Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cloverfield is what is it is, so shut up already

I hate spoilers. About a week before the movie is going to come out, my husband tries to tell me something about the movie, like a spoiler. And I hate that. And he knows better.

But I went to see the movie anyway, hoping that whatever he was trying to tell me wouldn't ruin it for me. Either he didn't know what he was talking about, or I misunderstood what he said. What he was saying didn't seem to have anything to do with the movie.

Okay, so if you've heard the movie described as The Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla, that's pretty much it. If you don't want to see The Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla, then don't go to see this movie. Don't sit there in the theater and whine about wanting your money back. And don't go out in front of the theater and yell about what a bad movie it was.

Either you like that sort of thing, or you don't. It just so happens that I like it once in a while. If you don't, then stay home and quit bothering the rest of us.

This is sort of like if the Spielberg/Cruise version of War of the Worlds was filmed with someone's home video camera, only it isn't his camera and he didn't have time to learn how to work it yet. There is a lot of scenes of buildings damaged or destroyed, and a lot of people running around, and a lot of military people firing weapons that don't do very much against whatever it is.

Okay, now I think that it's time for a spoiler alert--------------------------------------------------

The film starts with a test pattern, like you used to see back when TV stations actually shut down for the night. This actually caused some people in the audience to start swearing. They actually thought that there was a malfunction and that the movie theater had gone "off the air."

Then there's some numbers and such, and a bit about the film being government property and that the film was about the Cloverfield incident. It was found it what used to be Central Park.

The next five or ten minutes is to set up the characters and their relationships. I think that if the government ever had reason to copy someone's home video like this, that this part would have been skipped over. There's a guy sneaking up on a sleeping girl, who appears to be his girlfriend. He's just decided to film their day together. He takes her to Coney Island, cause she's never been there even though she lives in New York.

Then it's a month or so later, and there's a different couple with the camera. This guy is the brother of the first guy. They are getting ready to give the first guy a surprise going away party. He's going away because he's going to be vice-president of a company in Japan. Maybe that part is supposed to be a joke, cause these people look barely out of college and not old enough to be vice-president of anything in Japan. But he is definitely going to Japan.

So the guy who is going to Japan is Rob, and when Rob gets to the party he's looking for Beth, the girl we saw him with earlier. Only he and Beth are just supposed to be friends. Jason, Rob's brother, gave the video camera to another guy, Hud. The guy with the camera is unknowingly recording over Rob and Beth's first and only date. He meant to keep the tape, but Hud is recording over it.

Once in a while we see little bits of the original tape. We see Beth being happy. We see them start to have a serious talk about Japan.

Beth comes to the party, with a date. Rob is very unhappy about this and makes some very rude remarks. Everyone at the party is told that Rob and Beth had sex once. Beth and her date leave. Hud tries to get a date of his own with Marlena.

And then it seems that New York is hit by an earthquake. And we see the power going out. Only I guess that either didn't last very long or wasn't supposed to mean that everyone's power went off, because they all go into the living room and watch the news. There appears to be a ship that toppled over or something. They all want to go up on the roof and try to see something.

And then they see an explosion and run back inside. Then they get scared and run downstairs and go outside. Something attacks the Statue of Liberty and takes her head off. It lands in the street near Hud. Everyone takes out their cell phones to get pictures.

Then there's a lot of running, and the cops and some military guys try to get everyone to go across the bridge and get out of Manhattan. Jason, his girlfriend Lily, Rob, Hud, and Marlena are trying to get across the bridge. Rob stopped to try to talk to Beth on the phone. Jason tries to climb up on something to get a better look at whatever is going on.

And then the bridge is attacked and collapses. Jason dies, but the rest of the group gets safely off of the bridge. They hide in a store from whatever it is. Rob tries to call Beth again, but his cell phone needs to be recharged. He sees some looters in an electronic store, so he goes to steal a new cell battery. Then he learns that Beth is hurt and trapped in her apartment. So the group tries to get to Beth instead of trying to get out of Manhattan.

While the group is in the electronic store, we again get a glimpse at the news. I guess that none of our group was paying attention to it. Besides the big whatever it is that destroys buildings, there are a bunch of smaller monsters that were attached to the big monster, but they decide to venture of on their own and attack people.

Rob finds his replacement battery, and they all head towards Beth's apartment, even though that seems to be the most dangerous area. The battery is the only thing that anyone took. It doesn't occur to anyone to get a flashlight or a gun or anything like that. A gun wouldn't have done anything against the big whatever it is, but that might have been a good thing to have against the smaller monsters. So they are walking towards the danger with only a cell phone and a video camera.

The really big monster comes, and they hide in a subway station. Rob gets a call from his mother, and he has to tell her that Jason is dead. Then he lies to her and says that he's safe and with the military, and that they'll soon be evacuated.

After looking at a map of the subway, they figure out where they are in relation to Beth's apartment. They figure that if the subway were running that they would just take that to a place very near Beth's apartment, but since the subway isn't working it should be safe to just walk through the tunnels to that other station. That probably would have been a good idea if they had flashlights, and it probably would have been a really good idea if they had lots of flashlights and guns. But they don't have that. All they have it the light on the video camera.

Anyway, the tunnel seems safe enough, and they start walking. Then they see some rats. Then they see a lot of rats, all running the same way. Now, this is the universal signal for get the hell out of here. The rats know something you don't. Don't try and figure it out, just run. But no, they don't do that. They stand there for a bit, cause they think they can switch the camera to night vision and see what the rats are running from. And then Hud sees three of the smaller monsters coming toward them, but I think that the monsters were on the ceiling. Now everyone is running, but it's too late, and the monsters attack. Marlena finds a pipe and beats them off, but not before one of them bites her.

They get out of the tunnel and hide in a room with vending machines. They break into the vending machines and get water to clean Marlena's wound. They decide that they can't sit there forever, and no one wants to go back into the tunnel. They decide to go up.

Before they get outside they are surrounded by military guys with guns. The military guys decide they're okay, and then they walk to another room with more military people and doctors and a lot of injured people. They try to get someone to help them rescue Beth, but no one will stop what they are doing to try to rescue one woman who is probably already dead anyway.

And then Marlene says that she doesn't feel so good, and we see blood coming out of her eyes. All the military people yell "bite" and drag her away. And then there's a lot of blood and she dies, but we don't see what happened other than there's a lot of blood. I've seen Alien too many times not to imagine what that was about, but we don't really see and no one explains. There was so little explanation that I really thought that we would see this later in the movie and get a better look at it, or at least be told what happened, but no.

Seeing that the military people have no intention of helping them rescue Beth, Rob says that he's going to try on his own and that no one can stop him, unless maybe someone wants to shoot him in the back. No one threatens to shoot him, but someone does warn him that if things don't change by six in the morning, the military will destroy Manhattan rather than let this thing get away and attack somewhere else.

When they get to Beth's apartment, half of it has slumped over onto another building. Since Beth's apartment is on the 39th floor, above the damage, they walk up the stairs of the other building to the roof and then walk across and then down to Beth's apartment.

There is a hole in the side of Beth's apartment, and Beth is stuck on the floor with a bar sticking up out of her. She's unconscious. When she wakes up, she seems to be okay, except for this bar that's sticking out near her shoulder. Since the bar is coming out of the concrete under her, they lift her up off of the bar.

They go up the stairs to the roof of Beth's apartment and cross to the other building. Beth has been unconscious most of the night and thought that there had been an earthquake or maybe a terrorist attack. She hasn't seen the monster til now. And while climbing down the stairs, she gets to see one of the smaller monsters too.

When we first saw the smaller monsters, I assumed that they were offspring of the big monster. But after seeing them a couple of times I don't think the look much like the big monster. That doesn't prove that they aren't offspring, since they could go through different growth stages in which they change their appearance, but I'm thinking that they are more like remora to a shark.

So they get away in time to be evacuated by helicopter. There's not room for all of them in the first one, so Lily goes first. The other three get in the next helicopter and fly over the monster and get a good look at an attempt to destroy it with missiles. The missiles are a direct hit, but somehow it doesn't kill the monster, that just makes it mad. It hits the helicopter. The helicopter crashes. Hud, Rod, and Beth get out of the helicopter and seem okay, but the monster finds them and kills Hud. It leaves and Rod takes the camera. Rod and Beth hide under a bridge and then tape their goodbyes. And then they hear the planes and the missiles, and the bridge falls on top of them. The end.

And that's the end of the recording, and there's some more stuff that says it is government property. There's never anything more, except I think that someone says something at the very end of the closing credits, but I couldn't hear what it was. There was never any explanation of what the monster was or where it came from or anything. I don't know what year the video camera was found in what used to be Central Park. I don't know if the government is still fighting the monsters. There was never any explanation of anything.

A lot of people in the theater are saying stuff like "that sucked" and "is that all" etc.... My husband didn't actually say any of that, but he seemed to be thinking most of it. He had really been looking forward to this for a long time, and somehow it wasn't what he was expecting. We've decided that it was too soon after seeing The Mist. The Mist looked a lot different, but it was another movie about people running and hiding from monsters, but at least in The Mist we got an explanation of what the monsters were and where they came from.

So after all of the stuff you read on the Internet about this movie, whatever you're expecting to see isn't in this movie, unless you just go expecting to see The Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla. There's no secret government lab. There's no spaceship. There's no plot to turn people into monsters after they have more than six Slusho drinks. So if The Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla isn't what you want to see, stay home.


dmarks said...

Did they show the trailer for the new "Star Trek" movie when you went to "Cloverfield"? They are showing this trailer in front of "Cloverfield" in Tulsa.

I don't know when I will see "Cloverfield". If I want to see a scary movie, I have to go alone, and I don't like to go alone to movies unless I am on a business trip way across the country and want to kill time.

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Cloverfield doesn't come out til next month over here, so I skipped the spoilers.

laughingattheslut said...

I did see the Star Trek trailer. I do not see what the big deal is about. We see a guy welding, and we hear a bunch of old recordings from the sixties about space travel that we're all familar with, and we hear Spock reading the "space, the final frontier" bit like he did at the end of the second movie, and we see the ship in dry dock. That's pretty much it. We don't see any pictures of the new actors or any of that stuff. But there are people going to see the film just so they can see this trailer.

I got to the theater a bit late, so I missed the "First Look" segment, and they were already showing previews. My husband saw it at another theater. He got there early and saw the "First Look" thing, but he said it was sound only, and that the picture wasn't fixed until the previews started. So the people were already unhappy by the time the film started. We were wondering if this was done in all the theaters as a joke.

Anonymous said...


Actually there is a space ship. I'm sure this has been announced to death. I saw it during my first viewing, but I'm still talking to people that don't know about it. It's during the last scene before credits. While they are at the boardwalk on the ferris wheel. When the camera is out over the water, to the right you see the "ship" crash into the water.