Paul's Review of Cloverfield
This is probably the only shakey camera movie that I love to pieces so far.
I do have my gripes with the movie. It has been quite a while since I saw it in theaters, but I do remember going in and wondering what odd creature the protagonists would be facing off against. The opening credits started in lieu of military footage and I was on the edge of my seat. It was a freaking awesome idea and sent the idea across that whatever happened in this movie was in the past. And that it was freakin' [i]important[/i].
However, then the footage begins to show and we see these everday people doing everyday things. I remember I sat in my chair, my arms folded, my foot tapping, waiting for something cool to happen. It seemed like ages which probably turned out to be something more like twenty to thirty minutes...The opening is important in the director's view since it lets us know the relationship with the characters and gives them a base from which they may develop. A smart move for character development which would prove to help out later, but a bad idea for people who wanted to know the answer to the mystery. Their was no anxiety...there was only boredom for the first part of the movie...but then, freakin' catastrophic gold hit in the form of Lady Liberty's disembodied head.
Once the movie starts up it just doesn't quit. You are involved in events that have no explanation. You have no idea what is going on and you find that you yourself would act the same way the characters do in such a situation. The shakey camera gimick, in this case, is incredibly effective in its presentation. The direction and its pacing is incredible as well. We learn very little, very slowly, but the action is so unrelenting that we don't care. We are caught up in the struggle for survival in a world gone [i]flippin[/i]' nuts. It's interesting that I hated the characters and found them annoying at first, but then I grew to like them as they went through the whole ordeal. It made them seem more real, seeing that I think we can all agree that we hate annoying teenagers (or lower twenty-something folks) who think only of themselves. Ah, but I kid. (In most cases). Through their adventure they become something amazing. It really helps that the actors did a FANTASTIC job as well...especially in a movie that had to make a PG-13 rating.