Sunday, July 27, 2008


... or, why I did not enjoy Cloverfield. I really thought I'd like this movie, but after recently viewing it, I found I could sum it up in one word: garbage. But why do I think it is garbage?

First, the opening party scene, which lasted nearly twenty minutes, did little to establish these characters. It made me loathe and pity their shallow lives.

Second, the film had little moral substance to it. Other than the fact that some characters are willing to risk their own lives to save their friends, there's not much of a meaningful worldview underpinning to this movie.

Third, I did not find the whole camcorder feel of the film to be original or used well. It came across as contrived--merely a gimmick to support a film with a flimsy plot and poor character development.

Fourth, characters in the film were representative of a culture over-saturated by media in the sense that they think they need to film everything or capture it in some way, even to the point of blatant incivility. At one point a character is on a cell phone telling a mother that her son has died, but instead of having the decency and respect to stop filming, the guy with the camcorder keeps right on filming. How foolish.

Fifth, I found the dialogue ridiculous and unconvincing. Where is the cleverness? Where is the wit? You won't find it in Cloverfield. If the film is intended to reflect the subculture of twenty-somethings, then, speaking somewhat hyperbolically, we're on the way to the end of Western civilization as we know it.

Sixth, the film came across as cheap voyeurism.

Oh how I'd like to spend a few hours comparing the garbage that is represented in Cloverfield to a truly magnificent film such as Citizen Kane. But why bother?

What did I like about Cloverfield? The monster effects were pretty cool, but that does not equate with artistic success.

Am I missing something here? If you enjoyed this movie, let me know why. I'd like to hear more than just emotive utterances from those who respond.

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