More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Cloverfield - Movie Review


My first bit of advice. If you suffer motion sickness, like myself, don't eat too much before going to see the film, and be prepared to be in a bit of discomfort. If you don't already know, Cloverfield is shot in the style of a hand held camera, like Blair Witch project. This means there is sometimes a lot of jerky video, which can cause people like me to feel quite ill. I ate way too much before the film and that didn't help with my nauseousness. I found I had to start closing my eyes at the 30 minutes mark, when the action starts. I was getting so dizzy. Throughout the film, I had to occasionally close my eyes to stop myself from throwing up.

The movie itself is based around a group of friends and one particularly eventful day in their lives. The main protagonist in the film is Rob. We get to see him and his friend, Beth, in an apartment. They look totally in love and are talking about going to Coney Island. The film then shifts to Jason (Rob's brother) and Lily (Jason's girlfriend) buying supplies for a surprise party for Rob. Rob is going to Japan for his job. Only when Beth arrives with another guy do we know they are not together.

The party, and hence the film, is being shot by Hud, Rob's best friend. He is shooting the whole party to get guests messages for Rob. He also tries to get the attention of Marlena, a girl at the party.

Basically, a Gozilla style monster terrorises the city. You only occasionally get to see glimpses of it. The group of friends try to flee the city and escape. Along the way, all sorts of obstacles come to their path. All the while, Hud is still shooting footage of everything on the camera.

The effect of this hand held style of filming is quite powerful. It makes you really feel like you're right in the middle of the action. I think one of the most powerful scenes is when we see these dazed people stumble around, all covered in dust. This instantly reminded me of the images of September 11. I'm sure it was no coincidence as the writers are trying to elicit as much emotion from the audience as possible. There is even a mention of terrorist attacks during the film.

I felt that I did start to care for the characters and hoped they would make it. Seeing and hearing their every experience as if you are part of the group makes the connection so much stronger. I too was running away from the monster. In that sense, the film works well. In terms of a great blockbuster, it isn't really. I think its more a love story between Rob and Beth. The film intertwines between their story, as there is existing footage of their time together on the tape in the camera, and the current situation where they are separated.

As with all good horror films, some protagonists do not survive. It keeps the audience on their toes and never to feel completely safe. The movie has an ambiguous ending, which I like. It completes two stories while also leaving it ambiguous on one story.

Apart from the nausea, I did like the film and found it was done well. I will need to rewatch it to get more of it as I had my eyes closed during some of the sections of the film.

Overall Rating: ***1/2


Blogger PF said...

I thought the movie lived up to its hype - no better or worse than "Godzilla" (a movie it's been oft-compared to), but certainly a far cry from "Blair Witch" (another movie it's been oft-compared to).

2/06/2008 2:50 AM  
Anonymous Movie Blogger said...

You frakkin bastard guy

you forgot to mention how out of the four of us, only you 3 women got sick

what about me? I was still so focussed at the end of the film that I even noticed the thing that dropped in the water.


2/06/2008 10:56 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Alan, it quite a good movie.

Movie Blogger, you're so good. Sorry I get dizzy with motion sickness. At least I didn't throw up. If only you could stop throwing up when you drink alcohol.

2/06/2008 12:15 PM  

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