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Cloverfield --> 22 April 2008 [merged]

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Cloverfield --> 22 April 2008 [merged]

Old 04-25-08, 03:40 PM
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Went to FYE today and they still had a ton of steelbooks. Watched all the easter egg videos last night. Some were lame and some were good. The Slusho commerical was so bad it was great.
Old 04-25-08, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ob1ob
I thought it was legal to make a personal backup of material you have paid for and isn't considered bootlegging as long as you are not distributing it to others. Fair use and DMCA seem to contradict each other and makes this somewhat confusing.

I was just interested in this UK version and trying to figure out how I could actually watch it if purchased. Another option is to buy a region free player, but I can't justify the expense to watch one movie.
I don't know about DVDs, but I know with CDs the RIAA has said that if you transfer a retail CD to iTunes or a similar program that is technically an illegal copy. I think it's a little far fetched, but that's the RIAA for you. I don't imagine the movie industry would be much different.
Old 04-25-08, 04:02 PM
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I hate that there is a better version with additional content not available here. Does this happen alot? I read that there isn't supposed to be another US version released in the near future, but I hope that these extras are offered here at some point. Maybe the Blu-ray will have some of these extras?
Old 04-26-08, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ob1ob
I was just interested in this UK version and trying to figure out how I could actually watch it if purchased. Another option is to buy a region free player, but I can't justify the expense to watch one movie.
Have you tried looking into seeing if your current dvd player has a hidden all region option? I have a couple of players bought here in the US that can by-pass that via remote tricks or codes.
Old 04-26-08, 03:16 PM
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No, I didn't know about this. Thanks for the info. I'm going to check into it.
Old 04-26-08, 03:19 PM
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does the standard version includes an insert?
Old 04-26-08, 03:58 PM
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ob1ob, what dvd player do you have? I know most LiteOns have a code that you can make region free. If you need any help post your model and I can see what I find too.
Old 05-03-08, 02:31 PM
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The Bestbuy Canada Slipcase looks awesome! Anyways, here is my updated Cloverfield DVDs.



Front


Back
Old 05-03-08, 10:14 PM
  #259  
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Originally Posted by JAROTO
does the standard version includes an insert?
No. I think only Disney and Fox include inserts as standard these days.
Old 05-03-08, 11:25 PM
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UK 2 Disc, same image as the Best Buy Canada

Old 05-04-08, 02:53 PM
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Silly question (and I'm not using the movie thread so I can avoid spoilers), but what is th re-watch level of this movie?

I picked up the Best Buy USA exclusive and still have it sealed, I was thinking I would rent it first and if I didn't want to watch again I could turn it on eBay, but now I'm wondering if I should just open the damn thing and enjoy it. I'm a big fan of the Godzilla flicks (have almost every US released DVD), is this similar enough?

tks
Old 05-04-08, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by milo bloom
Silly question (and I'm not using the movie thread so I can avoid spoilers), but what is th re-watch level of this movie?
It seems to be some really didn't like the movie but a good number did. Some don't like the shaky cam thing.... and the style of the entire movie is pretty much this way. I think it's rewatchable but I'm sure others would disagree.

Originally Posted by milo bloom
I'm a big fan of the Godzilla flicks (have almost every US released DVD), is this similar enough?tks
It is and it isn't. Yes, a big monster terrorizes a big city but the movie follows the experience of a small group of people. The only time you see glimpses of the monster is when they do. I'm a big Godzilla fan and I also enjoyed Cloverfield.
Old 05-04-08, 03:36 PM
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It's funny you should mention this, because even though I didn't catch the movie in theaters, the FYE steelbook is so cool that I thought about just blind buying it. I actually enjoyed the 1998 remake of Godzilla, but I did not like The Blair Witch Project, so I thought to be on the safe side, I'd dl and watch the movie before I purchased.

And I'm glad I did. Make no mistake about it, Cloverfield is scary, creepy, and utterly fascinating. It's well-made, touching, but downbeat. In my opinion, I don't think I'll ever see it again. I don't think I ever want to see it again. Not because it's bad or anything, but because it is a bit of downer. So if you're looking for monster fun, this is half it. It's got the monster, but it is not fun.
Old 05-04-08, 03:41 PM
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So closer to the original Japanese cut of the first Godzilla? (More somber and introspective).

I think I'm going to just open it and enjoy it for what it's worth.

thanks all
Old 05-04-08, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by milo bloom
So closer to the original Japanese cut of the first Godzilla? (More somber and introspective).
I just watched it last night and, frankly, I it's neither somber nor introspective. One reviewer wrote that it does not seem to have anything interesting to say about anything, and that's pretty much how I feel about it. If you're looking for nuanced character studies, social commentaries, reflection on the meaning of existence, or multi-layered analysis of human behavior in the face of the unknown--look elsewhere. If you want to see a bunch of one-dimensional (and exceedingly annoying) characters make one stupid decision after another while a giant monster wrecks Manhattan, this might actually be a decent choice.

I think the most profound question Cloverfield left me with is: how the hell do you get to be a vice-president of anything in your mid-twenties?

This is not to say that it has nothing going on for itself, mind you. It doesn't try to answer all the questions and explain every single plot detail, so throughout the whole film we know exactly as much as the main characters, which is next to nothing. (Although I do have a creeping suspicion that this has been done primarily so that all the missing details can sold to willing audiences in the form of tie-ins and sequels.) It does not have a happy end. It does, however, have a few genuinely funny moments. The shaky-cam aesthetics... not for everyone, but it does have a certain appeal and it seems to go well with the material.

But really, I think it could have been much better. The characters are so incredibly irritating that I found myself actually wishing horrible things upon them. Sorta destroys the identification...
Old 05-04-08, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by .unholy
I think the most profound question Cloverfield left me with is: how the hell do you get to be a vice-president of anything in your mid-twenties?
Actually, it's pretty easy. Small company. Or a large company with tons of branches that will have a VP instead of an office manager. Some companies it's a fairly meaningless title.

But that's neither here nor there
Old 05-05-08, 01:10 PM
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Perhaps the original Godzilla wasn't the best benchmark, so how about in comparison to the 1998 Devlin/Emmerich Godzilla?

tks
Old 05-05-08, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by .unholy
If you're looking for nuanced character studies, social commentaries, reflection on the meaning of existence, or multi-layered analysis of human behavior in the face of the unknown--look elsewhere.
With all the information out there about this movie and the marketing campaign leading up to the film's release, I can't imagine many people were going in expecting any of that. It's an hour and a half of footage from a person's video camera. I think it's pretty cool for what it is.
Old 05-05-08, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Wallet Boy
With all the information out there about this movie and the marketing campaign leading up to the film's release, I can't imagine many people were going in expecting any of that.
Maybe so. Then again, look at The Mist. It has a very similar basic premise (in general terms), and it still managed a decent stab at all of the above.

For me, Cloverfield is something of a wasted opportunity. There is a lot of potential there, precisely because it's "an hour and a half of footage from a person's video camera." Sure, it's a monster movie. But it could have also been much more than that. Given all the not-so-subtle references to 9/11, one would hope for some kind of reflection on... anything, really. Instead, we get a bunch of cliched characters doing cliched things. It just feels like a cop-out to me.
Old 05-05-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by .unholy
Instead, we get a bunch of cliched characters doing cliched things.
Hmmm. That sounds just like THE MIST to me. I'd rather have no pretension as far as character development goes as in CLOVERFIELD where the characters are just regular people (and, yes, maybe not so bright) dealing with a catastrophe instead of the usual cliched unbelievable stereotype fictional characters we've seen a billion times before in movies such as THE MIST. The characters in THE MIST are so fabricated and fake that there is absolutely no sense of reality - and the several so-called major characters in the film are so ridiculously handled in the absolutely stupid and false 'shock' ending which was just trying to be 'a downer shocker', but completely contradictory to any of the character traits shown before. If you don't like CLOVERFIELD, fine, but don't use a generic crappy Stephen King adaptation that got dumb mainstream audiences shocked only because of its false and cheat "shock ending". That's an easy cop-out.

Last edited by man*machine; 05-05-08 at 09:44 PM.
Old 05-05-08, 09:43 PM
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Double post
Old 05-06-08, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by man*machine
If you don't like CLOVERFIELD, fine, but don't use a generic crappy Stephen King adaptation that got dumb mainstream audiences shocked only because of its false and cheat "shock ending".
Oh, I'm gonna. For a number of reasons.

First, the characters in The Mist may be cliched too (and I never said they are not), but at least the film attempts to give them some psychological dimension. Whether it succeeds is obviously open to debate, but at least there's an effort. What kind of psychology do we have at work in Cloverfield? One guy with an ill-conceived hero complex, and three people that sort of trail behind him, against better judgment. And my complaint isn't even that the characters are underdeveloped--it's that the script does not even try to develop them: here's a freaky girl who wasn't even supposed to be there, here's a dorky guy who has a crush on her, etc., etc. It may be enough to get the story going, but not enough to make it interesting.

Second, as a consequence of the above, the movie fails to create any real sense of connection with or sympathy for the characters. Even slasher horrors, famous for their rosters of characters whose only function is to die a spectacularly gory death, typically have at least one person the audience is supposed to identify with and root for. And since Cloverfield's ambitions are obviously much higher, it's all the more disappointing that it doesn't even offer this much. We don't really know who the protagonists are (other than annoying), we don't know why they do what they do--how are we supposed to care for them? Without any emotional investment, who gives a gerbil's ass about their fate? This sort of a story doesn't work very well if all the characters feel disposable.

(I have to admit, though, that this may have at least partially do to with the fact that I find it much easier to identify with a fortysomething guy concerned about his family that with a bunch of snotty, overprivileged twenty-year-olds.)

Third, speaking of emotional investment--this is precisely why the ending of The Mist works for me, while the ending of Cloverfield does not. We may have seen the characters before, but at least they are handled proficiently enough to create some sense of connection. So, if the ending of The Mist is a "downer," it is only so because it has an emotional impact. (By the way, I don't believe that the ending in any way contradicts previous characterization. In any case, at least there is some characterization to speak of... And don't fall for the faux "realism" of Cloverfield--its characters are no more "actual people" than those of The Mist) Also--and this is something lost on many viewers--while on the immediate narrative level The Mist may be a "downer," it actually has an unambiguously positive message. What exactly does Cloverfield have to say?

Finally, speaking of "originality"--I'm not going to argue that The Mist is not cliched in its own way. It is, and I certainly don't claim it's a masterpiece. (Then again, with over a hundred years of cinema history behing us, what is there that we haven't seen before?) It does, however, deserve some credit for attempting to transcend its cliches (something it does pretty successfully, I think). Clovefield, on the other hand, may be visually impressive, but it fails to live up to its own aesthetics. It lacks substance, and, as a result, the verite-style cinematography and editing become just empty formal gestures (I am not a huge fan of The Blair Witch Project, but even that did a better job of using its "pretend-realism" approach to convey a sense of terror and document the character's psychological disintegration).

All in all, I stand by my original point: imperfect as it may be, The Mist still manages to convey a sense of social and psychological forces at work in a critical situation. Cloverfield does not.

So yes, I did not particularly like Cloverfield. And I AM gonna use the "generic crappy Stephen King adaptation" as my counter-example. Because for me it still works better.

Anyways, this is based on my own movie watching history, experiences, and preferences. It's my personal opinion--no more, no less. And I'm gonna stop here, since this is not the right thread for this kind of discussion.

Last edited by .unholy; 05-06-08 at 12:01 PM.
Old 05-06-08, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by .unholy

Anyways, this is based on my own movie watching history, experiences, and preferences. It's my personal opinion--no more, no less. And I'm gonna stop here, since this is not the right thread for this kind of discussion.
Ya, I should never have brought up that craptacular ending to THE MIST again as I have discussed it elsewhere - and I do believe it is a ridiculous ending and had me laughing at its stupidity when I saw it in the theater - not because of it being a 'downer' (I love downer endings, if they are believable), but because it's so false. It takes those characters one minute to decide to do what they do when there is still hope - after struggling every way they can prior. It's a cheap screenwriting tactic for shock-value only. The only shock is that it's so dumb.

Your opinion on CLOVERFIELD is completely valid. If you don't like it, you don't like it. But asking for character development and personal psychology for these characters when the whole concept of the film is supposed to be 'found footage' - and having characters' backstories and psychological histories would completely counteract the technique of the film. This is not the standard narrative 'story film' like THE MIST where we want to really know these people. I didn't care about the characters in CLOVERFIELD either - but that's not what it was about for me. The feeling of being part of the scenario as if you were there is what I got out of it. And that's what it was attempting to do and I thought it did it pretty well. If that does nothing for you or you thought it didn't work, fine. But slamming the film because you feel THE MIST is better even though they use two entirely different narrative techniques and are two entirely different approaches to a story. A lot of people hated BLAIR WITCH and OPEN WATER as well, for the same type of reason. But those films are what they are because they do ditch the formulaic story-telling technique. Sometimes it's NOT just all about the characters. I think THE MIST had higher aspirations and a better script, sure - but it failed in my eyes. CLOVERFIELD tried something different and maybe there was barely a script there, but it set out to do one thing and it accomplished it.

Anyway, blasting a movie just because it's taking a different approach and you want characters and psychology in all your films may be a valid opinion, but that's like me reviewing a romantic comedy even though I hate romantic comedies.
Old 05-06-08, 12:51 PM
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I'm just going to open the damn thing and enjoy that new DVD smell.

Maybe I'll open up some new Magic cards and sniff them while I'm at it.
Old 05-06-08, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by man*machine
Anyway, blasting a movie just because it's taking a different approach and you want characters and psychology in all your films may be a valid opinion, but that's like me reviewing a romantic comedy even though I hate romantic comedies.
See, the difference here is that I'm actually a huge fan of sci-fi. I'm just sick and tired of leaving the theater with the thought "This could have been such a great movie, if only..." (And this is something I've been doing a lot in the past few years.)

Anyways, I don't think I've "slammed" or "blasted" Cloverfield. This, in my mind, would involve baseless criticism or outright dismissal. Possibly both. Again, I'm not saying this is a bad movie; I AM saying that it does not live up to its potential. It has many redeeming qualities, but in my opinion they are not able to outweigh its problems.

As for the notion of "characters and psychology" in my films... You cannot really make a film without them. It would be like trying to make a film without cinematography. If it has people in it, it will have characters and psychology. There is no way to avoid that. But, it can be done well, or it can be done poorly. My impression is that Cloverfield does it poorly.

I appreciate the fact that it does take a "different approach." But doing things differently does not justify fundamental flaws in characterization. Cloverfield may be made to look like found footage, but it's still a film. (And, underneath the home video aesthetics, it's a pretty standard narrative film, too.) There is nothing found, accidental, or random about it. There are ways to bring better character development into the story, without compromising the overall vision. That the creators didn't do it was a conscious choice on their part, a choice that in my view works to the film's detriment.

Obviously, Cloverfield has its merits. But I am not able to judge it on merits alone. If it was just about thrills and kills, a "like you are there" ride--fine. However, I have a distinct impression that it aims higher than it can reach. I have to come back to my previous example here: there are a number of scenes that very clearly strive to evoke the imagery of 9/11. Why? Search me. This could have been a great opportunity for some kind of philosophical reflection. Why the makers of the movie decided not to pursue this, I do not know. Maybe they didn't know how. Maybe they were afraid the "dumb mainstream audience" will not appreciate it. Maybe they were afraid of where it might take them. Bottom line is, it's not there. And without it the parallels to the events of 9/11 are pointless and gratuitous. This, for me, is much more of a "cheap screenwriting tactic for shock-value only" than the ending of The Mist.

Who knows? Maybe I'm looking for something that wasn't meant to be there in the first place. I think, though, that Cloverfield repeatedly and consistently signals that it wants to be much more than it is. Wheteher it fails because of reluctance to seriously engage the ideas with which it is obviously fascinated, fear of negative response on the part of the audience, or sheer incompetence--I truly can't say.

We're not gonna settle this debate, you know...

Oh, and milo--you're absolutely right. Just watch it decide for yourself.

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