Posted by: Dr P | October 11, 2008


“What’s that coming over the hill, is it a monster? Is it a monster?”

The wonderful Automatics song was just about the only thing missing from our trip to the terrific Indie club “42nd Street” on Saturday night. So in order to make up for that minor disappointment, it seemed only fair to head out as soon as possible and take in Cloverfield, a story about a monster on the rampage. As it turns out, said rampage is in NYC. If only it could have rampaged in teen idool band N-Sync and done us all a favour.

Cloverfield is a movie rarity, one whose plot has been kept under incredibly tight wraps and has genuinely become something of an Internet phenomenon. As such it shares this trait with two other recent cinematic treats. The Blair Witch Project, of course, was a real Internet success story, filmed on a miniscule budget and with moments of sheer pant-wetting horror. Then there was last year’s “Snakes on a Plane”, which was pants wetting for entirely different reasons! In common with Blair Witch, Cloverfield is also filmed very much in documentary, handheld camera stylee, which means it is both gritty and realistic (well, as realistic as a movie about a gigantic creature tearing down skyscrapers can be) and also likely to give you a nasty case of motion sickness. A bit like driving down Tottington Road with my Mum.

In common with both of those other Internet-hyped films, Cloverfield appears to be something of a B movie. So I thought the best way to get set for it would be to have a B sandwich. I actually wanted a BLT, but didn’t have any lettuce or tomato …

If you’ve seen the brief trailers for this film (none of which contain the film title incidentally), you’ll have probably noticed the brilliant spectacle where there’s a massive crashing noise and a massive object hurtles across the screen. This turns out to be the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty. There are rumours that the producers wanted to set the film in Bury, but thought that the severed head of the statue of Robert Peel might not be as widely recognisable. He was of course a British Prime Minster and the founder of the modern police force, so stick that one in your torch and burn it, Ms. Liberty. Actually, if they’d managed to get the film released two weeks ago, they could have used the severed heads of the Bury FC manager and director of football. “Heads Must Roll” screamed fans on the Bury message board – damn! They could have killed two birds with one stone!

I just mentioned that the film’s title wasn’t featured on the trailers, and there’s a reason for that – the filmmakers actually kept the real title secret throughout production and used alternative code names at different times. I mean it’s not as though “Cloverfield” is exactly a giveaway about plot is it!? Er, is it a film about some flowery field? Could it be something to do with cows (they’re all called Clover, aren’t they? Oh, apart from Ermintrude). Mind you, at least in choosing a spreadable product, the producers did get it right. Imagine how we’d have laughed if they’d called the movie “Kerrygoldfield” or, wait for it … “UtterlyButterlyField”! There’s whole raft of gags in there somewhere. None of them funny.

Anyway, I’m digressing. That’s possibly because it’s only 7.45pm and I’m not actually going to the film until 9 ;-). Damn, another trade secret given away! I shall return to continue this review then …

*saves file and leaves*


Back! With a tremendous dose of motion sickness, adrenaline etc. This was an incredibly well-done film! But we’ll get to that …

NEW ORANGE ADVERT!!!! Yes folks, after weeks and weeks of Macauley Culkin, there’s a new advert from the wonderful Orange folks – this time it’s a Snoop Dogg spoof, with many cracking moments. I’ll let you all go and savour it yourselves, but my own fave bit was where the bald-headed sidekick refers to Snoop’s crew as “housies” as opposed to “homies”. Wonderful!

Regular cinema-goers will have noticed the massive hype for a great looking film called “Jumper”, which is from the guys behind the Matrix and the Bourne Ultimatum. You can’t really ask for a finer pedigree. Rumours of sequels entitled “Cardigan” and “Pullover” are unfounded at this time. We also saw trailers for Hellboy 2 (silly), a new Star Trek film to be released next Boxing Day (silly – and very silly for previewing it now) and some other promising looking films.

So onto the main feature. The film is entirely composed of “camcorder footage” recorded on the night of an attack on New York City by an unknown creature – the main characters are Rob, a young executive who is leaving the States to take up a job in Japan, and his friends who are throwing a surprise party for him (hence the videotaping). We get about 20 minutes of build up from the party, which makes us empathise with the characters, and then the attack begins and from then on it is pandemonium. I won’t spoil it for you, but everything I had hoped for was in this film. Terror – check. Constant adrenaline – check. Widespread devastation – check. Cool characters – check. Blood and gore – check. It was like being in a high speed chase the whole time, with glimpses of the terror unfolding around as the army battled to contain the monster and people tried to flee.

As ever, I won’t give away any major spoilers, but suffice to say not many people make it through!! And definitely no dogs.

Really loved this, and hearily recommend to anyone looking for about 80 minutes of fast-paced enjoyment. It would also help if you go with someone like Big G, who has an uncanny knack of treading a fine line between sobriety and rudeness, and occasionally not only crosses over onto the dark side but pretty much leads an expedition across!

Now I need to go and lie down until the world stops spinning!


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