January 19th, 2008


Well, the Hollywood Hype Machine has been building on this sucker for what seems like FOREVER.  The previews have been basically telling us for months now that if you want to be somebody who’s somebody, you had better see this movie, and you had better see it on “1-18-08”. 


Well, I saw it on 1-19-08 just to spite ‘em. 


Anyway, what we got here is more or less Roland Emmerich’s version of Godzilla if they had hired the camera crew from The Blair Witch Project to film it, cast a bunch of annoying refugees from the CW network and used special effects that were rejected from Starship Troopers… 2. 


Here’s the thing folks, Emmerich’s Godzilla was BETTER. 


The first 20 minutes plays out like America’s Lamest Home Videos as we watch video footage of a guy having a going away party.  Drama erupts because apparently he boned his hottie of a best friend and it irrevocably ruined their relationship.  Then a giant monster attacks the city, decapitates the Statue of Liberty and shits out a bunch of grasshopper monsters that bite people.  People who get infected by said bites explode unceremoniously off screen.  After trying to make a getaway, the douche bag finally decides to go back into the city to rescue his best friend/hottie and apologize to her for being a douche bag, if only to give his buddy something to film. 


I have nothing AGAINST the idea of doing the Blair Witch Godzilla.  The director Matt Reeves does an admirable job keeping everything afloat and at barely 80 minutes, the movie pretty much whizzes by.  Unfortunately nothing is really done with the concept.  Every scene relies on the cameraman (named “Hud”) getting a quick glimpse of the monster before running for his life.  This is repeated with various different results throughout the movie, but there is nothing especially memorable, scary or exciting about it.  The only sly thing the filmmakers do is make the cameraman (whom we barely see) the most likable character in the movie.  Maybe we sympathize with him because the only thing that could be as bad as watching the movie was filming it. 


The camerawork itself is a little dodgy.  It goes from being extremely erratic Shaky-Cam style to semi-professional looking (you could swear that at times Hud had a tripod in his back pocket) and while it isn’t as annoying as the Blair Witch, it certainly doesn’t help matters. 


The briefly seen monster is in a word:  WEAK.  It looks like one of the pit monsters from Attack of the Clones mated with Gamera and produced an offspring with “special needs”.  (That IS the Politically Correct word for “retarded”, right?  I gotta start being more PC with these reviews.  New Year’s resolution don’t ya know?)  After months of build-up, what we’re left with is one of the most “homosexual” (again I’m using the PC term for EXTREMELY GAY) looking monsters ever seen on the screen since The Mighty Konga. 


I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda getting sick of hearing about this J.J. Abrams guy.  He should stick to doing what he knows, like producing over praised TV shows like Lost.  He already ruined the Mission: Impossible franchise and I know he only produced this flick, but his slimy prints are all over this mess.  Setting up such a whirlwind of hype before the movie’s release was a smart move on his part.  I’m sure if the audience really knew what they were in for, they’d wait to Netflix it.  


Even with all the hype surrounding this movie, Cloverfield isn’t much.  Without the hype, I bet it would be even less.