Friday, April 4, 2008

Cloverfield DVD Reviews & Party Mix Exclusive

Obsessed with Film spends most of its review rehashing what they didn't like about Cloverfield, but does digress from recycling their old opinions long enough to offer a few fresh judgments of the special features:


Overall, the DVD extras reveal the true and first love motivating this film: special effects. Everything covered and talked about by anyone involves the elaborate special effects. Nobody seems especially interested in characters, motivation, direction, or any other facet of filmmaking. A very telling detail, indeed.

Director’s Commentary- Matt Reeves spends most of the film explaining many of the seen and unseen effects of the film, from hidden video edits to extensive greenscreen shots. He seems like a clever and thoughtful director, someone whose skills I would like to see in smaller productions.

The Making of Cloverfield- A chronological look behind the scenes at the making of this film. It’s breathtaking how quickly this film went from script to screen, especially considering the amount of effects work required. It was also fascinating to see the “run and gun” approach used to capture the real-world elements, all the while sticking closely to the detailed animatics. There’s a terrific quote near the end of this documentary: “If I were a kid, and I saw this movie, I’d be empowered and excited to go make movies like this on my own.” I understand the sentiment, but we really don’t need more movies quite like this.

Cloverfield Visual Effects- Yep, more special effects breakdowns. Given the frantic camerawork, many of these effects shots were unbelievably difficult. Thank God for CGI, eh?? While many of the effects don’t work for me on repeated viewings, they work amazingly well under the circumstances. These aren’t static shots of Naboo; the effects artists had to realistically render a monster into hysterical home-movie footage. Not easy.

I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge!- This is a peculiar look at the film’s monster. It’s a bit jarring to hear everyone associated with the film refer to a 350 foot, supposedly-intimidating monster as “Clover.” As I said in my review, the monster is the second-weakest element in the film - the “characters” being the first. Seeing the maquettes of this laughable creature only made me wonder even more at the choice. Again, I appreciate the creativity behind it, but ultimately it doesn’t compete with the monster greats of the past. Not even close.

Clover Fun - Outtakes. Barely fun.

Deleted Scenes - The few included here do little to enhance the movie, since they mainly involve more running in the streets.

Alternate Ending - Pointless, since it’s basically the same ending with a slightly different, more-obvious coda.
ING's review doesn't get into the guts of the DVD until Page 2. They give it high scores across the board summing it up with:

The standard edition of Cloverfield is an outstanding disc that should not be missed. The disc comes packed with interesting extras and features an exceptional audio and video transfer that is certain to get any audience member's adrenaline pumping.
Notably lacking in both reviews is any mention of the viral marketing campaign's back-story.

Finally, MovieWeb has a press release detailing an exclusive Rob's Goin' to Japan Party Mix CD which will be included only in Target's version of the DVD. The tracks:

    1. OK GO * Here It Goes Again
    2. Goldfrapp * Ooh La La
    3. Coconut Records * West Coast
    4. Scissors for Lefty * Got Your Moments
    5. The Vapors * Turning Japanese
    6. Parliament * Give Up The Funk
    7. Of Montreal * Wraith Pinned To The Mist
    8. The Blood Arm * Do I Have Your Attention?
    9. Bright Eyes * Four Winds
Press Release:

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. - Discover more clues and unravel the mystery of producer J.J. Abrams' and director Matt Reeves' monster hit when "CLOVERFIELD" smashes its way onto DVD April 22, 2008 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Earning over $80 million at the domestic box office, "CLOVERFIELD" thrilled critics and audiences alike with its shocking, first-person video account of a horrifying attack on Manhattan by an unknown-and seemingly unstoppable-force. Called "a true milestone" (Harry Knowles, Aint It Cool News), "a real jolt" (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune) and "a giant shot of adrenaline" (Leonard Maltin, "Entertainment Tonight"), "CLOVERFIELD" delivers "a terrific movie, filled with spectacle" (Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle). The "CLOVERFIELD" DVD features revealing bonus material including alternate endings, deleted scenes, "The Making of "CLOVERFIELD"", a look at the visual effects, commentary by director Matt Reeves and more.


Ray said...

The DVD doesn't contain any information about the viral marketing campaign of the film, which I thought was a real letdown since that's half the story here.

In my review, I didn't simply rehash my old review, as you put it. My initial review for the film was much more positive, simply because the film is an adrenaline rush the first time. But, looking at the film a second time reveals several problems. I felt it was important in this case to compare/contrast my initial feelings with a second look, primarily because the film itself was designed as a marketing/cultural event, and is therefore more disposable.

Edward said...

Apologies if I was unfair. Really just a lot to report and not a lot of time to do it in. Thank you though for the review. And thank you very much for confirming the absence of details about the viral campaign. It is a real disappointment which ING seems to have missed, "Cloverfield's behind-the-scenes content is sure to be one of the biggest drawing points of the disc. Fortunately, the DVD's producers recognized this..."

Anyway, thanks for the confirmation. Looks like the double-dip is a done deal.