Cloverfield (2008)

Where the hell is Ultraman when you needed him?

CloverfieldParamount Pictures in association with Bad Robot Productions present…


April 27, 6:17 pm

Set in the urban landscape of New York City, five yuppies searching for a meaning to move on with their lives needs to find it more quickly before losing it on the long run, well figuratively and literally speaking! The set-up was having this massive reptilian behemoth which started to cause mayhem while finding itself lost and angry in a world of “diminutive proportions”!

Now, we see the decapitated head of Liberty that was mangled before it was hurled unto the streets! The film was like a FPS (First Person Shooter) coming from a video game. Unfortunately, Hud (the group’s comedian) was the “lucky contestant” bestowed with the videocam to capture every foreboding moment of the “invader” as it decimates Manhattan! Relax, have fun, we do have all the thrills and excitement as we turn you over to our rampaging 25 stories tall monster and whatever you do, DON’T PANIC!

Producers J.J Abrams and Bryan Burk both coming back from the Star Trek blockbuster film in 2009 gives another commendable hit from Bad Robot, a company owned by the former. Director Matt Reeves (The Pallbearer) makes an outstanding display of allocating body bags for the death toll, but seriously Matt gave it headway on both the actual plot and sub-plots wherein it became a bigger story to work on. He’s a great storyteller, while integrating heavy CGI effects, he doesn’t lose the interaction between the individuals not just trying to get out of the city alive but also work on their personal problems to let it course through with the intention of the film thus making the “event” as unforgettable as possible and still leave footprints/breadcrumbs behind for a tantamount sequel! Writer Drew Goddard (Lost) just coming in from the TV series genre, Drew made a real impression on how to make an alien monster movie come alive! While maintaining the panic and chaos, he was able to instil dialogue which was gritty, emotional and tact despite the topsy-turvy camera shots.

The Creature Animation and Visual Effects team was covered by Double Negative and Tippet Studio with emphasis on Kevin Blank supervising; he brings in uniquely developed aliens that will be the very last thing you’ll see before the hammer goes down! They coordinated with J.J. and Artist Neville Page who gave the intense rendering of the “emotionally unstable LSA (Large Scale Aggressor) as coined by the military and so as it’s parasites that prey on humans like rabid dogs while walking on walls with crablike dexterity!   The project jumpstarted and was initially conceived when J.J was promoting Mission Impossible III in Japan with his son while looking at Godzilla toys, he wanted to mold it into his own likeness with much more intensity and animosity!

Supervisor for Pre-Visualisation is Nicholas Markel of The Third Floor needs to be commended for I believe it bears importance for us to discuss in this type of picture, we can actually appreciate something being captured on screen to be not just spontaneous but to let it guide, to maximise its depth of functionality not just for the premise but also what key specific details that the Director will be able to apply with the humans and the creature’s movements, aggressiveness, positioning, lighting and so forth. The Director of Photography Michael Bonvillain (ALIAS) jumps in the bandwagon to help shape the film while making shot sequences in a One’R then incorporating them into a seamless continuity which gives the audience a much more intake on rather a simple vignette!

Relying on mostly new comers in the film industry, they were still able to pull through, the actors were spot on for they have done pretty well carrying their roles by making the audience feel what it’s like to be in the given predicament! This clearly shows you don’t need Hollywood superstars to make a film a certifiable hit. As long as the script is done well and with proper guidance from the Director, it can work and even go beyond the expectation of the viewers and from here this is what separates a paying patron into a certifiable fan!

Rob Hawkins is the next in line, newly promoted Vice-President going to Japan; he is portrayed by Michael Stahl-David (The Project) his sense of delivery is gravitated with his feelings for Beth and leaving the country! Torn from his obligation within his friends and the love of his life who he believes is still alive out there in the ruins! His digression from this dilemma pushes on how can he save her and still survive the night! The delivery of his character is contrite and explosive as the same time seeing that his lover Odette Annable (The Unborn) played by Beth McIntyre who definitely needs the attention! Even bringing a chaperone to his farewell party was either absolutely stupid or just hopelessly in love with the guy who seemingly choked in their “so called relationship!

Actress Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls) as the indifferent yet heroic Marlena Diamond, a common friend of Lily Ford played by Jessica Lucas (She’s the Man) who has a huge heart but can be intimidating at times especially with Jason. T.J. Miller (She’s out of my League) is Rob’s best friend Hudson “Hud” Platt, coming from a comedic background was never an issue, his geeky and spontaneous always starting the conversation which is actually intended for his ability to generate rapport! Mike Vogel (The Deaths of Ian Stone) is Jason Hawkins; he keeps on shouting his “brother’s” name, constantly worrying about him but ends up at the bottom of the bay maybe if it was better if he had the camera in the first place…

Supporting the cast, the assertiveness of the US Department of Defense was manifested heavily not just mere soldiers but instead, by human beings in protecting the motherland from any threat whether local or foreign! The need to survive, creatures of habit as they say, there is an innate susceptibility for compassion and war in each and every one of us!

The difference with the Blair Witch Project which started this type of filmmaking was it doesn’t just cover the horrors of the environment but to add a little more diversity in terms of friendship, relationships and family! To add, the shaky cam gave a lot of concerns with movie goers making them nauseous but hey, warnings were posted and we just went to enjoy the film without the need of vomiting that is! If this were real in life, no one would dare still hold a camera for the whole day while still on ground zero also, it’s fascinating how people call the name of our mighty Creator so many times when they are about to die.

Some significant aspects we can ponder on for the sequel is who survived? Who were others that managed to capture the onslaught on film? What are the military and containment unit’s next objectives beside search and rescue? The significance of time and date of the attack, there are so many possibilities to explore with this film and it may take another 2 to 3 projects to encapsulate this monster epic.

By the way, listen for the sirens if you can still hear it well, it was nice meeting you…

US-447 (formerly CENTRAL PARK)

May 23, 6:45 am



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