Cloverfield - Mania.com



Movie Review

Maniac Grade: F-

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Cloverfield

January 27, 2008


© N/A

Wow, cannot BELIEVE I spent money to see this movie. As many of you know, I never even wanted to see the movie, but my friends were hell-bent on checking this movie out. They were so warped by the viral ads and duped into watching this horrible movie.
No, I am not affected by shaky cam, but I do not enjoy it. It really just annoys me, I was to SEE what is happening, not strain my eyes to try and get glimpses.


Well, let’s start. In the beginning of the movie, we see U.S. Defense Department screen giving us information that they retrieved an tape and we are about to see it. What gets me, is they are playing it on an SD Card. The "Designate" that the case is given is "Cloverfield" and the tape is retrieved from an area formerly known as "central Park". SO lets move on, shall we? The beginning of the movie shows a party being thrown for an individual who is going to Japan to be a Vice President of a company. Yeah, the nice little Japan thrown in is not obvious at all. In fact, it is not a tribute but more of a slap in the face.


So, as we see these party people celebrate, we get a little inside story. The Camera man likes one of the chicks (Marlena) and the guy (Rob) they threw the party for is in love with a woman (Beth) that arrived late to the party. Which are all very important facts for the government to research, right? You see, if the government wanted to see what the monster did or how it came to be, watching EIGHTEEN minutes of party footage will help accomplish that. YES! EIGHTEEN MINUTES. What is that? I was literally gonna fall asleep. Then, the great Statue of Liberty loses its head, and we see it thrown down a street. Of course people scream. FAKE, FAKE screaming. OH MY GOD!!! That is what is said a billion times with no emotion or emphasis. Anywho, everyone is in shock and the Camera Man offers to rewind the tape and replay what happened. What we see is a part of the tape that wasn't erased, which is meant to be a sort of Flashback. It is REEEEALLY useless.


So, now the "survivors" are making their way to Brooklyn Bridge. They are trying to leave the city. Yeah, that is what I would do, GO TO THE BRIDGE! Wow, talk about horrible writing. Well, SHOCKINGLY, the bridge is destroyed by one of the monsters (the largest one) and people die including Robs Brother, Jason. Seriously, who did not see this coming? It is RIDICULOUS! Oh, then there is rioting. YEP, people who are being attacked by a huge monster are rioting. I understand a few people here and there...but not 50 people! Anywho, this way one of the guys can get a phone, or battery. Anywho, then we get a good of a monster and its parasites. Then we see them kill a few people.


At this point, I am so numb with dumb that I cannot stand anymore. First off, the Camera Man asks if he should keep filming. His friend says yes, the people got to know how it happened. Well, we see them watching news channels to see what is happening. This is when we see the monster and get a better of understanding of what is going on. At least with the news filming the monster, we get clearer and steadier shots. So, moving on, Rob goes after the woman he loves after hearing her frantic Message of how she is injured. While going after her, we are put in the middle of a war between the monster and the Army. Then we get a really laughable shot of the monster. It honestly LOOKS LIKE A POKEMON! Now we are in a subway and all we hear is fighting from above. Then Robs phone rings (Rob's Mom is calling) and he has to give the bad news about his brother. Look, this is sad and I get it. I know loss, but when is this useful for the Defense Department? Look, when you are in a crisis, why would you film minute moments? Yes, people film crazy events, but when people are just sitting? Doesn't fly, and why does the Defense Department care?


So, now we get treated of them walking down a Subway Tunnel and we get more insightful chatter about where they think the monster came from and how Rob never said he loved Beth. This is really deep stuff for a Defense Department Investigation. Of course they hear something in the Tunnel and they are scared. Gee, I wonder what is going on. Hmmmm, I wonder if the camera has night vision? Well, just in the nick of time, Rob shows our Camera Man how to use the night Vision, and what does he see? MONSTERS! They are attacked, and then somehow survive the attack, when Soldiers with guns cannot even survive. AWESOME WRITING AGAIN! We get more walking around and talking, very useful when you want to know what is attacking New York. Oh and Marlena is badly injured after heroically coming back to save the Camera man. She has a horrible gash on her shoulder and is losing blood. However, luckily they are found by soldiers (with their guns point right at them asking: are there any more of you? WHAT?!?! Aren’t you fighting a F*CKING monster(s)? ) So freaking Laughable! Well, the Soldiers take the Civilians to a Med Center and then they are packing up to leave just as they arrive. Oh and they have one of those things contained. Then Marlena is bleeding from the eyes and she is killed as she was bitten by one of those things. Why? Well, as you watch this movie nothing is explained. SO they still go after Beth even after all that even more so after one of the soldiers state that they will nuke the place (Not in so many words, I believe he said Hammer the place?)! Now we get more walking around, and talking. Nothing useful at all! Well, they miraculously find Beth and are taking her to safety. She is screaming from the pain since she was crushed a little by debris and then we hear and see the monster, SHOCKING. Beth cannot even walk so they carry her….but then she is running? So very freaking odd. They run and board a helicopter after they see the monster arriving. As they fly away, they see the monster getting bombarded with missiles. Then helicopter is hit and they crash. Some survive and the Camera Man gets a first look at the Monster, and then dies after it attacks him. So, now only Beth and Rob are left. They run under a bridge and do sort of a half-assed confession. Then they are bombed and they say I LOVE to each other (which is a really good scene) Then the camera stops and we see them at a Carnival or something and we see the ocean, something hits the ocean, which we can assume it is the monster(s). Seriously, how can no one SEE that people don’t watch their own videos? This could have been prevented? Seriously, this is some HORRIBLE writing. I know, it is supposed to be left open for a sequel, because we have no idea what happens.

Well, I need to sum this up. The writing and direction is horrible. People are not THAT stupid, even more so after 9-11. Why would the Defense Department show so much info that has no relevance? The Monster(s) in this film are seen for a total of 5 minutes. In a movie that is barely over an hour. That is sad, really, really sad. Look, I am the first to admit that less is better….but this goes beyond less, this is almost nonexistent. Look, some people have issues with the cell phone, it is logical, the one thing that is not logical, is that a camera lasting that long after the brutality it went through. SEVEN HOURS? Being dropped? Kicked and surviving Helicopter crashes? Also, why did the monster only attack the Camera Man and not the other two? This movie has so many plot holes and such bad acting and direction and writing, that I cannot help but give this movie an F-. I am sorry, I will give the movie this, it had A LOT of potential. It had great shots and a really cool concept. It was just not executed properly. Oh and the Viral Campaign made it even worse, WAY TO MUCH HYPE! TO be honest, I REALLY wanted to like this film, I love the actress who plays Marlena and I went it was such low hopes, that I thought I could love this movie. Sadly, it is horrific and not in the way they intended it to be.

A bad rip-off of Godzilla, and it saddens me that American Cinema cannot make a Decent ORIGINAL movie.



Click here to read the staff review by Mania.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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GentlemenDeath 1/27/2008 1:00:59 PM
I can see why people would not like this movie but I personally really enjoyed to watch something other then the next Marvel adaption of a comic or just a superhero movie period. Is it original...Maybe, maybe not but like I just said, it was nice to see something new and different. It seems you either really like this movie or did not. Either way, good review even though I would give it an A but it is always interesting to see what other people thought of the movie.
rudewordsmith 1/27/2008 6:42:46 PM
There are a few things I can agree with here, but I think you judged this flick too harshly. Would a normal person film every second of the attack, even the down time? Probably not. But there had to be more to the film than just "choppy footage, quick cut to more choppy footage, quick cut to a death, quick cut to more choppy footage". Personally, I would find it harder to swallow if Hud turned the camera on and off at just the right moments. Plus, the film had to have something to pad out the running time, otherwise they couldn't have released it theatrically. Eight bucks for a twenty minute movie of nothing but a monster killing people? Not many people would find that to be a worthy investment. Aside from that, the narrative would be so much worse if it was just attack footage. Talk about incoherant. At least the down time offers a reprieve from all the shaking. I don't get sick by frantic camera work myself, but I imagine I might if the whole film was choppy, shaky footage that cuts right back to even choppier, even more shaky footage. But basically, the film is just a monster movie. Demanding it to be original while comparing it to Godzilla (which does the same schtick EVERY installment) is pretty unfounded and nonsensical. I agree that America needs to get its cinema back in order. Sweet Jesus do I agree with that. But there isn't anything "original" being done in any country. It's all been done -- it's just all in how you handle the material. Look at Asian horror films: Every one of them is identical and boring, but people eat them up. At least Cloverfield tried to do the monster film in a different way. Did they succeed? I think so. Was the movie "great" or "awe-inspiring"? Well... Not so much.
supercollector 1/27/2008 9:09:38 PM
Ahhhh....COLLECTOR, you are soooo right on. I so desperately wanted to get out from under this guys camera and see what was going on. I was so much more interested in EVERYTHING else there was to see. Monster destroying Manhattan, cool. Soldiers and Scientists fighting Monster, cool. Stupid guy racing across the city to find a girl that just blew him off for another guy...so the last thing I was interested in. Again, you are right, there was so much potential that what we were actually given to watch was just so much less interesting than everything else that was going on around it. I guess it begs for a REAL movie sequel, and you could call this movie the piece 'o crap one-man-cam prequel.
Merin 1/28/2008 12:38:59 AM
Clearly wasn't for you. That's your call. I liked the style, I loved the movie, and it all worked really well for me. Experiences vary. Mine was great.
goatartist 1/29/2008 6:18:47 AM
Still havn't seen it. Should I see this stupid movie in the Theatre or not?
drumshine 1/29/2008 9:33:15 AM
First of all, this is NOT a monster movie. This is a movie with a monster in it. The film is about the characters trying to escape the city. If they wanted it to be a monster movie, the director wouldn't have used this point of view to tell the story. Second. I'm sure The Defense Department doesn't care about the couple going to an amusement park. What they would do is archive the WHOLE tape. You keep the original and that's what we saw. I'm sure they'd make plenty of edited copies to watch. Finallly. Hell yeah you go to the bridge! You get the hell out of town. A bridge is the only way out of New York. It's an island. I'm glad you have an opinion and you don't care for the film. But it sounds like you went to see this and actually wanted to see a Hollywood monster movie.
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