|02-02-2008, 10:21 AM||#1|
Have a sip of my "special" cocktail.
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: On your Six.
Word In Stone: Review of Cloverfield
Kaiju. The Japanese word for movies featuring big ass monsters kicking the crap out of everything in sight, eating what they want and generally reducing property values. Living in that gated community? Well now, there goes the neighborhood. Take that, Trevor, Yuppie Scum. Can't wait to see you whining at the next homeowner's meeting. Oh, that's right, you can't. You've been eaten and now are composite chunks occupying space in a monster turd. Sucks to be you.
Anyhow, like zombie movies, these are usually pretty simple. Normal life. Monster(s) appear. People get killed. Government gets involved. More people get killed. Eventually, event ends. Or not. Not really much to it.
Whether these films work is all in the actual execution. In the case of Cloverfield, director Matt Reeves goes Blair Witch, with a personal vidcam held by an amateur who is present during several events related to the catastrophe. This results in rough footage shot on the fly, and a rough way which apparently has caused trouble for some viewers. But it definitely gives you an "on the scene" feel, especially that first glance down in the street after the first initial tremors and you get your first glimpse of the creature down the street. Also, that scene where the Army is storming up the street, infantry unloading, tanks thundering, the creature howling, and the guy holding the camera off to the side, trying to make himself as small as possible, while still trying to get this on camera, very nice.
Some of these movies, again, both kaiju and zombie films have a bit of veiled social commentary. This one doesn't. It's just about these people scrambling about, trying to survive while these traumatic events happen about them. And taking in the unique perspective of the devastation.
This worked for me. The action had a visceral quality to it. The military looked like it was doing it's professional best, just that it just may not have been enough. The civilians reacted in all different kids of ways, but it was believable how their actions were shown.
The creature was facinating in that it not only was it a big beasty bent on bashing, but it was dropping off these little parasites that killed all they could and...infected...others. Not sure what the purpose of the infection was for.
I've heard some complain about the thinness of the characters. I disagree. No more so than most of this genre. And the actors playing them did a yeoman's job with what they had. Yes, they were pretty. Big deal. I'm personally a pretty good looking cat, so this didn't bother me.
Anyway, nice job, JJ Abrams. If Star Trek is good, this year will have nice cinematic Evil Robot bookends.