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Review of “Cloverfield” (2008) PG-13 85min

May 20th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 6,257 Views

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3/5

Cloverfield (2008)The plot: A monster attacks Manhattan. A guy at a go-away party has a camcorder and keeps filming the story of survival of him and his friends among the devastation caused by the monster.

The good: Lots of loud explosions and cool CGI effects. The movie has no musical score – just “natural” sounds that help you immerse in the environment the way “Children of Men” and “War of the Worlds” did. However if you stay past the final credits, there’s a movie theme played in the end composed by Michael Giacchino (music for Lost, Alias, Speed Racer, Ratatouille and Call of Duty, among others) – this overture is absolutely brilliant. Written by Drew Goddard – the writer and producer of “Alias” and “Lost” series (most of the crew is from Alias and Lost). Nice dialogs throughout the movie. Nice camera angles. It was important for the movie to introduce and open the characters. It’s interesting to see how people react to a big unexpected disaster. Nominated for 2008 Best Sci-Fi film.

The bad: lots of problems with the plot, especially continuity. The heroes surviving the helicopter crash was out of Die Hard playbook. I hate when soldiers/FBI/CIA/police say, “OK, listen up, people…”. The dude with the camera was useless – I was relieved when the monster ate the guy (the monster scaled down a lot when it ate him).. Not scary enough and not enough suspense. The more you watch the movie, the more comfortable we become with the situation and the monster. No buildup – the buildup with in the teaser trailer, but nothing in the movie. Acting is so so, but it may be a good thing – after all we are watching “regular people”.

The summary: A nice take on the Godzilla/Aliens theme with photo-realistic special effects. A lot of screaming and running. Didn’t care for characters. Not enough suspense.

p.s.
The movie is actually 73 minutes long, but the final credits crawl for 12 minutes to the Michael Giaccino’s overture score called “The Roar”.

DVD features:

  • Commentary by director Matt Reeves
  • The Making of “Cloverfield”
  • Cloverfield Visual Effects
  • I saw it! It’s alive! It’s huge!
  • Clover Fun
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Endings
  • Previews

The cast: Marlena – Lizzy Caplan | Lily – Jessica Lucas | Hud – T.J. Miller | Rob Hawkins – Michael Stahl-David | Jason Hawkins – Mike Vogel | Beth McIntyre – Odette Yustman | Jenn – Margot Farley | Antonio – Theo Rossi | Charlie – Brian Klugman

The credits: Director – Matt Reeves | Writer – Drew Goddard | Producers – J. J. Abrams, David Baranoff, Brian Burk, Sherryl Clark, Guy Riedel | Cinematography – Michael Bonvillain

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Rated 3/5 on May 20 2008
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Tags: Action · Cult Films · DVD · Movies · Sci-Fi · Thrillers/Suspense · USA

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