Here is a LookingForClues movie review about
a movie that people seem to either Love or Hate, Cloverfield.
At Amazon.com, most people gave it either 5 stars or 1 star. After you read our review,
if you haven't seen it, why not buy a copy - you might LOVE it! It's out on DVD - Own
Plot Synopsis: One of the first things
a viewer notices about Cloverfield is
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, Cloverfield begins
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. Read
Please read our review of Cloverfield,
below. To get your own copy of the movie and see what it's all about, please click
on this ad, or click on one of the other DVDs for sale at Amazon.com.
our exclusive Feature Article:
Strap In For A CLOVERFIELD Ride
by Lynda Rey 5/2/08
I remember when I first saw "Cloverfield"
way back in January. After the initial shock of such an enjoyable movie experience,
I then thought, "Now that's a way to start a new year!" I must say, it was
quite an adventure. As many of us may recall, this movie's original teaser never even
consisted of a movie title. No, no, the creators decided to further tease the world
by depriving us of even a name of the would-be blockbuster. The concept was annoying,
but wow, it still worked like a charm. Eager audiences, including myself, were just
dying to know what this movie was all about and were not excited about waiting for
it. But fortunately, that annoying little wait was still well worth it once "Cloverfield"
was released nationwide January 18th of 2008. My appetite for atypical, anti-cliché
Hollywood movies has been steadily growing as of late, and this movie was a welcome
addition to the list.
There's just something so addictively appealing about a movie that does not follow
the trends of all other movies in the race to get our attention. In a world where
most movies are merely an escape from the reality we all know, it's at times refreshing
to get lost in a movie that depicts a version of reality without being spoon-fed every
little tidbit of information we're normally privy to. Becoming a part of the action,
drama, and story has somehow gotten very intoxicating for me. That concept is exactly
what makes "Cloverfield"
unique and original. There's no better way to become a part of the story than to see
it first-hand with the help of a video camera. Quite literally, this movie is video
footage of very normal people. Come on, admit it. If there's a tragedy going on right
outside your front door and you had a video camera handy, wouldn't you film it? Much
of what we see in this world is through the eyes of those who were willing to share
their experience. So if there's a monster devastating our towns and neighborhoods,
I highly doubt we'll all be calm and cool. We'd film; we'd run. Our footage would
be bouncy and less than perfect. But it would be all the more real.
This isn't a movie outside a movie where someone stumbles upon a camera and we get
to watch them view it comfortably from the outside. This isn't a case where we the
audience get to be on the outside looking in on what the government plans to do about
the newest threat. No, in this instance, we are on the inside looking out. The
camera's footage is the movie. Once I learned to accept that fact, I was in
for a wild ride outside the norm. I'm there in the theater watching someone's home
video. I'm desperate to see that menacing monster, but eager to get to safety with
everyone else. I'm not just in a movie's theater; I'm in the movie's story. I've become
a part of it because the person was there to share it. I'm allowed to experience what
they did. With several understandably shaky camera movements, it may not have been
the most comfortable way to view a movie, but I for one found it the most welcoming
in regard to the story.
Quickly we're introduced to the characters just by viewing a few short footages of
their happy, funny, and dramatic moments. Much like a real video camera, several different
footages overlap each other, yet each piece reveals a clue about who we're seeing
and why we should care about them. Our main cameraman called Hud, after being asked
to document a goodbye party for his friend Rob, eventually finds himself responsible
for documenting history unfolding before his very eyes. When a mysterious monstrosity
devastates New York on the very same night as the party, all of us are fortunate enough
to see what it felt like through the viewpoint of the characters. Because of this,
we are as clueless as they are, running alongside with them in fear and terror without
the convenience of knowing what exactly they're running from. We the audience are
not given the advantage for one bit of the film's terrorizing moments. Instead, just
like Hud and Rob and the other characters we've grown accustomed to in the first few
minutes of the film, we're forced to deal with what's being presented to us in the
best way we know how. If there's panic, we can relate. If there's heroism, we can
understand. If people run for their lives, we're right behind them. For we are all
part of the same experience. And I reiterate how fortunate we are to see what it can
"Fortunate?" you may be asking. For many viewers, this movie with all its dizzying
shakiness and suffocating darkness was anything but a fortunate experience! Yes, there
are many people out there who weren't quite ready to accept the perspective of "Cloverfield."
It is quite literally a bumpy ride with very few answers. Even I can admit that I've
gotten a little spoiled with thousands of movies of old where the answers to how,
why, and what were eventually exposed to me. I must know! It's frustrating not to
know. But I was extremely forgiving of the lack of explanation. Why? Because the "Cloverfield"
experience is one from the perspective of us, the little people. These aren't people
who are geniuses with scientific minds or who have inside information from the military.
These aren't superheroes with secret identities out to save the world. These are normal
people with normal lives who suddenly have to fight to keep them. I truly loved being
stripped of my typical conveniences as a moviegoer, to be thrown in the middle of
the chaos feeling just as useless, helpless, and terrified as the people on the screen.
I know I tend to overly praise the concept of "Cloverfield,"
but that's only because it's so rare to find a movie like this in Hollywood. Perhaps
what made it all the more thrilling was of course the visual effects. After all, a
huge blockbuster movie about a monster terrorizing Manhattan visible only through
the eyes of a camera certainly still deserves to be believable. For something filmed
almost completely in the dark, the multiple effects were definitely well executed.
Having gained more footage as the movie progresses, the monster itself is a horridly
ugly thing, certainly not something you've seen in past monster movies. But it worked
so flawlessly, especially since we more got to focus on the fear and terror such a
creature creates rather than on the creature itself. And the fact that we cannot see
this thing in all its glory for more than a few minute's worth of time added even
more realism to this movie.
Now when it comes to "Cloverfield's"
single-disc DVD release, it is definitely a great catch and satisfactory. Though not
as jam-packed as some may prefer, it's still enough to keep your interest appeased
until a much more thorough version is released. But until that time comes, this version
can definitely make due. For a single disc edition, there is still plenty of behind-the-scenes
footage that better show how the movie's most intense scenes were brought to life.
Included on this release is also a fun gag reel, several deleted scenes, and two alternate
endings. Not to mention the numerous Easter Eggs you have to dig for. All in all,
if you're a moviegoer who is rabid for originality, then "Cloverfield"
is a definite must for your appetite. And frankly, I see no better way to become a
part of your movie until you let yourself be robbed of the convenience of it always feeling like
a movie. Go and be a part of the "Cloverfield"
Lynda is 26 years old, lives in Indiana,
and hopes to one day pursue a career working with animals. She enjoys many forms of
self-expression, including art, poetry, and writing, which is one of the latter additions
to her list of hobbies.
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