2008-03-18 13:51
What it's about:

Huge creatures of unknown origin attack Manhattan, causing the population to flee as the military try to defend the city. A small group of partygoers trek across the ruined city in search of an injured friend, as one of them records the whole event on his camcorder.

What we thought of it:

Cloverfield can be basically summed up, in the best possible way, as Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla. It's a monster movie on a grand scale, shot entirely on a camcorder from the point of view of a partygoer following a few friends through the smoking ruins of Manhattan.

Taking the documentary style of Blair Witch Project, but from a single camera carried by one of the protagonists, Cloverfield is pretty much a single shot (with the occasional camera glitch) from start to finish. Marrying big budget action and special effects with this pseudo real style eschews all the clichés of your standard action/sci-fi and ups the tension. Rather than smirking along with some square jawed hero as he gets in close to stab the gigantic monster in a weak spot, you are put in the midst of the action, ignorant of what is happening, yet trying desperately to stay alive while people around you are dying like flies.

The acting and dialogue are painfully real, and each death feels more like seeing a real person in a car accident than seeing an obviously scripted 2D character bite the dust. In keeping with the cameraman's desperate flight, there are never shots that dwell lovingly on explosions or monsters, and Cloverfield is all the more effective for it, as the pace goes from brisk to frantic in a matter of minutes, and doesn't let up until the end.

Admittedly neither giant city-destroying monsters nor faux documentary stylings are new ideas, but together they create something quite amazing. It's an entirely fresh take on the big budget blockbuster and by far the most exciting movie to come along for some years. Conceptually and in its delivery, Cloverfield is nothing short of brilliant, but be warned: if you suffer from motion sickness, you might want to think twice about this one.

- Ivan Sadler
As monsters lay waste to Manhattan, one man records the events as he tries to escape with a small group of friends.

Marius 2008/02/10 10:49 PM
Breath of fresh air I followed the internet hype around this movie and had high expectations. I was not dissapointed. The movie grabs you early and pulls you in and leave you breathless at the end. Of course you will find mistakes, and yes, you might be upset about the ending, but in real life there is not always happy endings. This is what the movie projects: ordinary people in a very extra ordinary situation. Ask yourself:how would you behave? Well worth the ticket price. (oh, and the motion sickness thing is not so bad, you adapt quickly)
Zk 2008/02/11 2:15 PM
WOW Went to see the movie and I was blown away. The reality of the camcoder makes you feel like you are part of the action, and at the end I was literally tired. Its the type of movie that stays with you for a while after you've seen it and the ending is as real as any real life situation can get. Do yourself a favour and go see it, you wont be dissappointed.
JeSTER 2008/02/13 7:19 AM
it was ok this to me is the kind of movie i can only watch once, i found the shakey cam a bit much, few people walked out of cinema and other people really enjoyed it. I dont think there is any way to explain the movie, but, you have to see it for yourself, you either like it or you dont. When this movie goes to dvd, i hope they have a 2 disc special with the movie shot as a commercial movie aswell (no shakey cam), that way lotsa people will appreciate both view points of the movie, thats just my personal take, you dont have to agree or disagree, also, this is the type of movie that has to be seen on the big screen, and to all those pirated movie viewers out there, dont bother getting a pirated version with bad picture, the movie is viewed through the lens of a handy cam and thats not exactly the most crisp and clear picture. So in ending, good idea, glad they showed the monster, glad it was shot real, not too happy with all the shakey cam,....oh, did anyone notice, near the end of the film,when
Manny 2008/02/13 11:02 AM
What's the hype! To have shot the whole movie in this format was a bit much. The makers could have made their point as effective if say only the first 35 minutes were shot on the camcorder, and the rest like a 'normal' movie.Would have worked for me. Enjoyable in any event, but forgettable.
Andrew 2008/02/13 2:04 PM
Ho-hum, where's the originality... It's not as if it's original, is it? All the stupid hype about people leaving cinemas because the movie 'had made them sick' was just like watching the hype for Blair Witch Project all over again. The industry clearly lacks the ability to develop new stuff, and the media are too lazy to remember that they said the exact same thing about Blair Witch Project a few years ago.
Pinvictor 2008/02/13 2:12 PM
Here's the originality The originality is taking a large scale special effects monster movie, and filming it in a lo-fi 1st person perspective, from the pov of some frightened people running away. Nobody has done that before, hence it is original, AND I remember Blair Witch as well. Andrew, you're a cretin.
Sipho 2008/02/13 9:08 PM
Cops in every movie? How mind-numbing that in every movie we have military or police forces save the day or some unlikely hero transform into a Rambo figure. Can't we just have some intelligent storylines please?. No wonder there was a writers strike in Amerika because i would also not pay for the "skop skiet and do@@er" movies anymore.
Andrew 2008/02/14 2:43 PM
Pinvictor Ah, insults, the domain of those who also lack originality. Like the movie.
Dexter 2008/02/15 10:23 AM
Stupid Nana Sipho why dont you just shut your stupid gob! You probably wouldnt know what an intelligent storline was if it came and bit you on youor tonsils...!! Just cos there are no real cops left in South Africa, doesnt mean there arent any in "Amerika" (sic) to take care of business. D!ckhead.
Dustin 2008/02/16 1:49 PM
Great flick I'm the type of person that loves orginal ideas and this movie really has them all. It has the tension of children of men and the scaryness of the descent. If you like movies like the cave,the saw series and bad monster movies, then you won't enjoy this masterpiece!
james 2008/11/13 2:22 AM
rubbish This is possibly the worst movie I've ever laid my eyes on... Utter GARBAGE
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