it is, it's winning"
Robert Hawkins (Stahl-David) plans to leave New York for Japan, his friends
throw him a going away party. As it kicks into full swing and each friend
records a message to the video camera, a deafening sound erupts from the
downtown area and a momentary power cut engulfs the Big Apple. As the partygoers
head to the roof to see what is going on, a huge explosion happens a few
blocks down the street and debris blasts into the air, falling all around
them. Clambering down to the street below, Robert and his friends discover
this is not another terrorist attack but a creature, something huge, attacking
movies have used the Internet and marketing to drum up hype before the release
date but when the film arrives it doesn't really life up to expectations
but 'Cloverfield' is bucks that trend, big style!
marketing campaign for latest movie from the 'Lost' and 'Alias' TV producer
and the director of 'Mission: Impossible III' and the re-imagination of
'Star Trek', J.J. Abrams came out of nowhere. A trailer hit the Internet
revealing that New York was been attacked and we would witness this from
the point of view of a video camera. A website followed that just showed
still shots from the film. The movie didn't even have a title but the online
movie community became obsessed. While this is not the first time the Internet
has been obsessed with a movie before its release, just look at the fuss
that 'The Blair Witch Project' and 'Snakes on a Plane' caused but this is
the first time that the movie has lived up to the marketing hype and surpassed
premise of 'Cloverfield' is a simple one and nothing new to the monster
movie genre but it is the approach that producer J.J. Abrams, director Matt
Reeves and their creative team have taken to bring the story to the silver
screen that is a unique one. We have seen movies shot from the first person
prospective before, with 'The Blair Witch Project' been the best-known example
but never has the technique been used with as great aplomb as this. The
story is one of survival as Rob, his brother Jason and girlfriend Lilly,
best friend Hud and friend Marlena try and get to the apartment of Rob's
on and off girlfriend Beth as Manhattan is turned into a war zone as the
Military fight the monster. While this might not sound like the most original
story and the characters suffer from not as much development as they could
have had but the approach of showing what is going on from their prospective
is one that increases the sense of peril and foreboding tenfold.
Using just a single camcorder to shoot the entire movie might seem a risking
prospect and not allow the filmmakers to portray the scale or devastation
of the attack but director Matt Reeves, the well written story and extremely
well designed sets and set pieces make the movie look a lot bigger and a
lot more expensive that is actually is. The subway tunnel sequence is terrifying,
the army attacks on the marauding beast are exhilarating and the rescue
of Beth will have you on the edge of your seat but this is nothing compared
to the astonishing and moving finale.
performances from the relatively unknown cast are first rate and very naturalistic.
There are no grand speeches, no forced heroism or self-sacrifice here just
people reacting to a life or death situation that they would have never
expected. Michael Stahl-David is excellent as Rob, the man leaving New York
to escape his feelings for Beth, his best friend who took his friendship
to a whole new level and now regrets his actions. Jessica Lucas, Lizzy Caplan
and Odette Yustman play the stronger female roles of Lily, Marlena and Beth
different to the usual screamers you have seen them playing is normal monster/horror
movies. T.J. Miller provides a running commentary to the mayhem and injects
a little bit of humour into the terror as Hud, the man behind the camcorder.
is a standout piece of cinema that will set a new trend of cheap, high concept
movies from a camcorder prospective. The film is much more than a gimmick
however, as it creates real tension throughout, genuine fear and will have
you talking about it for a long time after the credits roll. While the constant
movement of the camera could be uncomfortable for people who suffer from
motion sickness and J.J. Abrams loving to pose more questions that he delivers
answers, this is still a must see movie and one that will clambering to
know more about the monster and where it came from. A monstrously good movie.
in Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the
transfer is good.
by director Matt Reeves
The man at the helm of 'Cloverfield' takes passionately about his first
high concept movie and trying to reinvent the monster movie for the US.
Reeves reveals how it came together, the influence of Japan and its native
monster Godzilla and working with J.J. Abrams. He talks about the technical
aspects of the movie, filming from a handy-cam point of view and working
for the first time with visual effects.
Files As you watch the movie a handy-cam power bar will appear in the corner
of the screen that allows you to jump to a featurette that covers that aspect
of the film. These involve most members of the cast and crew with behind
the scenes footage from the shooting of the film. Each of these mini-featurettes
is very informative and gives you all the information you need about movie.
It is just a shame that you can't watch them without having to watch the
01.18.08: The Making of Cloverfield (27.12 mins)
Director Matt Reeves, producers J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, executive producer
Sherryl Clark, editor Kevin Stitt, production designer Martin Whist, animatronic
effects supervisor Andrew Clement, stunt co-ordinator Rob King and stars
Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel
and Odette Yustman take you through the making of 'Cloverfield'. From the
start of the production, introducing the new camera style, filming in LA
instead of New York, the creation of the sets and the action set pieces
and finally the pick up shots in New Yorks.
Visual Effects (21.36 mins)
Director Matt Reeves, producer J.J. Abrams, production designer Martin Whist,
editor Kevin Stitt and visual effects producer Chantal Feghal and her team
talk about producing VFX for the Liberty head, the Brooklyn Bridge, the
street crossfire, the subway chase, the roof top, Beth's apartment, the
landing zone, the bomb run and Central Park.
saw it, it's alive! (5.37 mins)
Director Matt Reeves, producers J.J. Abrams and Brian Burk, visual effects
supervisor Eric Leven and creative designer Neville Page talk about the
design the creative and some secrets about its look and its state of mind.
Fun (3.49 mins)
Watch some of the funny outtakes from the movie's production
Deleted Scenes (3.22 mins)
Entitled 'Congrats Rob, 'When you're in Japan', 'I call that a date' and
'It's gonna hurt', these deleted scenes include commentary from director
Watch two alternative endings to the film with commentary by director Matt
Previews of 'Iron Man' and 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal
DVD treatment for 'Cloverfield' is very good. The commentary for the main
film and the deleted and alternative scenes is well done and the featurettes
in the movie and on the second disc cover everything you want to know about
the film. This is an excellent DVD package that will delight fans of the
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