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Cloverfield 4K UHD Steelbook Review

“Cloverfield” is an overhyped, but intense ride. 

15 years ago prior to the release of “Cloverfield” (yes, it really is the 15th anniversary), the Bad Robot/J.J. Abrams produced film was shrouded in mystery. Upon release, it turned out to be a rather simplistic found footage monster movie. With that said, it’s still a memorable monster movie.

Directed by Matt Reeves (who later went on to helm 2 great “Planet of the Apes” movies and last year’s spectacular “The Batman”) and written by Drew Goddard, “Cloverfield” begins with a party being thrown for Rob (who is moving to Japan for work). Among those attending this party are his brother Jason, Jason’s girlfriend Lily, Rob’s best friend Hud, a young woman (Marlena), and Rob’s ex-girlfriend Beth. Hud is recording the party (and taped over footage of Rob and Beth together). The party is interrupted by what appears to be an earthquake, but is really a giant monster terrorizing Manhattan. The group plans on evacuating, but a bridge collapse mixed with the revelation that Beth is trapped changes the plan. Now, Rob and company have to venture into the heart of the chaos to try and save Beth or die trying.

“Cloverfield” didn’t play particularly well for me in theaters as the handheld camera cinematography was incredibly nauseating to watch up on the big screen. Thankfully, much like “The Blair Witch Project” and other found footage films, this one plays better on home video. Although the marketing for the movie was arguably more enticing than the final product (as is the underrated sequel “10 Cloverfield Lane”), Matt Reeves still managed to create a short, but effective thrill ride. Is it loaded with plot conveniences, questionable character actions, and far too many scenes of characters screaming, running and shouting names? Absolutely. It’s also quite possibly one of the most far fetched found footage films in that no one would keep recording this chaos (not to mention how the camera managed to survive this whole ordeal). If you can look past that and some of the dodgy CGI (which can be overlooked due to the budget limitations), you’ll find yourself swept up by this giant monster movie that really captures the human POV. The viewers really feel the scope and magnitude of the situation whether they’re experiencing a battle between the military and the towering creature or witnessing the horrors on the ground (ala the creature’s deadly parasites).

Cast wise there are several would be stars present here with T.J. Miller (Hud), Theo Rossi (in a bit role) and Lizzy Caplan as the film’s best character Marlena. Other key players here include Michael Stahl-David (Rob), Jessica Lucas (Lily) and Odette Yustman (Beth) who are solid in their respective parts.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 2160p With Dolby Vision. How does it look? The found footage style doesn’t exactly lend itself to a picturesque experience, but this is definitely the best print of the movie thanks to the crisper colors.

Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? The lack of an Atmos track is a bummer, but the good news is this active 5.1 track puts the speakers to work in the best way possible.

Extras:
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* Commentary by Matt Reeves (on the 4K and Blu-ray)
* 4 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Matt Reeves.
* 2 alternate endings with optional commentary bt Matt Reeves.
* “Cloverfield Visual Effects”- Behind-the-scenes featurette.
* “I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge!”- A very brief extra about creating a new monster.
* “Clover Fun”- 4 minutes of outtakes.
* “Document 1.10.08: The Making Of Cloverfield”- A 28 minute making of featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews that show how the film was constructed.
* “Special Investigation Mode”-  A mode to play the movie with maps and factoids. 

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January 12, 2023 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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