Well, I had a few hours to kill this evening so I went to see Cloverfield. I call this ‘One Man’s Review’ because I was the one man in the theater. Actually, that is not entirely true. A young couple joined me about ten minutes into the film and alleviated the solitude of the massive auditorium. Unfortunately they also did not show up until after the half-dozen “Please be quiet to avoid disturbing the other viewers” messages had already rolled and I was forced to watch the movie beyond the screen of their PDAs as the texted incessantly.
Anyway, the movie itself was enjoyable. I was somewhat leery about going to see this as it was not only less than 90 minutes long but none of the previews had showed the slightest glimpse of the ‘monster’ either. I half-expected to show up to the theater to learn that the monster destroying NYC turned out to be some emotion like ‘hate’ or ‘intolerance’ personified (or perhaps, ‘monsterified’) into a destructive being. Well, without revealing too much, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a ‘real’ monster and it was not overly evident that it was an allegory for anything irritating.
The shakey-cam and overall first-person dynamic was reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project or the handy-cam footage from the morning of 9/11 and was effective without requiring the application of any Dramamine. The is an general human drama going on throughout but, as you might expect, the film relies heavily on the action and dramatic special effects to carry the plot.
The most frightening aspect of the evening turned out to be the idiot on Route 577 who came at me going the wrong direction on a divided road-way on the way home. Then again, I guess that’s just part of driving in North Jersey.
I will rate the film using the standard Bruce Campbell (BC) scale. All in all, Cloverfield was enjoyable, but not great. I give it three out of five BCs.
The Bruce Campbell Scale of Film Excellence: