Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield poster

America, Fuck yeah!

What the hell is up with Cloverfield? What kind of shlock is this? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s Godzilla‘s urinary tract infection that slithered it’s way out of the ocean, and it’s ravaging New York City. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. Call it a guilty pleasure if you will, or please don’t, because I don’t feel guilty, but I love Cloverfield. It’s exactly what I look for in a movie: exploding bitches, exploding public places, and film making techniques that make make people vomit . Why do people get motion sickness watching this? Same reason some people can’t go on the big scary roller coasters I suppose. Sucks to be them. But seriously, Cloverfield rocks my world, and it should rock your world too.

A gigantic deformed monster, created by the extremely talented artist Neville Page, wakes up from the bottom of the ocean after a falling satellite smacks it in it’s ass, and waltzes into New York city. Dazed and confused, probably high on a shit ton of seaweed, the newborn is lost and doesn’t know what is going on. All he wants is his mommy, and some more seaweed, because the high is like crack and it doesn’t last very long. As far as I’m concerned the monster in the movie is responsible for the bloop, and that is cool and creepy to think about.

I consider Cloverfield to be directed by J.J. Abrams. It was actually directed by Matt Reeves, but Matt Reeves is like, the anti-auteur. He doesn’t have a style and he certainly doesn’t come off as an interesting character, at least as far as I can tell from the audio commentary. No, this is J.J. Abram’s creation, and an awesome creation it is. I like his style. I happened to enjoy Mission Impossible 3, and I adore the newest Star Trek. Yeah, that’s right. I enjoy J.J. Abrams. What’s wrong with me you ask? Well clearly, I am insane and have poor taste. This is why I am in the Asylum and not writing for the New York Press. Even though some members of their community deserve to be in the happy hospital just as much as I.

In all seriousness, Cloverfield just reeks of Abram’s style. Sure, he didn’t technically “direct”, but his fingerprints are all over it. Matt Reeves, just go stick your head in the sand and remake more Swedish horror movies because you lack a distinctive vision. So what makes Cloverfield so great? Simple, it’s unique, and it thrills. The first time I saw it, my jaw dropped and it stayed dropped all the way through until the end. It’s so shocking, and so visceral, that it makes me want to rip it off and make my own monster move with shaky cam. Actually, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea! I can hear the face palming going on as nerds read this.

Sure, there could be improvements. A lot of people would improve character development and tone down the screaming, but I’m afraid those people have missed the point. Oh, you don’t like these characters? They have no depth? Whatever. You’re probably a paranoid shut in with no social life who sits at home and complains about movies behind a computer screen, not knowing the joys of having friends or lovers in the real world. I’m being really viscous and not making any sort of point aren’t I? Well it’s late, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Now let’s talk about the actual movie. It begins with a bunch of random people filming random stuff in their daily lives, which includes the naked body of your sleeping life long female friend as she nurses a hangover and a heaving pounding from your manhood. Sound boring? You bet! The first 18 or so minutes are boring, and the weakest part of the film, which is something almost all of you nerds can agree with.

Cloverfield sexy

Now THAT is attractive.

There is a party being held to celebrate Rob, our main man, who’s leaving to Japan, and he boned his life long female friend Beth and there’s drama because boning your life long female friend brings with it a lot of drama. So what? That’s to hook all the ladies in, and once you hook the ladies in, you are set to rock the box office. As soon as it starts to drag on and get a little too boring, an earthquake rocks the apartment and shit goes to hell. This was extremely startling when I first saw it and I regret never seeing it in the theater, because it was probably that much more awesome and terrifying.

Everybody rushes out to see what’s going on. A giant explosion in the harbor. Panic. Screaming. Running. People rush out into the streets, and the statue of liberty head flies through the air and crashes into the ground. We still have no idea what’s going on. Buildings collapse and we get our first small look and some gargantuan creature stomping through the city and wrecking shit. What a rush! It’s all so chaotic and out of control, and I think movies should be like this from time to time. Yes, Godfather is king, and a coherent, traditional narrative structure is always great, but after a while, that gets boring, and when something like this comes along, it’s a breath of fresh air. To hell with Mario Puzo! Well, just for 2 hours, okay?

I wanna see a bunch of scared, shallow little college kids run around with a camera, not knowing how to use it, and get chased and eaten by giant monsters and not knowing what the hell is gonna happen next. It’s satisfying when the hot white girl suddenly explodes because she was bitten by a strange alien creature… and the movie doesn’t tell you why.

That’s when your imagination goes to work. Why? Why did that happen? How did that happen? Does the creature have some sort of infectious disease that makes people explode after incubating for a certain time? That’s absolutely insane! Or, is it some kind of reaction from the body to the creature’s mutant alien DNA? Who knows! I don’t know! That’s part of the fun. At least for me. I thrive on these mysterious and unknown happenstances.

Cloverfield screen shot exploding bitch

A hot white girl explodes for no reason. Cinematic genius.

Rob risks death by giant alien monster to get back to Beth, presumably injured and trapped alone in her apartment, and that is something I can relate to. Walking along a street, suddenly, rockets fly by, and the group ducks for cover as the military engages the creature, throwing everything they’ve got at it. It’s so exciting, abrupt, and shocking as it happens. Bullets don’t seem to harm it. Well that’s a load of horse manure.

That creature seems to have skin made out of depleted uranium. Who cares? There’s a giant fucking monster not named Godzilla and it’s rampaging through the city, and the only glimpses of it that we get come from the amateur footage of a bunch of scared little ants running for their lives. Sometimes I just want my movie to not have it’s own head stuck up it’s ass, and just have a ball and go totally over the top, obeying nobody’s rules except for it’s own. I think for the sake of the art form, everybody should be glad that this is an original story, and not a sequel, remake, or reboot.

Cloverfield screenshot monster

BRAAHHHHAAHHHHR

Rob and his remaining living friends manage to make it to the leaning, damaged tower where his life long female fuck buddy Beth is injured and trapped. They rescue her from the deadly steel rebar, which makes Beth automatically more badass than Trinity, who suffered a similar fate in the snooze fest that was Matrix Revolutions.

Once Beth is out of the rebar death trap, they high-tail it out of there in good time and head towards the rescue area. Once in the safety of the helicopter, we see a B-2 Bomber carpet bomb the molecular fortitude out of the monster, and it appears to be defeated. *BRAAAHHDHHHH!!!!!*. That’s my impression of the sound the creature makes as it lunges towards the helicopter out of the cloud of smoke. I love it! That’s the juvenile teenage boy inside of me impressed as fuck and not ashamed to come out and admit it.

Cloverfield screenshot bombs dropping on Clover

"OWW!! That fucking hurts you guys!!!"

The helicopter crashes, miraculously sparing the lives of our characters yet offing the pilots. That’s bullshit, but whatever. Don’t care anymore. In their attempt to flee, the monster sneaks up behind them somehow and eats the cameraman. Stupid and unbelievable? Absolutely, but it doesn’t matter at this point. I’m having too much fun.

Our remaining characters, Rob and Beth, the boy and the girl, life long friends with benefits, sit alone under a bridge in central park, right as the military begins Operation: Hammerdown. Presumably they’re going to drop daisy cutters and MOABs and everything short of Nukes that they have. They record their final words and testimonies to the camera, and the bridge collapses in on them as the bombs roar, and we are left with the remaining home movie footage of them that wasn’t taped over, a few months earlier, having fun at Coney Island. “I had a good day”. Me too, hot girl. Me too.

So that’s about it. A deliciously monstrous monstrosity of a monster movie, it takes the genre in a direction it’s never been before, and breathes new life into the classic monster movie. It’s sure as hell 10,000 times better than that awful, horrid, piece of dreck that is Godzilla… You know the one I’m talking about. The one directed by german lunatics who escaped from an insane asylum and proceeded to rob a bank for $150 Million dollars.

I recommend this movie to chicks. Chicks dig Cloverfield. I also recommend this movie to people who don’t give a horse radish if J.J. Abrams isn’t well liked by the critical elitist elite of the Internet. Oh yes, I also recommend this to the Nostalgia Critic. I think he might find that it’s an OK movie. For what it’s worth. Happy Halloween!

One Response to “Cloverfield (2008)”

  1. I have this, but I have yet to watch it.
    But I guess I’m gonna have to now, since you give it such a kick-ass review. XD

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