Wednesday, April 23, 2008

i've never been a huge fan of the godzilla films tho i've certainly seen all or most of them growing up. most monster movies are not terribly scary since monsters are rather make-believe creatures where a lot of convincing must occur before the curtain of disbelief lifts.

and yet, i loved watching the dvd of cloverfield tonight, a movie deeply indebted to godzilla films. the joy in watching the disc of cloverfield rests in the remote that controls the dvd player. the movie is a concoction of hand-held video taken by a group of twenty-somethings as they try to rescue a girl while trying also to not get eaten by some mysterious creature the size of a skyscraper.

because the movie itself is spliced with another home movie of the lead character rob, and his love, beth, who rob and co. are trying to find and rescue in the midst of carnage very like 9/11 horror. so i found myself doing a lot of pausing, rewinding and slo-mo to catch some of these splices.

and one simply delighted me. i mean it made me so freaking happy because it is evidence that the director matt reeves and producer j.j. abrams loves the monster movie genre so deeply and that they also appear to have a sense of humor. if i could do a screen shot i'd show you. instead i'll have to tell you about it. which ain't much, but again it is one of the pleasures of this most satisfying of monster movies.

as rob and his friends are evacuated from manhattan by military chopper they watch the monster get bombed only to have the monster attack the helicopter. the chopper crashes with a sickening finality [if you can watch this film in surround sound do so, the ambient soundscapes are fabulous]. we see thru the camera a still-drop then the movie splices, very, very quickly, almost like subliminal imagery, first to a scene from the earlier home movie with beth waiting with rob at a subway platform. the film then splices back to the still-drop only to cut away again, and this is where the pause button was needed, to a photo of what appears to be props from the 1933 film version or toys of king kong knocking down a bi-plane.

sure, that ain't much but to a geeky aficionado of the horror genre like me it's like the verification of some great reward. the movie is by no means a masterpiece. it is balls-out and entertaining as hell.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger Catalin said...

You know, I rarely watch movies, but I really like reading your descriptions. I think I especially like how delighted you are by them. Deep enthusiasm for small things seems natural, healthy, and unfortunately rare. Is that what makes a person a poet? An intensity of loving and living in the small moments?

At 9:36 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

thank you, cat. i don't know what makes a poet. one could be glib and say a poet is a person who writes poems. but frankly that would be a cop-out. it's a noun i embrace, but still don't know how to fully define it.

At 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weird. We watched the first Godzilla film on Saturday. We agreed it is an amazing film.


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