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Appellate Judge Mac McEntire's Blog

Appellate Judge Mac McEntire • Location: Shrewsbury, MA
• Member since: April 2005
• 495 full reviews
• 230 small claims

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Cloverfield is mediocre-field
January 25th, 2008 11:08PM

So I went and saw Cloverfield. Now, what can I possibly say about this movie that the rest of the internet hasnít already said? Letís seeÖ

Blah blah blah plot summary blah blah blah surprise party blah blah blah New York attacked blah blah blah giant monster blah blah blah hand-held camera blah blah blah motion sickness blah blah blah go back to get the girl blah blah blah internet hype blah blah blah cauliflower blah blah blah J.J. Abrams blah blah blah Slusho blah blah blah Zoidberg blah blah blah boogers blah blah blah has Rambo opened yet?

The big question: Do we actually see the monster? Answer: yes, it gets a close-up. And, honestly, I was kind of disappointed. After all that build-up, Iím sad to say that the big beastie looks kind of ordinary (for a giant monster, that is). Plus, the overall visual effects look a little too CGI-ish and not fully integrated with the human characters. At least not to my eye.

If the filmmakers were here, Iím sure theyíd give me a big speech right now about how the movie is supposed to be more about the characters than the monster, and I can kind of see that. Unfortunately, some of the character bits donít make sense, just like some of the monster bits donít make sense. Iím willing to believe that a guy would go to great lengths during a crisis to save the girl heís hot for, but itís a little harder to buy two friends and a fourth person who hardly knows him tagging along. And, yeah, as the movie goes from one nightmarish experience to the next, it becomes less and less believable that theyíd keep filming all this. I get that theyíd do it for a while, because this attack would be history in the making, etc., but after almost getting killed for the 14th time or so, it gets incredulous. There are numerous instances of character motivations, camera set-ups, and even monster attacks that serve no real purpose except getting these people to the next plot point, and that makes for frustrating viewing.

Did I totally hate the movie? No. There were a few scenes that really captured the intense, thrill-ride feel the creators were aiming for. Some of the humor in the dialogue also got me chuckling. Some twists and shocks in the movie took me by surprise, Iíll admit. Itís just that a few fun scenes donít add up to a satisfying movie overall. Iíd classify Cloverfield as an interesting experiment -- a novelty item. It was amusing to see once, but not something Iíd rush out to see again (or see a sequel to).

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