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Cloverfield Discussion 511

I don't get to see many movies with a 4 month old in the house, but I managed to escape to see Cloverfield. Stop reading immediately if you don't want spoilers. It's Blair Witch's first person camera work, applied to a small (for the genre) budget monster movie. The monster is cool. The little monsters are cool. The acting is sometimes good, sometimes awkward. The action is often great and very intense. And it will undoubtedly be the most hyped movie of 2008 until the spring blockbusters arrive. I really enjoyed the movie, but I'm posting this so you guys can have a place to talk amongst yourselves about this movie. Groundbreaking movie-making or just hype-making? I'm not sure. I'm also not sure my skull can handle watching it again- that jerky camera action gave me a headache. (Also, there was a Star Trek teaser trailer attached, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that I want it so badly it made me hurt. Please Abrams, don't screw it up)
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Cloverfield Discussion

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:08PM (#22109696)
    The movie itself was pretty lame overall. I'm calling it Snakes on a Plane II.
    • I just got back from it. Big disappointment. Even more disappointing is the good reviews it is getting on rotten tomatoes (just checked). One review actually thought the idiot with the camera was 'funny'.

      Crappy 'blair witch' camera, with an excruciatingly annoying dumbfuck running it for the entire movie. "uh, do you need help?" Jeezus.

      I won't spoil the movie but anybody who was unfortunate enough to see it will know the scene in the movie where I cheered.
  • by ohgood ( 1144715 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:12PM (#22109746)
    You know, it's nice when 50,000 people from /. help a torrent out, but a blair witch wannabe ? What's that, like a piece of nothing aspiring to be a piece of shit ?
  • I'm not sure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Apathy ( 584315 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:12PM (#22109752)

    I saw the movie last night and I have to admit I'm not sure how I feel about it. The story was fucking incredible but I think the shaky camera was over done. It made my head hurt and confused the story at times. I think it could have been made with out it.

    But I think my most concern is fuck the people. I want see the same story from the army point of view.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LDoggg_ ( 659725 )
      Well that's a let down. Unfortunately I think I'll pass on this one.

      Shaky cameras are what ruined the part 2 and 3 of the Bourne movies.

      Why do people treat shit camera work as though it's something raw and edgy?

      • I think there is a time and a place for that shaky camera effect but not a whole movie of it. In this movie in the interviews at the party they could have done the shaky camera for the first interview just to let us know its a hand held. Then switch to a traditional steady cam for the rest. We know its a handycam just don't make us suffer the the handy cam effect. Hell, that shaky cam is why I don't own a handy cam. Give me a nikon any day.

      • Re:I'm not sure (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:24PM (#22110468)
        Why do people treat shit camera work as though it's something raw and edgy?

        When it's done on purpose, which is, unfortunately, too often.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by blhack ( 921171 )

        Why do people treat shit camera work as though it's something raw and edgy?

        because when its done right...it looks really REALLY good. Go watch saving private Ryan. The cinematography in that movie was second to none. The unfortunate thing is that people try and use techniques like that to make up for other areas that are lacking...like story.

        An effect similar to this is one that i'm sure all of us are aware of. When you're building a website (or gui, or whatever it is) and your boss is like "we need more sections, it looks really plain..." but you don't have any CONTENT to fil

        • Re:I'm not sure (Score:5, Informative)

          by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:40PM (#22111158)
          Saving Private Ryan used hand-held cameras, but with a MAJOR difference: They were attached to Steadicam setups: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steadicam [wikipedia.org]

          The Steadicam is a quite old invention in Hollywood used so that the camera has freedom of movement (much more-so than being on rails), but also remains steady with no vibration the entire time. Even reality TV shows like Cops use Steadicams to improve the camera work.

          Recent movies like I Am Legend and Cloverfield have dispensed with the Steadicam and been filmed with just plain ol' hand-held camcorders with no kind of image stabilization. In I Am Legend, it's not so much an issue because the camera doesn't move nearly as much as it does in Cloverfield. This is an "artistic" choice to make the show look more "gritty", like the amateur camcorder footage of car accidents on the local news. It's a fine effect, but it shouldn't be used for an entire movie.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      welcome to the future of Hollywood. Home Camcorder quality shooting.

      I will be surprised if the next film doesn't have the camera in a paint shaker for the entire time they like shaking the camera so much.

      I man come on, are steadicam operators that hard to find?
      • by Cecil ( 37810 )
        Precisely. It is home video quality shooting. They're blowing their own foot off and they don't even realize it. Just like the state of prosumer audio equipment has caught up with professional audio equipment and cannibalized the recording industry, the same will eventually happen to the motion picture industry.

        And they have no one but themselves to blame. They've forgotten to innovate, or if they have, they haven't done it well enough for it to be commercially successful. So they keep on sticking with the
        • Re:I'm not sure (Score:4, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:17PM (#22111974) Journal

          Just like the state of prosumer audio equipment has caught up with professional audio equipment and cannibalized the recording industry,
          The fact that more people now have access to equipment capable of producing high quality music recordings has not "cannibalized" the recording industry. As you say, they have done it to themselves. Many of us would say that the availability of low-cost gear has "democratized" the production of music.

          If there was ever an industry that deserved to be "cannibalized" it's the music industry. Just the fact that it's called the music industry says it all.

          Maybe once the big-label big-distributer system of producing and delivering music has been destroyed once and for all, it will once again be known as just "music" instead of the "music industry".

          And you know what? I'm betting that there will be more musicians able to make a living once the top-heavy system is gone. But, as you say, it will take innovation and creativity, something artists are supposed to be good at.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But I think my most concern is fuck the people. I want see the same story from the army point of view.

      Then you have your pick of every other fucking monster movie out there. Enjoy.
  • Hollywood hype (Score:5, Interesting)

    by esocid ( 946821 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:14PM (#22109766) Journal
    I don't know why but I just can't seem to bring myself to think that this movie is going be anything groundbreakingly good. I've been watching rottentomatoes and the last time I checked the cream of the crop had it at 80%. I'm torn, but I still probably won't see it in theaters. The trailers just show you little enough that that's the reason I'm thinking it's just getting hyped, but hey I might be wrong.
    • Re:Hollywood hype (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HardCase ( 14757 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @04:31PM (#22111580)
      I saw it and I want my 80 minutes back. It was pretty much a vehicle for special effects and jerky home video. I guess the acting was OK, but the story was, well, pretty poorly written. When I say implausible, I don't mean a monster attacking NYC, I mean the "reaction" of the characters to the event. My opinion? Cloverfield isn't a low budget scifi/horror show, it's a big budget TV show. Maybe it should have been an HBO film or something.

      The Star Trek trailer? Please, god, don't let Abrams screw it up...
      • Re:Hollywood hype (Score:4, Insightful)

        by captnitro ( 160231 ) * on Saturday January 19, 2008 @08:07PM (#22113342)
        Just an alternative opinion. I hated Blair Witch, but I thought Cloverfield was the scariest movie I've seen in a long time. The scariest movie I've seen in a long time, if your local theater supports the dB level the movie really requires.

        I saw it as a welcome departure from the Bay/Bruckheimer formula with too-wide, sweeping, omniscient shots where everything's in view, all the time -- the movie didn't focus on the unlikely high-school hero, wasn't concerned with the monster's presence, the pinnacle of the movie wasn't about some magic weapon that would defeat it. It was hopeless and gritty and pretty frightening if you were close to 9/11. CGI was used sparingly, relative to a lot of films these days.
  • Was it just me, or did the parasites make the most awesome gobbling noise? I would pay for a ringtone of that. I mean, I'll make my own in audacity as soon as I have a copy of the sound, but I would pay for it if I could today.
  • I liked it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DetpackJump ( 1219130 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:16PM (#22109786)
    I loved it up until they survived the helicopter going down. I wished the movie would have ended with the crash.
    • +10 insightful.

      How does a girl who survives getting impaled (already sketchy) manage to survive a helicopter crash?
      • As I understand it in times of extreme stress and danger the human body is capable of ignoring nearly all pain so that it has a chance of getting out of what ever situation hurt it in the first place. As for the helicopter crash we never really saw how it fell out of the air. For all we know it was only knocked off balance and only hit the ground at something like 10 miles an hour. Just my 2 cents on all that.
      • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @04:58PM (#22111816)

        +10 insightful.

        How does a girl who survives getting impaled (already sketchy) manage to survive a helicopter crash?
        I've seen lots of movies like that, but usually with poor lighting and an insane credit card charge.
  • What do we call the critter? I'm nominating Tarrasque because that is what it reminded me of when it was standing in the field right before it ate the camera guy. Was I the only one who cheered at that point? Damn he was annoying.

    • I'm nominating Shub-Niggurath [wikipedia.org], and this means I assert that the monster is female.
      • by Lord Apathy ( 584315 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:35PM (#22110578)

        I'm nominating Shub-Niggurath

        I can live with that but Abrams has already said there is no Lovecraft tie in. Thank god it wasn't Godzilla.

        Offtopic Advice: I know there are some geeks out there that plan to have kids and some of you already do, CmdTaco. Pay attention because I'm about to give you some advice that you won't find in any blog or manual. When you buy kiddy shampoo make sure that you can tell what it is from feel alone. Make sure that when you are doing that blind shower grope the kiddypoo feels different from your conditioner. Trust me on this, you will thank me.

        My fucking hair now smells like strawberry but on the upside it does have a nice bounce.

    • As for that "case designate" reference, anyone who has seen the clips from the film knows that "Cloverfield" is the case name that the government has assigned to whatever or whoever is doing all that destruction in New York.

      From http://movies.ign.com/articles/841/841636p1.html [ign.com]

      Seems it's named Cloverfield. Speaking of things like this has anyone been tracking all the viral stuff that came out before the movie? I'm trying to find more info on the story. It seems like some of it's out there but I don't qui

      • by Flounder ( 42112 )
        I think the entire event is code-named Cloverfield, or at least the Army's response to it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Symbolis ( 1157151 )
      I've not seen it, yet, but if the sketchy thing I saw(on wikipedia?) was accurate:

      We called it Sin. ...it even has Sin Spawn/Scales!
  • by teslar ( 706653 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:20PM (#22109820)

    Also, there was a Star Trek teaser trailer attached
    There was a Star Trek teaser attached and all you want to talk about is Blair Witch meets small-budget-monster movie? You must be new here.
  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:22PM (#22109832)
    I was expecting a rehash of the Blair Witch Project. Somethings that made it refreshingly different:
    1) The main character, for me, wasn't Rob. It was the guy holding the camera. He was a complete idiot, but I loved him.
    2) I thought there was clear character progression for Rob, from complete, insensitive jerk to heroic.
    3) Clear resolution on the real story, which is Rob's relationship to whats-her-face.
    4) Kick-ass special effects.

    One caveat about the movie: bring Dramamine. Lots of it. I had two friends with me who missed the whole second half of the movie because they couldn't look at the screen.
    • I found the guy holding the camera annoying but I did sort of feel for him. I was glad when he was eating though. I though I was going to cry.

      I think the best review of the movie was when it was over and one of the girls behind me yelled "That was awesome!" It was awesome at some points and annoying at others.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:36PM (#22109990) Homepage

      One caveat about the movie: bring Dramamine. Lots of it. I had two friends with me who missed the whole second half of the movie because they couldn't look at the screen.
      Or just wait a while and download a CAM from BitTorrent; sooner or later someone's going to be swaying with the on-screen motion so smoothly that there will be a rock steady capture in DIVX format. :)
    • by bahwi ( 43111 )
      I agree with points 1 and 4 but disagree on the rest. The whole story was very lacking and superficial to make a monster movie. This guy wants to risk his life, his friends life, to go save a chick he banged? Who has a boyfriend? When he knew he can't have her because he is leaving? It's all very stupid-heroic, but the story was very much a side effect of the monster movie it contained. Yes, I know he wanted to go by himself but you would think after his brother died on the bridge he would realize there was
      • I think you missed the part in the film where they said she was his best friend since (I can't remember if it was high school or college). It wasn't just some chick he banged. Also, he received a distressed call from her moments before he witnessed his brother being killed, and made his decision to go after her at that point. I think it's realistic in the sense that his judgement was influenced by a recent trauma.
  • The only similarity is the choice of the handheld, first-person point of view. Beyond that, they share nothing in common.

    Most important is the fact that Cloverfield is directed, and directed brilliantly. Blair Witch was just a bunch of shakey cameras as a gimmick. The first person point of view is critical to this movie. It truly puts you into the scene and leverages everything about the one camera point of view, both in terms of what you do see and don't see. And, in spite of the first-person point of vi

  • Refreshingly good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ksdd ( 634242 )

    1) Just enough exposition to make you care about the characters
    2) Once the action starts, it doesn't let up - I think only Aliens (22 years ago) had me at that level of intensity for a full hour
    3) Leaves you guessing - not everything needs to be explained or wrapped up in 90 minutes, and consequently, you're left not knowing anything more than the characters do
    4) Outstanding effects (invisible or otherwise) that don't get in the way of the story
    5) Finally, a scary flick that isn't torture porn!

    All in

    • I think it was a good monster movie, and refreshing because it isn't the same goddamn monster movie that's been made over and over. It was more of a disaster movie, treating the menace like an earthquake or an iceberg would have been treated: as a plot device.

      Showing only the man-on-the-street perspective was interesting, and helped replicate the anxiety of not knowing what's going on, which was the main point of the movie. I heard some morons behind me howl at how it ended, without a full accounting of
  • I enjoyed Cloverfield, what I saw of it. The problem I had was that I didn't anticipate it making me motion sick. They really don't give you any clue in the trailers that it's going to be full of a jolty, sudden, quick movement. It seems obvious enough in hindsight, that "Hey, a movie filmed from the point of view of somebody's home video camera *might* just make you motion sick, dummy." On the other hand, I haven't really seen anything with that type of shooting, so I feel like they could have given me
  • and loved it. Good to finally see something different. No character development (except for the little bit by Rob). No Godzilla-esque exposition about the environment/nuclear testing/global warming threat. Just mass destruction and the occasional tasteless joke by Hud. No explanations, no resolutions. Just in the moment from the characters perspective.

    I didn't get sick (and I should have, I threw up after playing HL2 the first time), but my girlfriend did get a bit nauseous.

    • by XaXXon ( 202882 )
      but my girlfriend did get a bit nauseous.

      I'm sorry, but what does this have to do with the movie?
  • I'm posting this so you guys can have a place to talk amongst yourselves about this movie.

    Real guys stop by the local coffeehouse to pick up their favorite drinks and walk over to the bookstore to browse through the books while discussing the merits of the movie.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by halivar ( 535827 )

      Real guys stop by the local coffeehouse to pick up their favorite drinks and walk over to the bookstore to browse through the books while discussing the merits of the movie.
      Which is why you're here instead of there.
    • "I'm posting this so you guys can have a place to talk amongst yourselves..."

      And the fact that /. is a supposed $-making enterprise has NOTHING to do with such an ideal - riiiiggghhht.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by g8oz ( 144003 )
      Wait, are you calling latte-sipping bookstore browsers masculine?

      How is the weather in San Francisco this time of year?
  • I saw it last night as well and found myself really liking it. For me, I'm often more interested in disaster films where the main character(s) are simply trying to survive, rather than being the savior of the human race (two somewhat more recent contrasting examples are Will Smith in Independence Day, and Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds). For that reason, I thought the hand held camera effect, some shots being out of frame/focus, not always pointing at the person who is talking, camera pointing at the perso
  • I kept comparing it to The Mist, because in many ways the films are so similar. You have limited knowledge of the monsters in both films.

    I think The Mist did a better job of establishing a sense of dread, and had better characters.
    Cloverfield had a better monster and better action sequences.

    I enjoyed both films, even if both are downers.
  • everyone keeps comparing it to BWP, but i think it's going to be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show with people acting out the rolls while it's playing
  • I think there is another movie in there. We've seen the movie from the point of view of Rob and his crew. I would like to see the movie remade from the other side now. A traditional filming without the shaky cam style. I want to know more about the monster. Really how many of us give a flying fuck about Rob and friends?

    Alright. We've had the art house version, now lets have the hollywood block buster.

  • by mlingojones ( 919531 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:47PM (#22110110) Homepage
    Why do these monsters always seem to appear in cities? There's been so many movie monsters popping up in New York, Tokyo... eventually, probability dictates that one should pop up in the middle of nowhere. That's what my monster movie's gonna be about: a giant monster that pops up in the middle of Kansas. It'll terrorize a corn field and like two farmers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Veramocor ( 262800 )
      I think they called that movie 'Signs'.
    • by smellotron ( 1039250 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:03PM (#22110252)

      It'll terrorize a corn field and like two farmers.

      Was that an errant "like"? Or did you really mean to say that a giant monster is going to befriend two farmers in the middle of Kansas?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Was that an errant "like"? Or did you really mean to say that a giant monster is going to befriend two farmers in the middle of Kansas?

        Given that it's two farmers in the middle of Kansas, we are of course talking about the biblical sense of liking them. "And then verily did he like them again..."

    • by hazydave ( 96747 )
      When they asked Willy Sutton why he robbed banks, he replied "because that's where the money is". I think monsters have a similar notion about cities: people to eat, buildings to destroy, etc. What's the point of attacking a forest or desert? Or, it could well be that monsters ARE always attacking in those places, too, but without anyone to tell the tale, they just do their thing until they choke on a log, eat a poison frog, etc.

      "Signs" is a good example of a similar idea ("street-level" story, rather than
    • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:43PM (#22111188)
      Population density = terror.

      My question has always been: how come giant monsters are never mammals? Barring King Kong, I guess. the Japanese have several dinosaurs, a lobster, robots, and even the personification of smog. I'd like to see like a giant tiger-looking monster that's 80' tall eating people.
  • was injected, whether intentionally or not, at just the right moments to keep the movie from becoming overly serious. Maybe a serious giant monster movie use to work, but now the absurdity of all the bad Godzilla movies and the corny 60's and 70's movies have pretty much ruined the genre of "serious" monster movie. What made this movie enjoyable was the humor and the characters. My favorite line comes right after they rescue the girl from the leaning tower of Manhattan. "What's that!?" she screams to w
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by orangepeel ( 114557 )
      The silence at your particular theater at that specific scene also happened at the one I was at.

      That's as much a testament to this story's power as anything.

      I think that's true to an extent, but I also think it has to do with the fact that we've had a few major disasters in the USA within the last 10 years. First 9/11, and then New Orleans. Consequently I think most reasonably mature people above a certain age have had plenty of time to have contemplated what it would be like to lose someone during a
  • Building collapse and a wall of dust and debris. Mass exodus of people crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Jets and helicopters flying low over the city.

    Was the use of those particular images intended to evoke emotions tied to the events of 9/11? Probably.

    Was it wrong for the filmmakers to use those images? I don't think so. You have ANY disaster set in New York and you'll have comparisons to 9/11. Does that mean it's forbidden territory? I don't think any subject matter should be forbidden. Even if it ma
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TClevenger ( 252206 )
      You have ANY disaster set in New York and you'll have comparisons to 9/11.

      No kidding. Now the sight of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stepping on that church causes me to hyperventilate.

  • If you can get through the 20 minutes of chimps with a video camera at the beginning it's a lot of fun. Parts are extremely good while parts get slow and tedious. The 20 minutes establishing characters at the beginning was a waste because I still didn't care about any of them. The high point are the little one. Sadly you don't see much of them. Expect an ocean of knock offs trying to mimic the style but mostly succeeding in giving you seasickness. The whole movie rides the edge of annoying but as I say when
  • I'll admit I'd love to see this movie but the thought of another Blaire Witch nauseating experience is enough to turn me off. Heck, I could barely sit through the second two Borne movies without a splitting headache. However, all of these movies got me thinking...

    Would it be possible to "De"-shaky cam a movie? Given a high enough source material (HD rip or what have you) and a whole heck of a lot of time I'm wondering if you could take each cut - where the camera is trained on one given thing - and frame
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Doogie5526 ( 737968 )
      Yeah, you can certainly do some stabilization. It would still look funny because your would still get motion blur but without the camera movements to motivate it. Unless you decreased the shutter time to reduce that in the first place.

      As with most camera things changed in post (like correcting the exposure), it's a heck of a lot easier to just do it right when you shoot it. That's why we shoot test footage.
  • For what it was, I really liked the movie. At least they didn't have the president giving a speech or the stupid military general talking about how they were going to nuke it. It was just a bunch of people, running for their lives, and all the events unfolded entirely from their perspective. I wasn't going in expecting it to be the best movie I've ever seen though, so I wasn't disappointed....Not a bad way to spend an hour and a half...
  • cloverfield (Score:5, Funny)

    by fredex ( 146162 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:08PM (#22110320)
    Sounds like the internal code-name for a new Intel processor chip.
    • Sounds like the internal code-name for a new Intel processor chip.

      Actually, it's the DOD codename for the military action fighting the monster in the movie. You learn that in the first 3 seconds of the film.
  • by EngrBohn ( 5364 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:16PM (#22110392)
    Good afternoon,

    > I don't get to see many movies with a 4 month old in the house,
    > but I managed to escape to see Cloverfield

    Here's the trick my wife and I used for our "dates" when our son was younger - one of us would drop the other off to watch the movie and then go shopping for a couple of hours with child in tow. Then back to the theater where we'd do a hot driver swap, and the first to watch the movie then shopping for a couple of hours with child in tow. Then back to the theater to pick up the other, and we head off to dinner to discuss the movie. We took turns being first.

    Take care,
  • The storytelling in the movie was amazing. Like most good stories, it focused on the relationships among people. Yes, it was a horror/action movie (and there are some nice action sequences), but that's not what it's really about. I love the fact that monster (and monsterlings) itself is only rarely seen -- and when it does, it's used to heighten the tension among the real characters. Similarly, each action had a purpose, moving the story along. The choices which the characters made (although sometimes elici
  • by m0ng0l ( 654467 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:26PM (#22110494)
    Is what this basically was. Went to see it last night, good movie, but really not living up to the hype from before it came out. I'm already predicting the following:

    1. Movie at least turns a profit on the theatrical release
    2. DVD with some extras comes out
    3. "Special Edition" DVD comes out with second disc with more back story (WTF *was* the monster?)
    4. "Directors Cut Special Edition" DVD comes out with nearly a second movie on the third disc, with even *more* back story...
    5. ***PROFIT*** ;-)
    • This movie will make ***PROFIT*** after step 1 if the weekend estimates are correct. According to Box Office Mojo this movie only had a production budget of 25 million. It is estimated that it will take in more than 16 million per day this weekend. In the opening weekend alone, it will recover all its production costs. Another week, and all the "hype" costs will be covered as well.... After that, it's all gravy!
  • by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @02:56PM (#22110742) Homepage Journal
    Generally, I liked the premise of this film, but the shaky cam literialy killed it for me. After 45-60 minutes of non stop camera going in every direction possible, you just can't watch it without losing your head, and you tend to just zone out and listen at the rest of the film. One of my friends literaly couldn't breathe for a few minutes due to the vertigo.

    At some point they should have made him turn on steadycam or maybe they should have made Hud a Video Camera professional by trade to explain some more camera steadiness in the film.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they make a Cloverfield "Vertigo free edition" When it comes out on DVD and hopefully if they make a sequel, they'll use a news crew team to tell the story. At least I would hope their camera shots would be less all over the place.

    On an kinda off topic note, this is why I like full size video cameras over handheld ones. The full size camers were infinetly easier to keep steady over the handheld ones. and with today's tech they could be a lot lighter and easier to use. (not to mention hold a full size hard drive or DVD) At least they make the sholder mounts for the handheld ones I guess.
  • by Scorpinox ( 479613 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:08PM (#22110838)
    *stop reading if yer a spoilers nazi*

    Anyone else notice at the very very end, when they're at coney island, in the background you see something fall from the sky into the ocean near a boat. To me this is them trying to say the monster came from space, chilled out in the ocean for about a month, then came out and smashed stuff up.
  • ...and the theater was PACKED. I don't think it was sold out, but it was close-- and this was in the largest auditorium in the multiplex. Say what you will about the movie, but the marketing for it was absolutely perfect from the word go, in terms of building anticipation. People were stoked to see this, probably from the moment that weird, untitled teaser nearly stole Transformers' thunder 6 months ago. They showed an unusually large number of trailers before starting the movie, and the audience was gettin
  • With the exception of some bizarre temporal displacement (crossing HOW many city blocks in mere minutes?) the movie was fantastic. I love the big ugly monster genre and this was by far the best of it's breed if you're willing to accept that you are watching a movie about a home movie about an event. The Americanized Godzilla movie turned out to be a metric butt-load of suck and we have been without monsteriffic destruction for too many years.

    The military scenes were the best. You weren't watching the sc
  • My Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @03:31PM (#22111058)
    I just posted a review on my blog: http://blakeyrat.com/2008/01/19/cloverfield/ [blakeyrat.com]

    I'll paste the text here, but I'm still thinking of going back and revising it.


    The one sentence review: Cloverfield is unfortunately kind of disappointing, and bring your Dramamine if you're sitting close to the screen.

    Look, I like kaiju movies. I like serious Godzilla, the Godzilla of the 50s and 90s. I like crazy Godzilla, the Godzilla of every other decade. Yes, even Godzilla's Revenge. (What? It's funny... don't look at me like that.) I like crazy Gamera, and I believe honestly that Gamera truly is friend to all children. I like the serious Gamera of the 90s, which are still pretty crazy when you think about them, just with more gruesome effects. I even like Garuda, even though it's not really in the same genre.

    I'm also the first person to proudly say that despite its name, kaiju movies are an American invention, damnit. Even if you don't think King Kong counts, there's still this awesome little flicked named The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms which not only fits the genre's conventions perfectly, but was released a year and change before the original Godzilla and had special effects by Ray Harryhausen and was written by Ray Bradbury and you really can't beat that.

    So what I'm getting at here is you'd think I'd enjoy Cloverfield simply by default, and I didn't really. It had some moments that were truly worthwhile, but the film as a whole just didn't gel for me for whatever reason. And it didn't help that...

    Spoilers Ahead ... the monster sucked! All I can say about the monster is that it's a good thing the cast and crew kept it such a tight-lipped secret, because if they'd released photos of it I think it would have hurt their chances at the box office. Yes, gentle viewers, New York was being destroyed by a monster that not only had killer lice, but literally could not stand upright. Being one hundred feet tall? Scary. Waddling around on flippers? Not scary. The two even out to give the general reaction, "eh." When the reaction to the main character of your film is "eh" (and let's face it, people go to kaiju films to see the monster), then you got problems.

    The second problem is that Cloverfield doesn't explain anything. Where does the monster come from? I dunno. Why is it in Manhatten? No clue. How come when the little killer lice bite you your head explodes? Shrug. I'm ignoring the questions that apply to all monster/horror movies, such as: "how come weapons that can penetrate 20 thick reinforced concrete are useless against fleshy creature?" and "why the hell are they just standing there gaping when they're in mortal danger?" Even Spielberg's War of the Worlds gave a BS explanation for the alien's presence. (They buried the spaceships a million years ago, then teleported into them under cover of a thunderstorm... God that movie sucked.)

    Cloverfield also makes use of the new popular technique to make movies and TV shows look "more real" by not using a steadicam at all. Actually, the entire movie is a first-person viewpoint from a camcorder held by one of the characters, which flashbacks provided by the un-erased parts of the tape he was recording on, so that when the camera jogs or skips you see a few minutes of what it recorded a couple weeks before the events of the movie. I thought that was pretty clever. I'm not a huge hater of the hand-held camera look like a lot of people are, but I do want to warn you if you're going to see the movie that this camera movies. There are several-minute long scenes of it pointing randomly downwards while the characters are running. There's one shot where the camera falls 40 to the ground. (I want to know what model that is, damn it's durable.) Unlike, say, I Am Legend or Battlestar Galactica which are filmed with hand-held cameras that are held pretty steady, the camera in Cloverfield really, really moves. I sat too close to the screen, don't make the mistake I did.

    So, in short, despite some exciting moments, I think the negatives of Cloverfield outweight the positives and I left the theater pretty disappointed.
  • I've seen a lot of people complaining about the lack of exposition on the monster. You can piece together a pretty solid picture of what happened by browsing the info they leaked online. Google time.

    Rob was going to Japan, right? The company he was going to work for makes Slusho, a new drink out of Japan. They hired him to help translate the brand to an American audience. The secret ingredient is something called "Seabed's Nectar". Apparently this part was mined from the sea floor by Tagruato Industries.
  • by kiwioddBall ( 646813 ) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @12:52AM (#22114844) Homepage
    Miraculously, Manhattan is devastated, but the mobile phone network survives, just enough to make the whole movie a Nokia product placement.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.