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Author Topic: Cloverfield  (Read 2859 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Jan 28, 2008 at 07:35 »

Went to the movies Saturday, hadn't been in a long time.  Well, since No Country, and that was the first in a real long time.

The Mrs. wanted to see Juno, which was actually pretty entertaining.  I didn't expect much, so it was a pleasant surprise.  

Saw Cloverfield, which I had read the pros and cons about.  Just was hoping that whatever its shortcomings it might actually be sorta scary.  It wasn't.  And it sucked.  So if you're thinking about it, save your goddamned money.  

It was a typical Hollywood horror moview, but with worse screenwriting, and bad camera work.  Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be that way.  But that gimmick couldn't make up for the totality of suckitude.  Not scary, as mentioned, and in fact I wanted the guy toting the camera to die.  What a douche.  The more I think about this movie, the more I hate it.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 08:31 »

Thanks for the tip, Finny.  I'm a big fan of monster movies since forever so I'll give this one a miss.

We have to talk about No Country, though.  Saw it last week, liked it, interesting in some aspects but also a flawed film IMHO.  Certainly didn't think it was the "masterpiece" the critics thought it was.  There are issues with the plot; why elide the death of Moss?  Likewise character: Chigurrh's character never undergoes any process of humanization until the band-aid of the kids on bikes at the end.  The dialogue (or should I say, alternating monlogues) is overwrought and tedious.  

Typical Coen Bros fascination with regional dialect and idiom is there, as well as their old saws fate (the circle symbol as wheel of fortune; the rolling hat in Miller's Crossing, the hula hoop in Hudsucker, the bowling ball in Lebowski, the blown out locks in No Country, to name just a few) and the implacability of time.

I gave it three and a half stars out of five.
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jburghfan
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 08:59 »

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I gave it three and a half stars out of five.


How many thumbs up is that?......
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:09 »

I sam quite an imaginitive film this weekend.  Constantly changing plot, danger around every corner, and characters with identity.  Highly recommended.

The name of this thrilling movie that I watched this weekend:  Ratatouille.

My life is so exciting!!!!!!
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I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:15 »

Any discussion of plot takes you to McCarthy: Chigurh is, like Judge Holden in Blood Meridian, less a human "bad guy" than a force of nature.  You either love that or hate it, and I can see both sides to that.  Incidentally have heard rumors of Blood being brought to the screen, tho the potential fuckup factor for that is very, very high.  Great book, IMO, although Cormac is the once author who has me scramble to Webster's about every third page or so.  Not exaggerating that by much.  

And the dialogue is another take-it-or-leave-it feature from McCarthy.  Extreme violence and cowboys waxin' philosophical.  Well, not for all.

Didn't read No Country, so not sure how the death of Moss was handled there.  Maybe that unfolded better: I thought that was a bit of a belch, myself, but I see what they were going for, I think: a little hiccough of surprise when the audience realizes, and Moss becomes a footnote to his own story.  Once Chigurh moves on, as nature does, it's up to the Sher'f to philosophize about dreams and setch.  

I don't know that it was canonical cinema, but I liked it a lot.  Maybe that owes to the Coens (plenty of boot shots, too), the smartness of the violence (strangling the deputy was pretty fucking intense), and my own softness for Cormac, warts 'n' all.

Cloverfield, OTOH, I think we'd agree on.  Too much improbability, for one.

1. The 20-somethings all go into the heart of danger to resuce a chick the one guy realizes he's in love with, after sleeping with her once, friends for a while.  OK, whatever, pretty Hollywood, but fine.  Finally get to her building, which is toppled against another building.  They decide to go for it, which is one of many examples of decisions that disconnect from the audience (if I can't buy why you're doing what you do, I don't care about you).  Presumably an hour plus going up an adjacent building, over to the roof of said toppled building, down to her place, and back via same route.  One might suspect that the building would shake, or fall over, especially since the monster's stomping around a few blocks away.  No such.  Reality: that thing would have been down in a few minutes.

2. Same scene.  Find girlfriend.  Apparently impaled through the chest by half inch rebar.  But hark! No vitals pierced!  She liveth!  Let's just un-impale her!  At which point she bleeds out, right?  No.  No blood, or compress, or any such needed.  In fact, she becomes downright perky, joining the race through Manhattan.

3. Late in movie.  Copter crashes from, oh, let's say 500 feet plus.  Nice crash scene, sorta.  Characters die, you ask?  Well heck and gosh, they're just stunned, is all.  A little dirty and disheveled, but were already.  Probability of such?  Eh, nada.  Ask Stevie Ray.

Plenty more.  Attacked by the baby monsters, the group suddenly finds (handy) metal rods to whack them with.  And hark!  A door, here in the wall of the subway, to some convenient safe haven where the long evac'd subway workers previously changed and ate, hence, supplies.  Which, wouldn'tcha know, is about 500 feet from an army med hospital, handily enough.

Uck.

Some fans complained that you didn't see enough of the monster.  Uh, come again?  I saw enough to wonder if it was Irish cheddar or Wisconsin, for cheesy it was.  Less would have been better, as it always is (Alien remains a constant counterpoint).

Most damning was the utter lack of memorable characters or dialogue.  Well, they were memorable in bad ways.  Eg.: the subway scene, in the dark, Hud, who mans the camera and who I was HOPING would die every blessed step of the journey, recalls the guy who had set homeless people on fire in the subways a few years ago and "wouldn't it be scary if some burning homeless people jumped out right about now?"  Uh, what?  Your friends are half dead, the city's fried, some bigassed mosnter is on the rampage, and I'm supposed to believe this thought enters your mind?

Plus, no one ever says the word "fuck."
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aj_law
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:18 »

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I sam quite an imaginitive film this weekend.  Constantly changing plot, danger around every corner, and characters with identity.  Highly recommended.

The name of this thrilling movie that I watched this weekend:  Ratatouille.
 
Yeah, me too...for the 17th time.

One of the better Disney flicks though.
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aj_law
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:23 »

Oh yeah, as to Cloverfield, I haven't seen it, but I woulda bet a year of Penso's salary that you were going to hate it.

I haven't seen a movie sans animation in so long that I doubt I'd be able to identify a good one if I saw it.
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vinman3
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:28 »

Quote
I sam quite an imaginitive film this weekend.  Constantly changing plot, danger around every corner, and characters with identity.  Highly recommended.

The name of this thrilling movie that I watched this weekend:  Ratatouille.

My life is so exciting!!!!!!
Haven't seen Ratatouille or Cloverfield, but I did get the chance to see my first movie at a theater since Mr. and Mrs. Smith....













































Veggie Tales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

Exciting life for me too :) V.J. loved his first movie though.
« Last Edit: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:29 by vinman3 » Logged

It's a hot night. The mind races. You think about your knife; the only friend who hasn't betrayed you, the only friend who won't be dead by sun up. Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted Chambray nightshirts.
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:38 »

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Oh yeah, as to Cloverfield, I haven't seen it, but I woulda bet a year of Penso's salary that you were going to hate it.

I haven't seen a movie sans animation in so long that I doubt I'd be able to identify a good one if I saw it.
Yeah, yeah, Finny only likes the art house shit, right?  Well I do like horror.  Good reference in Juno to Hershel Gordon Lewis, for one.  But that whole genre's been fairly crappy since, shit, forever.  Maybe I'm jaded, but more likely H-wood is a pipeline of suck.  I can get into some sci fi and shit, too, but again, genre's less important than how handled.  

But I'da bet a whole closet of Pensoidal puffy shirts that you'da bet that I'da hated Cloverfield, so there.
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 28, 2008 at 09:40 »

VJ would love Ratatouille.  I usually fall asleep during movies at home, mostly because they are accompanied by martinis.  I made it 45 mins to an hour into this one before I nodded off, so I have to say it was decent.

Vin - time for Netflix for you and Mrs. Vin.  That is the only way we make time to see them, and I hate spending $50 to go to the cattle ranch theatres.
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I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.
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