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Cloverfield Discussion

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the because-we-can dept.


I don't get to see many movies with a 4 month old in the house, but I managed to escape to see Cloverfield. Stop reading immediately if you don't want spoilers. It's Blair Witch's first person camera work, applied to a small (for the genre) budget monster movie. The monster is cool. The little monsters are cool. The acting is sometimes good, sometimes awkward. The action is often great and very intense. And it will undoubtedly be the most hyped movie of 2008 until the spring blockbusters arrive. I really enjoyed the movie, but I'm posting this so you guys can have a place to talk amongst yourselves about this movie. Groundbreaking movie-making or just hype-making? I'm not sure. I'm also not sure my skull can handle watching it again- that jerky camera action gave me a headache. (Also, there was a Star Trek teaser trailer attached, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that I want it so badly it made me hurt. Please Abrams, don't screw it up)

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The keyword in that diatribe was 'hyped'... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109696)

The movie itself was pretty lame overall. I'm calling it Snakes on a Plane II.

Re:The keyword in that diatribe was 'hyped'... (1, Interesting)

EvilCowzGoMoo (781227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109968)

Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance, but the first 45min of the movie were downright awful. Even low end camcorders have some kind of picture stability on them! My head still hurts from the shaking camera! The camera even shook in what should have been standing still shots!!! The acting left much to be desired, and (at least the opening) story was crap. I did stay long enough to see the monster, and this may be the only redeeming quality of the movie. The special effects were good for their budget. Overall though, it was a case of over hype, and major let down.

/. Movie Reviews ? Can I getta 'paid shill' ? (4, Funny)

ohgood (1144715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109746)

You know, it's nice when 50,000 people from /. help a torrent out, but a blair witch wannabe ? What's that, like a piece of nothing aspiring to be a piece of shit ?

I'm not sure (5, Interesting)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109752)

I saw the movie last night and I have to admit I'm not sure how I feel about it. The story was fucking incredible but I think the shaky camera was over done. It made my head hurt and confused the story at times. I think it could have been made with out it.

But I think my most concern is fuck the people. I want see the same story from the army point of view.

Re:I'm not sure (1, Interesting)

LDoggg_ (659725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110136)

Well that's a let down. Unfortunately I think I'll pass on this one.

Shaky cameras are what ruined the part 2 and 3 of the Bourne movies.

Why do people treat shit camera work as though it's something raw and edgy?

Re:I'm not sure (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110360)

I think there is a time and a place for that shaky camera effect but not a whole movie of it. In this movie in the interviews at the party they could have done the shaky camera for the first interview just to let us know its a hand held. Then switch to a traditional steady cam for the rest. We know its a handycam just don't make us suffer the the handy cam effect. Hell, that shaky cam is why I don't own a handy cam. Give me a nikon any day.

Re:I'm not sure (3, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110468)

Why do people treat shit camera work as though it's something raw and edgy?

When it's done on purpose, which is, unfortunately, too often.

Re:I'm not sure (2, Informative)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110766)

Why do people treat shit camera work as though it's something raw and edgy?
because when its done looks really REALLY good. Go watch saving private Ryan. The cinematography in that movie was second to none. The unfortunate thing is that people try and use techniques like that to make up for other areas that are story.

An effect similar to this is one that i'm sure all of us are aware of. When you're building a website (or gui, or whatever it is) and your boss is like "we need more sections, it looks really plain..." but you don't have any CONTENT to fill those sections with. Same thing....shaky cameras have their place....but sometimes people look at a shot and go "this shot is boring....lets SHAEK THE CAMERA!"

if you want a movie that REALLY over does "Manic".

Re:I'm not sure (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110778)

No shit. I saw Bourne #2, and I got a little motion sick when the movie was over. Not like there was vomit, but I wasn't all that sturdy, and I've never been motion sick in my life... Never before. Not in little planes flopping around in turbulent air, not on little boats out on the ocean--you get the idea.

The rest of the theater audience wasn't looking so hot, either. Directors who use that damned shaky camera should be sat down in front of a giant screen, have their eyes taped open, and be forced to watch their god awful photography until they lose their lunch.

Re:I'm not sure (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110532)

welcome to the future of Hollywood. Home Camcorder quality shooting.

I will be surprised if the next film doesn't have the camera in a paint shaker for the entire time they like shaking the camera so much.

I man come on, are steadicam operators that hard to find?

Re:I'm not sure (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110728)

"I want see the same story from the army point of view."

In theaters this summer, Cloverfield: Blue Shift.

Hollywood hype (5, Interesting)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109766)

I don't know why but I just can't seem to bring myself to think that this movie is going be anything groundbreakingly good. I've been watching rottentomatoes and the last time I checked the cream of the crop had it at 80%. I'm torn, but I still probably won't see it in theaters. The trailers just show you little enough that that's the reason I'm thinking it's just getting hyped, but hey I might be wrong.

Re:Hollywood hype (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110708)

That's exactly my stance. I'll wait for the torrent. The wife saw it yesterday and she's been raving about it, but I personally think J.J. Abrams is full of yeast. So he worked on Lost and Alias - financially successful, but plot-wise it's formulaic suspense-wanking. Any half-breed can throw an infinite number of "convenient" characters and plot devices at a story and stretch it out until Duke Nukem Forever comes out.

Me, anything that's hyped as much as this, I stay away. Marketing has too often been used as a substitute for actual content, so anyone who willingly dishes out this trendy marketing, by association, is telling me the content is kinda weak. Sometimes I'm wrong, but most of the time I'm right.

Parasite Noise? (2, Funny)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109776)

Was it just me, or did the parasites make the most awesome gobbling noise? I would pay for a ringtone of that. I mean, I'll make my own in audacity as soon as I have a copy of the sound, but I would pay for it if I could today.

Re:Parasite Noise? (1)

orangepeel (114557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110448)

A friend suggested they sounded like some kind of demonic Daffy Duck. To me they sounded like really, really angry chickens -- courtesy an evil sort of clucking sound.

Anyway, it was interesting we both independently came up with a poultry comparison. And now you've suggested a gobbling noise, that's making me assume you mean a gobbling noise like a turkey...

I liked it (5, Insightful)

DetpackJump (1219130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109786)

I loved it up until they survived the helicopter going down. I wished the movie would have ended with the crash.

Re:I liked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110108)

Well put ! Couldn't agree more !!

Re:I liked it (1)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110496)

+10 insightful.

How does a girl who survives getting impaled (already sketchy) manage to survive a helicopter crash?


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109796)

Snape is the Half-Blood Prince!

Jumper (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109808)

What do we call the critter? I'm nominating Tarrasque because that is what it reminded me of when it was standing in the field right before it ate the camera guy. Was I the only one who cheered at that point? Damn he was annoying.

Re:Jumper (1)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110028)

I'm nominating Shub-Niggurath [] , and this means I assert that the monster is female.

Re:Name the Damn thing (5, Funny)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110578)

I'm nominating Shub-Niggurath

I can live with that but Abrams has already said there is no Lovecraft tie in. Thank god it wasn't Godzilla.

Offtopic Advice: I know there are some geeks out there that plan to have kids and some of you already do, CmdTaco. Pay attention because I'm about to give you some advice that you won't find in any blog or manual. When you buy kiddy shampoo make sure that you can tell what it is from feel alone. Make sure that when you are doing that blind shower grope the kiddypoo feels different from your conditioner. Trust me on this, you will thank me.

My fucking hair now smells like strawberry but on the upside it does have a nice bounce.

Re:Jumper (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110118)

As for that "case designate" reference, anyone who has seen the clips from the film knows that "Cloverfield" is the case name that the government has assigned to whatever or whoever is doing all that destruction in New York.
From []

Seems it's named Cloverfield. Speaking of things like this has anyone been tracking all the viral stuff that came out before the movie? I'm trying to find more info on the story. It seems like some of it's out there but I don't quite know where to look.

Re:Jumper (1)

Flounder (42112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110182)

I think the entire event is code-named Cloverfield, or at least the Army's response to it.

Re:Jumper (2, Funny)

Symbolis (1157151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110144)

I've not seen it, yet, but if the sketchy thing I saw(on wikipedia?) was accurate:

We called it Sin. even has Sin Spawn/Scales!

Star Trek teaser?? (5, Funny)

teslar (706653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109820)

Also, there was a Star Trek teaser trailer attached
There was a Star Trek teaser attached and all you want to talk about is Blair Witch meets small-budget-monster movie? You must be new here.

Re:Star Trek teaser?? (5, Funny)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109944)

Posted by CmdrTaco

You must be new here.

This takes that joke to a whole new level. I hope this isn't a sign of the apocalypse. I'm gonna go to my bomb shelter now, just in case.

Re:Star Trek teaser?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110152)

Welcome to the Myspace generation.


Personally I love the movie. Was a wild ride once it finally got started. I took my 56 year old father and I could see he was bored at the beginning with the drama piece but once again it got moving, I could see on his face he was enjoying the ride just as much as me.

The cool part at the end he told me he loved the perspective of the people on the ground than just a overhead 3rd person perspective that most monster movies go with.

Re:Star Trek teaser?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110082)

Cloverfield? The CPU, you mean?

Re:Star Trek teaser?? (1)

SP33doh (930735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110290)

first time I heard about the movie: wait why are we talking about processors now?

Very good, very original (5, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109832)

I was expecting a rehash of the Blair Witch Project. Somethings that made it refreshingly different:
1) The main character, for me, wasn't Rob. It was the guy holding the camera. He was a complete idiot, but I loved him.
2) I thought there was clear character progression for Rob, from complete, insensitive jerk to heroic.
3) Clear resolution on the real story, which is Rob's relationship to whats-her-face.
4) Kick-ass special effects.

One caveat about the movie: bring Dramamine. Lots of it. I had two friends with me who missed the whole second half of the movie because they couldn't look at the screen.

Re:Very good, very original (1)

izakage (808061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109888)

The goal of the camera's shakiness is to make you believe that it's truly a documentary, but oftentimes it interrupts your suspension of disbelief. There were several times where the camera was just too shaky to follow, and it caused me to step back and remember that I was watching a movie. If it were just a little bit more stable, it would have allowed me to follow the story more closely, and I would have enjoyed it even more than I did.

Re:Very good, very original (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109916)

Yeah, that sounds like fun.

It's pretty sad to think that taking a hand-camera and shaking it around wildly is what constitutes for groundbreaking cinema in the U.S.

Coming next summer, Cloverfield 2: J.J. Abrams Rolls a Camera Down a Steep Hill

Re:Very good, very original (1)

Phobos23 (749032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110788)

They didn't just shake it around wildly though. I've seen a lot of postings about the shakey camera, but it wasn't all that shaky and the only times it was was when they were running away from something. (They wouldn't care about the camera) I think it was quite good. The story had a beginning, middle, and end for the people. The monster was secondary, it could have been anything like an air raid, but how much fun would that have been. One last thing, if you wait to the end of the credits there is one last piece of audio. It's unintelligible, but that's because it was backwards. It has since been recorded and reversed. It is a broken radio transmission that says, "It's still alive".

Re:Very good, very original (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109936)

I found the guy holding the camera annoying but I did sort of feel for him. I was glad when he was eating though. I though I was going to cry.

I think the best review of the movie was when it was over and one of the girls behind me yelled "That was awesome!" It was awesome at some points and annoying at others.

Re:Very good, very original (4, Funny)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109990)

One caveat about the movie: bring Dramamine. Lots of it. I had two friends with me who missed the whole second half of the movie because they couldn't look at the screen.
Or just wait a while and download a CAM from BitTorrent; sooner or later someone's going to be swaying with the on-screen motion so smoothly that there will be a rock steady capture in DIVX format. :)

Re:Very good, very original (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110390)

I agree with points 1 and 4 but disagree on the rest. The whole story was very lacking and superficial to make a monster movie. This guy wants to risk his life, his friends life, to go save a chick he banged? Who has a boyfriend? When he knew he can't have her because he is leaving? It's all very stupid-heroic, but the story was very much a side effect of the monster movie it contained. Yes, I know he wanted to go by himself but you would think after his brother died on the bridge he would realize there was a serious situation and going back for some chick he banged isn't the smartest thing to do.

I agree with you on the rest, specials effects were awesome and the main character was Hud(hud? I don't know) who was the cameraman. As an idiot he was definitely the best character out of the four, and the only one I wasn't wishing would die asap. :) I enjoyed the movie thoroughly. Luckily I was at a theater with a smallish screen and the shaking was much more tolerable.

Re:Very good, very original (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110566)

I think you missed the part in the film where they said she was his best friend since (I can't remember if it was high school or college). It wasn't just some chick he banged. Also, he received a distressed call from her moments before he witnessed his brother being killed, and made his decision to go after her at that point. I think it's realistic in the sense that his judgement was influenced by a recent trauma.

That review made my head hurt. (0, Troll)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109852)

The writing style was what I would expect out a 9 year old writing a book report, just not as many "very"s.

On topic, I couldn't give a flying fuck about that movie.

And so that this isn't considered a troll, a little constructive criticism - Rob, would you have accepted a review from anyone else - book, movie, anything - that was written as poorly as that?

Re:That review made my head hurt. (1)

mooreti1 (1123363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110184)

Well, screw it, I'll go completely off-topic; can you be any more bitchy, JSM? Just wondering.

question for those that like Cloverfield (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109866)

I haven't seen Cloverfield yet but would like to. But first a question to those who have and liked it.

Did you also enjoy the Blair Witch Project?

I'm just curious if it may be the style or the movies themselves or what. For the record, I didn't want to see BWP, and never would have except that my aunt gave me the VHS for christmas one year and I felt obligated at that point, and I did not enjoy it at all. A friend of mine who was there at the time fell asleep during it. If Cloverfield is too similar, then I'd rather wait for it in Redbox and not pay $10 at the theater...

Re:question for those that like Cloverfield (2, Interesting)

greenrom (576281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110376)

I didn't really like Blair Witch, but I did like Cloverfield. This movie is really nothing like Blair Witch. The first 15-20 minutes of the movie is as boring as Blair Witch until the action starts. Then it doesn't let up. Even though it's filmed from the perspective of a guy with a camera, it's all scripted and directed and has really good special effects for the budget. You'd think it was a $100 million+ budget by watching it.

Re:question for those that like Cloverfield (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110582)

I feel bad for everyone who saw the blair witch after all the hype had peaked. I watched a prerelease tape with a friend, not knowing anything about the movie, and had a great time. Creepy. Then I saw it in a theater when it came out and laughed along with everyone else in the house.

Re:question for those that like Cloverfield (1)

aleatory_story (862072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110620)

Apparently I'm the minority on this thread, but I loved the Blair Witch Project. It seems like most of /. missed the point of the film--why so many people enjoyed the film. It had little to do with the jerky camera movements or the documentary style--that has been done before in other films and is not groundbreaking. BWP was so great because of how little it showed the viewer in terms of a monster/threat. It is extremely subtle the entire way through. If you depend solely on the movie to deliver to you everything you need to enjoy it, you'd be sorely disappointed. Is that the fault of the film makers? Sometimes, but in this case it's the fault of an audience with a lacking imagination.

I don't typically like horror/thriller movies because are predictable and usually are just shockers. They might have a little foreshadowing and then almost always show you exactly what the threat is, face-to-face. This "monster" or villain encounter is occasionally done well, but it is almost never as creepy as your imagination will make it seem. The BWP allowed your imagination to run wild, if you provided it with a suspension of disbelief. If half the people on this thread stopped trying to be witty cynics and tried to enjoy the film with an open mind, they'd probably have a pretty good time.

Anyway, to the thread parent: You will be bored during the beginning of Cloverfield - there's some shallow character setup and foreshadowing but it's not too interesting. It's quite Blair Witch-esque in style, but not in story or mood. Cloverfield, after the intro, is consistently entertaining with few dull moments in-between. It's quite eventful and they do actually show you some of the monster, unlike The BWP. Sure, the characters are dull. But it's enough to at least feel something for them, even if it's little. It's funny, the characters are not that complex and a little annoying but by the end of the movie I found myself actually caring about what happens to them. They just seemed like typical people in an extraordinary situation.

I enjoyed The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. I don't think either are completely groundbreaking or incredible works of art, but they are at least entertaining and fulfilling as long as you go in with the right expectation. Cloverfield is closer to a thrill ride than film. I don't think that's such a bad thing. Also, the jerky camera movements did not bother me at all. I got so used to it that by the end of the movie I didn't even notice it. I was too sucked into the movie to be whining about something like that.

Low Expectations (1)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109890)

I went and saw the movie and was only looking to see that Cloverfield was some sort of government code name, so I was satisfied. Also, no tentacles which was great.

four month old what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109904)

Four month old what?

Nothing Like Blair Witch (1)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109952)

The only similarity is the choice of the handheld, first-person point of view. Beyond that, they share nothing in common.

Most important is the fact that Cloverfield is directed, and directed brilliantly. Blair Witch was just a bunch of shakey cameras as a gimmick. The first person point of view is critical to this movie. It truly puts you into the scene and leverages everything about the one camera point of view, both in terms of what you do see and don't see. And, in spite of the first-person point of view, every shot is meticulously constructed. There is one amazing camera shot in the subway in which Hud has a close-up on Madelene with Rob and his brother's girlfriend in the background. Amazing shot.

It's a really, really, really good movie. Best I have seen in a while.

And for those who hate the ending, it really could not have ended any other way.

Refreshingly good (2, Interesting)

ksdd (634242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109954)

1) Just enough exposition to make you care about the characters
2) Once the action starts, it doesn't let up - I think only Aliens (22 years ago) had me at that level of intensity for a full hour
3) Leaves you guessing - not everything needs to be explained or wrapped up in 90 minutes, and consequently, you're left not knowing anything more than the characters do
4) Outstanding effects (invisible or otherwise) that don't get in the way of the story
5) Finally, a scary flick that isn't torture porn!

All in all, a great (if fairly mindless) monster movie. What the 1998 version of Godzilla should have been.

Re:Refreshingly good (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110464)

I think it was a good monster movie, and refreshing because it isn't the same goddamn monster movie that's been made over and over. It was more of a disaster movie, treating the menace like an earthquake or an iceberg would have been treated: as a plot device.

Showing only the man-on-the-street perspective was interesting, and helped replicate the anxiety of not knowing what's going on, which was the main point of the movie. I heard some morons behind me howl at how it ended, without a full accounting of what the monster was; I didn't notice if their mothers were there to hand-feed them their popcorn as well. The movie wasn't about the monster; it was about the people! Similarly, I've heard people saying they weren't going to see it, at least not until they knew what the monster was. What kind of person demands spoilers?

I appreciated that the film refrained from the cliche of the Hero and His Girlfriend surviving to look back upon the disaster. They even defied expectations by killing off the one character the audience "knew" had to survive until the end. The one-last-thrash by the monster in the helicopter scene was an unfortunate seen-it-a-thousand-times bit, however.

The shakycam work didn't bother me. It could have been a lot worse if they'd treated it realistically, and if they'd treated it less realistically it would have been distractingly fake. As it was, it was a fair compromise between reality (e.g. dude would not have kept the camera in hand while he climbed from one skyscraper to the other) and the need to show us what's going on. It didn't make me nauseous (I'm an old fart in his 40s who gets seasick sometimes).

I'm not going to rush out to see it again, or buy the DVD, but I feel I got a good movie for my eight bucks.

The trailer is full of lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109958)

The actual movie takes place in poughkeepsie and the monster that appears 13 stories high is only 13 inches high.

Motion sick prone, beware. Otherwise, decent. (2, Informative)

Razed By TV (730353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109992)

I enjoyed Cloverfield, what I saw of it. The problem I had was that I didn't anticipate it making me motion sick. They really don't give you any clue in the trailers that it's going to be full of a jolty, sudden, quick movement. It seems obvious enough in hindsight, that "Hey, a movie filmed from the point of view of somebody's home video camera *might* just make you motion sick, dummy." On the other hand, I haven't really seen anything with that type of shooting, so I feel like they could have given me a little warning.

A little history: I get simulation sickness from first person shooters. I used to be able to play them with no difficulties, besides maybe a game here and there (I seem to recall Hexen being one of the first to bother me). After a break from gaming, I came back to discover I'd pretty much lost all tolerance for FPSs. It might be possible to build a tolerance back up, I don't know. Being nauseous isn't fun, so I haven't really attempted it. Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and meclizine both made me drowsy, so I gave up on it.

I don't get seasickness.

Anyways, my point is, if you get simulation sickness, you may want to skip this one, or bring some dimenhydrinate or meclizine along. I made it maybe 45 minutes or an hour into the movie (run time is 1h 30m) before I had to keep my eyes closed.

Saw it last night (1)

Flounder (42112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109994)

and loved it. Good to finally see something different. No character development (except for the little bit by Rob). No Godzilla-esque exposition about the environment/nuclear testing/global warming threat. Just mass destruction and the occasional tasteless joke by Hud. No explanations, no resolutions. Just in the moment from the characters perspective.

I didn't get sick (and I should have, I threw up after playing HL2 the first time), but my girlfriend did get a bit nauseous.

Re:Saw it last night (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110092)

but my girlfriend did get a bit nauseous.

I'm sorry, but what does this have to do with the movie?

Re:Saw it last night (1)

calcapt (975466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110226)

That people who get nauseous from shakey cam simulated movies might get nauseous when watching Cloverfield.


You must be a Slashdot weenie... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110016)

I'm posting this so you guys can have a place to talk amongst yourselves about this movie.

Real guys stop by the local coffeehouse to pick up their favorite drinks and walk over to the bookstore to browse through the books while discussing the merits of the movie.

Re:You must be a Slashdot weenie... (2, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110096)

Real guys stop by the local coffeehouse to pick up their favorite drinks and walk over to the bookstore to browse through the books while discussing the merits of the movie.
Which is why you're here instead of there.

My mini review (1)

rgraham (199829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110024)

I saw it last night as well and found myself really liking it. For me, I'm often more interested in disaster films where the main character(s) are simply trying to survive, rather than being the savior of the human race (two somewhat more recent contrasting examples are Will Smith in Independence Day, and Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds). For that reason, I thought the hand held camera effect, some shots being out of frame/focus, not always pointing at the person who is talking, camera pointing at the person who is talking but you can't hear them, worked great. While I didn't think there were any particularly frightening scenes there were some that has a 9/11-esque feel to them that may disturb some people, such as a wall of smoke and ash rushing down one of the streets towards a large number of people.

I'm not going to rush out and see it again today but it would be fun to see it once more in the theater.

Re:My mini review (1)

madskyllz (699304) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110148)

"I Am Legend" (ironically also featuring Will Smith) is a good example of the main character portraying both of those roles (trying to survive/saviour). It too has a bit of the shaky-cam, albeit much less than the Blair Witch series.
just my .02
Not trying to detract from the thread. (oops too late)

The Mist (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110040)

I kept comparing it to The Mist, because in many ways the films are so similar. You have limited knowledge of the monsters in both films.

I think The Mist did a better job of establishing a sense of dread, and had better characters.
Cloverfield had a better monster and better action sequences.

I enjoyed both films, even if both are downers.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1, Interesting)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110044)

everyone keeps comparing it to BWP, but i think it's going to be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show with people acting out the rolls while it's playing

Another movie there (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110098)

I think there is another movie in there. We've seen the movie from the point of view of Rob and his crew. I would like to see the movie remade from the other side now. A traditional filming without the shaky cam style. I want to know more about the monster. Really how many of us give a flying fuck about Rob and friends?

Alright. We've had the art house version, now lets have the hollywood block buster.

City Dwellwers (5, Funny)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110110)

Why do these monsters always seem to appear in cities? There's been so many movie monsters popping up in New York, Tokyo... eventually, probability dictates that one should pop up in the middle of nowhere. That's what my monster movie's gonna be about: a giant monster that pops up in the middle of Kansas. It'll terrorize a corn field and like two farmers.

Re:City Dwellwers (2, Funny)

Veramocor (262800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110158)

I think they called that movie 'Signs'.

Re:City Dwellwers (1)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110160)

So you're going to do a remake of Signs?

Re:City Dwellwers (5, Funny)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110252)

It'll terrorize a corn field and like two farmers.

Was that an errant "like"? Or did you really mean to say that a giant monster is going to befriend two farmers in the middle of Kansas?

I thought it was pretty good. Some umor... (2, Interesting)

Somedude127 (1223248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110116)

was injected, whether intentionally or not, at just the right moments to keep the movie from becoming overly serious. Maybe a serious giant monster movie use to work, but now the absurdity of all the bad Godzilla movies and the corny 60's and 70's movies have pretty much ruined the genre of "serious" monster movie. What made this movie enjoyable was the humor and the characters. My favorite line comes right after they rescue the girl from the leaning tower of Manhattan. "What's that!?" she screams to which HUD replies "Something terrible!" After they kill the critter in the stairwell and they're walking down, HUD does a close up of the dead thing and says, "Something also terrible." The theater exploded. Perfect moment for some levity. I also heard something last night that I have never heard in a DC theater before. Silence during the movie. When Rob's mom called the theater went pin drop quiet. That's as much a testament to this story's power as anything.

Re:I thought it was pretty good. Some umor... (2, Interesting)

orangepeel (114557) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110676)

The silence at your particular theater at that specific scene also happened at the one I was at.

That's as much a testament to this story's power as anything.

I think that's true to an extent, but I also think it has to do with the fact that we've had a few major disasters in the USA within the last 10 years. First 9/11, and then New Orleans. Consequently I think most reasonably mature people above a certain age have had plenty of time to have contemplated what it would be like to lose someone during a disaster.

Of course the whole movie was set in New York. And shortly after the monster first appears, there's a scene in the street that looked similar to how things looked in NYC when the first WTC tower collapsed. I think this movie meshed very, very well with the fears of our times. Not about aliens of course -- the alien was necessary because they didn't want to make it strictly like some type of plausible disaster rehash. Without an alien the story would have been too limiting, and the plot too obvious. No, they had a winning formula here. It was very well done.

Oh Dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110126)

A discussion about some cheesy horror flick...

This is what slashdot has become??

Re:Oh Dear (1)

omghi2u (808195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110784)

Anonymous Coward wrote:
A discussion about some cheesy horror flick...
This is what slashdot has become??


The 9/11 aspect (1)

Flounder (42112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110128)

Building collapse and a wall of dust and debris. Mass exodus of people crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Jets and helicopters flying low over the city.

Was the use of those particular images intended to evoke emotions tied to the events of 9/11? Probably.

Was it wrong for the filmmakers to use those images? I don't think so. You have ANY disaster set in New York and you'll have comparisons to 9/11. Does that mean it's forbidden territory? I don't think any subject matter should be forbidden. Even if it makes people feel uncomfortable.

Re:The 9/11 aspect (2, Funny)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110546)

You have ANY disaster set in New York and you'll have comparisons to 9/11.

No kidding. Now the sight of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stepping on that church causes me to hyperventilate.

Re:The 9/11 aspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110560)

yeah, you can't NOT have the falling buildings, mass exodus, and swarms of investigating helicopters when a major city is under attack.

and a change of venues wouldn't cut it. a monster crawling out of lake michigan to eat the sears tower doesn't pass muster. 'sides, the sears tower is too big - you'd have a choking moster with a sears tower-shaped lump lodged sideways in its throat.

part of why i liked the movie so much is that i had no idea what it was about - just that there was a disaster of some sort. so when the characters were speculating whether the first explosion was a terrorist attack i was also wondering if that's what was going on.

Extremely good and painfully boring at same time (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110132)

If you can get through the 20 minutes of chimps with a video camera at the beginning it's a lot of fun. Parts are extremely good while parts get slow and tedious. The 20 minutes establishing characters at the beginning was a waste because I still didn't care about any of them. The high point are the little one. Sadly you don't see much of them. Expect an ocean of knock offs trying to mimic the style but mostly succeeding in giving you seasickness. The whole movie rides the edge of annoying but as I say when it's good it's amazing and very effective. Go with some one else and have them save your seat while you go for popcorn and avoid the first part. It's not as bad as the hour from hell at the beginning of King Kong before anything happens but I definitely would have cut back on the endless party scene.

Re:Extremely good and painfully boring at same tim (1)

calcapt (975466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110394)

The beginning was slow, but I'd argue the that the goal of the plot is only feasible if this first part occurred. Whoever followed your suggestion might be asking, "Why did Character A do this, and what's the significance behind Character A and B's relationship at the end of the movie?" I could imagine people asking, "What's the freakin' plot? Did it have one?!!!111!1" If they skipped the first part. And well, they've started asking this even after seeing the whole thing.

For those out there who are now worried; yes, it had a plot. My opinion of those who didn't discover the plot are that they are dumber than a box of rocks, which is entirely feasible. When a metal plate with 5 nubs arranged in a linear fashion appears on screen, and the response from one audience member is, "5 nipples? WTF? I don't get it", you begin to question the intelligence of some fellow moviegoers.

Ok, now, back to the original topic: I like stories, and perhaps it's because I get attached to characters easily; therefore, as long as SOME character development is present, I'll be able to relate/care for them in some way. What development in this movie was enough for me, and it certainly wouldn't've been the same for me if I skipped the beginning. The last 2 lines of the movie wouldn't have the same impact if I hadn't seen the beginning. In other words, don't skip it. Besides, even if the first 20 minutes is boring for you, I'm sure the other hour would more than make up for it.

truth stranger than sci-fi nowadaze (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110178)

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is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events. []

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb); []

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

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whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids; []

& pretending that it isn't happening here; []

fu34! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110210)

De-Shaky Cam (1)

Sawbones (176430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110224)

I'll admit I'd love to see this movie but the thought of another Blaire Witch nauseating experience is enough to turn me off. Heck, I could barely sit through the second two Borne movies without a splitting headache. However, all of these movies got me thinking...

Would it be possible to "De"-shaky cam a movie? Given a high enough source material (HD rip or what have you) and a whole heck of a lot of time I'm wondering if you could take each cut - where the camera is trained on one given thing - and frame a slightly cropped version that kept the main point of focus (someone's eyes or what have you) in a consistent point in the frame. I'm thinking something along the lines of "the phantom edit" only making a movie watchable in terms of cinematography instead of dialog and story.

As I said, I haven't seen Cloverfield yet so it's possible it's just do damn blurry and shaky there's nothing to be done but something like Borne might be rectified.

That or this horrible "jerking the camera around makes the audience feel like there there!!1!" fad in film making could just die a quick death and I'd be happy.

Re:De-Shaky Cam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110332)

there there

Man, I even previewed and I missed that.

Re:De-Shaky Cam (1)

waded (1032834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110686)

I'm not exactly sure what the "shutter speed" of the camera used is, but I'd venture it's not so fast that each frame wouldn't have some blur caused by jittering in it. So it might be possible to crop each frame such that objects don't jitter, but they'd blur like they were. That'd have to be removed as well to get a stable-looking picture.

Re:De-Shaky Cam (1)

mckniffen (983873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110760)

Yes in fact there is, and you don't necessarily need HD source. I work at a video production lab, and this could take a total of maybe a week to "do-shake" a whole movie with reasonable results. We just identify one common point in each part, and tell the software to anchor it. It moves each frame from the center so that the object better reflects the movement pattern visible in the film. It really is great technology, we usually use it to clean up home/amateur video but it has many uses.

Re:De-Shaky Cam (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110800)

There's stuff like this [] to "deshake" video. I don't know how easy it is to use or how it would work for an entire movie. I imagine when the DVD comes out someone with a lot of time may attempt it :) The problem is this movie was SO shaky in parts that frames 1 second apart won't even share ANY part of the scene.

That or this horrible "jerking the camera around makes the audience feel like there there!!1!" fad in film making could just die a quick death and I'd be happy.
For the record, I don't think this movie would have worked without it. I actually tried picturing it shot like a normal movie and it would have been completely different, most likely for the worse.

I dunno, I really liked it... (1)

FreeKill (1020271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110236)

For what it was, I really liked the movie. At least they didn't have the president giving a speech or the stupid military general talking about how they were going to nuke it. It was just a bunch of people, running for their lives, and all the events unfolded entirely from their perspective. I wasn't going in expecting it to be the best movie I've ever seen though, so I wasn't disappointed....Not a bad way to spend an hour and a half...

I got nauseous, but there were other factors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110318)

...such as the half-eaten burger and onion rings on the floor next to me, thanks to a friend who decided they were hungry and wanted to sneak dinner in.

As for the movie, I believe it was complete hype. Even in some of the previews you see an object in the distance that looks like a tail; from that point on (before I ever saw the movie), all I could picture is Godzilla spewing fire. Instead, all I got was a giant monster from who-knows-where with man-eating dandruff.

The movie should not have progressed beyond the helicopter crash. I understand that they wanted to get to the "I love you"'s with Beth and Rob but, really, you expect all 3 of them to survive a helicopter FREE FALL from hundreds of feet? Now, I will say that it's not impossible, because a good friend of mine fell 90 feet while repelling from a cliff once, but he didn't get up and keep going; instead, he had most of the bones in his body broken, and now has a metal plate in his face.

Honestly, I'm not completely sure why so many people on here enjoyed the movie. The special effects were nothing new, the "I love this guy/girl but he/she doesn't know it and we could die at any minute" story has been told countless times, and the character of the cameraman was only so-so for me. Some of the times I enjoyed him, other times he just was pissing me off.

Could someone please explain the origin of the monster??? I'd like to think he was terrestrial, but how does something that large go completely unnoticed for however long he's been around? It would have to be a water-based creature, as I'm sure that we would've noticed something that large on land beforehand. And even if he has lived in the water so long, why come up now? Also, I'm sure an animal that large has been around most parts of the ocean, so how has he not been noticed before?

It's just too over-the-top Eight Legged Freaks style for me.

Re:I got nauseous, but there were other factors (1)

rpbailey1642 (766298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110762)

Could someone please explain the origin of the monster?

I didn't see it when I watched the movie, but apparently there is a "meteor" that falls into the ocean when the two people are sitting on the Ferris Wheel at the end of the movie (which takes place a month before the monster attacks).

cloverfield (5, Funny)

fredex (146162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110320)

Sounds like the internal code-name for a new Intel processor chip.

Re:cloverfield (1)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110684)

Or a new low-fat, buttermilk-based emulsified chemical 'I can't believe it's not butter'-type spread.

Re:cloverfield (1)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110796)

Sounds like the internal code-name for a new Intel processor chip.

Actually, it's the DOD codename for the military action fighting the monster in the movie. You learn that in the first 3 seconds of the film.

Movie watching for those with very young children (5, Informative)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110392)

Good afternoon,

> I don't get to see many movies with a 4 month old in the house,
> but I managed to escape to see Cloverfield

Here's the trick my wife and I used for our "dates" when our son was younger - one of us would drop the other off to watch the movie and then go shopping for a couple of hours with child in tow. Then back to the theater where we'd do a hot driver swap, and the first to watch the movie then shopping for a couple of hours with child in tow. Then back to the theater to pick up the other, and we head off to dinner to discuss the movie. We took turns being first.

Take care,

Re:Movie watching for those with very young childr (1)

Aaron32 (891463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110678)

Damn! Where were you when my kids were that age! Yeah, I know I should have thought of it.. .but I didn't.

Excellent Storytelling (1)

dcclark (846336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110420)

The storytelling in the movie was amazing. Like most good stories, it focused on the relationships among people. Yes, it was a horror/action movie (and there are some nice action sequences), but that's not what it's really about. I love the fact that monster (and monsterlings) itself is only rarely seen -- and when it does, it's used to heighten the tension among the real characters. Similarly, each action had a purpose, moving the story along. The choices which the characters made (although sometimes eliciting a "don't go in there!!" yell) were exactly what I felt they should do, as characters. They felt scared, hopeless, and ultimately real.

I'm expecting some complaints about the action, the need for dramamine (I agree), and the weird acting, but overall Cloverfield was an excellent story about people thrown into an extreme situation. The action was secondary, and rightly so.

You're forgetting something (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110480)

Not only did Abrams rip off Blair Witch and riff on Godzilla, the entire relationship plot is reminiscent of Miracle Mile which also ends with a helicopter crash.

Godzilla movie from the POV of the civilians... (3, Interesting)

m0ng0l (654467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110494)

Is what this basically was. Went to see it last night, good movie, but really not living up to the hype from before it came out. I'm already predicting the following:

1. Movie at least turns a profit on the theatrical release
2. DVD with some extras comes out
3. "Special Edition" DVD comes out with second disc with more back story (WTF *was* the monster?)
4. "Directors Cut Special Edition" DVD comes out with nearly a second movie on the third disc, with even *more* back story...
5. ***PROFIT*** ;-)

Re:Godzilla movie from the POV of the civilians... (1)

FreeKill (1020271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110572)

This movie will make ***PROFIT*** after step 1 if the weekend estimates are correct. According to Box Office Mojo this movie only had a production budget of 25 million. It is estimated that it will take in more than 16 million per day this weekend. In the opening weekend alone, it will recover all its production costs. Another week, and all the "hype" costs will be covered as well.... After that, it's all gravy!

Re:Godzilla movie from the POV of the civilians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110614)

1. Movie at least turns a profit on the theatrical release
2. Profit
3. DVD with some extras comes out
4. Profit
5. "Special Edition" DVD comes out with second disc with more back story (WTF *was* the monster?)
6. Profit
7. "Directors Cut Special Edition" DVD comes out with nearly a second movie on the third disc, with even *more* back story...
8. ***PROFIT*** ;-)
There, fixed it for you.

Vertigo killed this film (2, Informative)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110742)

Generally, I liked the premise of this film, but the shaky cam literialy killed it for me. After 45-60 minutes of non stop camera going in every direction possible, you just can't watch it without losing your head, and you tend to just zone out and listen at the rest of the film. One of my friends literaly couldn't breathe for a few minutes due to the vertigo.

At some point they should have made him turn on steadycam or maybe they should have made Hud a Video Camera professional by trade to explain some more camera steadiness in the film.

It wouldn't surprise me if they make a Cloverfield "Vertigo free edition" When it comes out on DVD and hopefully if they make a sequel, they'll use a news crew team to tell the story. At least I would hope their camera shots would be less all over the place.

On an kinda off topic note, this is why I like full size video cameras over handheld ones. The full size camers were infinetly easier to keep steady over the handheld ones. and with today's tech they could be a lot lighter and easier to use. (not to mention hold a full size hard drive or DVD) At least they make the sholder mounts for the handheld ones I guess.

what the hell (0, Troll)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110750)

I can't quite figure out if not only the submitter, but everyone commenting is being paid to hype this.

you want to see a movie, get a netflix account and grab stuff by tarkovsky, lang, kurosawa, godard, herzog.... SOMEONE WITH REAL TALENT

but don't act like you're some sort of intellectual because you're analyzing a fucking godzilla knockoff made in 2008 you fucking tools

Genre Bending (1)

dropframe (243801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110776)

I enjoyed it. Yes, it was a monster movie, but it was very immersive and exciting (after the opening party scenes), and it thankfully lacked these tired, stereotypical scenes:

- projectiles/ships arriving from space (except... yeah, I know)
- guys in glasses and clean pressed lab coats with white boards
- roomsful of army mucketymucks looking at giant maps and arguing
- bombastic orchestral score
- dashing square-jawed muscle-men who perform unlikely physical feats and save the day

Some people think you NEED this stuff to make a good monster movie. Yes, I got a bit woozy at first. I bet that's why they left the datestamp on so long at the beginning, to give you a visual anchor til you got used to the motion. I was impressed with the way they incorporated the effects -- I'm sure it was a lot harder than most people think. Kudos to Abrams, Reeves, Goddard and crew.

Too much love story... (1)

BrunoBigfoot (996441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110790)

not enough monster movie. The movie was good when the action sequences got going. Then it was excitement-inducing, but still not as much as I'd liked.

There was a bit too much backstory at the beginning. The fact that Rob and Beth had a relationship could have been said at the party without the the shots at the beginning. I didn't like the ending very well either. They said their goodbyes, presumably died in the following explosions, and we got to see their day at Coney Island. I didn't care enough about them to begin with to be moved by this. The fellow holding the camera for most of the movie was fairly good, injecting just enough comedic bits. Although, when he gets killed, if you look at how the monster attacks, I would think that the top half of him would have been gone and the camera would have been in the monster's gullet. If there was a shot after of the camera seeing a slit of light as the creature was being dissected after being killed, that would have been interesting.

That being said, there were things about the movie I did like. The first-person perspective, although Blair-Witchy (and that was the first thing everyone in the theatre noticed) was, I admit, interesting. The Japan references were cute, making one think of Godzilla. The way things came full circle when Rob and Beth said their goodbyes on camera like everybody did for Rob (again, Blair Witch, but not as dumb). The good bits like fighting off the spiders, the disemboweled soldier, and Marlena exploding. That was what I came to see.

But it was a letdown for me. With the ads never showing what the creature looked like, I was geared up a bit. It was like that movie The Invisible. I was expecting a ghost story, but some of the scenes in the trailers had been cut, and it turned out to be a love story, and not a very good one at that. To rate it on a scale of zero to ten, I'd give it a six.
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