Saturday, February 16, 2008

Codename: Cloverfield.

Rarely do I actually cheer out loud for a movie trailer—but last summer when the preview simply titled 01.18.08 hit the big screen—I wasn’t the only one cheering. Finally, for our little Valentine’s Day date last night we had the chance to catch J.J.’s latest project that eventually came to be known simply as: Cloverfield.

The first question that I’m sure you’re asking yourself is: does it live up to the hype? In a word: yes. It is what you think it is—a monster movie captured YouTube style. But the standout feature is definitely the utterly seamless integration of digital animation and shaky, handheld camera action. Believe me when I say, you buy it.

Several critics have significantly knocked the design of the creature itself. I have to say I disagree with them completely. I totally felt it was designed in a way that made it feel as though it was from this planet. It wasn’t too spacey, or too surreal. It had just enough animalistic references for me to accept that it was some displaced creature from the deep.

The best choice the filmmakers made was the casting of several non-big-name actors to carry the storyline. This once again helped sell the YouTube, everyman nature of the concept. And frankly, it put just about anyone at risk of getting the axe. You gotta figure if someone like, oh say, Ashton “The Kutch” Kutcher was cast in it for some bizarre reason—you’d automatically think—well, he’s not gonna die.

Bottomline, if you’re up for a nail-biter, Cloverfield will do the trick. Just make sure you knock back a couple of Dramamine and get there early enough to sit in the back row of the theater. Well, I’m definitely in the monster mood still, I think Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong’s The Host is next on my list!
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