Ok, right off...WARNING!! Will Robinson! Spoliers and rants contained within!
So, Cloverfield...where to begin. I knew nothing about this film until I started reading stuff on Spill. Yes, I have been a tad out of touch lately...personal crap and whatnot. After hearing Korey (and did Leon and Carlyle) give this a "Better than Sex" rating, I immediately put it on the board.
Ok, here is my first rant. Better than sex? I'm with Cyrus on this subject, I don't what kind of sex you guys are having, but NO movie should be better than sex. You guys should either A) date more B) date some better quality ladies or C) consider changing that rating to something like "Better than BAD sex", or "Better than sex by myself". Seriously dudes, there are some movies I REALLY like, but if some fine lady actually gives me the option, you better believe I'm walking out in the middle, putting it on pause, or moving it to the rental list. Saaaaay Korey....what are CoHost's capabilities anyway??! No, don't answer that!
This is my OFFICIAL response to seeing Cloverfield..."I liked it better than I thought, but less than I should have." In spite of the wildly questionable, positive rating, I went into the movie with cautious expectations. I was a little disappointed that I went in with some knowledge that this was a Godzilla-like theme, but oh well. It would have been better knowing absolutely nothing. Some people have likened this movie to Blair Witch, but other than the shaky-cam, and some people screaming, they had little in common....thank goodness! (Rant coming) I mean, am I the only one who seriously HATED Blair Witch?! I praise the director of Cloverfield for not having the women wail endlessly in the background and kept the action going. The only emotional response I got from Blair Witch was the desire to leap into the film and strangle every snot-dripping, frantic, screaming person in that film. I had 4-H campouts that were scarier than that film! You try waking up in a sleeping bag with a herd of cows hovering over you. I have to hand it to the filmmakers for their PR savvy and being one of the first to tie a web site so closely into the story, as well as doing it on the cheap and making a huge return...but the movie itself was crap. Plan 9 from Outer Space was scarier!
Listen, I warned you about the rants, so you have nobody to blame but yourself for getting this far into it.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. I decided going in that I was not going to be "scared out of my seat", but that it was hopefully going to have some surprises and be some fun action, and it was. I am a little disappointed that they gave in during the second half and turned it into a special effects film. Nobody loves SPFX more than me, but I thought the first half was a lot more clever by concealing exactly what was going on and only providing brief glimpses of the creatures. While the overhead, helicopter shots of the creature rampaging the city and getting hit by the bomber while it tears down buildings looked fantastic, at that point it became more like watching Jurassic Park or something. At that point, they were just showing off. I think they could have saved a few $$ and rendering hours by showing less, and it still would have been an exciting film. Even though in the beginning, I was struggling to make out the creature and wanted to see more, I believe it was that desire that pulled me into the film more. Once they started showing full shots of everything, I lost that connection.
As far as the filming, the shaky cam didn't bother me, it was totally appropriate. The handheld camera look has started to get overused in television and so forth. I think it was put to good effect in Full Frontal (not saying it was good movie), and it was appropriate for Cloverfield, and really helped to set off the chaos. I also thought it was kind of clever how they kept flashing back to the previously recorded moments between the couple, and the idea that the DOD was reviewing the tape to find out what happened. The open-ended ending didn't really bother me as much as I thought it would. I really like back-story and would love to know about the origins of the creatures, etc. but in this case, I didn't really care that I didn't know what it was, or where is came from, or why people exploded after being bit (man, that was kind of cool). It gets kind of lame, when there is supposed to be all this action and then people suddenly stop in the middle of the street to offer some exposition. Again, I love exposition, but only when and where it is appropriate. They really kept that feeling of frantic motion throughout the film which is what made it a good action film. I'm a nut about continuity and I didn't see much wrong with this, outside of the obvious. The one thing that bugged me was near the end, when the character Beth (who had been pulled off a piece of rebar shoved through her chest earlier) and the guy, were sitting in the park in the tunnel acting as if nothing had happened to her physically. I mean, I'm no doctor, but assuming the thing missed her LUNG when it went through her, she surely shouldn't have been able to move her left arm, much less help pull her boyfriend out of the helicopter or rest her head on her hand in despair. Good grief. Oh, sorry, that was kind of a rant. Forgot to forewarn you. Also, this was New York people, there would have been TONS more military on the scene within a matter of minutes after the first major explosion. I live in San Francisco, and after 911, just driving a white truck slowly over the Golden Gate bridge would have no less than 3 F-15s flying over the Bay in less than 15 minutes. And why the hell do soldiers with M-16s even bother shooting at a creature that is 10 stories tall? I'd be looking for more frikken missle launchers, not wasting my time with puny bullets. Ok, I think that's all I've got.
Final verdict: I was happy with FULL PRICE but maybe more people would prefer a MATINEE. The friend I went to see this with hated it. I think you could tell by the theme music that this want meant to emulate one of the old B monster movies and it certainly fulfilled that promise. This definitely benefits from seeing it on the big screen. Oh, and Korey, I would so TOTALLY go back for the girl man. Shit! You have a lot of sticky magazines in your bathroom don't you?! ;-)
That's a wrap!