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  Publicity Stills of "Cloverfield"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Sci-fi
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller
RunTime: 1 hr 25 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG (Some Disturbing Scenes)
Official Website: www.cloverfieldmovie.com

Opening Day: 17 January 2008


Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.

Short Movie Review:

Cloverfield is an incredible adventure as seen through the eyes of ordinary folks surviving a monster’s onslaught on their city. It’s akin to riding those theme movie rides in theme parks except the seats aren’t moving and we are forced to swallow some romance subplots with plenty of bad handheld video camera footage. The ironic part was that the appearance of monster didn’t really amount to any importance at all and it simply boils down to the fear factors that mankind face while trying to not get squashed.

Long Movie Review:

Cloverfield has one the most successful marketing campaign over the internet since Snakes on a Plane and the Blair Witch Project (BWP). With a closely guarded secret of their unrevealed monster(s), Cloverfield is causing a fanatic frenzy over the net on what is the monster like. However it should be remembered that the US remake of Godzilla also kept it’s version of their monster a secret till the day it opened and we all know how it turned out.

So did Cloverfield lived up to it’s hype?

It’s definitely not a dud like Godzilla but there are number of factors that were major detraction from enjoying the movie.

There will be moments where you might want to strangle the cameraman for his exceptionally lousy camera skill. It’s already a known fact that this film was trying to utilize this style of amateurish filming to create the form of “believable reality” (that’s made famous by the BWP), but sometime too much of the shaky cam is just not a good thing. It’s not as nausea inducing as BWP but it’s frustrating when it spends too much time shooting feet and other bad shots instead of the horror that’s stomping around the city. We already know that what it’s trying to do so could we get less of those horrible shots of what’s happening and spend more time on the monster instead? The frequent lousy shots just made it less inclined to be watched again.

Then there are the romantic subplots involved in this movie. It’s understandable that we need to feel for the characters and there’s a need for the character’s motivation to spend more time than needed in a city that being invaded by monster. But could we cut down the time of the romance in this supposedly “retrieved” hand held camera footages? Although there were some nice touches with mixtures of the old and new footages, there were just too many of these “romantic” moments that begged to be fast forwarded. Personally it’s just unbelievable that there are people who are willing to hang around after witnessing what had just happened, not matter how close or romantic involved that this film is trying to sell.

Other than those two major detracting factors, Cloverfield did well enough to create the “believable reality” of a monster invading New York City. The tension and the peek-a-boo looks at the monster brought the viewers right into the midst of a city under attack. The amazing sound system of the theatre also helps enable the viewer to feel the wrath of the monster’s attack and together with the big screen, it makes this movie a thrilling one to catch and that’s one entertainment that only a good cinema would be able to provide.

It’s likely that Cloverfield will generate a bunch of cult like followers that will inherit the net with their stringent observation of the film or theories on what might had happened before and after the events in Cloverfield. For the general viewers, just catch the hype, see what’s the monster like and it’s likely that one will not be too disappointed with the overall outcome.

Movie Rating:

(Cloverfield feels like a thrilling movie theme ride mesh with overlong romances and overdose of extreme bad camera works)

Review by
Richard Lim Jr


. The Host (2006)

. M:I:3 (2006)

. War Of The Worlds DVD (2005)




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