Hold That Camera Still: Cloverfield

22 06 2011

New York City – Why does it always get attacked by Giant Monsters? In the past it has been attacked by 3 Giant Apes (all of them called King Kong), 2 Giant Lizards and several other Monsters. In these days of Personal Cameras people can always find a way of documenting their life, including Giant Monster attacks. It would have been difficult during the original Ape attack to film a Monster attacking the city; cameras today are a lot more advanced and smaller than what they were back then. However these days we can all film a monster attacking our own city with our own personal cameras, just like some people did when another Giant Monster attacked New York in 2008.

Cloverfield is a clever film, the film is told through a video camera, it is about how a few friends try to survive something happening in the city. Instead of being shown in the traditional way it is shown in a completely different and unique way.

The film was created by TV Mastermind J. J. Abrams who through his Production Company Bad Robot Productions has created many TV hits like Alias, Fringe and Lost. He has also made many films including the recent Star Trek film and the upcoming Super 8. J. J. Abrams came up with the Idea for Cloverfield while he was in Japan and saw all the Godzilla Toys and came up with the idea that America should have their own Giant Monster. “We saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own American monster, and not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla. But I wanted something that was just insane, and intense.” Another inspiration for the film was the poster for Escape From New York, You’ll see why later. The film also contains quick flash scenes from the Monster Movies
King Kong, Them! and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

The film starts out with a piece of footage found by the US Government in the area formerly known as Central Park. There are two People who are in a flat, one of them is filming the other with a camera, his name is Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) and he is filming his Girl Friend Beth (Odette Yustman). They talk about going out for the day (you will notice that throughout the film the camera displays the date and time). The next scene shows something about a month later as a man called Jason Hawkins (Mike Vogel) is with his Girl Friend Lily (Jessica Lucas) and they are getting ready for a party. Rob is about to leave for Japan and is having a Going Away Party (the film goes back and forth from the original date to the day the film takes place, the 2 events were on the same tape). Jason gets his friend Hud (T. J. Miller) to tape people’s good luck wishes for Rob. Hud also has a crush on a girl that has come to the party called Marlena (Lizzy Caplan). There are several things happening at the party including some issues with Rob and Beth. Beth leaves and Jason and Hud go to talk to him, all of a sudden there is a quick earthquake and a blackout. They go back inside and see a news report of an oil tanker capsizing. They go to the roof to see if they can see anything, they notice a Large Explosion and evacuate the building, they then see the Head of the statue of liberty get thrown across the street and land near them. They then run to a shop as a building nearby collapses causing lots of dust. There are also talks of something moving. As the immediate danger passes they all argue about seeing something and decide to cross the Brooklyn Bridge to safety. As they cross over a Giant tail crashes on the bridge and destroys the bridge killing Jason and several others. Lily, Rob, Hud and Marlena run back to Manhattan.

Rob gets a message from Beth and loots around in a shop for a phone battery, there is also several news reports of the thing in New York including video footage of it and things falling off it. It is also not far from the shop. Rob decides to try and find Beth with Marlena, Lily and Hud going along with him. They eventually run into the creature just as it is about to be attacked by several soldiers and a Tank. They all manage to dodge to explosions around them and run into a subway station. They eventually decide to walk through the tunnels to the apartment, as they go through the tunnel they are attacked by strange creatures and manage to hide in a room between stations, however Marlena has a giant bite mark on her shoulder. They manage to open another door into a shopping mall and are found by some soldiers who take them to their base. Marlena gets really dizzy and is surrounded by doctors and taken to a room where her body appears to explode. Rob still decides to go look for Beth as lily and Hud go with him. They get to the apartment complex and see it has fallen onto another building. They manage to get to her room and get out her out of there. They manage to get to a helicopter evacuation zone and lily manages to get away while the others go in a second helicopter.

During the flight they see the army attacking the creature and manage to hit it, the creature then attacks the helicopter and it crashes in Central Park. They all wake up (except for the Helicopter Pilots) and try to escape; The Monster arrives and looks at the camera for a few seconds before eating Hud. Rob and Beth hide under a bridge and talk to the camera for a few seconds before sirens start. The army then initiates The Hammer Down Protocol.

Cloverfield is an amazing film and is as good as some of the best Monster Movies. It is better than the 1998 (RUBBISH AMERICAN) Godzilla film but is not as good as some of the films in the Japanese Series. However it is hard to decide which is better between Cloverfield and The Host. The Cloverfield Monster is Gigantic where as the Host is a lot smaller but The host is slightly easier to understand than Cloverfield due to the fact that the host is filmed in the traditional way. The film also does not have a scientist coming in explaining where the creature came from, making you think more and more and still not knowing the answers.

The cast is made up of some brilliant characters but they are not as good as The Monster. Marlena and Jason are both very good characters and it is a shame that don’t last throughout the whole film.

Even though the film came out in 2008 there is still hope for a potential sequel. The director of Cloverfield Matt Reeves recently stated “Getting the right idea together has been taking a long time. You are going to see it – we just don’t know when [laughs]. At the moment we are talking about the story quite a lot. Drew Goddard, who wrote the original, is going to pen the sequel and JJ Abrams is very much involved. However, the three of us have been so busy that getting the right idea together has been taking a long time”. I want there to be a sequel. Cloverfield has got people thinking about Giant Monster Movies again and in my opinion the film that is kick starting the new age of Monster Movies.

Cloverfield is a unique film with several great ideas and a Monster. With so many different themes in cinema these days it is still good to see that Monster Movies are still one of the Top Themes in cinema. I love Monster Movies, they are the Best films in the world and Cloverfield is one of the Best (Not The Best, That’s Next Week). Cloverfield is a very enjoyable film and even though you may not like Monster Movies as much as me you may still enjoy Cloverfield. It is not only a Monster Movie it is also a Monster of a Movie.





8 responses

6 07 2011
Monster Month « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] Cloverfield (Voted) […]

10 08 2011
It Came From The Train – Super 8 « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] and Lost. More recently he has been making lots of amazing films like the recent Star Trek film, Cloverfield and now Super 8. The film was produced by Steven Spielberg who does not need an introduction but I […]

12 10 2011
Your Choice 3: Happy or Sad « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] I let you choose 1 of 7 Monster Movies and then I would review that aswell. Both The Host and Cloverfield were chosen and so I reviewed them in June aswell as 3 other monster movies including the Best Film […]

12 10 2011
Your Choice 3: Happy or Sad « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] I let you choose 1 of 7 Monster Movies and then I would review that aswell. Both The Host and Cloverfield were chosen and so I reviewed them in June aswell as 3 other monster movies including the Best Film […]

2 12 2011
I Wrote A Monster Movie « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] My favourites are the Godzilla Films. I also like films like The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Cloverfiled, Gamera and The Host. Well I have now written a Monster Movie. I don’t know if you have seen […]

5 01 2012
Happy or Sad Results: 2 Film Reviews « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] just choose films that I actually like, I already did that once before; I reviewed The Host and Cloverfield. Maybe I could do a Review of that Monster Movie I wrote. I suppose I could do a Poll with Just […]

15 02 2012
Why Did It Win So Many Awards? – Slumdog Millionaire « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] It may depend on what you like in a film but there were a lot of better films in 2008 (Iron Man, Cloverfield, Tropic Thunder, 10,000 BC, Meet the Spartans, Quantum of Solace and The Dark Knight) that should […]

16 09 2013
Your Choice 5 (Part 1): Classics | Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] On the previous 4 occasions (ok, one of them was mid 2011), I have reviewed High School Musical, Cloverfield, The Host, Slumdog Millionaire and Star Wars Episode 1. Now we arrive at the 5th vote, but over the […]

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