Cloverfield

I thought this was a remarkable cinematic event.  But you need to know that the characters are supposed to be vacuous and annoying, and that the opening scene is supposed to be obnoxious and superficial.  The heroism is supposed to be thin.  (The whiney NYT review I read is, in retrospect, an embarrassment.)  And that the movie is supposed to make you feel physically nauseated.  You are in fact witnessing a disaster.  Most of all this is a movie about how the young’uns have no tools for moral discourse and that all they can do is utter banalities and take endless pictures of each other and record their lives for no apparent purpose.  I can’t recall any other movie that so completely devastates its intended demographic.  The integration of sound blips and flashing lights is brilliant.  The homage to the tanks attacking Godzilla is loving.  I didn’t even know how good this movie was until after the halfway point.  Bravo.

Comments

I just wanted to say without any intent at irony that I loved the flick. I loved it. It was like plugging into the Matrix and queuing some weird parts of my bad dreams/diversions all in one fast rocking experience. I dug it.

How does Tyler know the following:

"...the characters are supposed to be vacuous and annoying, and that the opening scene is supposed to be obnoxious and superficial. The heroism is supposed to be thin."

Remember those Mitsubishi Motors TV commercials a few years back? Hipsters nodding their heads and gyrating their arms to techno music as they drive around in circles in a darkened city? Mitsubishi lost a ton of money by the way, because the demographic they were trying to appeal to turned out to be deadbeats who defaulted on their car loans. Anyways, in this movie those hipsters meet Godzilla, Blair-Witch-style. It's hard to know which side to cheer for.

The most unrealistic aspect of the movie was the ease of making cell phone calls in mid-crisis. Surely capacity would be overloaded as everyone tried to call at once, to say nothing of expected destruction of base station infrastructure and the electrical grid... the latter was almost unaffected but for the occasional dramatic flickering of lights. The street scenes were also unconvincing: they obviously didn't have enough budget for huge crowds of extras, and Manhattan seemed curiously deserted.

Tyler, ask your wife: what was the Russian guy in the street scene saying?

The plot device of analog-style taping over a previously recorded segment also makes no sense with what was surely a digital camcorder.

" all they can do is utter banalities and take endless pictures of each other and record their lives for no apparent purpose. "

Sounds like Facebook!

As I recall, Beavis and Butthead also excoriates its target demographic. Cloverfield, Beavis & Butthead, what else can we use to fill out this new genre? Maybe we could round things out with those works featuring American ninja, or perhaps those crafted by forward thinking auteur Uwe Boll.

Any ideas on how we should christen this marvelous new genre?

I should add there are many other parallels with Godzilla, for instance both monsters rise out of harbors and following their nations having fought wars. The ending deserves more serious consideration than it has received, though I can't say anything here without spoiling it all.

Thanks for the review. I wasn't planning on seeing it, but now I'm intrigued.

That's a great idea. Like Rashomon. Also do it from the monster's point of view. This is the sort of rhetorical invention we're going to see a lot of on web video.

I didn't like how it broke genre. There are rules to Monster
movies, as there are in Westerns and Mysteries. In a mystery, for
example, we expect to find out who done it and for some form of
justice. If our expectations aren't met we feel cheated, as I did in
Cloverfield.
The ideal format is: strange and terrifying monster attacks,
understanding of the danger and anxiousness rise, doom seems
inevitable until protagonists learn strategies to defeat/survive the
monster, release of tension.
Genre fiction can act as a common dream; a sort of training
exercise in how to survive fear and hopelessness.
There were some tense and scary moments and the film was well
written and cleverly made. But it's a ride without the resolution and
release essential to the Monster movie experience.

That's a great idea. Like Rashomon. Also do it from the monster's point of view.

In one sequel, Samuel Jackson's character proclaims "Enough is enough! I have had it with this motherf*cking... whatever it is... in this motherf*cking city!"

In another, the monster delivers a Shakespearean soliloquy: "If you prick me, do I not bleed? If you bomb me, do I not die? Nope, I guess not. I rock!"

In the final chapter, they take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

The ending deserves more serious consideration than it has received, though I can't say anything here without spoiling it all.

I'm curious. Do you mean the (seemingly) final government response, confirming the film as unconscious wish fulfillment? Or Beth's last line, as ironic commentary on the movie? I really hope you don't mean this.

Anyway,"this was a remarkable cinematic event" doesn't necessarily follow from "this is a movie about how the young'uns have no tools for moral discourse" or even from "I can't recall any other movie that so completely devastates its intended demographic." The fascinating economic/sociological implications of the latter statement are outweighed (IMO) by the embarrassing Old Fogeyism of the former.

I can't recall any other movie that so completely devastates its intended demographic.

Starship Troopers?

It's a fun way to goof on the audience by reflecting the audience within the film. It's done intelligently if most people don't get it. "Orange County" was too blunt in its goofing, so it didn't work too well because people knew when they were being laughed at.

But if the filmmakers can target the same audience that it shows in a not too flattering light, and get away with it as evidenced by box office numbers, kudos to them.

Watch in the background near the end, where the film skips out and they're riding the ferris wheel on Cooney island. It's fast, small, but it's falling into the Ocean from the sky. The director actually gives out A LOT of information in some interviews.

cloverfield was original to say the least, impactful as well

wish they would have shown more battling with the monster, though

Fantastic movie! Amazingly realistic. Great acting, great effects. Triggers your "fight or flight", so much so its nauseating. Really puts you there. Frightening, and intense. I loved it!

Cloverfield Ending Credits - Spoilers

At the credits ending of Cloverfield, *spoilers* the audio from the video cam says, "Help us!". But when played backwards, it says, "It's still alive!" This happens after the end credits of Cloverfield. Assuming the speaker was Rob, he suggests Cloverfield (the monster) is still alive. This also suggests a sequel for Cloverfield 2! *Spoilers*

The Japanese oil company TAGRUATO drops a satellite (Chimpanz III) into the ocean as part of viral marketing (shown at the end of the movie when Rob and Beth were on the ferris wheel). TAGRUATO works with SLUSHO (a slush company), as the main ingredient for SLUSHO is found at the satellite dropzone (deep ocean). While searching for satellite and ingredients, they woke Cloverfield (the monster).

People who were at the party in the beginning of the movie, were seen wearing SLUSHO shirts. Rob apparently was going to be the Vice President of TAGRUATO in Japan.

The main ingredient of Slusho apparently turns a tiny fish into a HUGE whale in Ganu's (he found the nectar) dream, which explains the size of Cloverfield. *Update* The main ingredient is a deep sea nectar.

*Update* Because the ingredient was discovered on the deep ocean floor, under amazing pressure and in the most extreme cold, Ganu knew he had to serve the ingredient in a near frozen state to preserve its freshness. Thus the idea of Slush (Slusho)!

For animals/fishes/insects to survive in the deepest ocean (very high boiling temperature), they naturally have very high heat resistance. This explains how Cloverfield is able to withstand numerous bombs and attacks from the army.

Cloverfield refers to the field formerly known as Central Park. Clovers are usually prone to grow at places after bombing. Thus the term "Clover" and "field" referring to park.

*Update* Slusho is a very addictive drink, with signs of steroid drug like effects. Makes people stronger, constantly happy, have happy dreams and finally... "SLUSHO makes my stomach explode with happy!!" (Remember Marlena's stomach?)

Taken directly from: http://www.cloverfieldendingcredits.com

Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Boring

The movie made a few really poignant points and it made them very well. Did anyone notice a few parallels between the impact of Stampy the unknown monsters attack on NY and another once unknown monsters attack on NY? One of them dropped spiderdogmonsters the other dropped air liners, both had the same impact on the people of the city. As someone has said before, the movie documents a disaster, a disaster that would once have been thought impossible. I think the ultimate response to Stampys visit is more then a little allegorical also, would a video recovered from Central Baghdad carry the same fear and loss as the one recovere3d from Central Park?

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there is a very important moral to this story that you guys are all missing. right before the monster hit, jason (the brother) says "you have to learn to forget the world, and hold on to those you love." i am pretty sure that the monster is a symbol for worldly things, such as pride, attachment to material things, or any type of "sin". you see, through out the movie all of the main characters hold on to each other, and they all die together from whatever the monster/world did to them, except for jasons fiance (cant remember her name) who was SEPARATED FROM EVERYONE ELSE in the helicopter scene. i think the people behind cloverfield are trying to say that either 1. the world is relentlessly attacking you at all times, through your friends, media etc. or 2. you cannot shield yourself from the world with something like love or friendship or 3. Love is sort of a trap to humanity. i hope i was somewhat clear.

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