Posts tagged #JJ Abrams

Review: Cloverfield Paradox

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So since first finding out about Cloverfield Paradox being on Netflix all on five hours ago, I've been jittery with excitement. If you read the celebration piece I did on the tenth anniversary of the original you know that the series has developed a special place in my heart. That is why I am so overjoyed to not only find out it would be available mere hours after the trailers premiere but that I am now here writing this review moments after watching it in all it's glory.

You'll excuse any over gushing as I am still on my Cloverfield high. Since this review is coming out so soon after it's release I will do you the kindness of leaving any spoilers out (less the one Netflix pulled with the snapshot from the film).
Paradox is incredible. There, I said it. It hearkens back memories of films like Paul W. S. Anderson's Event Horizon, Danny Boyle's Sunshine and to a certain extent the Barry Levinson's Sphere. It contains all the magic of extreme isolation with suspense at the hand of a mysterious outsider who's choices are as suspect as the isolation itself. Unlike those films Paradox mixes in corresponding events on Earth which parallel the fear happening on board the space/ocean vessel where our heroes are trapped.
As far as the franchise goes, this installment seems to be the one that is most closely related to the original Cloverfield. One could look at this film and believe that it's the direct cause of the events that took place in New York. Not only is this movie from the same family but also the same genus as well. Though I do like 10 Cloverfield Lane, Paradox is what I was hoping it would have been. 
The cast is comprised of stars like Miss Sloane's Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Selma's David Oyelowo, Captain America: Civil War's sad dad Daniel Brühl and, my personal favorite, IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd. O'Dowd of course steals the show whenever he is on screen with his very understated comedic relief and Mbatha-Raw does an amazing job leading the film with so much intensity and compassion your heart aches for her. 
The film is the feature length directorial debut of Julius Onah who, I don't think I am to bold to declare, has a very bright future ahead of him. What better film than this for him to wet his feet with? A huge experiment in film distribution that, based on social media reaction, is an absolute hit and we have not the last of. A move so bold and that could have potentially backfired in the faces of Netflix and JJ Abrams. Imagine if they had pulled a stunt like this with a movie like Bright? My God...

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My only criticism of this and the entire Cloverfield franchise is that it leaves you wanting a direct sequel. I promised to be spoiler free and I will uphold my end of the deal here but when the movie ends, your mouth will be agape. You will more than likely do as I did and rewind the last 30 seconds to watch it again in all it's glory only to see the end credits roll while acknowledging to yourself that you will never get an answer for what the hell you just laid eyes on. Then rewind it again. 
Do yourself a favor and watch the movie now. Even if you already have. I know I will but for now, sleep (it's past midnight and I have work in the morning).

Posted on February 5, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

Happy 10th Birthday Cloverfield!

Though Cloverfield came out ten year ago today, the build up to it's release spread all the way back well into 2007. The first footage showed no monster, no plot and, in fact, no title. Only the release date of January 18, 2008. My 28th Birthday. 

Now I was a huge fan of LOST and with JJ Abrams' name attached so were the abundant amount of theories about what this could be. A popular one, and what I was hoping it was, that whatever this was it was linked to LOST in someway. In a way I suppose it was since everything in the Abrasiverse was at the time. To the point the opening sequence of the film there is a very obvious Dharma logo on the screen.

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There were theories about the monster having some connection to Slusho! the drink featured in Abrams' Alias and also having cameo appearances in Fringe, Heroes and the film Super 8. This is due largely in part to the working title of the film being Slusho! and a viral marketing commercial for Cloverfield under the guise of the fictional Slurpee spoof. A commercial that seems bizarre at first sight but knowing the Abramsiverse, held tons of secrets.

So we are still a ways out from January 18, 2008 and I, like many, was checking fansites for clues and leaked info for some kind of clue as to what anything related to this movie was.

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Every Thursday morning I would go to a website that focused on LOST easter eggs from episodes the night before to see what I might have missed and it was no stranger to Cloverfield theories and lies. Weekly we were being treated to leaked concept art and stories from the set, all of which I was more than willing to believe. 

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Then it happens. The movie comes out and on my birthday a group of friends and I ventured to the theater to finally see if any of what we expected was true... It was not. I remember being disappointed that the monster looked like some kind of giant sperm and we never got a clear shot of the thing until the end. We were all at a loss. Like our time had somehow been wasted.

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Typical of JJ Abrams, we were left with even more questions now that the movie was over and based on how it ended, it seemed as though we would never get any explanation as to what it was, where it came from and what would happen next. This, of course, is now a theme that no longer bothers movie goers as we can turn to the internet and friends to discuss what we think a movie or series meant. Cloverfield was a victim of setting up that unique kind of movie going experience. Cut to 2016 and the release of 10 Cloverfield Lane...

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I decided to revisit the original Cloverfield to see if it was aged well with time and much to my delight, it absolutely 100% does. I saw it with fresh eyes and wish I could go back to my younger self, grab young me by the shoulders and tell him what greatness he just witnessed. Then I'd point at my red headed-friend and my wife and tell young me "Watch out for that shit right there..." and then vanish into the time-warp or however that works. 
So here we are, ten years after Cloverfield and a couple of months from third film in the bloodline, God Particle (name as of 01-18-18) which is due out in April 2018 but was due out originally in February 2017 and then February 2018. Now we wait. Maybe we will see the return of the Cloverfield monster in all it's gigantic sperm-like glory.

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So in closing, if it's been a while, I'd recommend a revisit and I want to wish Cloverfield a very Happy 10th Birthday and a Happy 38th to myself.

 

 

Posted on January 18, 2018 .