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Cloverfield

A trailer for 10 Cloverfield Ln dropped a few weeks ago and people went insane. The film had been on nobody's radar (not even mine), and now we've got this wrapped in secret sequel to a successful film whose release was also shrouded in mystery. I'll leave the squee-ing over the details of that sequel for it's inevitable write up. First, I wanted to revisit the original and give myself a refresher on that phenomenon.

Anyone remember the original mania back in 2008? A mysterious trailer began making its rounds, and every mention of it provided more questions than answers. What did we know before we saw it? It was some sort of large scale disaster movie, told through found footage. But what was the disaster? Why was NYC in peril (yet again)? Who were these people running around? And what the heck is this movie? People weren't able to catch the title (I heard many mistakenly think it was Bad Robot, which is the production company), and once they did, it only added to the mystery. It was eventually revealed that the name really didn't mean much. It was the cross street outside the filmmakers' office window. (My next trip to LA, my buddy was sure to point out Cloverfield Blvd every time we passed it).

My first priority in watching this was I wanted to see what long forgotten cast members have gone on to bigger and better. Right away, "OMG that's TJ Miller!" You don't see much of him, as he's the one "documenting" for most of the time, but it does mean we constantly have his color commentary. Those of you more familiar with his work (including the recent Deadpool) know he's genius at improvisation, a skill which was put to much use here. A few minutes later "What? Lizzy Caplan? In a post Mean Girls world, wouldn't we have recognized her sooner?" Apparently not. And one more actress who looked familiar, I later learned was Dr Adams towards the end of House.

So clearly I didn't remember the cast. There wasn't much else I did remember. Something about running through the subway tunnels. There may have been a helicopter. There's a party and then a Godzilla-esque creature attacks. I mean, I guess there's not really much else you need to know besides that.

It sort of holds up. There's a lot of camera trickery at play to A)maintain the mystery by selectively showing things and B)keep within a minimalist budget. On those fronts it totally works. I think it can get away with never really answering questions because it makes sure the focus is on getting our cast to safety and not in figuring out what's going on. Yeah, some people do dumb things, but that's every movie.

One other surprise, I hadn't realized this was written by Drew Goddard. The same Drew Goddard whose Academy Award nomination for The Martian screenplay I reveled in. The same who wrote Cabin in the Woods with Joss Whedon (and contributed to his various other ventures). Alas, he appears unattached to the next installment, but this was quite a springboard for his career.

Anyways, let's bring on the sequel!
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