|Experience the mild motion sickness...OF THE YEAR|
With an intelligent tagline like that, we HAVE to be in for something good right? Welcome back to THE Tagline everyone, today as promised I will spill all of my negative feelings about Cloverfield a movie about love, a giant monster, and some asshole named Hud. Cloverfield is a film that,is shot in the "found footage from some guy who was there" style, just like the much better Troll Hunter, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. This is a nice place to start, because while they use the same style to film, in one movie that makes sense, and in the other it is a strained, and then later patently ridiculous device that makes absolutely no sense in the context of the movie. This is of course one of many elements of the movie that are either stupid or totally nonsensical. I bet some of you who have had the good fortune of not viewing this movie are wondering what it's all about? Well that's why I'm here. To hurt you that way.
|Look forward to quality shots like this for the duration.|
Cloverfield takes place in New York City, in late May. We are told that the video tape was recovered by the Department of Defense, which tells us that some serious stuff is going to happen soon. The movie opens with Rob, one of the uh... protagonists lets call them, after he's slept with some girl named Beth, who later is an important part of every dumb thing that happens in the movie. We find out later through hamfisted video flashback and furtive friend gossiping all caught on tape that they were previously "just friends" and that also she has another boyfriend maybe? Whatever, back to that later. So Rob is going away to Japan for something, and so his brother Jason and brother's girlfriend Lily are throwing a going away party. We can guess by the number of people at this party that Rob must be the most popular person in Brooklyn, because it looks everyone for three blocks is crammed into his apartment. After Beth leaves because of DRAMA, something happens and the ground shakes and there are explosions. Something has Gone Wrong.
|QUICK EVERYONE, MILL ABOUT!|
I should really mention before I go on that the camera has passed to Hud, who I guess is friends with Rob, or maybe Rob's brother I'm not sure. It's difficult to imagine anyone wanting to be friends with Hud. During the way too long setup scene before the monster stuff happens, Hud establishes that he is a humongous douchebag, by filming furtively Rob and Beth fighting, and using his camera as an excuse to take passes at ladies and sexually harass them. He also demonstrates a powerful inability to read social cues, that tell him things like "get away from me Hud I find you repulsive." In particular Hud is intent on harassing Marlena, who later explodes. I'd explode too if it meant I could get away from Hud. Alas, no such luck, because he's the asshole with the camera, meaning that we are literally attached to his face for virtually the whole movie.
|Look at these hipsters filled with fear. It kind of warms your|
heart doesn't it?
That actually brings up the next stupid thing about this movie. In any movie that uses it, the found footage angle needs to be defended. In many, such as the Blair Witch Project, the camera serves as a crucial light source, giving a convenient excuse for why a person fleeing for their lives would have the presence of mind or desire to film the proceedings. In Troll Hunter, while they are in danger, the film crew is with a trained expert, and deliberately trying to film the trolls, and so it makes sense that THEY wouldn't lose the camera. Hud on the other hand... I'm not sure why if you were being chased by monsters that you would keep holding a camera steady and film everything. If tinier monsters were attacking me in a tunnel, I would throw the camera, or use it as a bludgeon. I would not film the monsters attacking me. Granted I am not a stupid asshole like Hud, but I'm just saying, it was a little hard to buy.
|Insert Planet of the Apes joke here.|
There is plenty of that to go around. For instance, rather than fleeing away from the monster, Rob and company head straight for where it is, to try and save Beth, who by rights is almost certainly dead. They find her impaled through the chest with a length of rebar, but they manage to pull it out, and then with little assistance she climbs down a collapsed building, and survives clear to morning, when my brain is telling me she should bleed out almost instantly, and that running is probably out of the question with her almost certain collapsed lung.
|Somehow everyone's big complaint was monster design, and|
not the rest of the movie.
Finally there has to be the monster. A lot of people complained about the monster's design. I found that interesting because I had a lot of other complaints that took precedence. Like the entire movie for instance. I think the monster looks like a big weird bat monster. Whatever. My problem is that the monster seems to have a serious hard-on for killing Rob and his friends. Considering the city is a buffet of delicious people to eat, and there are squads of soldiers shooting rockets at the monster, you'd expect it would have better things to do than chase one asshole and his bigger asshole friend all the way through Brooklyn. I suspect the monster somehow snuck a GPS beacon up Hud's ass, or maybe it can sense when morons are filming stuff, because they just can't shake this thing. Wherever they go, it's there waiting to be scary and attack them. I think that more than anything filled me with a disbelieving "What the fuck" attitude about the movie.
|HERE'S SOME FREE ADSPACE CNN, ALSO MONSTER.|
The box office couldn't help but reward this piece of shit though, and thanks to a very rigorous and successful ad campaign it grossed over 170 million dollars, and all this with just a 25 million dollar budget, I assume almost entirely spent on animating the monster, given that most of the rest of the movie is shots of some guy's crummy apartment.J. J. Abrams only produced this movie, he didn't write or direct it, so I can't blame him for it. The take home here though is don't watch it, unless you want to see how to not plot a movie. I forgot to add earlier, but the dialogue is also a laughably bad muddle of screaming and repeated words. This is a movie with a lot of move move moving.
That's all for today, join me Thursday for a as yet to be determined film! Will my review be worse than today's? Tough call.