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Old 01-20-2008, 07:19 AM   #61
winter dreams
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tabula rasa View Post
So, all of you who are telling us how much you enjoyed the CLOVERFIELD movie, how satisfying and complete and well-constructed you think the movie is ...

Step back from how much you enjoyed watching the movie, as spectators ...

Are you, as Writers and future Writers, telling us that this AS IT IS is how you'd WRITE the CLOVERFIELD screenplay? That if you had written it as a screenplay ... you'd be saying:

"Aha, what's there up on the screen, that's all I would have put into it too. I wouldn't have added anything else to explain where the monster came from or what is. I wouldn't have felt the need to tell the audience whether the monster was killed or not. I would've had some of the characters exit in the helicopter (fate unknown) and others die huddled under the bridge without showing the Monster being attacked."
If this was the first of a planned series of movies, then yes. That was a well-written, well executed movie. What a brilliant idea to stick with the limited POV of the video camera, and how refreshing that they stayed with that idea.

If there is no plans for making a sequel, then the ending was unsatsifying, as I've written above.

But I am convinced this is the first of many "cloverfield" movies.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:24 AM   #62
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Here's the message after the end credits. There's a lot of speculation as to what it actually implies. After hearing it, it's obvious.

Judge for yourself - but be warned - it's NOT spoiler free.

http://cloverfieldmessage.ytmnd.com/

And reversed - http://boomp3.com/m/bd034dfca370
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #63
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tabula rasa View Post
Are you, as Writers and future Writers, telling us that this AS IT IS is how you'd WRITE the CLOVERFIELD screenplay?
Yes.

The film is what it is.

In the timeline of events, where the monster came from is irrelevant. The odd thing is that I didn't even think about whether or not the creature was destroyed in the end... it was a force of nature. Doesn't matter whether it was alive or dead when the narrative line ended.

The framing device and intermittent echoes of the recorded-over tape was clever.

I also thought that the length of the film was perfect. Twenty minutes of the get-acquainted with the characters and then an hour of them just trying to survive.

Unlike some folks, I thought that the characters were well fleshed out... the soap opera reveal of everyone reacting to the news that the two best friends had hooked up back in April and it had f*cked up their friendship was a nice way to sketch who the supporting characters were themselves, by how they reacted to the news.

At no point did I have any problem with the supposedly cheesy dialogue. With the world collapsing around their ears and everyone in some stage of shock and sensory overload, I wouldn't expect them to be making cognizant conversation. But then, I'm a big fan of understatement and loved exchanges like:

"What's that?"
"That's... a terrible thing."
[...]
"What's that?"
"Um... that's another terrible thing."

I enjoyed the humor, offering screams that would shift abruptly into laughter. "WHAAAA-HEH-HAH-HAH-HAH!

Cool.

And I thought that not only was Marlena a neat little unconventional character, but she was also amazingly hot.

Those eyes...

Actually, despite them being supposedly callow young NYC hipsters, I liked all the characters and didn't need any more arbitrary backstory loaded on to feel empathy for them. I sort of enjoyed the fill-in-the-backstory-yourself aspect of the characters.

I sort of got the vibe that Marlena and Rob themselves had had a couple of drunken hookups in the past, but he was sort of a dick and, well...
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Last edited by Signal30 : 01-20-2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:24 AM   #64
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Supposedly, Matt Reeves said a possible sequel could focus on a different camera during the same events. Which could be pretty awesome.

The issue of "what is it?" and "where did it come from?" are not issues for me and although I don't think an explanation isn't necessary given the POV of the movie...it would be pretty cool if over a trilogy we were able to piece together seemingly useless information from 3 cameras into an answer. I would be into that. It wouldn't feel forces or out of place.

SPOILER BELOW....

There has actually been one character piece that has sort of haunted me for the past few days. I know I accused the film of having thin characters, but I think Rob had a very beautiful development. When his brother dies he tells his bro's girlfriend that at least he knew she loved him. And here is Rob struggling with the fact that he's in love with Beth and isn't pursuing it. I think that hearing him say he loves her at the end is a bit of a triumph for the character and a really beautiful, tragic ending.

Ele...
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:25 AM   #65
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Weekend ESTIMATES of $41 million.

Pretty damn impressive.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:45 AM   #66
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Quote:
Originally Posted by elephant1978 View Post
Supposedly, Matt Reeves said a possible sequel could focus on a different camera during the same events. Which could be pretty awesome.

The issue of "what is it?" and "where did it come from?" are not issues for me and although I don't think an explanation isn't necessary given the POV of the movie...it would be pretty cool if over a trilogy we were able to piece together seemingly useless information from 3 cameras into an answer. I would be into that. It wouldn't feel forces or out of place.

SPOILER BELOW....

There has actually been one character piece that has sort of haunted me for the past few days. I know I accused the film of having thin characters, but I think Rob had a very beautiful development. When his brother dies he tells his bro's girlfriend that at least he knew she loved him. And here is Rob struggling with the fact that he's in love with Beth and isn't pursuing it. I think that hearing him say he loves her at the end is a bit of a triumph for the character and a really beautiful, tragic ending.

Ele...
I agree, Ele. I think having a trilogy to that effect would be an incredible idea. And the character development was, what it was, and that wasn't horrible.

Before going in I had a bad feeling that the hand held camera was going to be some silly gimicky thing. It wasn't that way at all. I'm not sure that I've ever felt like part of the movie as much as this before. If the end comes in some form or other, we are all sheep; not action heroes. Something that's depressing to think of, but gritty and realistic. This film did a really good job of enforcing that idea. Though, we all do have our own personal goals, and accomplishing those goals makes us a hero. Sorry, I'm getting cheesy.

Anyway, it was enjoyable, different, and woozy. Worth the small amount of time to go see.
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Old 01-20-2008, 01:23 PM   #67
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

A sequel from another camera... sounds good to me.

If we get explanation, it just can't be forced. And that's what it would be like if anything wasn't written in. So, as a writer (to answer someone's above question), I would not have changed that. I don't think there is a need to explain. There is only a few explanations anyway... and I am fine assuming or letting the audience assume. I don't want to see anything spoon fed, especially when the film is intended to be written in such a realistic way. If I had written it, I wouldn't have changed it.

And I felt we also learned more than enough about the characters really. I might have written more with Beth, though really, it was more about Rob and as Ele said above... I felt they did a great job with him.

Really, I'm glad the movie is the way it was and as an audience member and a writer, I thought it was pretty damn good.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #68
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

One thing that has yet to be mentioned is how this movie has alerted the American male to the existence of this.....

http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/07565...hint=nm0951148
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:22 PM   #69
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

So, I'm hearing that you think this ONE movie needs 'sequels.'

My position from principle (worth two cents, now now now on clearance sale for two cents!) is: unless a movie is a "stands alone" thing, then it is ... defective and lacking in some story aspect.

Now, I know there's this thing called LOTR, and Harry Potter, etc etc ... and I'd gladly admit that those are ONE HUGE STORY that were so complex and rich that they needed multiple movies and sequels to tell them (and they already existed as huge books and everyone seeing one movie already knew "This is just Part One, it won't all be wrapped up yet"

There's a big difference between "Part One" versus "sequel" (As examples, each Indiana Jones movies stands alone, each Die Hard stands alone, each Alien stands alone) ... the sequels add richness and story arc, no doubt, but in ALIEN -- even not knowing my "where did the monster come from?" -- there's enough story there that we don't need it.

That's just our differing tastes, I'm not arguing tastes here. I'm not actually arguing anything ... just expressing the differing POV. Ten people agreeing on anything ... where's the POV that smacks lips then suggests the purple kool-aid needs just a little more sugar?!

CLOVERFIELD (I'd think) needs to be considered as "stand alone" (and please correct me brutally if CLOVERFIELD already exists as some multi-part graphic novel etc. I know NOTHING about it except the one movie; but I'd hold that that's what most movie goers see it as, too. There's a cut off point where a movie needs to be accessable to the general audience, not just insiders and pre-packaged fans)

Sequels? Sequels?! If you tell enough story the first time -- a stand alone don't need no steenkin' seeeequels!

Would we all write a screenplay that needs a sequel?!

But ... yeah, I hear yas, you all liked the first one so much, it's a stand alone.

I just didn't expect all the talk about sequels. I'd be afraid to try to sell a spec with "Well, we'll fix it in the sequel." Sweetie, don't go all GOLDEN COMPASS on us, they'd say. Make the first one work without needing a sequel.

Obviously, I'll agree the first one worked as box office. I just lament there wasn't more story to it.

Again, it's just taste vs taste. I expected JJ Abrams to hit me with some LOSTian complexity and depth ... They had some extra minutes to play with too.

I surrender. No screenwriter wanna-be is on safe ground, complaining about Box Office success, right? "Aw gee though, I know theirs made huge $$$ ... but mine tells where the monster came from!"

The suits wouldn't show me the door -- they'd show me the sixth storey window.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:00 PM   #70
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Default Re: "Cloverfield"

Tab,

I totally understand the desire for more story, and to answer your earlier question about us as writers vs. us as fans, I'd have to say that as a writer, I was awed by this movie.

Not because it wove the most complex story in the world - it didn't - but because it wove its story so well within the constraints of the genre.

One of our many jobs as screenwriters is to master the different restrictions and requirements of different genres. Master them so well that we actually can bend them from time to time. And this movie did that.

It took a pretty tired genre (monster/disaster) and added a fresh restriction (that this was all captured real-time on one camera) and then within that restriction did an awesome job of telling the story.

Some of the most elegant storytelling in the world comes from stories with the most vigilant adherance to the rules of POV. (I think that's a quote from one of Rossio's columns.) Often times I get notes, where a non-writer says, "I want to know this" - or - "shouldn't we know that?" and they often suggest a "fix" that totally violates POV (and is ultimately a weak storytelling choice). So the challenge for us "writers" (who are supposed to know better), is to make it work within the established POV framework.

That's a feat which I think Cloverfield handled exceptionally well. Sure, there would have been ways to push the envelope and have more TV coverage, or to have the military know more, but even though those might have satisfied the audience a little more, in my opinion they would have been cinematic cheats, which would have ultimately distanced the viewer from the authentic emotional experience of Hud & Rob & co.

And although I'm normally in the "I hate movies that require a sequel!" camp, there's something about the way this one ended that was both a perfect (touching, albeit tragic) ending to this stand-alone story, and also an awesome hook to make me hungry for more.

So to sum up - the fan in me was amazed at the viceral experience, and the writer in me was wowed (and cowed) by the deft mastery of a pretty un-pioneered genre.

And at the end of the day, the fan and the writer in me are the same guy.

Cheers,

Adam
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