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GreenCine Movie Talk
Horror
Check out the latest in horror news and discussion, if you dare!
50

Cloverfield
Topic by: ScottWeinberg
Posted: January 10, 2008 - 4:28 PM PST
Last Reply: November 14, 2008 - 10:40 AM PST

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author topic: Cloverfield
SirenTiger
post #61  on May 5, 2008 - 12:06 PM PDT  
> On May 5, 2008 - 11:38 AM PDT shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> And they *really* tested my suspension of disbelief by having the characters continue to film through the whole movie.

> I think it would have been a better movie with regular camera work and no-camcorder or just a little camcorder at the beginning for the romantic flashbacks.
> ---------------------------------

I have not seen it but I've seen the many commercials. I get the impression it was meant to be a "gimick" movie where the home-video aspect of it was meant to be the entire appeal. It seems to me this would be cute (though far from original) so far as it goes but with a monster movie (and one set in a large city) this would be a huge stretch. Your comments confirm what I imagined.

It might have been a better movie without the home-video gimmick but do you think it would even have been made without it?
shiftless
post #62  on May 5, 2008 - 12:37 PM PDT  
Ah, you're right, probably not, the camera work and what's being taped over is pretty much the whole movie. Outside of that gimmick, it's a paint-by-numbers monster-survival movie. For what it was, i think it was done pretty well, but it just got way too much hype to be able to live up to it (for me).
hamano
post #63  on May 5, 2008 - 3:04 PM PDT  
Cloverfield was a GREAT movie if there was such a genre as "Amusement Park Ride" films... along with such films as Run Lola Run. I have to applaud the production of such deliberately mindless "along for the ride" type film.

Criticizing Cloverfield is like saying, "A Ferris wheel just goes 'round and 'round..."
shiftless
post #64  on May 5, 2008 - 3:38 PM PDT  

> Criticizing Cloverfield is like saying, "A Ferris wheel just goes 'round and 'round..."
>

yes, what on earth are people thinking, discussing a popular movie on a film discussion board? Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm off to ride a roller coaster, cause you know, ferris wheels just go round and round...

underdog
post #65  on May 5, 2008 - 5:27 PM PDT  
Actually, ferris wheels make me even queasier then the camera work in Cloverfield... But anyway...

I see your point about why that one guy kept filming. Part of it is just, you let go of every detail of logic and just get caught up in the immediate suspense of it all. Afterward, I did start picking nits but during the film (which I saw in the theater - might be more effective that way) I was fairly well caught up in it. Also didn't they sort of set it up at the beginning that the friend who ends up filming, is enamored with the idea of videotaping everything, even to the point of, at the party, having people get openly irritated with him? Then it's like he realizes this monster attack is the most incredible thing ever (which it basically would be if it happened) and was taping it for posterity. Plus he's part of the "film everything" generation. I dunno, I guess it didn't bother me that much but again I wasn't thinking too hard during the movie. There are certainly other little things that could be questioned.

I do hope they don't do the sequel after all though. Just leave it as is.
hamano
post #66  on May 5, 2008 - 7:09 PM PDT  
But what's the POINT of nitpicking over Cloverfield? It's not worth the brain cells to pick it apart, because it really wasn't designed to stand up to later scrutiny. I like roller coasters as much as the next GreenCiner, but sometimes I like Ferris wheels too. And Clover was an A++ Ferris wheel. But you can't hold a Ferris wheel up to roller coaster standards.

Maybe my brain's gotten more flexible since I started watching Bollywood films...
SirenTiger
post #67  on May 5, 2008 - 7:34 PM PDT  
> On May 5, 2008 - 7:09 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> And Clover was an A++ Ferris wheel. But you can't hold a Ferris wheel up to roller coaster standards.
>
But was it an A++ Ferris wheel? Shiftless seems to think it was a rather poor ferris wheel.

Just because a porn movie fails on complex characters scale doesn't mean it automatically succeeds on the porn scale.
shiftless
post #68  on May 5, 2008 - 8:23 PM PDT  

> ---------------------------------
> But what's the POINT of nitpicking over Cloverfield?
> ---------------------------------

If you don't think it's worth discussing then don't join the conversation. Otherwise people might think you just came here to troll...

kaream
post #69  on May 5, 2008 - 8:24 PM PDT  
> On May 5, 2008 - 3:38 PM PDT shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'm off to ride a roller coaster, cause you know, ferris wheels just go round and round...
> ---------------------------------

Check out the Riesenrad in the The Third Man, or Before Sunrise -- it must be the slowest ferris wheel ever (and for a while, the biggest). (Also in The Living Daylights, according to wikipedia.)
kaream
post #70  on May 5, 2008 - 8:27 PM PDT  
> On May 5, 2008 - 7:34 PM PDT SirenTiger wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Just because a porn movie fails on complex characters scale doesn't mean it automatically succeeds on the porn scale.
> ---------------------------------

Cloverfield is a porn movie? I haven't seen it.
SirenTiger
post #71  on May 5, 2008 - 9:12 PM PDT  
> On May 5, 2008 - 8:27 PM PDT kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Cloverfield is a porn movie? I haven't seen it.
> ---------------------------------

It is not. My point is that although it is pointless to critique a film of a "lower" genre (such as porn and/or ferris wheel) by the standards of a higher genre, it does not nescessarily mean that the film must therefore pass on the scale of its genre. It be pointless to judge a porn film on character development or the tautness of its story-telling, but that doesn't mean a porn film can't also be bad on a porn film scale[1]. "Cloverfield" is a "ferris wheel" movie, meaning it shouldn't be judge on its believability in the real world, character development, profundity, or any of the other criteria one would judge "higher" genre films. However that doesn't mean that it *has* to be good on the ferris wheel scale (judged by, I suppose, excitement; sucking one in-ness; suspense; or other such qualities). Shiftless appears to believe it was rather mediocre and overblown and the home video gimick to be annoying and distracting on the ferris wheel scale. Hamano on the other had seems to say one shouldn't judge ferris wheel films at all and tacitly assumes one should recognize Cloverfield as A+ in the genre of ferris wheels. I'm pointing out that just because Cloverfield is a ferris wheel film doesn't mean it has to be a good ferris wheel film.

[1] A porn film without any nudity... what is the point. The argument that one shouldn't need nudity to enjoy a movie could be applied except anyone willing to accept such on argument wouldn't be trying to watch nudie flick.
shiftless
post #72  on May 6, 2008 - 1:37 PM PDT  
I can't really address porn here, I just think it's a whole other animal, but I don't think that it's unreasonable to want/expect good writing from any genre of non-porn movie. There's no reason you can't have a monster movie that also features an intelligent and creative script.

You could call Cloverfield clever, I suppose, for it's home video perspective idea, but you could also call it gimmicky since the story was so typical. At any rate, I wouldn't call it an A+ film of it's genre. This is where "over hyped" and perhaps "over rated" come in. I tend to get judgmental of a film if the dialog or an event causes me to break out of that "absorption" state of mind. And for me, Cloverfield did that quite a few times between dialog and character choices.

My reasons for coming here to comment on it was simply because of the background of expectation that came with all the hype. It's not a bad movie, just not the masterpiece I was expecting. I want another Alien!

underdog
post #73  on May 7, 2008 - 11:38 AM PDT  
I do think while Cloverfield succeed for me on a visceral level, I agree with Shift that the script still could've been sharper. Even though it wanted a sort of realistic improvised feel to some of the characterizations and interactions, clearly it wasn't improvised. The party scene was fine as a conceptual way to set everything up, but it still felt kind of lazy to me. I liked the woman, Marlena, the sort of acerbic character played by Lizzie Caplan because she was well rounded and sort of interesting. The cameraman guy was likable enough. But the two leads seemed pretty flat to me. Did they have to be so perfect looking and bland? Not that I didn't care at all about them but I didn't care as much as I could have.

You can see the Lost connection with these filmmakers - I love Lost but sometimes I wonder why all the leads have to be so attractive (not that I mind looking at Evangeline Lilly mind you) and not that Matthew Fox's character isn't flawed, and so on, but I do feel lke they sometimes get a bit lazy there, too, relying on actor charisma instead of real genuine depth.

Still, Cloverfield's a popcorn flick and it was disturbing and engaging enough for my taste while it lasted.
hamano
post #74  on May 8, 2008 - 11:45 AM PDT  
I thought there was actually very little hype associated with Cloverfield, considering what kind of film it was. My feeling was that they were relying more on word-of-mouth rather than hype.

I don't think the Ferris Wheel analogy means that it's somehow a "lower" sort of film, either. I thought it was a fun and unpretentious film that accomplished what it set out to do.

I also enjoyed the "minimalist" approach to plot and character.

Actually the monster plot was just a smoke screen. The ESSENTIAL Cloverfield film is contained almost entirely in the snippets shot earlier when the couple go to Coney Island. If you were completely caught up in the confrontations with the monster you've pretty much missed the whole point of the film. Try watching the DVD using the remote to skip all the chapters EXCEPT the Coney Island trip, and you'll see what I mean. It changes the whole tone of the film's ending.
weezy
post #75  on November 14, 2008 - 10:40 AM PST  
A google map: "where the things in Cloverfield happen"
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