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Cloverfield

A movie directed by Matt Reeves

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Perhaps It Was The Hype That Was Overhyped

  • Jan 25, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+3
Perusing a number of reviews about this film, I've come to realize that a lot of people are giving it three or less stars because they felt that it was "overhyped." However, after watching "Cloverfield," I saw that it met my expectations as a somewhat experimental monster movie. J.J. Abrams merely planted the seed last year with that brief glimpse of footage from what we would learn to be as Hud's "documentary" on the last night that his friend, Rob, would be spending in Manhattan before heading off for Japan. It was the viewers of said clip who ran with it and created such a stir that a large portion of the population wanted to see this mysterious movie. That's what you call good advertising in my book. I praised "The Blair Witch Project" for doing the same thing a few years back even though that movie wasn't half as good as "Cloverfield."

With that said, "Cloverfield" is just what it claims to be: a monster flick shown from the point of view of a lowly citizen running for his life from a danger he knows very little about. There is no great leader of the city to protect the people. There's no young scientist to find a solution to the very big problem. There's not even a cocksure military leader, just a couple of run-ins with soldiers almost as confused as the primary characters. Does it work? Yes. Are there flaws? Yes. That doesn't stop the viewer from enjoying the film, however.

Director Matt Reeves utilizes noise, chaos, uncertainty and pitch black scenery to get into the viewer's head. On a number of occasions during the film, I caught myself trying to look around the corner of the camera in order to see what was happening. Viewing the situation through the lens of a digicam makes the viewer seem to be a "part" of the action, even though everybody was securely tucked in their seats, most likely stuffing there faces with popcorn (I know I was). Sure, one could argue that anybody with a little bit of common sense would drop the camera to help their friends, but then again, there wouldn't be much of a movie to watch, would there?

Characters such as the goofy Hud (T.J. Miller), Lily (Jessica Lucas), and Marlena (Lizzy Caplan), draw genuine sympathy from the crowd as we learn just enough about them to care for them. Rob (Michael Stahl-David) is likeable, but comes across as a bit selfish when the others are in danger. Jason Vogel (Hawk) and Odette Yustman (Beth) are excellent in their roles, but aren't part of the primary group as long as the rest of the characters (don't let that revelation make you sure of their demise, either).

Abrams also throws in a couple of twists on the traditional monster movie that weren't touched on in the film's trailers. When you see them, you'll realize that there's even more to this film than one would think.

Overall, "Cloverfield" does deliver on its hype and stealthy ad campaign. I wonder if some of those who are upset with the film are really upset with themselves for getting pumped up over a movie that never truly revealed enough details before its release to give the viewer any specific expectations. As stated before, this movie is nothing more than it proclaimed to be in the months prior to its release. I highly recommend it to fans of monster movies, sci-fi flicks in general, and those who like to see a "what if" scenario come to fruition.

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More Cloverfield reviews
review by . May 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     I've gotten tired of the gimmicky "found-footage" style of filmmaking, especially in horror films. I love the horror genre for many reasons, and these films...they have plagued it with the same old approach. However, "Cloverfield", in spite of its premise, offers something new for movie-goers. Think of is as "Godzilla", but if it had been filmed with a piece-of-shit camcorder. Also, the monster here isn't Japanese.    In the end, I think …
review by . October 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
When one thinks of "Cloverfield" (2008) the awesome "hyped-up" trailer comes to mind. The teaser trailer was very well-marketed and does grab our attention. J.J. Abrams (Mission Impossible, Lost) definitely knows how to arouse the curiosity and attention of moviegoers. Now, the only problem with hyping up a film so much is that it either works or it doesn't. Hype can definitely work in putting people on theater seats but once word gets out that the film is "anything …
review by . February 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Godzilla on steroids
  When reviewing Cloverfield obvious comparisons to movies like Godzilla are easy to make, but this film is so much more then a simple monster bash. Cloverfield is a wild mix of Godzilla like monster fun, blended with The Blair Witch Project camera style and Jaws (30th Anniversary Edition) like suspense all blended together to make one of the most perfect monster/disaster/horror films of the modern day.       First off lets give some credit to the incredible job the producers …
review by . May 28, 2009
WTF???
I highly recommend watching Cloverfield this year or any other year ...if you are being held at gunpoint. Otherwise, you are free to skip it as I wish I had. Thankfully, a friend bought me the movie ticket & I even felt sorry for the poor chap afterwards having to invest money on this hunk of steaming crap.       I have heard all the rumours on how Cloverfield is the new Blair Witch Project. Just forget it! Blair Witch Project & Cloverfield …
review by . February 09, 2009
Just like many of you, when I saw the preview for this film I instantly dubbed it "a must see". What can I say? Something about the head of the Statue of Liberty rolling down the streets of Manhattan had me hooked. More importantly I couldn't wait to find out what exactly was causing this carnage. So it was with great expectations I strapped myself in for what was sure to be an incredible ride.      Now I could go on and on here about who the cast is but you would have no idea …
review by . April 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Special effects, pacing      Cons: Nothing original, terrible narrator, very shaky camera--not for the motion sick.      The Bottom Line: If you've watched half a dozen scary or alien movies, then Cloverfield stole part of it; still there's enough to entertain.  Warning if you are prone to motionsickness, skip it.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Cloverfield is the …
review by . August 02, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
To give the utmost atmosphere of authenticity, `Cloverfield' films all its monster movie proceedings as though an amateur were using an average video camera. All the starts and stops of footage are effective enough, and the glimpses of the modern equivalent of New York City's Godzilla keep tangible, but not always present.     Just like all disaster pictures, the prologue introduces us to all of the characters. We need to know and care about them. Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) …
review by . July 05, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
The idea behind the film is clever, even if it is a bit obvious -- to the point where it's surprising nobody has done anything quite like it, or at least nothing on a similar scale. Somebody thought, let's make a monster mayhem flick but instead of a blockbuster make it an indie, shot amateur style: Godzilla meets the Blair Witch. That allows them to economize on the special effects, using sparing effects that would work on tv but not on the big screen -- but when shot on a consumer video camera …
review by . November 03, 2008
You know a movie is bad when it is set in New York but named after a road in Santa Monica, CA..... This gives you an idea how unimaginative and mindless the movie is.    I didn't mind the cinimatography. However there wasn't really a plot to peak of, the characters were pretty lame, and the monster was pretty one-dimensional. In general, I say don't bother with this movie.
review by . October 02, 2008
Pros: no pros in this film     Cons: darkness overrides production     The Bottom Line:   "No one knows what I am  No one knows why I did it   No one knows from where I come  I am Clovie!"  ~wjmmovieman         For once I get to bash a monster flick in the same decade as it was released. Never seeing any trailers for this film, and reading only summary comments from viewers, …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

One of the first things a viewer notices aboutCloverfieldis that it doesn't play by ordinary storytelling rules, making this intriguing horror film as much a novelty as an event. Told from the vertiginous point-of-view of a camcorder-wielding group of friends,Cloverfieldbegins like a primetime television soap opera about young Manhattanites coping with changes in their personal lives. Rob (Michael Stahl-David) is leaving New York to take an executive job at a company in Japan. At his goodbye party in a crowded loft, Rob’s brother Jason (Mike Vogel) hands a camcorder to best friend Hud (T.J. Miller), who proceeds to tape the proceedings over old footage of Rob’s ex-girlfriend, Beth (Odette Yustman)--images shot during happy times in that now-defunct relationship. Naturally, Beth shows up at the party with a new beau, bumming Rob out completely. Just before one's eyes glaze over from all this heartbreaking stuff (captured by Hud, who's something of a doofus, in laughably shaky camerawork), the unexpected happens: New York is suddenly under attack from a Godzilla-like monster stomping through midtown and destroying everything and everybody in sight. Rob and company hit the streets, but rather than run with other evacuees, they head toward the center of the storm so that Rob can rescue an injured Beth. There are casualties along the way, but the journey into fear is fascinating and immediate if emotionally remote--a consequence of seeing these proceedings...
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Details

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: January 18, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 25min
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