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I've been cautious with hyped movies. We've seen them fall flat on their asses with suckiness. Troy, snakes on a plane, War of the worlds. All movies which were hyped for some reason and they all sucked. Some of them more then others.
However, this movie is what War of the worlds should have been. Its the non Tom Cruise version, the non Steven Spielberg, the not sucking version of War of the worlds. Its what I have been waiting for since Aliens and Starship troopers. It is Awesome.
Having said that, it is nowhere near as accessible as those movies. Where there was a clear storyline and sharp camerawork in Aliens and Starship Troopers, Cloverfield is filmed from a handicam operated by a clumsy teenager caught in a struggle between the US army and a skyscraper sized monster. Oh, I also handily told you the story since it doesn't get much deeper then that.
The comparison with Blair with project is easy. In fact, some called this the Blair witch Godzilla but that is unfair. The handicam isn't a gimmick. It actually works for this movie. I don't think the events recorded would have been so awesome had they been done with conventional camerawork. The background story with the teenagers is just to simple for that. Example, one of the main characters decides to go and help his girlfriend who is caught in one of the buildings attacked by the Cloverfield monster (for lack of a better term to call it). They debate and argue over it and then, all of a sudden the monster appears and they are practically overrun by squads of army troopers who rush to shoot it with tanks and missile launchers. (see picture above) That sequence is filmed chaotically and lasts only seconds but is so godly awesome that it left me drooling over my popcorn.
That's the brilliance of this film. It focuses on the group of teenagers trying to rescue a friend and along the way they film the most awesome battles ever captured. A stealth bomber carpet bombing the monster, squadrons of F-18's, tanks, soldiers, giant spiders, exploding people. From the 20th minute on the movie just becomes one long battle and new York will never be the same. Awesomeness all round.
This movie will not be appreciated by everyone. In fact, I heard people grumbling about it when I left at the end. Don't be fazed by its shoddy camerawork or the characters that seemingly lack depth. Look beyond that and you'll see a piece of art with marvelous special effects, tantalizing moments of horror and brilliant action.
"I don't know what it is... but its winning."