January 22, 2008

cloverfield_poster.jpgWarning: this post contains spoilers. If you have not seen this movie, do not read this.

By now, I’m sure most people have heard something about the new J.J. Abrams movie Cloverfield. There was a tremendous amount of hype surrounding the movie, and anticipation has been building for a very long time. The original teaser trailer premiered before Transformers last summer. At that point, the name of the movie was not announced, but just the date it would be released (1-18-08). Part of the thrill of the movie was all the hype surrounding it and just how little was known about it. There is an entire secretive system of promotions that they released also including websites, blogs, myspaces etc. After seeing the movie Saturday night, the audience in the theater had mixed reviews. Half of the people in the theater booed loudly, and the other clapped and cheered. I happened to be one of the ones cheering. Cloverfield is one of the most creative movies I have seen in a long time. The entire concept of the movie was clever and innovative. The movie is from the perspective of the cameraman, Hud, so it is entirely one perspective. At first, you might think that this would limit the potential of the movie, but they did a fantastic job of showing certain things, and not showing others. Because it is shot from the perspective of Hud, it seemed that I was with the cast as they ran throughout the city, and got to know the characters and experiences in a way unlike any other movie. Hud narrates, often humorously throughout and opens the door to get to know him, even though he has the least amount of screen time of any character. With the exception of the music in the background at the party at the start of the movie, there is no music in the entire film. But they pull it off. I felt like I was there. It wouldn’t fit if they added music, since it is from the perspective of the hand held camera. Because it was shot from one camera, it is completely one tape, and in typical J.J. Abrams style the tape has gaps in it where we see flashbacks of the characters and get more information.

Just as quickly as the conflict began, the movie ends. This is perhaps what upset the “boo-ers” the most. It was a film very different from everything else out there. The entire concept of the movie was genius and it was expertly done. This movie has quickly climbed near the top of my favorite movies.