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Cloverfield (Blu-ray)

I’m more of an action type of guy myself instead of suspense and thriller films, but when Cloverfield came on to the horizon with some tongue-wetting teasers, I had to check it out. I personally hadn’t heard of the films main stars Michael Stahl-David, Odette Yustman and T.J. Miller, among others, and therefore wasn’t expecting the top Hollywood film that Cloverfield ended up being.

cloverfield Cloverfield (Blu ray)

The film’s style is far different than anything I’ve witnessed before, which in my opinion is a good thing as it introduces something fresh to the genre and the film world. The majority of Cloverfield is shot through a High Definition Camcorder and this allows the events of the film to be viewed through one of the characters perspectives. The result of a camcorder being used brings a rather shaky feel to the film which is a bit like marmite; you either love it or hate it! I personally favoured this view as it really allows you to get in touch with the character called “Hud” who is played by T.J. Miller. Some people have actually complained of having motion sickness from watching Cloverfield, so if you suffer from such illnesses, you might want to give this one a miss.

The adventure starts with a surprise party for Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) who is moving to Japan in the near future to further his career. Hud plans to film the events through a camcorder so that Rob, his best friend, will be able to relive the memories further down the line. The party turns tense when Beth McIntyre (Odette Yustman) and her boyfriend turn up; a past girlfriend of Rob’s, and somebody who still, deniably, has feelings for. This surprise party allows the film to develop it’s characters extremely well, with the camcorder being put to good use via Hud interviewing people for their thoughts about Rob leaving the country. I felt particularly involved with characters after this sequence and knew their thoughts and feelings well, and this was an important set-up for what was to come.

As the party is in full flow, New York City suddenly starts being attacked. The guests watch in horror as what appears to be missiles blow up a near-by bridge, leaving the guests in fear of a terrorist attack. Further events keep happening throughout the city until one of the guests catches sight of what appears to be a terrifying monster running rampant throughout New York. Rob’s first though is of his love Beth, hoping she is ok; however, he is informed that Beth went back to her apartment across the city and could be in danger. Without a second thought, Rob courageously goes in search for Beth and save her from whatever is attacking the famous city. His best friends can’t just watch Rob put his life on the line and therefore decide to help him in his quest, with Hud filming the whole adventure through his camcorder; and this is ultimately what us, the audience, witnesses.

cloverfield 2 300x219 Cloverfield (Blu ray)

Clover only has a runtime of 84 minutes which seems a little short compared to other recent movies, but the film is paced well and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The mixture of a love story, character development and action and suspense scenes as the heroes battle pass the dangers of a city under attack work well and provide a nice amount of variety to the film. The unknown actors and actresses showed that they’re destined for future hits by producing very capable performances; I often forgot I was watching a movie and instead watching these people use their heart before their heads as they risk it all.

Some viewers might be disappointed with the ending of the film as it still leaves many questions unanswered, but this inevitably sets up a sequel which I very much look forward to. Overall, the film comes highly recommended if you are a fan of the suspense or action genres, or even enjoy some tantalising special effects as they are in abundance in Cloverfield.

The Video:

Many fans of the film were worried how the picture would turn out on Blu-ray due to the majority of the movie being recorded via a camcorder, but they would not have been disappointed. The camcorder used was infact a new and very expensive High Definition camcorder which records in a resolution of 1080p, the highest available on Blu-ray. This allows for a beautifully sharp image throughout the film, producing perfect black levels in the creepy scenes and large amounts of detail. A scene where the Statue of Liberty gets decapitated and it’s head lands inches from the cast comes to mind. The historic figures head glistens memorisingly in the little light that remains, and many scratches from the fall are all clearly visible on the object.

Audio:

Cloverfield includes a Dolby 5.1 True HD soundtrack which will blow your mind away, and possibly your speakers aswell! The soundtrack is very loud throughout and truly uses every speaker to present an atmospheric feel to the film. Every small noise produced by terrifying foes is picked up in tense scenes, whereas the films closing sequences will leave you more than pleased; and possibly deaf!

Special Features:

Cloverfield features a good amount of Special Features, with 6 of them being displayed in High Definition. The most intriguing of all has to be what Paramount has called a “GPS Tracker”. This is a clever feature which when turned on allows you to see the creatures position along with the position of the characters in the city at the same time. A pretty pointless feature, but a fun one all the same.

The Making of Cloverfield, events showing how the visual effects and monster were created, deleted scenes AND alternate endings are all displayed in HD and provide some great extra viewing for fans of the film.

Summary:

If you want to be kept on the edge of your seat in a suspenseful and action packed film for 84 minutes, then Cloverfield is for you. The shaky camcorder style and brilliant acting provides a creepy atmosphere for a story of love and fear. The film takes full advantage of the Blu-ray format with stunning picture quality and an audio track that will burst your ear drums. A plethora of special features extends the life of the disk and therefore makes this a must buy for fans of the film. If you haven’t witnessed the film before and you want a frightening and enjoyable experience, check Cloverfield out! Highly recommended

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