J.J. Abrams has a habit of taking a genre and turning it on its head, going back to Felicity and Alias, to today’s Lost, Cloverfield, and the upcoming Star Trek movie he’s helming. He’s written a few great films over the years too, including Regarding Henry… So let me say that I am for the most part a fan of J.J. Abrams work.
Cloverfield is his most recent release at the box office. And I have a feeling it’s going to polarize a lot of folks opinions of him. My wife and I saw it together and she didn’t really like it, but I did. I’ve read many early reviews of the film that say the same thing. You either like it, or you don’t.
Here’s the IMDB link for Cloverfield: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1060277/
How to sum this movie up? It’s Godzilla meets 9/11 meets Blair Witch. How’s that for a mashup?
Shot entirely from the perspective of a home video camera (more on that later) in the hands of an innocent bystander who just happens to be in New York City at the time of this fictional incident, it jiggles and bounces us through the plot from the opening at a surprise going away party where we meet the main characters of the story all the way to the end, which I won’t spoil for you.
In my humble opinion, this is an amazing reimagining of the monster movie genre. Abrams took some of the horrifying images of 9/11 and put them together with an original, bizarre monster that we never truly learn the story behind. I don’t think NYC survived. But New Yorkers have proven feisty and resilient, and I won’t count them down or out. 🙂
Back to the home video camera for a minute. This is one heck of a camera. It must be coated in titanium with an impenetrable shell — ’cause this sucker is tough. It gets dropped, kicked, blown up, and still manages to take video. Quite amazing, I must say.
Overall, I have to give this 3/4 stars. It was fun, inventive, and kept my attention the entire film. (As opposed to the American version of Godzilla with Matthew Broderick, which was a total trainwreck in the 1990s.) If you like shaky camera shots, monsters, and want to see an intriguing movie, I’d encourage you to see it. If shaky cam makes you nauseous, I’d avoid it. 🙂
That’s it for now. Go see a movie and let me know what YOU think!