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January 16 2008

(SPOILER) Harry at AICN trumpets Cloverfield. This is the first Cloverfield review I found. It focuses on what the producer and director accomplished without mentioning the writer of this amazing film: Drew "Ultimate" Goddard! Hollywood Reporter also has some nice things to say about out Ultimate Drew. They even mention him by name! (thanks, impalergeneral!)

I saw the film at a screening this evening and it is an amazing achievement. Do yourself a favor and check it out over the weekend. High art! Boundaries broken! Drew Goddard!

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-01-16 23:55 ]

The link just leads to the movie trailer...
All fixed now.

Btw I was thinking that if Cloverfield is a success , it might greenlight Joss and Drew's horror movie. Which is good cause Goners looks to be dead.
The one advantage to still, quite annoyingly, being stuck in a half-time job that doesn't pay the bills is I can go see this Friday afternoon.

And yeah, Simon, I was thinking the same thing about what a Cloverfield success could mean for Cabin in the Woods.
My son has a countdown clock going for when "Cloverfield" opens and a friend of mine's son is trying to get his entire class to go! We can't wait!!! :-D
There's nothing like a mysterious trailer to get people excited. I hope this is as good as I think it is, but I trust Drew. His episodes are among my favorites.
Hooray for the upcoming success of the Ultimate Drew!
And good point, Simon. While I still hold out hope that Goners will be eventually greenlit, it would be nice to see a movie from Joss and Drew too. Inbetween Dollhouse eps.
I might be the dissident voice here, but I suspect that Cloverfield is going to suffer the same fate that Snakes in a Plane did; heavy viral marketing to support a so-so movie. I've read a detailed spoiler review of the movie, and while in some ways it supports the review here, in others it really points out the absurdity of the film, the poor acting, the fact that, despite what Herc said, the monster is just silly- big, but silly- and of course, event though it is really, really big... well, no, I can't say any more.

I think we have reached a point where the marketing of a film has become more important than the film itself. It may be my advanced age- 54- but I don't spend enough time, or maybe it is better to say that I don't wish to spend (waste) the time, scooting around the internet taking pleasure at the viral marketing and trying to buidld expectation in advance of release. I am, sadly, outside the demographic. Just like I don't have an iPod, even though I have 5000 records and CDs, I am past keeping with the technology. But for me, what sells the film is, you know, the film. Not the advertising or the marketing. The real tale here will be how well the movie holds an audience after the first week once word gets out about what the actual storyline is and what the monster is all about. I think this will have a big first week, and then a big drop-off. We shall see.
The problem with SNAKES ON A PLANE was that it was... Crap.

There's another review here. The budget for this thing is pretty small (for the type of movie) (it's shot on a $1500 HD camera). I predict it'll make back nearly all the budget opening weekend. In fact, it could make all of it back this weekend as the marketing was pretty low key, going for the new media MySpace generation.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-01-16 16:38 ]
I can't wait to see it on Friday...

I'm not reading a single review, I do not want any spoilers
I understand where you are coming from, but comparing Cloverfield to Snakes on a Plane... Even though Cloverfield has a viral/oh-so-secretive marketing campaign, I just can't see comparing them. The heavy viral from SoaP came from the fact that it was going to suck and everyone knew it. They were hoping for so-bad-its-good, sure, but Cloverfield is a serious attempt at making a monster flick. It may suck on its own merit (c'mon, though, its Ultimate Drew!), but I don't think that it will succeed or fail due to its marketing choices.

p.s. - on the other hand, Harry supported HD-DVD, so I've got a little bit of a sinking feeling ;)
HD-DVD will be back! Oh yes. (PS: this is tongue in cheek)

I'm surprised people are complaining about the humour in this. But then, people moaned about the humour in Alien 4. If my city was being smacked up by a monster, trust me, I'd be going all Chandler on your asses.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-01-16 16:47 ]
If my city was being smacked up by a monster, trust me, I'd be going all Chandler on your asses.


Nice :) Humor (as Buffy taught us well) can so often be used to defuse or as a defense mechanism, etc. If it's well handled (and I will belabor the point that its frikkin'! DREW! Goddard!) its all good.
There is motherfucking clover in this motherfucking field ! Also, a monster.

In fairness, there's always going to be someone that moans about almost everything. For instance, did you know that some people moan about the alien baby-monster crap-fest creature in Alien 4 ? I know, right ? It was cinematic perfection. *cough*.
I don't moan. I never moan. Ask my wife! :-)

Yes, I hold out hope that this will better than I think it will be, because I like Drew Goddard and certainly want the best for him.

But I have problems with viral marketing and internet extras. Now, I can use two examples of what I felt were good uses of the net- the River Tam sessions (which I did not watch) and The Lost Experience. People who are invested in the shows or the characters can get extra insight into them by spending the time to look. For those that either cannot or do not wish to, it still does not hurt their experience with the show. You can enjoy Serenity on many levels- as a stand-alone film if you never saw Firefly, as an expansion of Firefly if you did, and as a world unto itself if you take in the RT Experience and all the other stuff that makes it special.

On the other hand, SOAP was an example of the build-up being better than the delivery. The ideas that we see here in Cloverfield have been done before- "found film" is what makes up movies such as Cannibal Headhunters and Blair Witch, so that is not in itself novel. What I think is happening is that the monster is never shown in total, so that you have the tease of not knowing what you are seeing. So, to succeed, the movie has to stand on its own, in spite of its marketing, its novelties and its tricks. We know it has a good writer, but we also know we have a producer who uses certain tactics on a regular basis. Those that like those tactics will jump in; those that do not, will not unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The best compelling reason I know is a good film. As always, I will wait to hear what Ebert says. :-)

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-01-16 17:13 ]
Word, Dana5140. Sounds like Mr. Producer man gets out of the way and lets the writer and director do their things. Of course, by reading Harry's review you wouldn't be aware that the film had a screenwriter. Luckily the talkback chaps took care of that.
I was out of breath by the time I finished reading his review. I had no intentions of going to see this movie. I don't like hand-held camera work. Hated the first Blair Witch because of it. But this review has me so worked up, and I'm off on Friday, so I am going to go to the first showing. By myself.
I don't moan. I never moan. Ask my wife! :-)

Well, I don't mean to start anything between the two of you Dana5140 but I just did and she said (and I quote) "Who, Mr McMoany of the Planet Moanonia ? Don't even get me started ...". *adopts air of innocence* Obviously i'm just the messenger BTW ... ;-).

Must confess, most viral stuff just passes me by, certainly doesn't bother me in any way. If not for here I wouldn't have known about the River Tam Sessions or 'Cloverfield' (until I saw the trailer) and though I knew there was a lot of online buzz about SOAP, I didn't see any viral marketing for it and was never under the impression it was anything other than a B-movie with (at least) one A-list star and so judged it accordingly (it was better than I expected but far from brilliant).

But then I don't even read reviews before seeing a film (haven't read the article, naughty ;), let alone go around seeking out internet extras or playing mixed-reality games or whatever - I just decide what to see based on trailers, premise, the Rottentomatoes score and sometimes the recommendations of friends so i'm probably a viral marketers worst nightmare ;).
To paraphrase the great Rick Springfield, "I'd do anything for Drew..." so even if "Cloverfield" were to exceed SoaP in its suckitude, I'd still see it. Creature features, particularly the "big monster attacks the city" types, have a distinct sensibility, and I have a strong feeling that "Cloverfield" will hit its mark well.

I have to say, though, that it IS annoying that so much of what I've been reading about "Cloverfield" makes no mention of Ultimate Drew. No respect to JJ Abrams, but you'd think that "Drew Goddard" was his pseudonym from some of it. Sheesh!
I have "Cloverfield" written on my calendar at work, just so I don't forget that it opens this weekend. (Cuz, yeah, I need reminders.)
LOL, saje. Actually, I AM moaning, because my wife is off visting her daughter in Corvallis, OR and I am on my own- with, as you all can see, way too much time on my hands. Given she was a professional chef, my meals are radically different than normal. It'll be ramen tonight. :-)

Anyway. I do have issues with JJ Abrams, who has never createed a program that I loved and did not leave later. He has the anti-Midas touch to me, and this makes me worry going in. Were it not for Drew being involved, I would not even give it a thought. Alias, Lost, etc., all started so strong and then simply got, well, lost. I loved S1 Lost and now hate the show with a passion and will never return. And I worry, worry about Star Trek.

But in the end, I derive a lot of information from Roger Ebert, whose reviews are almost always informative, and hew very much to my sensibility. If Ebert likes it, I will probably see it. If he does not, I won't. I actually see few movies on initial release- though I made an excecption for Juno, thank goodness. I do like spoilers and I do like reading reviews from either mrqe.com or rottentomatoes. Marketing, though, leaves me cold. Remember Joss and the outcry over that torture porn movie- that was bad viral marketing, in a sense- the idea that controversy can help sell a movie. Joss was right on the money there.
We're going to see Cloverfield. Monster movies are a great movie tradition. It might be fun and it might suck, but I won't know unless I watch it. I don't trust a thing from AICN. He's fallen under the industry's spell and rarely gives an honest or negative review anymore.
Yay! I have Friday off and I'm pretty sure I can fit this in between P/T at 1 and scifi con at 5. I'm betting a lot of the con attendees will either arrive late after the early showing or leave early for the late showing.

Totally O/T, but after viewing the con's Whedon-free schedule (oh, the horror!), I'm determined to make it to the panel discussing upcoming scifi TV. Since Joss seems to be the only writer not force majeured from Fox, I feel it's only fair that I bring up Dollhouse at least once or twice ... a minute.

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