Thursday, April 3, 2008


Only three months or so after a short run in theaters, producer J.J. Abrams and director Matt Reeves’s post-9/11 take on the giant monster genre, CLOVERFIELD, debuts on digital versatile disc in a nice special edition from Paramount.

The paper-thin plot has a group of 20-somethings attempting to find and rescue a friend in a New York City that is under assault by a strange, alien-looking gargantua and its vicious, insectoid parasites. Shot in a manner intended to simulate a first-person home video documentation of events, the film is fast-paced (once it gets going), full of surprises, and entertaining. It's about as inherently goofy as any other giant monster movie and doesn't hold up to a lot of heavy critical analysis, but you know what? It's a giant monster movie. It really doesn't need to. All it needs to do is be fun, and I thought it was definitely that.

Awesome giant monster? Check. Massive and spectacular scenes of destruction? Check. Surprises? Check. Scary scenes? Oh yeah. Moderately interesting characters? Close enough.

And, for what it's worth, I really enjoyed seeing a giant monster movie from the perspective of the civilians on the ground, rather than from the POV of yelling generals, brilliant scientists and heroic soldiers. The creature design by the Tippett studio was quite unique and unusual, as well.

Paramount’s DVD offers the film in a flawless, anamorphic widescreen presentation and 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. Special features include a commentary track by Reeves, a handful of behind-the-scenes documentaries, a few thankfully deleted scenes, a gag reel, and two alternate endings, neither of which are particularly interesting.

It’s a decent package, but I’m guessing there will be probably be a double-dip in a few months. Nevertheless, I dug the movie and recommend picking it up.

BUY: Cloverfield