Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blair Witch vs. Godzilla?

Just saw Cloverfield tonight, so I figured I'd drop a line or two about this interesting concept movie.

First let me say - I think I liked it.
It's hard to make an educated decision about it right now because my brain is coming down from the nausea inducing, vigorous, jerky camera effect the whole way through. I'm not saying it didn't "work" for me, just that perhaps maybe they wouldn't have had to do that the entire way through the movie.

Second - the effects were rather good, I thought. I have heard folks complain over and over again - saying the special effects were crappy and they couldn't get past the whole Blair Witch thing - well, they weren't trying hard enough - because to be honest, it was a tense and believable movie for the most part. The CGI was on a way better level than say, Van Helsing. It's amazing what can be done these days.

Basic plot is rather elementary. Monster attacks New York City.

Rob (our hero of sorts) never told the girl he loves how he feels about her and now a monster has attacked the city, he's not with her, and he's feeling guilty. Must find her. He was at a party given for him because he is moving to Japan (can you say Godzilla reference?) soon and everyone is there -giving a buddy of his video recorded well-wishes. Hence the video taped footage of everything as it is happening. His friend just keeps recording and never stops, saying he needs to do it - "so people will know what happened"...

Rob, after seeing NYC in mere shambles, takes his life and the lives of a few friends - including his brother - in his hands, dragging them along to go to mid-Manhattan and find said girlfriend. Much chaos ensues of course, in the race to get to her before the armed forces just simply drop the big one on the ravaged and doomed city.

What is extremely hard to imagine is someone actually taking the time to continue filming while being chased by a huge....whatever it is. With half the city running up and down the streets around him, he still manages to capture everything going on. Right. Much of this was simply implausible.

But let's not be too harsh. I thought this was actually pretty good. It had me believing (if only for an hour & a half) that a monster could overwhelm and level a major metropolitan area. It was freaky, relentless and fun.

And you do get a decent look at the actual 'creature' near the end of the film, but I much preferred the sideways glances and partial shots of it slashing its way through the city. Leave it to the imagination - that is always and forever more effective in my book.

To be fair, I was genuinely entertained. Not sure I'd buy it, but I'd watch it if it were on Sci-Fi some rainy saturday afternoon.

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