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Cloverfield 2008


cinemaspeak59
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I enjoyed this Godzilla-esque movie, which harkens back to 1950s classics like Them, It Came From Beneath the Sea and, yes, Godzilla.  A lizard-like creature, with a touch of insect, and the size of skyscrapers, demolishes Manhattan, impervious to everything the police and army throw at it.  As bad as the monster is, the smaller, deadly parasites it spawns may be even scarier than the behemoth. 

 

Actors in their early twenties made up the cast, notably Jessica Lucas, Michael Stahl-David, Odette Yustman and Lizzy Caplan.  Stereotypes are discarded.  I found myself rooting for them, and certainly would not have minded being a guest at the party they were throwing just before everything went to pieces.  Their characters are immensely likeable.  Cloverfield clocks in at 85 adrenaline-charged minutes.  It was produced by J.J Abrams and directed by Matt Reeves.  It’s quite a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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This was a very divisive movie when it came out, with a lot of people complaining about the hand held camera, and it's requisite shakiness. I wasn't bothered by the shaky-cam, as it fit naturally with the format of the film. I'm less forgiving of shaky-cam when it's not supposed to be part of the actual structure of the film. 

 

I thought the creature design was unique and interesting, and keeping the  glimpses brief and partial worked. Also in the cast were Mike Vogel, who went on to star in several films and TV shows, like Under the Dome, and T.J. Miller played the guy behind the camera, whose comic narration help keep the movie moving along. Miller has gone on to many film appearances, as well as an attention-grabbing co-starring role in the HBO series Silicon Valley.

 

All said, I greatly enjoyed Cloverfield, and it ranks in my top ten films of that year, although I understand those that disliked it due to it's stylistic gimmickry.

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I kinda liked it but have trouble with movies that HIDE important clues as to what was going on like at the end when we see the early film at the ocean park and can barely see the slash down out in the ocean.  Even knowing it's there and running at slow mo I have trouble seeing it.

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I hated this movie- yes it did have a couple of good moments- but the found footage point of view was annoying- because yeah if I'm being chased by a giant monster I'm going to keep filming

 

I understand this argument, but it's one you have to suspend for this sub-genre ("found footage") to work. I found it easier to accept in Cloverfield than in last year's The Visit. That one really stretched the format beyond the breaking point. 

 

But then again, look at any news story about a disaster of some sort and look at how many people are recording it with their phones, etc. Soon, everyone will have a Go-Pro installed in their forehead at birth, and their entire existence will be live-streamed. Narcissism and self-produced media exposure knows no bounds.

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I understand this argument, but it's one you have to suspend for this sub-genre ("found footage") to work. I found it easier to accept in Cloverfield than in last year's The Visit. That one really stretched the format beyond the breaking point. 

 

But then again, look at any news story about a disaster of some sort and look at how many people are recording it with their phones, etc. Soon, everyone will have a Go-Pro installed in their forehead at birth, and their entire existence will be live-streamed. Narcissism and self-produced media exposure knows no bounds.

I agree with you about " The Visit" and yes now everyone has a video camera on their phone - but the only found footage film that still works for me  is "The Blair Witch Project" film makers are obsessed with capturing images. 

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