Eve Of The War

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Author:  Alland [ Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Cloverfield

This little beauty is a classic, sort of the "Our Town" of big monster movies. The guys who put this out filmed the entire movie, special effects and all, in 35-36 days according to their own documentary (added to the DVD). I'm not much good at night driving, and the local theatre only showed this film for the late night crowd, so I wasn't able to see it until it came out on DVD this Tuesday here in the States, but it was worth it.

This is a movie about a giant-monster attack on New York City, seen entirely from the perspective of an amateur cameraman who was roped at the last minute into carrying a cam and recording the going-away party of his best friend's brother. A romantic spat leads to a temporary breakup between the brother and his girlfriend, who goes home just as all hell breaks loose. The special effects mainly show scenes of destruction; early on, we see the Statue of Liberty's head bounce along a street. After things get going, the guy calls his girlfriend to make up and see how she is, to learn that she's in trouble, and the rest of the film shows the guy and a small group of partygoers sneaking past the monster and military units to rescue her, the entire process being filmed by the persistent Hud (the amateur cameraman), who only agreed to film the party in the first place because a certain girl would be showing up...

The action starts roughly twenty minutes into the film, and we know from the start that the movie will not have a happy ending. A disclaimer at the start of the film proclaims it to be something from the Department of Defense's archives of the period, found "in the remains of what used to be known as Central Park". We don't get more than glimpses of part of the monster itself until shortly before the end of the film, but this is more than enough to give everyone chills. The movie itself is only about 84 minutes long, but there's also plenty of documentary stuff about the special effects and the unusual process by which this film was made. Check it out!

Author:  Loz [ Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I absolutely loved this film. The man on the street with a camera perspective really worked well and gave a fair bit of believability to a genre that is not know for its realism.
Nice Little twists with the main creature dispersing a multitude of do sized creatures that attack in swarms.
I'd highly recommend this movie.The shots of devastated New York are very well done. And the bit where the statue of Liberty's head comes flying down a street is classic stuff.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:56 pm ]
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I'm not sure whether it's out on DVD over here yet but it is one I intend getting.
I have heard and mentioned in another thread that people were losing their Pepsi's and popcorn due to motion sickness from the hand-held camera effects :--O :lol:

Author:  Alland [ Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

Interesting. As I mentioned earlier, I haven't seen this film on the big screen, so I don't have any experience with the unusual filming in that format. It reminds me of reports of a children's TV show in Japan back in the 1990s whose special film effects caused the equivalent of epileptic seizures in many kids who watched it.

I have only one complaint. In true Godzilla fashion, the monster seems to be invulnerable to conventional weaponry, so presumably the military had to use one or more nukes (probably tactical nukes, at least at first, to minimize damage to Manhattan itself) to destroy it. But if they'd been used, then we shouldn't have had that cam found with viewable film. Even if the blast hadn't fried the thing, the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) should have scrambled the cam's electronics. Or wouldn't that affect the film inside?

Author:  craigr [ Thu May 01, 2008 4:57 am ]
Post subject: 

I actually did get to see this film at the cinema (braving a snowstorm to do so; not the brightest thing I've ever done!). I sat in the back row to minimize the 'shaky-cam' effects the movie might have had on me, but really didn't experience any vertigo/motion sickness at all.

I loved this film!
Prior to it's release, I ignored as much pre-release speculation as I could, so that I could be surprised by what I saw onscreen. I even noted that nowhere in the trailers do we actually, definitively see a monster; all the "I've seen it, it's alive and it's huge!" lines we heard were from characters, but nothing actually showed us viewers what they saw. One quick shot looks vaguely creature-like, but it also looks vaguely smoke cloud-like. I actually thought this was all brilliant! Was the film going to be a psychological thriller, showing how during a crisis, people make up or fill in their own details when all the real facts are unknown to them? Or was it indeed going to be an American kaiju eiga? Either way, I knew I'd enjoy it.
For what it was, it was pretty realistic. I love the idea that a seven hour terror-filled night of survival & rescue got clipped down to an hour and a half; just as in real life, people do turn off their cameras for periods of time. And don't expect everything to be neatly tied up with a pretty bow by the end... again, another realistic touch.
I will buy this DVD soon. I'm not so sure I want to see any alternate endings... what could possibly be better than what occurred? But I am curious about deleted scenes, and that documentary sounds interesting.

Oh, I wondered about the EMP thing wiping the video, too. Was a nuke really used, though? Are we sure it wasn't just saturation bombing, or one (or more) of those non-nuclear bunker-busters? I know the army commander in the film mentioned a process to make sure the thing didn't leave Manhattan, but I don't remember whether or not that entailed actual nukes.
Even if it did, might the camera have been a DVD-R, and thus an EMP might not have wrecked the recording? Of course, a DVD-R doesn't record over an old recording like a tape does, like what was shown in the film, so I guess it was a tape after all. I'm going to have to go with non-nukes being used, then. (Please let me know if the commander's statements definitively clarify what was used!)

Author:  craigr [ Thu May 01, 2008 5:05 am ]
Post subject: 

By the way, I think the 'little' creatures were like skin parasites, you know, those microscopic skin mites we all have, only scaled up to the main creature's size. I'm just speculating.
Gojira 1984 did something similar, but when it was butchered--er, released--as the American dubbed Godzilla 1985, that idea was dropped, and the parasites were referred to as 'giant sea lice' with no connection to the big G.

Author:  craigr [ Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:14 am ]
Post subject: 

Got the dvd on sale recently, and enjoyed re-watching the movie. I noticed a few things I missed the first time around, and one of those actually gave me a little chill. Not because I believe the movie really happened (er, could happen... will happen... whatever), but because I missed it the first time and it gave me sort of a 'Oh my god, it was right there, I should have seen it!' reaction. Don't want to ruin it for anyone who still hasn't seen the film, but I'll point it out later.

It was also neat to study some of the reactions of the characters a little more closely. All in all, I thought it was believably acted; the reactions all seemed genuine.

My dvd was the single disc general release version (not the two-disc special edition), but the store I bought it from had a special exclusive bonus disc included, featuring a 24 minute 'mockumentary' called TJ Miller's Video Diary. He's the guy who plays Hud, the camera man. It did have a lot of behind the scenes stuff, but was presented in a comedic way. I enjoyed it. I've read that other stores have different exclusives: a soundtrack cd (which is basically a cd of the music played at the going away party), or a book about the movie.

Best part: with the sale, plus a coupon I had, I only paid US$5.00 for the set! \:D/ I normally try to buy special editions, rather than first general releases, but in this case, since I spent so little, I won't mind buying the special edition later. (My version does have some documentary stuff, but I hear there's a lot more on the 'real' two-disc set.)

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:21 am ]
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I've not seen it yet, it's one I keep forgetting about for some reason :-k

Author:  Loz [ Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lonesome Crow wrote:
I've not seen it yet, it's one I keep forgetting about for some reason :-k

You'll love it. Go get it Floyd!!!!

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks craigr for redirecting me to this thread.
I have now, finally seen this film and thoroughly enjoyed it.
what I really liked about the film was; Not all stories have a happy ending; not all your questions are answered.
It was one of those films you keep thinking about the next day.

Author:  craigr [ Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Lonesome Crow wrote:
It was one of those films you keep thinking about the next day.

Indeed. We only saw whatever that particular camera 'saw,' and I thought that was a great way to tell the story. I'm reminded of the 2005 Spielberg WotW being told very strictly from Ray's POV; in spite of others wanting to see a 'bigger picture' (like the battle over the hill), we only saw what Ray saw. Similar thing here with Cloverfield.

Some time ago, I mentioned that I'd noticed something that I can't believe I'd missed, and it was kind of chilling (conceptually, anyway).
At the end of the document--err, the movie--after the recording reverts for a few seconds back to the date at Coney Island, we see a view of the ocean alongside the park, with Rob telling Beth that the battery's about to give out and they have about three seconds to say something. You know, the 'perfect day' comment. In that ocean view, just along the right hand side of the screen, we can just make out something dark falling out of the sky; it looks tiny, until we notice the splash it makes in the ocean... on the horizon!
Did the creature hail from space? Or, alternatively, did something fall from space into the ocean to awaken the creature? Either way, if only someone had noticed it in the video before that fateful night when the creature attacked...
OK, maybe it's more cheesey than chilling, but I let myself get into the events of the movie enough that I reacted to this as though I would if it had been real.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

:shock: My God! how the hell did you spot that? it's tiny!

Author:  craigr [ Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:24 am ]
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I build models as a hobby, and now detail spotting comes naturally to me. Or should I say 'habitually' instead of 'naturally'? And don't forget, I missed it, too, on the first couple of viewings. Kind of freaky, though, isn't it? (The thing in the film, not my ability to spot things.)

So, any comments or anything you'd like to share about Cloverfield? Just curious.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

I remember seeing an artists conception of the creature from the film shortly before it's release. (that's the films release not the creatures)


And I was a little disappointed not to see the creature I had expected to see.
I also heard the other day, there are short clips from other films (just a few frames long) spliced into the movie, I believe 'King Kong' was one of them, don't ask me where they are, I haven't looked yet.

Author:  craigr [ Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

I believe those clips appear in the scene where the looters are raiding the electronics store (and Rob is trying to find a new battery for his cel phone). My guess is they show up on some of the TVs in the background, but I also have not looked.
Maybe, too, they are on a TV in the apartment during the party, prior to the 'earthquake' that causes them to switch on the news. :-k

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Oh, I thought they were frames spliced into the actual film.
I thought they might have be slipped into the electronic confusion whenever the camera was switched off and you went back to the old footage of Rob and Beth's date for a few seconds.

Author:  craigr [ Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:57 am ]
Post subject: 

Oh, I never thought about it that way... I don't think that's where they are, and I don't have time to go stepping each frame to find out, but it's an interesting idea. I just assume that since the movie is supposed to be a 'documentary' of a 'real' event, stuff wouldn't be snuck in that way. Just my two cents, of course.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

When I've got more leisure time I'll have a little hunt and see if I can find them.

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