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Cloverfield

A movie directed by Matt Reeves

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Less Is More

  • Jun 21, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
We all know of the hype that surrounded this film and that was even before we even knew the name of the film, once we found out the name we became more pre-occupied with the Monster but we never really got to see the monster up close and personal. Even when the movie was released we're never really given a clear shot of the monster itself leaving more to the imagination, which I think makes it all the more special. The story tells of Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) who's about to leave New York city to start a new life in Japan, during his goodbye party he has an argument with his girlfriend, Beth (Odette Yustman) and she leaves while he has to attend the party with other things on his mind. By about this time the cameraman for the movie is Hud. (T.J. Miller) As the night progresses the party is shaken by an almighty roar for which they suspect may be an earthquake but after a news report we come to learn it's something so much more frightening.

There have been many complaints about the concept of the movie being Blair Witch-esque and being shot entirely by a handheld camera, but let me be honest when I say that it makes it all the more realistic and even more frightening. This is definitely a monster movie on the scale of the 1998 Godzilla but with one huge difference... OK maybe two and they are, we know nothing about the monster or where it comes from and we don't really come to know what it looks like. This is definitely big budget and the first scene in which the monster first attacks the city gives us the frightening vibe of the 9/11 attacks and the hysteria that the people felt at that time.

If the initial attack and the monster itself wasn't enough to scare the life out of you, then the little creatures that fall off the monster are seriously something to make you wet your pants with fright. They have the cringe factor of a very large spider, they're fast, they're crazy and if they bite you, you explode. We're never given any explanation about what's going on with the monster or the little creatures, we never find out why the people explode and indeed whether something in the Alien movie fashion jumps out. The lack of information we're given is really something that makes the whole film special as the less you know, the more your mind starts to play tricks and the more you start to think "well maybe this is what happens, or maybe that's it" you just don't know and that's what makes it an incredible film going experience.

This is something that you really should try, don't be put off by the wimpy claims of motion sickness or the pathetic ramblings of not being able to see much and the camera always swerving away from the best bit, as that's the point. It's more a movie for your imagination and let me tell you your mind really does play tricks. There is a sequel on the way and we have no idea how this is going to turn out, whether this will be a typical movie sequel or whether this will be another video camera movie from another point of view. The soldiers had cameras on their helmets so it's possible that the sequel may be from a soldiers point of view, I know I can't wait for the sequel but if you have yet to see the first movie, you really should try it out.

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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
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … 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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