PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

January 20, 2008

Cloverfield

Filed under: Entertainment,Movies — CPav @ 12:10 am
Tags: , ,

It’s out. It’s making a ton at the box office, so it appears that word-of-mouth is good. But is the movie?

In a word: Yes. Chris, Chip, and I were all blown away by Cloverfield. Described by one guy in the row in front of us as “Blair Witch with a budget”, Cloverfield is the brainchild of J.J. Abrams, creator of Felicity, Alias, and Lost. While the other viewer’s description is accurate, I prefer my own: “Godzilla from the point of view of Tokyo.”

Cloverfield is the story of a group pf twentysomethings who gather one evening for a party for Rob (Michael Stahl-David), who is moving to (fittingly) Japan to take a lucrative job with his company. The party is being thrown by Lilly (Jessica Lucas), the girlfriend of Rob’s brother, Jason (Mike Vogel). Also invited are Lilly’s friend Marlena (Lizzy Caplan), and Hud (T. J. Miller), Rob’s best friend, who is drafted by Jason to document the evening on digital video. It is this video, including a the previous contents of the tape, which makes up the movie.

The party is interrupted by a momentary blackout, which in turn is followed by television reports of a capsized tanker near the Statue of Liberty. When the partiers go to the roof of the building to attempt to get a view of what’s happening, they get more than they bargain for, seeing explosions from that direction. The evening goes south from there, and the film follows a small group of the partiers as they attempt to escape from Manhattan.

Cloverfield represents a number of hours in the lives of a few young people who find themselves caught in the middle of something much larger than their lives. It is action-packed and intense, full of confusion, action, and emotion. The performances, from a group of relative unknowns, are realistic (much of the dialogue was evidently improvised). The plot is relatively minuscule, but it moves along briskly, with some true shocks along the way. The jumpy handheld photography won’t sit well with some viewers. The plot has holes in it you could fly an F15 through, and people who like everything explained and tied up in the end should probably avoid this movie entirely, but for us, Cloverfield is a roller coaster ride, and a really fun one at that.

With any movie that gets as much pre-release publicity and hype as Cloverfield got, there’s the risk that it won’t live up to the hype, but, for my sons and I at least, Cloverfield did.

Now I’m gonna hunt down some of those viral web sites and see if any of them answer any of the questions that were left wide open by the movie.

The 300 Project: 14/14

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