About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

Cloverfield- A triumph for innovation (Minor Spoilers)

The Cold Cut was initially started as a cultural experiment, but the general focus was slowly dwindled down until music was crowned king. However, films still hold a place in my heart, and yesterday I saw a film that has provoked such a huge reaction in me that I am considering starting a new section this blog, where I will occasionally write about my theatrical experiences, perhaps with an accompanying song. This is the first of my entries. This is Cloverfield.
Cloverfield is, without a doubt, one of the most innovative films that I have ever seen. Every few years, a film comes along that does something completely fresh in a dead genre. Cloverfield is one of those movies. There have been numerous detractors who claim the 'handy-cam' is a gimmick, and that there is nothing new here. Unfortunately, they are terribly, terribly wrong. Director Matt Reeves and producer JJ Abrams had so much to lose, but this movie is a triumph for the movie industry, especially during such turbulent times. The viral marketing campaign and trailers were great, but they aren't all this movie has going for it (see Snakes On A Plane). So whats different? Well, first off, you have the 85 minute running time, a clever move which keeps exposition to a minimum and also cranks up the intensity. There were numerous points in the film where I found myself turning to my friends and just saying "Holy shit!", quivering with fright and excitement.

Next we have the hand-held camera work, which really does set this monster movie out from everything else that has come before it. For the first five minutes, I was worried about the motion-sickness that many people have brought up in their reviews; after the first shaky moments, however, it really isn't an issue, as your eyes adapt to the motion. Take care, though- I smelt the distinctive scent of vomit on the way out of my screening, and I know that many people suffer nausea and vertigo. For those of you who worry about this, sit at the back so that you have something to focus on if it all gets a little bit much. The final thing that really sets this apart from the creature-feature bracket is that there is very little plot development- you have a monster, you have some characters, and thats it. No back-stories, no explanations, no questions asked. And thats the main reason that this works. It could happen...

The monster itself is the star of this film, and is pretty much indescribable. Introduced without any story or explanation, through teasing glances you progressively see more and more until the big reveal. A tail, a leg, a foot, or one of its parasites, each glimpse has you wondering 'what the hell is that thing?'. Simultaneously disgusting and beautiful, Godzilla looks timid compared to this thing. 'It' is frightening, and after decapitating the Statue Of Liberty, we get Hud's explanation: 'I saw it. It's Alive' and then later on 'What is it?''I don't know, but it's winning'.

NOT THE MONSTER! NOT EVEN CLOSE

The choice to use unknown actors for the protagonists has also paid off immensely, as their is no familiarity. They do their part in the dialog-heavy first 10 minutes, but this is kept to a minimum during the tense scenes, a la 'OH MY GOD'. They aren't there for character development, rather to try an outrun the entity that is destroying New York. Our cameraman, Hud, is reliable in his stupid/hilarious responses to situations, filming so that people 'will know how this went down'. A bit of a klutz, he still manages to hold on to the camera, producing some excellent shots in the most diabolical of situations.

The CGI is perfect, and the seamless interaction between the character and the beast/parasites again holds the tension. There is one truly frightening scene in a tunnel, which I will only hint at: it contains night-vision, and some truly harrowing things. The lack of a soundtrack is a great concept, and it really pays off, emphasizing the serious nature of this situation. This isn't Godzilla meets the Blair Witch Project, this is Cloverfield. This could be real.

Cloverfield's critical reception has been mostly positive, and its no coincidence that most of its detractors lie in the +30 bracket. Perhaps, as well as the motion sickness warning, they should put a warning to the older members of the critique, who have lost their ability to have fun. Simply put, this is a monster movie that is much more than it first seems. It isn't a 5 star film, as the plot has very little development and there isn't enough 'acting' to make this into a film. That, however, is the whole point. You can't compare this to anything else before it, because it is new, fresh and innovative. It will satisfy your needs, whether you just want a fun blockbuster or something much deeper. One of the most enjoyable films I have seen in the last few years, Cloverfield's bravery paid of immensely- now we just have to hope they don't ruin its mystique by making a sequel. Wait to the credits to see... 'Help us! It's still alive!'

Gnarls Barkley- Boogie Monster