While the Blairwitch Project has had a definite influence on a large part of the population, its novel use of a personal camera for a feature film and supposedly real scenes, Cloverfield was the complete opposite. Again trying out the personal camera mode, it tries to trick the viewer into thinking that again it is real. Yet when Hollywood takes over an idea, you tend to notice it. Some have said that the more realistic you try to get with CG, the more obvious it is, and the more the audience feels tricked. Cloverfield, under its look of a cheap film is actually a multi-million dollars project, with incredible CG, a giant monster and a collapsing New York City.
How can one take a movie likes this seriously. It's lack of plausible story only adds to the pain of watching a film through a portable camera. Add in a pseudo romantic quest to save a princess lost in her high dungeon, here a New York skyscraper, and you get a “navet” as the French would say, which means a bad film. It tries to be original, doing the same intense marketing campaign as Blairwitch, yet failing to deliver in the end. It has had success, and many have gone saying that it is a metaphor for 9/11, except with a giant monster, which, I am sure is not called Godzilla simply for copyright reasons. Not to mention that obviously the main character is leaving for … ready for a big surprise? Japan! Too bad for him, Godzilla has left it's homeland, coming to New York City the day before he left. Could thing he didn't leave the day before.
Roger Erbert describes well the discrepancies found in the film.”The leaning high-rise contains Beth (Odette Yustman), who Rob feels duty-bound to rescue from her 49th-floor apartment near Central Park. The others all come along on this foolhardy mission (not explained: how after walking all the way to Columbus Circle they have the energy to climb 49 flights of stairs, Lily in her high heels). Part of their uptown journey is by subway, without the benefit of trains. They're informed by a helpful soldier that the last rescue helicopter leaving Central Park will have "wheels up at oh-six-hundred," begging the question of how many helicopters it would take to rescue the population of Manhattan. ” (Erbert:2008)
The film is successful in representing the new century. Most of the footage we see today isn't filmed by professional journalists, but by people with cell phones. Looking at the situation in the Arab world today, where most of what we see comes from these small devices, Cloverfield takes on that mantle. Is this how we would record a catastrophe of that size? Empire have their own reasoning.”Is this attack so terrifying because it has obvious shades of 9/11 or because the handheld camerawork leaves us disoriented, glimpsing the enormous creature only when Hud’s view quivers that way? It’s both. We live in a time when global violence is recorded not by professionals, but by shaky-handed bystanders with camera phones. We believe bad camerawork and suspect professional broadcast of hiding something from us. Stripped of the comfort of rhythmic editing and frenzied strings that tell us it’s time to be scared and instead served the sort of frantic footage we associate with unfathomable terror brings a new, more primal fear to the monster movie. It starts, bizarrely, to feel like something that could happen. ” (Empire:Olly Richards)
Erbert, Robert: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080117/REVIEWS/801170302
Richards, Olly: http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=135091