Cloverfield

In a word: INTENSE!

I could add a few other words, but I think I’ll stick with intense. Oh, and awesome – definitely awesome.

I’m not going to go into any details here, but Cloverfield was a great monster movie – that’s all you need to know. Wait, there’s one more thing you should know: if you saw the trailer and thought, “I hope this isn’t a movie shot in an amateur, handy-cam style following a group of people as they fight their way across Manhattan to save a friend during a monster attack, because that would suck”… DON’T SEE IT!

This movie is not for everyone. There are plenty of people who just aren’t up for it or aren’t interested in the style. But because of that, you’ll get moronic reviews like the one in the New York Times, which should have been titled “I Feel Superior For Not Liking This Movie”. I’ve got no problem with someone not enjoying Cloverfield, but don’t claim it’s because of poor execution on a bad idea. Just deal with the fact that you don’t like it.

Sorry, I’m just getting sick of the over analysis and polarization of movies these days. Just because you didn’t like a movie does not make it the worst film ever. Just because you saw a Korean monster movie that was released in the US less than a year before this began filming does not mean it’s just another American knock-off. Just because the entire film is not spelled out for you so that you can answer every question possible, including what the monster’s favorite color is, does not make this an abject failure. Just because you didn’t get into a movie concept like this does not mean it is strictly for teenagers and should be avoided by anyone over 30. And just because a lot of people enjoyed a movie that you didn’t does not make you superior.

I’m glad I got that off my chest. So to recap: Cloverfield was intense and awesome and you should absolutely enjoy it if the trailer looks like something you want to see. Personally I am now excited to go through all of the online viral stuff and then watch it again…

13 thoughts on “Cloverfield

  1. That’s funny if she’s joking. If she’s serious, then he’s an idiot. Because, honestly, it reads like someone who didn’t even watch the movie and is writing based on what other people who didn’t like it said.

  2. To the author:

    1. Cell phones. I could make calls on 9/11. Yes, with Verizon. Suck it, moron.

    2. New York City Geography. It would take approximately an hour for your average walker, and less for someone who was used to walking in NYC every day (we’re speed walkers, ok). I walked from 50th to 90th street in less time in a crisis situation before. The only (minor) quibble I have about the walking is the shoe choice for Lily, though I have seen women expend far more energy in far less sensible shoes. Walking for an hour in heels is nothing compared to actively participating in a mosh pit for 4 hours.

    2a. He obviously turns the camera off, fuckwad.

    3. Human Emotions. I’d lie to my mom in a heartbeat to save her pain and I’d break rocks with my bare hands to save someone I loved. Clearly the author doesn’t comprehend emotions like that in her narcissistic self involved world. That’s exactly why Lily went with Rob – because he was her family and she would do anything to help him.

    4. & 5. Well, you couldn’t think of anything else so you just said the same thing as 3 here. Personally, I would not have wanted to be alone, regardless of any sort of “evacuation” plan being concocted by the government. There’s a basic humanity in wanting to be surrounded with familliars, which again, you don’t get.

    Take off the douchebag hat; it’s cutting off blood flow to your brain.

  3. That’s essentially all of the rebuttals I was thinking of. And there’s also a very big point that people overlook – there wasn’t an easy escape. It’s not like they walked away from a big boat that was going to safely evacuate them. Their decision to stick together made a lot more sense because the alternative was just as scary – you could see it with Marlena that she didn’t exactly want to go along but didn’t know what else to do.

    I was giving the author the benefit of the doubt that it’s a humor piece that’s supposed to represent the typical “hater” retorts, but isn’t complaining about people not reacting logically during horror movies getting a tad blasé?

  4. And there’s also a very big point that people overlook – there wasn’t an easy escape. It’s not like they walked away from a big boat that was going to safely evacuate them

    Exactly. Every option was frightening. I mean, think of the whole “escape over the bridge” plan that ended up with Jason dead. Staying with people you know, at least on some level, is less frightening than possibly dying alone at the hands of people barking orders who don’t really know what to do any more than your Joe Six-pack.

    added some spoiler tags just in case -Thom

  5. I’m becoming very dissappointed in all the crap comparing it to The Host. I’ve seen both, I loved both, largely because both did their thing well, even though their approaches to the same basic genre were different.

    “It’s not like the movie is presented as an uninterrupted document of the evening shot more-or-less in real time, right?”
    Yea, that’s why a 70-minute film that begins at midnight ends at daybreak. Any New Yorker will tell you the sun rises around 1:08 am on any given spring day.

    I’m also amazed at just how many mouth-breathers are apparently slamming the film because – gasp – five random people happen to be among the (apparently) thousands who don’t survive the incident. You know these would be the same morons foaming at the mouth if they did survive, because that would be too cliche.

    I was honestly expecting the movie to end with the helicopter scene, but I’m glad they ended it the way they did. Anything less would have been almost insulting at that point.

  6. Funny. When I went from my daughter’s journal to yours, it was the same movie review. Can’t resist the urge to share it with you. Sorry this is so long, but her livejournal was locked, so this is the only way to get it to you (to my knowledge).

    “I enjoyed this movie while I was watching it.

    That said, I was pissed off when the movie ended and I’m STILL pissed off.

    I had heard nothing about Cloverfield besides the couple of teaser trailers that I’d seen before, and I was excited. I didn’t expect cinematic excellence. I didn’t expect to see the best movie ever. I liked Snakes on a Plane, remember? I expected only to find out what this horrible thing was that was destroying New York City, and what was going to happen. That, apparently, was expecting too much.

    I hadn’t realized, going into it, that the whole movie was essentially a recovered videotape of the events that transpired. I was okay with that, despite the Blair Witchy camera shaking. Even though everyone I went to the movie with felt nauseous at the end (one had to go straight home due to not feeling well), I felt fine except that I was annoyed that I hadn’t gotten a clear picture of, really, anything that went on during the movie. Yes, it was realistic that the camera would be off and shaky what with a monster destroying the city and all, but I don’t want realism, I want a movie that will show me what the damn monster looks like. I want to be able to focus on something for more than half a second at a time without getting dizzy. The camera action did add to the feeling of chaos and the “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE” theme of the film, so I can appreciate that, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was f-ing annoying.

    Also, I didn’t like or feel particularly attached to any of the characters. It was great that they were down-to-earth and realistic, but reality is boring and they were bland to me. I didn’t particularly care for their safety, which took out all the suspense and made death scenes meaningless.

    There were so many LITTLE things that didn’t make sense in this movie that I can’t even begin to count them. Considering that the whole excuse for the horrible camera-shaking and the bland characters was to make it seem realistic, there were way too many unrealistic things that went on. Beth’s miraculous recovery from shoulder-impaling comes to mind, and while I could buy that one guy would run into a doomed city toward a giant monster to save a girl who was probably dead (people do crazy things in the name of love), I can’t buy that his friends would go with him. Then again, there wasn’t enough exposition to establish how deep their relationships went.

    But I could forgive all that, because hey, it’s a monster movie. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Transformers was chock full of flaws and Snakes on a Plane was a terrible movie, but I have no such gripes with them. This is because I knew exactly what I was going to get with those movies. With Transformers, I expected sentient robots that transformed. With Snakes on a Plane, I expected to see Snakes on a Plane. With Cloverfield, I expected to find out what was going on.

    But they never tell you anything about the monster. They barely even give you a good look at it. “But that’s what’s so great about it!” people say. Bulls-t. You can’t just introduce a giant monster and not explain how it got there. This movie didn’t even do us the courtesy of telling us what happens after the tape cuts out. We don’t know if the monster or the city are destroyed. We don’t even know if the two main characters are alive. We just know that the tape was recovered from the scene.

    Oh, you can find out more if you search the internet. At the end of the movie, after the credits, you hear some static and what sounds like words, but it’s gibberish. The internet told me that, played backwards, the words say “It’s still alive.” That’s some pretty f-ing important information there, hidden after the credits, indecipherable unless you go look it up online. Do we need to do independent research on movies now in order to get the full experience?

    Bull. I went away with a huge case of movie blue-balls and feeling as though I’d just watched a 90 minute teaser trailer for the sequel.

    In short: If you like movies that use cheap tricks in order to keep you interested without ever revealing what’s actually going on (like Lost, now that I think about it), you’ll like this movie. Just don’t expect resolution and don’t be prone to motion sickness, and it’s actually quite enjoyable.”

  7. I’d say her biggest problem was this line “With Cloverfield, I expected to find out what was going on.” Considering who the maker of the film was, I had absolutely no expectation that I would find out what was going on. As a matter of fact, I was surprised that the ending was as clear cut as it was (it’s pretty obvious whether or not the various characters survive).

    Just to address a couple of her points quickly:

    - Beth’s recovery is probably the one thing that bugged me in the movie – she seemed to be moving way too quickly at the end. However, her rescue was one of the most excruciating and realistic scenes in the movie.

    - As far as the friends following the one guy are concerned, read my second comment above.

    - I still don’t understand why people are so hung up on knowing the origin of a monster in order to enjoy a movie. Americans in particular seem very hung up on having expository scenes in which a scientist explains everything to them – I’m not a big fan of that.

    - We had a discussion about the detachment from the characters on someone’s LJ and the general consensus was that there was no intention of them being people that we were really attached to. Rather they were just vehicles for us to experience the disaster.

    Personally, I’m really excited by the idea of a sequel that follows another video through the exact same day.

  8. Exactly, Thom – I think we dissected everyones motives pretty well up there. In a lot of ways, I think I have a different perspective on the movie, since I was in NYC on 9/11 (not to compare the two in any way other than “a bad shit happening in Manhattan” way) but the whole scared/detached/horrified but wanting to stay with people they knew because every other option was fucking terrifying even though I know very little about what the fuck is going on rings very true to me.

    Do we need to do independent research on movies now in order to get the full experience?

    IT’S J.J. ABRAMS! Here’s a suggestion: go watch 3 seasons of Lost, and THEN watch Cloverfield. Sheesh.

    As for the monster’s origin, it would make zero sense to have the random hipster characters know the origin of it. NONE. That’s not courtesy, it’s LOGICAL! The whole attitude of “I should know everything even though it makes no sense” is just baffling. Why? What is the point in ruining the previous 74 minutes of movie to satisfy some illogical impulse? It’s the thing that terrible movies are made of – the two quoted are fantastic examples of this – and any filmmaker would be embarassed to do so.

  9. If they want to reveal information about the monster, they could do it through a series of short DoD videos “leaked” on the internet. Since there were a bunch of alternate-reality sites before the film was released (characters’ myspace pages, the news clips of the drilling platform being sunk, tagruato and slusho websites, etc.), the obsessives would find it pretty quickly. It would make a lot more sense than some omniscient character inexplicably appearing in the video explaining everything.

  10. Of all the people to talk about this, I mentioned it to my pastor and his wife, who also went to see it last week. When I mentioned the Darma logo at the beginning, they got excited all over again, because they’re big fans of Lost but didn’t get caught up in all the “clues” going on. I’ve watched maybe one episode of Lost but now I’m ready to try catching up, especially if the series will in fact have a direct connection to this film and/or the sequel.

  11. I’d like to mention that the “review” that my mother so kindly posted was a private journal entry that I wrote for my friends not intended to give a comprehensive view of the movie for a general audience. At any rate, I think it’s silly to assume that just because someone was frustrated from not finding out about the monster that they need everything generally spelled out in movies. I personally didn’t know anything about Cloverfield or J.J. Abrams going in and I was curious about the monster because of all the mystery surrounding it.

    I said I enjoyed it while I was watching it, and I did! I realized once I got into it that there was probably not going to be an explanation because it obviously wouldn’t work with the style of the movie, but I’m still frustrated by it. The movie was good for what it was, but I just didn’t like what it was all that much.

    I don’t understand why people get so defensive over this movie! I even said it’s enjoyable if you don’t expect resolution and aren’t prone to motion sickness, but alas, I am clearly an uncultured twit with no taste because I personally didn’t like it. Woe is me.

    P.S. I couldn’t get through half a season of Lost. ;)

  12. @Jackie – If you’d like, I can edit your post out of that comment.

    I can definitely appreciate the fact that you didn’t know much about the movie before hand. Most of us are reacting more to the people who hated it because they didn’t know every detail. I have to admit that watching shows like X-Files and Lost has probably made it far easier for me to just go along with mysteries never being solved.

    And your explanation of who would like it matches what I said for the most part (i.e. if you realize that the movie will be A LOT like the trailer). Most of us get defensive because a lot of the bad reviews are essentially trying to tell those of us that enjoyed it that we are the uncultured twits for falling for such a gimmick.

    And I probably wouldn’t have made it through the first season of Lost if I didn’t watch all of the episodes in about 2 or 3 days time – that makes the crappy ones go by much faster :P

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