Cloverfield (2008)

2014-06-21 14.04.06

Well, this is one of those bittersweet cases, similar to the experience i had with Behind The Mask, where a movie that I quite enjoyed at one time wasn’t quite what I remembered it as. The first time I saw Cloverfield, I loved it. This time around though, not so much. Anyways, here’s the plot for you :

Revolves around a monster attack in New York as told from the point of view of a small group of people.

Wow IMDB, that is some wildly lazy shit…

Anyways, it’s not wrong, that is what the movie is about.

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A monster attacks New York, a small group of friends try and escape it, while one of them inexplicably films the entire thing. I know that I have certainly come out in favor of found-footage movies, and they still have a special place in my heart. However, on this viewing of Cloverfield, I have to agree that the “Why would they keep filming?” question really does come into a stark reality. The context for the recording is that our narrator (played by the hilarious, usually, TJ Miller) is put in charge of filming a going-away party for his friend. He is reluctant to do it, and there is no real reason to believe he is a passionate camera-man at all. So the fact that he MUST KEEP GOING just doesn’t add up in my head. I realize that this is an internal logic problem that most people have with movies like this, but in this case it really did bother me a bit more than it normally would.

As far as the creature effects, and the way this movie is pulled off is unlike anything that Found-Footage had done, up to that point anyways, and it really is effective to see such a huge scale disaster from the perspective of people who are on the ground. So that does make it a unique entry, and such an effects-heavy found footage movie is something I’d definitely like to see more of. As well, the monster is cool, and huge.

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I will say though, understanding the scale of the monster is sort of hard to get a firm grasp on considering it seems to keep changing. There are times in the movie where the monster appears to be just massive, and then seems to have these really up-close , personal, and precise moments that a monster that size probably wouldn’t have. Which can throw you off a little bit, so that’s a bit of a mark-against.

The major problem with this movie is the characters. They’re all just sort of … chatty and annoying. None of them are especially interesting, which is hard for me to say, because I do have an affection for TJ Miller. This movie just doesn’t seem to do any of the actors many favors.

There’s not much more to say. It’s not a terrible monster movie, but it doesn’t work as well as a found-footage movie. Again, I certainly wouldn’t say it’s BAD. It just isn’t as great, or as much fun as I remember finding it initially.

FINAL GRADE : C

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