I saw Cloverfield the other night. At first I thought the hand held camera perspective would make me dizzy. I thought I’d hate it, as I am generally not a fan of the “shaky camera” effect at all… but it worked in this film. It reminded me a bit of the awesome long shots in Children of Men. Although Cloverfield is supposed to be all from the perspective of a handheld camera, I must say, the camera gives excellent quality shots, and the people holding it are very good at constantly showing enough of the action to be satisfying. Sometimes when I’m watching home movies from yesteryears, I can’t stand how whoever was holding the camera let it tilt toward the floor too much or zoomed in too much or whatever. In other words, the character holding the hand held camera had a pretty good sense of cinematography. Even when he drops the camera, he amazingly drops it in just the right way that we’ll still get to see something interesting.

Anyway, I thought the special effects of the movie were fantastic, and they reminded me of the great effects in War of the Worlds. There is always something nightmarish about large things in the sky… that vastness of something incredible that you can only see from a distance. Ya know what I mean? I’ve had nightmares in which there are giant planets filling up the sky, or there are gigantic space ships flying over head, so distant that they look two dimensional, but so large that they take up your field of vision. If you don’t know what I mean… I don’t know… what’s wrong with you?

I liked that none of the actors in the film were familiar to me, that made the story a bit more believable. If someone famous had been cast it would have been awkward. However, I thought the actors they did cast weren’t very good at acting. Maybe it was the story and the script, but their performances didn’t come across as believable to me. They came across as high school drama students reciting lines.

I think it was the story and the script. While the special effects were fantastic and the cinematography was great, the story was just… bleh… I didn’t get it. Then again, I’m not sure I could’ve come up with anything better.

I really loved the end credit music, composed by good old Michael Giacchino. He needs to score some more films.

So, overall I’d rate Cloverfield a 6 out of 10. What it lacks in story and acting it makes up for in amazing visuals. And I’ve seen much worse stories anyway.

I think it would have made a rather nice musical. They should’ve hired Sondheim. That would have been awesome.

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