Sunday, January 27, 2008
Movie Reviews: Cloverfield
I haven't written a film review in a while, and for good reason- I don't real8/ly get to go out to movies any more. But, on Friday I was able to sneak out of work a little early and decided to take in a movie. I definitely wanted to see Juno, but Nancy & I have a rare date night scheduled next week and plan to see it then, so I decided to check out Cloverfield.
The basics of the movie are simple enough: Godzilla type monster attacks New York city. Chaos ensues. If you've seen the trailer, you know that movie is different from the typical movie in the genre mostly because it is shot with a handheld camcorder and from the point of view of an average person on the street. This may sound like only a gimmick, and it certainly is is, but it is an important distinction. The monster, frankly, isn't really even a character in the movie. It has a cameo, at best. Cloverfield isn't about the monster. It isn't about people trying to combat the monster. It isn't about the government or the military or the scientists. Surely those people are off doing their thing, but we've seen that movie before. What we haven't seen is a movie about the people who run away and scream (until now).
So the question is "Does this difference make the movie better or worse?" I'm not sure of the answer, although I know it does make the experience seem real in some way. Real in the sense that nobody really knows what's going on, and real that everyone has to fend for themselves. I guess that's a good thing. I found myself enjoying this movie, and I'm not really a monster movie type of guy. But I guess that makes sense, because this isn't a monster movie- it's a movie that happens to have a monster.