Cloverfield

January 18, 2008

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So I saw “Cloverfield” this morning. As I am sure you are all intensely waiting for my opinion, I will hold back no further.

3 Stars.

It was decent. It was exactly what I expected, except maybe the ending was a little better than I had anticipated. Although it was shot in hand cams, it was still thoroughly watchable. I think if you are fan of horror films, or more specifically monster movies, like Godzilla, you will love it. It is about a implausible monster romping through New York. It was good because it didn’t try to be anything more than it was, a fun movie. There was no religious parable, no big brother like conspiracies, and no delusions of grandeur.

According to an review by Kurt Loder:

“Cloverfield” is a nifty update of the ’50s schlock monster movie, mercifully unadulterated by delusions of contemporary relevance or nitwit nudge-wink irony. The picture is what it is: A group of people whose chances of survival wouldn’t appear to be much of a betting matter encounter a rampaging behemoth from who knows where and spend the rest of the film trying not to attract its sustained interest. It’s a movie that aspires only to be scary, and succeeds.

While I am giving it a generally good review, and thought Kurt Loder summed it up well. There is one part that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Visually it is strongly reminiscent of 9/11, which is understandable since buildings are falling and people are running. But there are more than a few shots that look like cheap imitations of CNN footage, and there are comments about a possible terrorist origin of the attack when they first witness it. I guess to seem realistic, a bunch of New Yorkers watching buildings explode and fall are going to wonder if it is terrorists. But it seemed a little exploitative.


TV Night

October 15, 2007

It’s Monday night, so let’s be quick. No offense, I love you all, but I love Heroes more. So in honor of my Monday TV obsession I thought, what better way to combine my interests than to blog about TV. I’ll let you in on the best kept secrets of this season’s television. The show you have to watch, how my normal favorites are doing, and the surprise hits.

  1. Heroes remains the best show on television. Check it out, I insist. I know you might feel behind if you haven’t seen the first season, but you can rent it, or buy it, or read the summaries, or watch it online, or I can inform you of every detail in the hopes you will watch it. It benefits everyone if you watch it.
  2. My Usual Suspects:
    1. The L Word: hot chic lesbian drama that is billed as the gay sex in the city, but it is already several seasons in so it might be hard to catch up
    2. South of Nowhere: cheesy high school drama, short but addictive
    3. Prison Break: I actually think this ‘jumped shark’ and so I pretty much stopped watching it
    4. Simpsons/Family Guy: Still funny, yet not funny enough to watch each week. I highly recommend telebinging on several episodes at a time
    5. Weeds: excellent comedy-drama with fabulous mary louise parker, this season is a little heavy on the drama side, but still worth watching
  3. THE NEW SHOWS YOU MUST SEE
    1. Pushing Daisies
    2. Californication

Pushing Daisies is the new quirky comedy on ABC on Wednesday nights. The premise is Ned, an adorable pie maker, has the ability to bring the dead back to life with one touch. The complications are if he ever touches them again they die for good, and also if he doesn’t touch them in one minute someone else dies. Sounds incredible weird huh? Well I thought so and didn’t bother to watch the premiere. Then the reviews started pouring in about how great it was. So I gave it a chance, and it is excellent. It is a bit of an acquired taste so I really had to sit through the whole first episode, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised. The show is over the top and colorful so it is fun to watch. But it is also a little dark, maybe a little jaded at times. The writing is very sharp wit, and Ned delivers every line in perfect dead pan (along the lines of Gilmore Girls writing). It is sort of a sci fi, comedy/drama adventure told in an adult fairytale, filled with magical delight. But above all it is a love story. The whole episodes are on ABC.com so you can check it out. Most of the clips are getting pulled down off of youtube, this is from the first episode.

The other must see show of this season is Californication. It pains me to admit it, since I hate the lead actor and hate this growing trend of making California seem like the coolest place on earth. The show received critical praise, but I assumed it was the same assholes who like Entourage (the biggest piece of garbage to hit premium tv) because they don’t get enough in real life. And while Californication can get a little preachy/pretensious at moments, the writing in great with very realistic dialogue and very sarcastic humor. I also think it has what a lot of shows really lack, hook. I might hate many of the characters but I really want to know what is going to happen next. I am about half way through the season and can’t wait to see the rest.