cloverfield.

one bad thing about studying abroad is missing all the great american stuff that gets released while you’re gone. so far, i’ve missed the release of albums like gnarls the odd couple and movies like rambo. ok rambo’s a joke, but i’m missing the latest episodes of lost, 30 rock (a new fav.), and the office. and in may, there are loads of movies coming out that i would love to see: iron man, speed racer, prince caspian, and indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull. i definitely want to see at least all of these in the theaters because they’re epic adventure movies. you can’t see these on a laptop or a crappy tv set. you gotta watch them in style, with killer sound and a gigantic screen in your face.

this is the way i wish i had’ve seen cloverfield. i watched it last night on my laptop, and although i was still blown away, i can only imagine how intense it must’ve been in the theaters. if you haven’t seen it, i think it’s out on dvd now so i definitely recommend it. it was incredible; a super sweet monster movie. if you don’t know anything about it, the whole thing is shot from the perspective of a handheld camera, captured by a guy who was originally supposed to document a going-away party held for a friend. it starts at this party, and then everyone hears a huge explosion, a monster comes storming through the city, and all hell breaks loose after that. basically the whole movie is this group of a few friends running and screaming. and oh man is it scary. never once is the illusion broken that all these events are happening while you are watching; everything seems so incredibly real. the camera is jerked around, it points towards the ground at times, it always seems shaky; it’s an incredibly visceral experience. i was dreading what was coming next the whole time because there is such a feeling of outright panic and confusion throughout the whole movie. i was as in the dark as the people running from the monster, i was struggling to keep up with what was going on, just like everyone else in the movie. usually not knowing what’s going on is obnoxious in a film, but here it just makes you feel like you’re so much more involved. you get a little frustrated when the camera doesn’t show you things you want, but so is everybody else because they have no idea what’s going on either or if they will be ok or anything. so awesome.

the makers of this movie (i love you j.j. abrams) know exactly how much to give the audience to keep them hooked. there is only one real money shot of the monster, and it is crazy. up until then all you see are glimpses, and never the whole thing. visually, it just traps you and you can’t look away. the actors do a great job too; there wasn’t a minute where i wasn’t involved with them. hud, the cameraman, at times is a bit too dumb, but as far as reviews that said the characters weren’t developed or were all 1-dimensional? of course they aren’t developed, and it doesn’t take away from the film at all. it’s a monster movie in real time, of course the characters are trying to survive by getting away from this unseen danger, not grow in their relationships with one another.

it’s also a cool commentary on our culture, that a person would actually attempt to keep a camera rolling the whole time this disaster is occurring. when the head of the statue of liberty comes crashing through a street and lands in front of everyone, you can actually see people taking out their camera phones and taking pictures of it. our culture is so obsessed with capturing moments and the movie nails that really well. very cool.

there has been some talk of a sequel, which, if done in an uncheesy way, could be potentially awesome. they’ve talked about making another movie from the point of view of another camera, another group of people. that would be great, as long as totally new narratives are given concerning the monster. maybe it could go on longer than the first one did; follow-up the story a bit. i don’t know. whatever they do, it’s gonna have to be killer to top this one. watch it.

-jon

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Filed under Movies, Review, Spain

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