Hey folks, Valkor here. Just before Transformers (2007 version) screened, a trailer was shown that started out at a party, sending off this guy named Rob, who's off to Japan to become a VP, ending with an explosion, and the Statue of Liberty's head sliding down an NYC street - mass hysteria! It ends simply with the date "1-18-08". That's it. That's all anyone knew of this film. And it sent folks clamoring for more information. But there wasn't much info available for this film, other than the name "Cloverfield" and a slew of viral websites that, for the most part, didn't help anyone figure out just what the hell Cloverfield was. Well 1-18-08 has passed and the film simply titled "Cloverfield" is upon us. And what do I think? Read on! Oh, and there are spoilers everywhere so proceed at your own risk.
In short... It's complete and utter bullshit.
Before I delve into that statement, let's get the plot down. "Cloverfield" is a giant monster movie, taken from the perspective of a cameraman as he and his friends struggle to escape the monster's devastations through the streets of NYC. It starts out with Jason, Rob's brother and his girlfriend Lilly getting ready for this party (you know, the one from the trailer), events leading up to the party, and ending with the monster attack. Once the creature attacks, the group attempt an escape out of Manhattan and over into Brooklyn. However, Jason is killed when the Monster attacks the bridge leaving behind Rob, Lilly, Hud (who's holding the camera) and Marlena, who is just there. Rob gets a frantic call from his sorta, kinda girlfriend Beth and it's now their goal to reach her somehow as well as give themselves distance from the creature. You don't get to see too much of the actual monster until about the end, but you never forget it's there as it makes its presence known whenever possible. Plus little off-shoots of the creature fall off it, chasing and killing whatever is in their paths. The movie plays out almost exactly like Blairwitch project, as everything is seen through the eye of a camera. And for some strange reason, Hud never drops the damn thing (more on that later) and is capturing the moment until his bitter end. When that happens, Rob takes over filming and does a Blairwitch type monologue into the camera, talking about what's going on, ending with a giant explosion that may or may not have killed him and Beth (Oh yea he finds Beth). We don't know if the military or the monster won, but what I do know is, I was extremely disappointed in this film, especially given all the hype surrounding it. It's a short 85 minutes, but UGH.
There isn't all that much "good" I can say about "Cloverfield", save for maybe the monster. I can't even begin to describe what it was, but oh my god it was scary as hell. You don't see much of it, but that's ok because what you don't see makes it that much scarier. And just knowing that thing is out there, taking out NYC and its populace, had me tense with anticipation, wondering when and where it would pop up next. And the smaller versions of it are just as nasty. I also enjoyed watching the army take on the creature, especially when the Stealth Bomber is sweeping over the sky and you know that monster was gonna get the shit kicked out of it.
Wow! there's just so much bad about this film that I don't even know where to begin. Ok JJ and crew, I get the shaky cam. It gives the film some sense of realism. And I'll buy that, but I would have gone with a mix of a) shaky cam and b) Military strike. I really, REALLY wanted to see more of the military fighting against this never before seen threat. Ah well. Second, I know we are supposed to dispense realism and all that but it's kinda hard when mid-film you think "that camera has a damn good battery in it" because it didn't die at all, even after constantly running, turning on its external light and even switching to night mode. Come on, the camera was running for 24 hours and not even a blip. Third, so Marlena gets bitten, she, Hud, Lily and Rob make it to the military base and no one, and I me NO ONE tells anyone that she was bitten. Not even Hud, who fucking loves her. Nothing! Rob only wants to know if the military can help him find Beth and the other two just look on, ultimately waiting until Marlena speaks up and... she's infected with eyes bleeding and face pale. The military decides to react, but it's too late, she dies in a spray of blood. Fucking delicious.
This section goes out to Hud, who not once, not fucking once does he drop the camera!! Are you kidding me!!!? All sorts of shit is going down and he hangs onto to that camera for dear life. Oh my god! He was even attacked by one of the smaller versions of the creature and... still holding on! Marlena (the woman he loves) is attacked and he never let's go of that damn camera. Hud's commentary also sucked any life this movie had going for it because he says the dumbest shit. He even tries to theorize how and where the monster might have come from. But I wanted to jump into the film, grab that camera and crack him over the skull. I actually cheered when he was killed because finally we don't have to hear his freaking annoying voice. (Too bad it's toward the end of the film, or I would have scored Cloverfield a little higher. Heh). This is the one, no the main reason I'll never watch this film again. I'd rather watch 1998, CGI, dancing through NYC and causing no destruction on its own, Godzilla 5 times, then to have to watch some douche with a camera make dumb commentary.
"Cloverfield" is a "like it or lump it" type of film (I lumped it). I'd say if you wanna see what all the hype is about then yes go see Cloverfield. And if you can go during a matinee, then yea even better. But I bought into the hyped and I left feeling unsatisfied. So out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Cloverfield a 2 only because the monster is the film's saving grace, but other than that, wait for the DVD, and I'm talking rent not buy.