I'm turning my many open hours now to movie-viewing. Apparently we don't own anything good like, oh say, "Forrest Gump"or "Sleepless in Seattle" or even "Gone with the Wind", but we have thousands of videos of crap with titles that include words such as 'outer space', 'amazon women', 'return of...', 'from beyond' and 'horror'.
I found "Cloverdale" in the garage between "Hell's Angels on Wheels" and "Virgin Witch". I know I'm way behind on this, but it was something to do while I stayed busy with costumes...
I'm not going to make a habit of reviewing movies, but this one just begged to be put in its place.
This was, in short, a horror melodrama. I looked up 'melodrama' in the dictionary and this is what it said: " a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause and effect and that exaggerates emotion and emphasizes plot or action at the expense of characterization."
First of all, turn on the #$%@ lights. I HATE these movies where you can't see anything. ANYthing! Like "Alien" (the first one was the only one I saw) and "The Poseidon Adventure". OMG. It just gets old. I was WAY past wanting to know what was going on in the dark ten minutes into it. And hold the camera still. I know, I know...it was supposed to be realistic and real people can't hold the camera still when buildings are blowing up and large monsters are chasing them. They also can't hold it still when they're falling off a roof or someone runs over them with a bicycle. We learned that from watching "America's Funniest Home Videos". People can't hold the camera still. The difference is that AFHV clips are like 30 seconds long. This was a freaking...what...three hours???
Second, these teens or 20-somethings or whatever they were. We first met this sort in "The Breakfast Club" and later in "St. Elmo's Fire". They think they're invincible and they have authority issues. In short, rules were not made for them. Were they for real? Everybody, especially 20-somethings, thinks they're a super hero: Batman, one of the Watchmen, or John McClane. Please. Who do you think you are? This is a generation of kids that started out begging for a candy bar in the grocery store: ("Please, Mom." "No." Please, Mom." "No." "Please, Mom." "Okay.") and now are defying men with guns in life and death situations. If I had been the National Guard trying to get them on that helicopter, I'd have just shot them to get them out of my face. "Get on the helicopter." "No." Get on the helicopter." "No." "Get on the helicopter." "No." BLAMMO!!
The opening party sequence went on way too long. Was that supposed to make me have empathy and care about these characters when they start dropping like flies (mostly because of their own stupidity)? Shades of "Less than Zero". Boring, self-indulgence. And that was one amazing vid-cam battery, wasn't it???
My three least favorite phrases:
1) I'm going with you.
2) We gotta get out of here.
3) Are you okay?
Let's address them one at a time.
1) "I'm going with you." What kind of simple-minded female (because it's always a female, now, isn't it?) says this? I wonder why they didn't just start playing Little Peggy March's hit, "..I will follow him...follow him wherever he may go...there isn't an ocean too deep...a monster so scary that would keep...keep me away!" Gag. I promise you, this is something you will never hear me say. More than likely, I would say, "I'm getting the $#% out of here. You do what's best for you." Or maybe even, "You're coming with me or you're going to sit in time out." Begging the fact that the only ones I would ever have to say this to were my kids, of course.
2) "We gotta get outta here." No shit, Sherlock. And if you weren't so bent on "I'm going with you", you could have had your chance!!! Any number of times!!!
3) "Are you okay?" FUCK, NO, we're not okay!!! NONE OF US WILL EVER BE OKAY AGAIN!!! We're talking PTSD for LIFE, IF we live. This one here has lost all his family members. This one here has been bitten by a giant bug (which we saw in "King Kong", thank you very much). This one here just got half-eaten by Carnasaur (but the camera survived!!) OMG.
So what happened to the chick that got bit? Did she just explode? Apparently. No original ideas here. That was the ONE scene from "Alien" that took place in a clean, well-lit room.
Did they really think that girl was still alive, still there, waiting for them at the apartment??? Yes. They. Did. And by golly, she was! Under a bunch of crap, but her beautiful and emotive face were virtually untouched.
The dialogue. Excuse while I get my barf bag. Who wrote this? George Lucas?
Her: "Is it really you? Oh...you...came...back...for me..."
Him: "Of course I did..." [background roaring and rumbling] "OH SHIT!! We gotta get outta here." Such poignancy.
Okay. Yes, it did have two things going for it:
1) In spite of the annoying camera work, it was innovative. Sort of like "Blair Witch", but updated...
2) And the obvious 9/11 similarities were chilling. But that's all.
So here comes Charlie, my 17-year-old. He says, "You obviously didn't understand it. And by the way, it's Cloverfield, not Cloverdale." Well, whatever. It was still stupid.