Saturday, February 9, 2008

TBG Reviews: Cloverfield

Off the top of your heads, think of the first horror movie cliché that comes to mind. Now, the second cliché. Then, the third, the fourth and so on. Bet'cha all of 'em are in the new J.J. Abrams monster flick Cloverfield!

As I watched a damn fine, uh, "unofficial" copy yesterday, I was thrown by how quickly I turned on the half dozen or so central characters. The movie's first 20 minutes take place at a raucous going away party for Jack Robert, who's about to become plucky boy vice-president for a company in Japan. Everyone's captured that too-cool-to-care vibe, guaranteeing the interminable first act to be more painful than anything these idiots will experience over the next 60 minutes.

Then, the monster attacks.

Commence running.

Not so fast, kids!

Y'see, Robert's kinda-sorta girlfriend is trapped in her apartment, so he's gotta save her! Let's leisurely walk towards the danger! Yes, I typed "Let's", cuz it wouldn't be a monster movie if the entirety of Robert's posse didn't roll with him on this suicide mission. The crew includes:

Lily – Quite the unaffected spitfire, this one. Someone close to her is one of the earliest casualties of the monster, but she barely secretes a tear while running 4.4 40-yard dashes in 3-inch heels through the streets. When she takes off her shoes to climb the stairs of a 40-story building, I wondered aloud: "Now they hurt?!"

Hud – Comic relief! Or, whatever the opposite of "relief" would be in this context. I'll grant him the movie's best line ("I think they're closed.", in response to the rampant looting of an electronics store), but he gets no more credit from me. The Hud-Man holds the camera for the entire movie. With danger literally scaling the walls around him, he never thinks that having 100% of his attention on his immediate surroundings would be a good idea. Moron.

Marlena – She's the aloof bitch with the heart of gold. After rejecting Hud's advances at the party, she risks her life to save him later on the movie. That particular scene involves a subway tunnel and several smaller, crawly…uh…well, let's just say that these "things" absolutely overwhelm the might of our armed military in an earlier sequence, but these kids fight 'em off with fists and gumption.

Beth – The cause of this all. Seriously, readers, did/do ANY of you love someone enough in your early/mid 20s to the point that you'd go looking for them when a monster the size of a skyscraper was destroying everything in its path? Bullsh*t…and I met the future Mrs. Bootleg when I was 22.

Anyways, the final act covers everything that the first two forgot: the monster's dead…wait, no it's not! The military weighs the option of blowing the whole city up. And, the last of the two "heroes" we see on screen are the two who you KNEW we'd be seeing at the very end.

There's already been talk of a sequel.

C'monnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, monster.


Tom said...

I'd have to say the "flaming homeless guy" line was the best line of the movie.

And, yeah, if I'm a party downtown and the Statue of Liberty's head comes tumbling up Church Street... I'm heading uptown.

Baba Doodlius said...

I'd have to say I'm glad I'm a bird, because birds would *never* make a movie this awful. Humans can do some cool stuff, but they are also capable of crapola as offensive as this thudburger.