, my only friend upon whose desire to see stompy movies I can rely, have already seen it.

8:00 AM  

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