Cloverfield (18-01-08)

How convenient for SowYau to put up the heading like above, 01-18-08 is also refer as Cloverfield’s promotional title as well as per the date of SowYau watching the movie.

Is the title Cloverfield, a military codename for the monster? SowYau seems to read it at the beginning of the movie. It also mentioned the video clip that we are about to see was retrieved by military from a site formerly know as “NYC Central Park”. The movie is about giant monster create havoc New York City, was shot by using hand held videocam, from the perspective of a group of young people. First of all,Let SowYau assure u that this piece of writing does not contain any spoiler unless stated, but a few things you ought to know about Cloverfield before queuing up for the tickets.

The movie is ENTIRELY shot hand held style. Shaky, jumpy, nauseating, out of focus, extreme close up, tilted sideway, tilted upside down……. If you are a regular First Person Shooter (FPS) gamer like Halo or Half-Life, then it won’t be a problem for you, however, old-timer like SowYau need to choose the best seating available to avoid motion sickness, and that is 2nd row from the back. Luckily he did!

The opening first 15 minutes let SowYau adapt to the jumpy camcorder style, and gradually get used to it. SowYau noted a couple sat beside him walk out 30 minutes into the movie, subsequently SowYau spotted a few patrons did the same and very likely never came back (never so sure being too focus to the screen). Did the dizziness got the better of them? Maybe. So, folks, be forewarned.

This flick is best described as a cross between Hollywoodized and critically panned Godzilla (made by Roland Emmerich in 1998) and The Blair Witch Project (another 1st person perspective filming made in 1999). In fact, Cloverfield used the same viral marketing as per The Blair Witch Project to generate enormous buzz and anticipation among internet users months before the movie release. The image of the monster is never reveal in any of the promotion effort, even the first teaser trailer online didn’t have any movie title on it. The clever marketing campaign continues from the fictional company websites to the popular MySpace profiles of the movie’s main characters.

Further to the viral marketing: There are a lot of connection between the rise of the monster and the company that Rob (one of the movie’s main character) is going to Japan to work for, called Slusho, it is the fictional brand of beverage also appeared in Producer J.J. Abrams’ TV series Lost and ALIAS. Slusho is one of the subsidiary company of Tagruato Corporation who specialize in deep sea exploration. ***Minor spoiler ahead*** Could it be one of their deep sea expedition woken up the monster? Or could it be their satellite equipement which was seen near the end of the movie, crash into the sea and woken up the monster? ***Minor spoiler end***

If you worry about having motion sickness after watching this movie, think of this way instead: Imagine a highly classified footage was shot by someone during a monster attack incident, and since was found and now belongs to the government with the stamp of CLASSIFIED on it. Somehow your friend, managed to nick a copy and pass it to you. SowYau is sure you will love to see it no matter how grueling is the viewing session, right? :)

You complained that there is no real plot, but that’s how an authentic home-made video is about, right? You also complained that there are no proper explanations in many incidents. Again, SowYau need to emphasize that this is a home-made video. You also complained that you can’t see the monster clearly, only some glimpses here and there. Well, to tell you the truth, in the midst of watching, SowYau actually half-heartedly expect that the monster won’t be distinctly shown. But at the end, we manage to see it, what a magnificent beast.

Cloverfield managed to become one of the very few movies that lived up the hype and exceeding SowYau’s expectation. The breath of fresh air by making this in a deliberate amateur technique is always welcomed. Garnish that with the usual gripping and intense moments throughout the 80-ish minutes screen time, and here it is, the first and hopefully not the last “Oh my god!” movie in 2008.

A little quiz: How many “oh my god!” have u heard during the movie? More than 30 times SowYau reckon.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List


Anonymous said...

nice read

Nauseated said...

Hi SowYau,

Your review is nauseating. Please. Please don't keep repeating your name in the review. What for? For SEO? You have no idea how many "oh my god" i have to scream at the top of my lungs reading the review.

p.s. More than 100 times Nauseated reckon.

SowYau said...

dear Anony, thanks for your support.

well, Nauseated, when first started blogging, SowYau felt if writing from a first person perspective, "i", would be boring and sometimes can be a bit self-centre. Using third person, "SowYau" and "he" are refreshing. but lately SowYau thought of using "i" again. Anyway, thanks for pointing it out and helping SowYau make up his mind. SowYau will change it starting from next write-up.

What is SEO by the way?

nauseated said...

SEO, search engine optimization, some people keep repeating certain phrases to get top ranking for certain keywords in search results....

"I" is perfect. please use it. please. please.

cy said...

ur blog, u control it and u can write it in any way u like, the uniqueness mah :P

seo = search engine optimization.

to Nauseated: ppl won't google 'sowyau' for movie review anyway =p

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!