Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Thoughts after watching "CLOVERFIELD"

The movie was OK - I liked it more when it was called MIRACLE MILE... and it certainly ain't no HOST.

I fully understand why people are giving this high praise, much like BLAIR WITCH when it was first released... on its own terms, it's a pretty decent flick with some good scares and lots of frenetic camera shakiness that we all accept as a totem of 'realness'. It's a thrill-ride movie, and it makes for a good matinee or date movie when you and your date want to jump out of your seat.

But I'm not jumping on the Abrams bandwagon. I'm not going to harp on little things - the big thing for me is that I just really didn't give one damn about anyone in the movie... not that character is a BIG concern in a monster thrill ride, but it certainly helps (see the two films that I referenced in the first sentence of this post). It's a clever movie - the conceit of GODZILLA, or whatever giant-monster-on-the-rampage visualized from the viewpoint of a person at Ground Zero is a fun conceit, and THAT is what is garnering all the good praise, as well it should - it's a brilliant idea, after all.

But clever only goes so far, though it seems that Abrams and Co. have been coasting on it for years (see ALIAS, LOST, FELICITY); and it makes me very nervous at what the STAR TREK 3.0 reboot is gonna be like.

I would have thought that CLOVERFIELD would have been The Awesomest Shit if (1) it had been 20 minutes long -- the setup wears out its welcome after 10 minutes -- and (2) if the filmmakers had licensed the trademark Godzilla scream and NEVER shown the monster onscreen. You'd only hear it - though that might have been too much of a conceit to go over successfully with audiences. And Toho Studios probably would have wanted too much money.

Oh, and the shrimp/bug like things that make you explode after they bite you - overkill. Keep it simple, guys -- Big Fucking Monster Stomping Shit was plenty.

How big is this thing supposed to be? It's big enough to knock the head off of the Statue of Liberty, stomp tanks flat and knock over buildings, but the one good glimpse that we see of it (before eating a character who I was praying would either get crushed by falling debris or shot), it doesn't seem to be quite that large to do those things...

Now we'll just have to prepare for all the CLOVERFIELD knock-offs and YouTube spoofs that show up through the rest of the year.

2 comments:

Jon Knoll said...

Wow! I think you're FAR TOO KIND! Great idea so poorly executed. Hated everyone in it, nearly fell asleep before the monster showed up, and was so bored by the shaky-cam. The monster is supposed to be about 250 feet tall. I agree with your observation at the end concerning the monster's height, but by then my head hurt so much and I wanted to leave so bad I didn't care.

Jon Knoll said...

Great News! Cloverfield 2 is on the way. They could have killed two bad movies with one stone and let the 'Be Kind Rewind' gang make unnecessary Cloverfield. Jack Black as the monster? Sure, it'd still suck, but if they let the boys fight it i their tin foil Ghostbuster outfits with fishing rod/Christmas Tree trim ray guns, there might have beeen at least one good moment.