Friday, October 14, 2011


Directed by Matt Reeves.
2008. Rated PG-13, 84 minutes.

Mike Vogel
Jessica Lucas
Lizzy Caplan
Odette Yustman
TJ Miller
Michael Stahl-David
Margot Fairley

New York City is under siege by a giant monster. Again.

In the old Godzilla movies we always saw people running and screaming. However, the stories always focused on a few people who were tasked to stop or help Godzilla. The basic idea here is to focus on a random group of people among those running and screaming who essentially have nothing to do with what would normally be the main plot. They aren’t out to stop this menace. They’re really just trying to keep from getting killed by it as they move about the city in hopes of saving a friend. This approach works very well. It accomplishes several things: It keeps the monster from being overexposed, gives it an air of originality and of course, keeps the budget down. Speaking of budget, what they did with theirs is spectacular. The monster is beautifully rendered, as are the parasites that fall from it. Still, the real success of the special fx team is the city itself. If you rent this, watch the special features on the DVD. You will be amazed at just how much of this movie was made on a computer.

The cast of characters are some of the dumbest people in cinematic history. Hud (Miller), who’s holding the handheld camera for most of the movie is seen through, is the worst offender. Nearly every time he opens his mouth he gives a new answer to the question “How stupid can you be?” These people put hate in my heart. I was rooting for the monster. Well, except for in the case of Jessica Lucas who plays Lilly but only because she’s…uh…fine. Forget I said that. Anyhoo, they also left the door wide open for a sequel that will likely be far worse. My reasoning is since nothing is explained here, they’ll spend much of the second movie developing some cockamamie story to satisfy the internet fanboys who feverishly debate where the monster came from. It will simply be a run-of-the-mill creature-feature with a Hollywood ending. Seriously, once you’ve shot your wad with all this “mysterious monster” business what else can you do? Once the gimmick is successful, leave well enough alone and just count the millions you’ve made.

This is for people who want to see a different kind of monster movie. Basically, it’s the Blair Witch Project of the genre. Thankfully, I haven’t had a bunch of morons trying to convince me it was real like they did when Blair Witch came out. However, I have had people telling me about all kinds of stuff they read online that supposedly fills in the back story for both the monster and the inane people we’re stuck with. Enough already. It wasn’t in the actual movie so I don’t really care. If you can manage to turn your brain off for an hour and a half, you’ll enjoy the ride. If not, skip it.

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