Monday, February 28, 2011

Cloverfield, Dir. Matt Reeves, 2008

This review is analysing the style of Matt Reeves’s directed movie “Cloverfield”. This high budget movie is an example of beautiful film editing experimenting which works out very well in Hollywood standarts. This review is based on Roger Ebert’s review from Chicago-Sun Times, Todd McCarthy’s review from and James Berardinelli’s review from “ReelViews”.


“Cloverfield” is a 2008 American disaster-monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard. The film follows six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city. “Godzilla meets the Queasy-Cam in "Cloverfield," a movie that crosses the Monster Attacks Manhattan formula with "Blair Witch." No, Godzilla doesn't appear in person, but the movie's monster looks like a close relative on the evolutionary tree, especially in one closeup.” – Says Roger Ebert (January 17, 2008, Chicago Sun-Times). In fact this movie is very symbolic that it just like American remake of “Godzila” just shouts out about “American pride” all the time. Symbols can be noticed samely in the environment and in the actions of the characters. Manhattan was obviously taken to catch American hearts immediately and scene with crashing liberty statue head just proves it. Characters are fearless, but still, “proud Americans to the end”. This movie is just soaked with Hollywood.


Another very Hollywood’ish thing in words of Todd McCarthy: “So while the film is cleverly and resourcefully made (allegedly for a mere $25 million), as well as both tense and intense, it doesn't provoke sheer terror and never pushes things to the point where you want to look away.“ (Jan. 16, 2008, But there is still a good side of this movie in all aspects that was noticed by James Berardinelli: “What does the handheld camera bring to Cloverfield? There's a sense of immediacy that couldn't be obtained in any other way. We're in the trenches with these characters, not looking at them from a safe distance. There's an intensity that couldn't be achieved in any other way. Consider, for example, the scene in the subway when Hud turns on the camera's night vision. No other approach could have yielded that result.” (no exact date of publishing, “ReelViews”). The movie takes a worn concept and invigorates it by applying an innovative approach. 


All in all if audience doesn‘t have a motion sickness this is a very good movie to relax and don‘t think about anything. It is different from the most of hollywood movies in some ways, but at the same time it has something too much of that typical “modern hero versus monster” standard plot.


Roger Ebert

Todd McCarthy

James Berardinelli


1.Happy beggining

2.Big destruction

3.Big reveal

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