Originally posted Feb 5, '08 on slangards.multiply.com
I hate hype.
Hype is what people throw at you when they know their stuff sucks. More often than not, you'll hear about how great something is on the Net, get worked up with the geekspeak and marketing blurbs being thrown around and then when you go see it... it totally blows. I feel that way about alot of things. Blair Witch. Transformers. Narnia. Sliced Bread.
Every once in a while though, there's a movie that actually lives up to the hype. Cloverfield is one of those.
I remember seeing the trailer last year, and I wondered if I had walked in late and missed something. It didn't have the title of the movie at the end so I said "hmm, that looks cool. wonder what it's for..." then promptly forgot that it existed. Then Marco brought it up in his usual style (something along the lines of "You haven't heard of Cloverfield? What kind of geek are you? Loser.) and I looked it up online. I found a mess of a marketing on the net; an ingenious conglomeration of viral campaigns and supposed "leaks" of the monster that threatened to ruin it for any monster movie maniac.
But that's where the movie really gets you. It's NOT a monster movie. Sure there's a monster. Everyone saw the grainy net photos and the crappy gif animations. It's huge. It's ugly. It's got testicles for ears. However, the monster ISN'T the focus. I repeat. It ISN'T important. Forget about Mr. Slugbody. He's just a big, ugly plot device.
It's the bystanders that are important. This is a movie about the people in the streets. The people who run from the big lizards shouting "Gojira! Gojira!". Those poor bastards who got ripped to shreds in Jurassic Park. All those nobodies in the comics who are never mentioned plummeting to their death when Superman plows through a building or squished flat when Magneto levels a city.
Cloverfield is about drama. It's the most intense suspense I've seen in quite a while. I found myslef holding my breath constantly waiting for the next thing to happen. I'm pleasantly suprised that JJ Abrahms is part of this, since I've basically boycotted his TV franchises.
Here's hoping he doesn't fuck up Star Trek.