Every so often Hollywood enjoys blowing New York up.
Blasting the head off the Statue of Liberty, reducing the Brooklyn Bridge to rubble and turning Midtown into a disaster area is all done in good fun of course.
But whether one finds "Cloverfield" fun, however, may depend on one's susceptibility to epileptic seizures, well maybe not that extreme…but pretty close, many will get a case of motion sickness at least.
You see the whole movie is seen through from the view of a character’s in the movie, and his video camera. Think “Blair Witch Project” meets “War of the Worlds”.
In fact, during the first weekend of the release, many theaters posted signs warning guests that the hand held camera movements may cause motion sickness.
Bring lots of Dramamine.
And if 9/11 taught us one thing, it's that when disaster strikes, cameras are turned on!
I like to think of it as the Godzilla-for-the-YouTube-generation!
“Cloverfield” is not for everyone, there are those who will be unable to endure the constantly moving jittery, herky-jerky, hand-held camerawork.
The Blair Witch Reject.
So what’s it all about you ask. Well, the story within “Cloverfield” is kinda secondary, but here goes-it centers on a bunch of pretty twentysomethings at a going-away party in a Tribeca loft. The shindig is for Rob, who’s taking a job in Japan.
To document the festivities, they give a video camera to a member of the party named Hud.
And Dum!, Dum!, Dum! all of a sudden an unseen monster rises from the …hmm I don’t know where!
It never stops to explain the who, what, where, why, or how.
In fact, director Matt Reeves never bothers to explain why New York is being leveled by an giant angry who-knows-what, but he made sure to insert an episode of "Gossip Girl" in the middle of his monster movie, interrupting the massacre with a romance story.
It’s dumb but quick and dirty, doing away with such niceties such as plot or character development. Anyway, it runs about 74 minutes without the end credits, which isn’t much longer than an hour of “Lost,” the show J.J. Abrams created who incidentally produced this movie.
It’s A Horror.
Unfortunately, when you get past the hand-held camera gimmick, there isn't a heck of a lot to this movie that you haven't seen before.
You won't be surprised by the creature in this movie. For some reason, the writers chose to show every angle of the baddie in the first half of the film, and ignore "" the-less-the-audience-sees-the-scarier-it-is” lesson, which greatly reduces the scare factor.
On a good note though, when the action comes, it comes fast, giving the characters (and audience) only a few moments to catch their breath. And although this movie cost a measly $25 to make the special effects work are all spectacular looking.
Nothing really makes a whole lot of sense but then again nothing needs to be explained, because thinking is beside the point - in fact, it's against the point. It’s a just your average low-budget monster movie involving good looking characters and great explosions…what was I thinking!
But it is fun-in a campy sorta way.
As for the monster, well, that would be giving it away, now wouldn't it?
All I'll say is: Sequel alert! He ain't done yet.
Update: As of January 31, 2008, “Cloverfield 2” was already given the green light it is now in production! Now that didn’t take long did it?
-Filming was done under the fake production title, codename "Slusho".
Slusho is a drink from producer J.J. Abrams' show "Alias" (2001).
-The title "Cloverfield"; that was just initially supposed to be a codename for the movie, is named for the boulevard in Santa Monica where the production offices are located for this film.
- The film was so top-secret in fact; the actors weren't allowed to read the actual script until after they were officially signed on.
-The movie is viewed primarily from the point of view of Hud, the character who uses the camera.
H.U.D. is also short for Heads-Up Display, much like the way it was shot.
- During the first weekend of the release, many theaters posted signs warning guests that the hand held camera movements may cause motion sickness.
-Several scenes were shot with the Panasonic HVX200 digital video camera. But most of the movie was shot with the Sony F23 CineAlta HD camera.
- The decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty in the street is inspired by the poster for John Carpenter's "Escape from New York" (1981), which shows the head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the middle of the street.
-Factual error: The Statue of Liberty's head is missing the green patina color that occurred when the copper that makes up the skins reacted with oxygen and moisture in the air. The head appears to be copper colored after it lands in the street.Rated PG-13