Friday, September 21, 2012

Random Review (Cloverfield)

Sorta getting back into the swing of things, kind of miss writing stuff for no reason so here I am.  I return to these Random Review posts with a personal favorite of mine.  A lot of people don't like the shaky cam aspect of Cloverfield but I find it to be unique and keeps me enthralled.  It's not a movie I saw in theaters because I've never been much of a sci-fi kind of guy, but this is a movie that took off for me after some home viewings.  It's currently parked at 32 in my Top 100 movies list.

If this is your first Random Review and you're wondering what the fuck I'm doing, I just randomized my DVD collection and decided for shits and giggles, I would watch each one and review it.
File:Cloverfield theatrical poster.jpg
I'm a sucker for movie trivia and viral marketing.  I get fascinated when a movie gets teased to me in creative ways, rather than the cookie cutter standard trailer way.  J.J. Abrams produced Cloverfield and he knows how to make something of his intriguing for the fans with his experience in Lost.  There are just some movies who have an IMDb page that is almost as entertaining as the movie itself.  The first teaser trailer for this movie simply showed an explosion and the Statue of Liberty's head rolling down a street in New York shot from a handheld camera.  They didn't even reveal the title of the film.  It's something that makes you turn to the person next to you wondering what the hell you just saw and you make a mental note for yourself to check it out online when you get home.  Now THAT'S a teaser trailer.

Now, this is not a movie you should read about before actually watching.  I know it came out a while ago, but if you have any interest in viewing it, go watch it before you read this.  I'll wait.  Okay, we're back.  The entire plot was shrouded in mystery so it must have been a blast for big fans to watch it finally unfold.  It's presented as a found footage movie, meaning that everything we see supposedly "happened."  You're quickly introduced to the characters as they are immersed in a party being thrown for Rob who will be moving to Japan for a new job.  His friend Hud is behind the camera filming people leaving Rob good wishes and everything seems hunky-dory.  Then, as things tend to do in these type of movies, shit hit the fan.  The lights go out, the building rumbles, and everyone is left in confusion.  They chalk it up to an earthquake as they all gather on the rooftop to survey the city.  Another explosion occurs as they get to street level and the infamous shot of the Statue of Liberty's head rolling down the street is showcased and our first glimpses of the monster is shown.  The group, which consists of Rob (who is on a new mission to find his friend and the girl he loves, Beth, who had left the party upset with him), Hud (cameraman), Jason (Rob's brother), and his wife Lily, along with her friend Marlena.

The group gets slowly picked off in terrifying ways as Rob desperately tries to make contact and find Beth.  The monster takes out the Brooklyn bridge as thousands of people try to make their way out of the city and Jason becomes a casualty.  Rob tells the group that he's going towards the monster, rather than away, because that's where Beth is trapped and he wants to save her.  Marlena objects, but the group decides to ultimately, tag along with him, because, like, fuck monsters.  Obviously this just leads to more badass monster scenes with the army coming in trying to combat this behemoth.  They try to travel underground through the subway, but that proves to be futile because apparently this giant lizard thing is dropping little parasites that are running around the city biting people.  Marlena, the beautiful Marlena played by the exquisite Lizzy Caplan, gets bitten and she meets the most disturbing demise.  They find an army bunker that has been stationed in a mall filled with paramedics who realize she's been bitten.  Apparently that's no bueno because they literally blow her the fuck up.  Just like that.  Pop pop.

They manage to save Beth, heroically ascending her apartment building, which has nearly been knocked over, just in time to return to the army who are taking off in the final helicopters as they plan to nuke the city. Lily gets in the first chopper and the remaining three jump in the 2nd.  They think they've made it but the mean old monster decides to take down the helicopter leaving them crashing to the ground.  The footage cuts ahead a little while later and it's dawn as the three of them gather themselves.  Hud, the cameraman, still grasping that thing, catches the monster in daylight for the first time as we see just what exactly this thing is as it promptly devours Hud.  The bombs obliterate the city and the remaining seconds of the movie shows footage of Beth and Rob at Coney Island left over on the camera

This is the type of movie that makes me want to eat up every last tidbit of bonus footage.  The commentary track is filled with little nuggets from the director as he walks us through the movie.  I love learning more and more about a flick like this.  The making of documentary shows how they make a handheld movie seem realistic and it really ties it all together well.  All the bonus features just make me love this movie even more.

My Rating - 8/10

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