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Cloverfield Review

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January 18, 2008 3:05:31 PM

Review written by Travis Meacham.

J.J. Abrams' mysterious creature feature hits theaters today powered by the momentum of a viral marketing campaign and internet buzz but does the movie hold up to its own hype?

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/01/18/cloverfield_review/

More about : cloverfield review

January 18, 2008 5:46:19 PM

I was on the fence about this movie, i am going to see it tonight. Great review, sounds like you kept an open mind about it !
January 18, 2008 6:42:15 PM

I did not see the movie and I will not see the movie. Firstly, tickets are wayyy overpriced, especially when there are 30-45 minutes of previews before you even get to the movie. The last movie I saw in a theater was Star Wars Ep 3 and it will be the last I watch in a theater.

Anyway, is it me or is anyone else sick of the "Human story and characters" in movies like AvP2? Transformers actually had a better balance of kickass fights between robots and the garbage human plot. AvP 2 may as well not even included aliens or predator. Having said that, if you are making a monster movie, I could care less about "Robs" going away party and "Robs" search for some girl. Rob can board a ship and fly to the moon for all I care.

In a movie like this, I would expect to see a monster tearing it up, eating marines and lots of explosions. Not another "xxx attacks earth and humans prevail because humans work together and put aside their differences" like that independence day drivel.

If you want a movie with an actual good "human" story mixed with ass-kicking aliens, look no further than Aliens.
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January 19, 2008 1:50:16 AM

I went and saw Cloverfield on the way home from work tonight. I've been interested in it since I saw the first trailer. I love monster movies and sci-fi, but I'm still not sure what rating to give it, because it was a pretty good movie that made everyone in the theater nauseous from the hand held camera work. So what can I say, it's a good movie that will give you motion sickness? I've never seen a movie before where the whole audience was glad just to have it end. The plot was ok and they showed more of the monsters than I was expecting, but I'm still feeling sick so I'm not happy.......
January 19, 2008 3:22:45 AM

Saw the movie. I liked it mostly. I get the whole "Shaky Cam = You are in the movie" and it works on me ok. That said, we have computers and we can just suspend belief so next time can it just be "occaisionally shaky but always camcorder quality"? I promise I'll be equally drawn in and I can skip the motion illness.

SPOILER DISCUSSION BELOW SO STOP READING IF YOU CARE:



Incoming in 3

2

1

Ok, the plot. I get it, the whole monster ravages city for no real reason. However in the end I was just left wanting more. I guess in a way they are shooting for Independence Day w/o your Will Smith government insider info, just John Doe on the street how does he and his friends react. However I really wished the end gave you a sort of "ending" feeling. Either the monster is dead, or the world is a wreck and its roaming the remains. I just didnt feel like I finished a story.

Also, the very end where they cut to the month previous at Coney Island. Theres a rather large splash in the water off in the ocean, and I've seen it postulated that perhaps that is the monster arrival. I dont know if that was intended or not, but the video was a month earlier.

Lastly, I dont keep track of names alot in entertainment. This movie to me was a Sci -Fi movie with so little information, so many questions and absolutely no answers. Its like that Sci-Fi Show I liked the first season of a great deal but afterwards there werent any answers for all the mysteries they put forth in Season 1. I felt like I get nowhere watching it. It's called Lost. I swear I had no idea J.J. Abrahms was responsible for both, but afterwards, wow its like he got me again hehe.
January 19, 2008 3:30:41 AM

I really want to see this movie.

I don't suffer from motion sickness and I didn't find anything wrong with Transformers or the Bourne movies, which people were complaining about the shaky cam deal.
January 19, 2008 4:28:36 PM

Firstly I have to disagree with a lot you say in your review. I saw the movie yesterday and it was hands down the greatest film I've ever seen since, "The Matrix."

Your initial comparison between "The Blair With Project" and "Cloverfield" is like a comparison between Dragonball Z and The Looney Toons. They might both be cartoons, but they sure as hell are nothing a like. Cloverfield's use of the camera and the perspective it gets is nothing like "The Blair With Project." Cloverfield executed this camera perspective with amazing quality; not only this but it executed it in such a way that you were there, you were feeling what Robb and Lilly were feeling as well as Hud. The Blair With Project was nothing but a scam to try and get you to believe in an obviously BS story. To compare the two movies is just absurd. The ONLY thing they have in common is they use a camera as the perspective. But it ends there.

Everyone in the theater I was at loved the film, no one had motion sickness and I've personally never had a friend or family member or even a co-worker complain about motion sickness from a camera perspective before. However, if you can't handle watching something like that, than please, don't go see it than rate it down because you couldn't handle it.

Secondly I do not see how you can say it's not action-packed. Maybe you missed the scene where the girls head exploded or the Army/Marines came in with Tanks and troops launching missiles at the monster, perhaps you also missed the B-2 bomber carpet bombing the beast to hell? Did you also miss the helicopter crashing as well as the head to the Staue of Liberty crashing down right in front of them? Perhaps you also missed the Empire State Building crashing down into the ground and causing mass chaos? I might also add that you may have missed the tanker exploding in the harbor? Did you even watch the movie is now my question...?

The complaint that I will voice is about the smaller monsters that accompany the big one.Their inclusion in the film feels a bit lazy to me as they only act as a device to push the characters around and keep them moving. They don't affect the story in any way and don't offer us any clues as to the monster's intentions or origins. said:
The complaint that I will voice is about the smaller monsters that accompany the big one.Their inclusion in the film feels a bit lazy to me as they only act as a device to push the characters around and keep them moving. They don't affect the story in any way and don't offer us any clues as to the monster's intentions or origins.


It's called plot development. Maybe you haven't heard of it. Maybe you also missed out on when the little creatures slaughtered the Army/Marines and also attacked the characters? How can you say they don't affect the story; they caused one of the main characters to die. Not only this but they were everywhere, just as they should be. Did you not see how when the Behemoth breathed that they came pouring out...now, take how many breathes the monster takes and take into account about how many little creatures would come out. Of course they drive people on ward! They are everywhere! Once again, did you even watch the film?

This is exactly why I don't take any reviews by critics seriously any more. It's as if they haven't even watched the film. The reviews I read from actual people versus website reviews and critic reviews it like night and day.

I suggest everyone take Travis' review worth a grain of salt and nothing more. Go see the film for yourself. It's highly worth it and it's quite possibly the best $7.00 I have spent at the movies in a long long time. I'll leave it at that.
January 19, 2008 5:50:26 PM

"I did not see this movie"

But in my opinion most of these movies are crap. They are thrown together with a big budget, over hyped on commercials and then we get sucked to got see what all the hub bub is about. Most of the time we are only mildly entertained and come away feeling ripped off. You can find better entertainment on TV (but that aint saying much) cause there is a lot of crap on TV as well. Either way you loose. Go read a book. :D 
January 20, 2008 12:03:56 AM

I'd wait for rental. My son wanted to see it so I took him today.
It was ok at best. I would never pay to see it again or buy it on DVD et al.
If it was not made in the Blair Witch mode it would have been better but the motion sickness really ruined the movie for me.
I did not care about any characters rather I cared to see it end, the sooner the better.

It could have been a top monster film had it been shot normally.
January 20, 2008 3:26:15 PM

For the people with motion sickness, where were you sitting in the theatre. I don't get motion sickness for much, except when i see action movies in the very front row where you have to **** your head sideways.
January 20, 2008 4:28:13 PM

Went to see this film last night. Thought the single perspective idea worked well. Best blend of CG FX in any film I've seen. As far as the story goes, in the Facebook generation this is the story. I also thought it made what is essentially a fantasy into a quite believable and realistic experience. The characters developed throughout the drama and They were easy for me to identify with. I give it 4 out of 5.
January 20, 2008 6:03:04 PM

I saw this movie and your right about it doesnt have a ending feeling. I was one of the stupid ones and stayed to the ending credits to hear a whisper say help me its still alive. I didnt like the fact that there was no ending but overall how it was shot was very interesting. I liked the movie alot aside from the ending. I did find out more information on the movie going to various websites sponsored by the producers of the movies. This makes entirely to much work to get some answers and closures on a movie that should be added within the context of the movie at some point.
January 20, 2008 10:58:22 PM

justinmcg67 said:
Everyone in the theater I was at loved the film, no one had motion sickness and I've personally never had a friend or family member or even a co-worker complain about motion sickness from a camera perspective before. However, if you can't handle watching something like that, than please, don't go see it than rate it down because you couldn't handle it.

Please quote the places in the review where I complained about motion sickness and where the movie was given any kind of rating.
justinmcg67 said:
Secondly I do not see how you can say it's not action-packed. Maybe you missed the scene where the girls head exploded or the Army/Marines came in with Tanks and troops launching missiles at the monster, perhaps you also missed the B-2 bomber carpet bombing the beast to hell? Did you also miss the helicopter crashing as well as the head to the Staue of Liberty crashing down right in front of them? Perhaps you also missed the Empire State Building crashing down into the ground and causing mass chaos? I might also add that you may have missed the tanker exploding in the harbor? Did you even watch the movie is now my question...?

Those scenes amount to about 9 minutes of screentime... out of 90.
justinmcg67 said:
It's called plot development. Maybe you haven't heard of it. Maybe you also missed out on when the little creatures slaughtered the Army/Marines and also attacked the characters? How can you say they don't affect the story; they caused one of the main characters to die. Not only this but they were everywhere, just as they should be. Did you not see how when the Behemoth breathed that they came pouring out...now, take how many breathes the monster takes and take into account about how many little creatures would come out. Of course they drive people on ward! They are everywhere! Once again, did you even watch the film?

If the story is that Rob has to get to a building to rescue Beth then they don't affect it at all. The small monsters don't prevent this from happening and the main characters don't even change direction when they come up against them. They are a cheap device to keep the audience from feeling safe when the main characters are indoors.
justinmcg67 said:
I suggest everyone take Travis' review worth a grain of salt and nothing more.

Yes. It's a movie review, not a religious manifesto. You should take all reviews of everything with a grain of salt. Frankly I'm not sure why you're so upset. It's OK to disagree with people. You liked it a lot and I thought it was OK.
January 21, 2008 12:30:22 AM

I saw the shorts when I went to see I am Legend. They looked crap so I'm not going to bother watching the movie :lol: 
January 21, 2008 12:42:57 AM

I get sick of seeing disasters in America too. Why can't they do one in Sydney or Melbourne or something? Follow in the footsteps of The Matrix.
January 21, 2008 4:37:16 AM

I watched the movie last night, and to sum it so that anyone can understand it, this movie should have been called "Blair 'Zilla Project". That way everyone will know exactly what they are letting themselves in for. Cloverfield is almost a title for a romantic comedy.
The main difference though is that the Godzilla monster was almost lovable, this monster is quite disturbing and rightly so. I thought this movie almost worked. It's successful in conveying fear and panic from a first person web-cam point of view. What I didn't like was motion sickness similar to playing Wolfenstein for prolonged hours on a 386 PC.
Lastly I like my movies to have a point for the time you invest in them. I don't want to be accused of being a spoiler but the movie already reveals the fate of the characters from the opening graphics, which pretty much tell you they don't make it out so you are left just waiting for the inevitable to happen. Duh!
Overall I liked the movie, because there genuinely is innovation on the genres if only because they combined them in such a way you end up with a new one. You feel, their panic, their depair more so than if they shot it through the conventional method. But it is flawed and if you get motion sickness playing FPS games then avoid or bring a paper bag.
January 21, 2008 7:47:05 AM

Well, the viral video ads and titleless preview before Transformers seem to have worked since Tom's Hardware features this review. I wonder how many more movies are going to be "featured" like this. I might as well see Cloverfield because I enjoy watching movies, but I'm also on the fence about this one because of the annoying approach to standing out that the advertising took.
January 21, 2008 3:20:08 PM

That's funny about the Matrix. I completely agree that the theories were better than the trilogy itself. Very disappointing. That taught me not to buy into hype anymore, so I really don't waste my time with speculation anymore. The most I said about Cloverfield was that I hope it's not a Godzilla movie after my brother made me watch the trailer. Cloverfield looks interesting, but I don't know if I want to spend $8.50 for a movie ticket, especially since I heard it's only like 80 minutes long. I don't plan on seeing any movie in the theaters until maybe the Dark Knight if it gets good reviews... oh yeah, and Indiana Jones unless it gets horrible reviews.
January 21, 2008 3:57:20 PM

saw the movie thought it was good. Luckly we used free tickets to watch it otherwise I might have felt a bit dissapointed. I would like to say that there really is no need to use the handy-cam effect. No matter what we know its not real and hense I don't need to have the nauseating feeling every 15 minutes when they run. Those parts of the movie you might as well look away and listen to the audio anyway since you can't "see" anything going on because of the constant shaking.



Spoiler warning below:




Yes the last scene at koni-island shows the monster hitting the water from space? maybe... we don't know but they certainly did that on purpose.
January 22, 2008 1:18:02 AM

I went and saw the movie with my wife over the weekend. We both thought that it lacked closure. It just leaves you hanging at the end. I would have liked for some military guy to come on after the "tape" was over and to say what happened. Was the monster killed? Did they have to nuke NY? I mean I wa..........................
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