Cloverfield

Release Date: January 18, 2008


Movie of the Day for Monday, December 3, 2007
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Bad monster. Bad1

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
4/10 Amanda Jones I had high expectations, but this ranking is corrected for those. An interesting idea, but not the best execution.
15/21 Jason Lee Well-done and oddly compelling monster flick.
17/31 John Seal It's a pleasure watching the annoying characters die!
21/52 Sean Collier A breath of life into the monster genre.
22/196 Max Braden Sit as far back as you can: it's almost as if the feature-length onslaught of shaky-cam amateur video is an indictment of the YouTube generation. (The Host and 28 Weeks Later were better.)
27/31 Les Winan The concept is interesting, but it eventually feels a little dull. Maybe if half the dialogue wasn't
28/43 Kim Hollis I liked the idea more than the execution. But at least it didn't make me motion sick.
31/98 David Mumpower The camera work distracted me too much to love this, but I give huge credit for the number of good ideas explored in the film.

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What is Cloverfield?

This is the question that has been debated across North America in the hours since Transformers debuted the teaser to this upcoming 2008 release. Shrouded in mystery since its inception, the plot of Cloverfield is one of the most carefully guarded secrets in Hollywood right now. It's also a J.J. Abrams production, so it should not be surprising to hear that a couple of key players from Abrams' television shows are on board.

The writer is Drew Goddard. Goddard has been a producer on both Alias and Lost and served as co-executive producer for the latter show's 2007 episodes. Fans of Joss Whedon (and BOP knows there are a ton of you out there since we sometimes double as a Firefly fan site) also know him as a writer for several episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Goddard was the principal scribe on Dirty Girls, the episode from Buffy season seven. This episode featured the return of Faith as well as the transition of Nathan Fillion from the recently canceled Firefly to Buffy wherein he portrayed a nefarious, misogynistic man of the cloth. Goddard's work on Angel primarily occurred during that show's final season as well. He wrote the World War II submarine epic, Why We Fight, and earned his place in permanent Whedon-lore for his invention of The Immortal in The Girl in Question. Clearly, he is one of the most inventive and imaginative young writers in the industry. His presence alone is indicative of a quality work in the offing.

Abrams has not left anything to chance, though. He has also hired one of his most trusted co-workers from the early days of Felicity for this project - Matt Reeves. Reeves is the writer/director of the 1996 David Schwimmer comedy, The Pallbearer, and he served as executive producer during the run of Felicity (pre- and post-Keri Russell haircut). Reeves and Abrams created that project together with Reeves even writing and directing the pilot, so their working relationship goes back a decade now. When Goddard came up with the premise for Cloverfield, Reeves was the easy choice to helm the project.

As far as the acting talent goes, the includes Michael Stahl-David, who was last seen as Sean Donnelly in the short-lived NBC drama, The Black Donnellys. Also on board is the lovely Odette Yustman. Humorously enough, Yustman has a role in Transformers, the movie that marked the debut of the massive Internet buzz for Cloverfield. Yustman's body of work thus far is mainly comprised of television appearances. She has had key roles in 2006's South Beach as well as the current ABC drama, October Road. Finally, Lizzy Caplan completes the trend of hard working television actors ready for their big break in movies. Caplan made her debut as Sara in the critical darling from 1999, Freaks and Geeks. She's since had recurring roles on Smallville, The Pitts, Tru Calling, Related, and The Class. Perhaps her most memorable part was as Janis Ian in the 2004 blockbuster, Mean Girls.

So, that's the "who" involved in the film. As far as the "what", BOP doesn't want to spoil too much of the surprise here other than to say the following. It's a good ol' fashioned monster movie that hearkens back to a different era of movie making, but it does so while utilizing the heights of modern special effects. Hollywood has worked to perfect the apocalyptic movie in recent years with works such as 28 Weeks Later and the Dawn of the Dead re-make envisioning what the world would be like as it fell apart. Cloverfield seeks to be the next great "we're under attack and we're all going to die" action drama. (David Mumpower/BOP)




Vital statistics for Cloverfield
Main Cast Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman
Supporting Cast Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller
Director Matt Reeves
Screenwriter Drew Goddard
Distributor Paramount Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.cloverfieldmovie.com/
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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