So.... I went to see the movie Cloverfield tonight. It totally made me want to throw up - I mean literally. Not because of the neat concept, not because of the likeable characters, not because of the sweet little love story wrapped up in a monster movie, not because the monster was hideous - No! I was nauseous because of the 84 minutes of HAND-HELD CAMERA WORK. It was supposed to be shaky because it depicted what someone might have done with their camcorder if they were in that type of situation, but, PLEASE, try a tripod every now and then. The best parts were when they set the camera down to move rubble or pick someone up - only because the frame was still. Every time they dropped the camera, I hoped that they would die so that the movie would be over. My friends and I literally had to sit in the car a few minutes to let the nausea subside before driving home.
Here is an example of the camera work that is used throughout the film:
That's just an example; at least the monster in my movie is way cuter and only half as destructive as Cloverfield's monster.
I actually did like the concept, and the way the film cut back to a previously recorded "day at Coney Island" to carry the love story was very neat, but I couldn't get past the cinematography.They did some neat things with the CG animation and effects, and the mixing of those elements into the "video recording" was excellent, but barf city. I spent probably more than 20 minutes with my eyes closed or my hands partially covering the screen.
Why didn't I leave? Well, I was with friends, and I didn't know if they were loving the film or not, and crazily enough, I kept thinking maybe they'll cut to a normal camera. Well, at the end, I booed the movie - have you ever done that?It's very empowering! My friends said that they were glad I booed because they didn't want to hurt my feelings by saying how sick the film made them.
Again, I liked the concept and the idea of the love story, but to paraphrase Nina Garcia (fashion director of Elle Magazine and judge on Project Runway), "It failed in the execution."