What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

FCN sees “Cloverfield”

“Let’s go see a movie.” A statement not a question, the line is uttered with no regard to consequences or costs, direct or hidden. Friends are over and conversation needs stimulation. A movie is just the thing.

But what to see? I like chick flicks, but F and N hold an automatic veto over any movie directed by Anne Fletcher. The visiting friends suggest the Johnny Depp movie, a proposition that is quickly asphyxiated with a chorus of “nos.” N puts forward his bid, a film with a couple of Academy Award winning actors that are probably closer to retirement than their next nomination, but no one is in the mood for a movie about a couple codgers end-gaming their life. F wants to see Enchanted, again. Yeah, right. The arguments buzz around like bees in a Penn and Teller magic trick. People change sides faster than Mitt Romney and preferences go from comedy to drama and back again like the F-Train. Even ambivalent viewers turn into ardent advocates as soon as choices are presented. The debate is fierce and enemies are made. Nobody is permanently hurt, though, and a choice is made before the clock strikes an hour.

None of us are sure who’s idea it was – the end of the film had us pointing fingers like a six year-old in a candy shop – but someone introduced the name “Cloverfield,” a virally promoted disaster movie shot entirely with hand held cameras. The merits of "Cloverfield" were never heavily explored but, by virtue of the fact that all the other films were disqualified, “Cloverfield” got the selection. It's a movie about a monster, filmed by a badly shaking cameraman who didn't know it was all computer generated and/or ketchup.

I wont drag you through the hour and twenty minutes of dizzying and horrifying film footage that was flashed before our wide-eyed faces, except to say that the plot moved exceptionally slowly and was a grating regurgitation of every other disaster movie plot, except it was worse. When the credits rolled, a gentleman sitting behind me muttered “Is it over? [Boy], what a waste of money. I should have just left a tenner at the foot of the movie poster.” Great piece of critical analysis, that. He should start a blog.

I, for one, have never witnessed such a tepid reaction to a movie in theaters. All fifty plus people in attendance sat stunned for over a minute before picking themselves up and walking shakily toward the exit, rubbing their eyes. The roomed seemed to spin slowly and I was a little nauseous as I stood up to follow their lead. Looking at the back of so many heads in dim light exiting a building reminded me vaguely of a scene in the movie. Which scene, you ask? All of them.

The baby boomer in attendance speculated that it was the “worst movie she’d ever seen,” a perspective that has been proffered for a dozen other cinematic productions. I thought the movie was creative, but was upset that all the attractive females were killed off (sorry, is that a spoiler?) and that the monster’s soft side wasn’t exploited by the directors.

F made the mistake of defending the movie’s concept publically and was berated excessively for his lack of taste. Defending bad movies is tantamount to making bad movies on the hierarchy of cinematic sins. It might even be worse than defending that limited release Hannah Montana production. Goodness, F, grow a tongue.

By the time we got home, the dizziness and arguments had worn off. We hopped out of the car and looked around. After an awkward pause, somebody asked: “So, now what do you want to do?”


Big Al said...

Wowwwww. thet thar's purty gnarly. I cant b'leeve you gahs wuld go watch thet turible moovee. It's like sum high up there, fer houn'dawgs sake!

Christopher Yerziklewski said...

You're the second person (or maybe groupd of people is better) that has said that movie was terrible. Strange, the previews look so good. Dang it, I really wanted to see it.

pirate who doesn't do anything said...

you guys should have seen the Veggie Tales movie. it was great!!!! made me lmho.