If you’re a movie-going kind of person, chances are you saw Cloverfield this weekend.  I was all hyped up to see it (mostly because the reviews were pretty good, and, I won’t lie, the trailer hooked me).  On Saturday Will Harris over at Popdose wrote a great review of the film and that kind of sealed the deal.  On Sunday we ventured to the theater and dug in to see what kind of thrills J.J. Abrams and his crew could unleash upon us.  Being a fan of Lost I was curious what Abrams would do with the “Monster Smashes City” genre.  It could suck, it could be fun, it could be both.  Fortunately, it didn’t suck.  The film was very good at setting up the action and novel in the way the film was shot.  The story is told through the point of view of a hand held video camera that, as we are told at the outset, is documentary evidence of a site “formerly known as Central Park.” 

What’s on the tape?  Well, the first 20 minutes are the lives of the central characters whose day-to-day seems fairly typical for urban professionals.  Their relationships run the gamut of “buds” to lovers.  It’s nothing too interesting, but the filmmakers set up the story from this point of view because this monster movie is told from the perspective of this group of 20 somethings who are trying to survive the chaos the monster unleashes.  The tension level is increased by assaulting our ears with crashes, screams, gun fire, and the booming thunder of the monster stomping through NYC.  But this monster comes with extras!  Yep, not only does it smash the crap out of NYC and with it thousands of people, but there are mini-monsters that look like spiders that attack our 20 something leads –with one character getting a blood-splattering surprise gift later on.  It’s all in good fun, I suppose.  But as we left the theater and ventured to get some dinner, we kept talking about where this monster came from, what happened to NYC after the film’s ambiguous ending, and the fate of the surviving group of characters watched go though this hell. 

If you have an interest in seeing this film, my suggestion is to go to a matinee ’cause you’ll leave the theater feeling a little cheated if you pay full price. But stay for the end credits if only for the music — which had the title “Roar.”  It’s overblown and, in a way, kind of funny considering it really doesn’t fit with the film.  And who knows, if the film creeped you out, the music during the end credits will lighten the tension because it’s pretty cheesy. 

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