View from the Rooftop

14-Dec-07 9:38 PM by
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Here's a five-minute clip from Cloverfield:

I'm amused by the reaction of the New Yorkers to seeing Lady Liberty's decapitated head; I would think 9/11 would've struck a bit less shock and somewhat more caution around seeming catastrophes. The videographer does not seem to manifest himself much, though it does seem my previous concern that the film would be shot entirely from that character's perspective will be realized — but the motion is far less jerky than I feared. Perhaps my stomach will tolerate it after all.

You Can Call Me Cloverfield

28-Nov-07 4:03 PM by
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Earlier this month, a full-length trailer was released for Cloverfield. Before then, the film's title was only a rumor, with the project being better known by its release date — 01-18-08 — or as "J.J. Abrams' new monster movie." Even with this trailer, little is known:

What is known: Cloverfield is an American-made film about a giant monster attack on New York City, from the director of Lost, Alias, and Star Trek XI. I've not actually seen these samples of Abrams' work, but they've earned enough publicity to make his latest venture worth a look.

For all the secrecy around the film, the most intriguing element is the antagonist itself. In the last decade, Hollywood has seen the reimagining of the archetypal behemoths, Godzilla and King Kong. How will Abrams' threat to the Big Apple set itself apart from its ill-received predecessors? The Internet is abuzz with speculation: could it be a Lovecraftian, Cthulu-type abomination? A giant mechanoid? The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? As depicted in the trailer, the destruction of the Statue of Liberty suggests the seriousness of the assault, but pure mayhem on a major metropolis has been done often enough, including in Independence Day. To engage and retain the audience, Abrams has to produce something original — assuming the monster is even a central figure, in much the way the Autobots were not the stars of The Transformers.

Regardless of the content, it's vital Cloverfield be presented in an easily-consumable format. The entire film appears to be shot in the amateur style of The Blair Witch Project, which I hope is not the case. As I've learned with that film and the likes of the last two Bourne films, I haven't the constitution for the irregular motion and unfocused shots. Films should be emotionally, not physically, demanding. Give me a clear and shocking view of a creepy colossus, and I'm sold.