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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
TLDR review: Meh. Starts well, ends silly.


Regular attention span review: I want to shoot J.J. Abrams in the face. Multiple times.

Why? Well, it's not only the 'gee, look at me, I must be the smartest guy in the room' nerd-chic glasses, but also that TWICE this year, he's promised me awesome, and then delivered disappointment. First time was The Force Awakens, second time is this.

Yes, he didn't direct this time, but he is executive producer, and you readily see his guiding hand in everything here... the premise, the style, the promise, and the disappointment.

Long story short, a car crash victim (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) awakens in an underground bunker. Her caretaker (John Goodman) has her chained to the wall, and claims, very earnestly, that she can't go outside due to a "nuclear or chemical attack – don't know which. Or it could be aliens."

Which is actually a pretty good way to start a movie. I mean it.

And, it's not at all bad for about the first hour or so. John Goodman has riveting presence as a 'is he sinister, or is he a savior' survivalist who may or may not be lying to Winstead. And Winstead herself is, at least on a basic level, everything you want in a heroine... sympathetic, determined, vulnerable, resourceful.

The problem is, as anyone in a bunker will tell you, there aren't a lot of places to go.

There are maybe four rooms in the whole place, and three people in said bunker, one of whom is more-or-less just a plot device. Compare this to another claustrophobia-o-rama, Panic Room, which had six main characters, a mother-daughter relationship and a multi-story mansion to play around in (plus the major advantage of having Jodie Foster as its heroine).

10 Cloverfield Avenue, by contrast, is very stripped-down, and tries to avoid predictability not by interesting and original characterization (aside from Goodman) or by terrific execution, but rather just by playing against the audience's expectations... which only works until you become aware of it.

And despite a clearly-an-afterthought attempt to give Winstead some depth via a childhood abuse-victim backstory, the entire film really boils down to two mysteries: Is John Goodman a good or bad guy? And, what the hell – if anything – is going on in the outside world?

The first mystery is resolved at least somewhat satisfyingly, but the second... well, 'ridiculous' is a word that gets overused, but there's no other way to say it – the last 15 minutes of 10 Cloverfield Lane is ridiculous.

To the point where, when Winstead during those 15 minutes says aloud, "Oh, come on", I was saying the same thing out loud too... to J.J. Abrams. I suspect I'm far from alone. :frown2:

Two stars out of four, and even that only because of Goodman. But I will confess it's a very polarizing film, the kind of movie a couple, or a couple of friends, could go see and one will like it while the other absolutely loathes it.

Oh, and I think I'm done with J.J. Abrams for good now. The man's a master of knowing what sci-fi and thriller geeks want and promising them that, while always under-delivering. If his name's in the credits, I'm avoiding it from now on like an ebola outbreak zone.

Because, as the survivalists in this film would say, 'better safe than sorry'.









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John Goodman was brilliant in this film. I'm with you on the film overall. Seemed like they came up with the plotline, and then got to the end and needed a reasoning for it all to happen...hence the sci-fi element at the end. Me not being a sci-fi fan, I would liked it to be a little more realistic ending to go along with the realistic plot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did a giant monster from the ocean that was mad its babies were getting used to make a soft drink show up?
A deleted scene available on the DVD, I'm sure.
 

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jja really irks me. never a resolution in anything he does. well, satisfying resolution in anything he does.

and i fall into the camp that believes the force awakens was basically a remake of the original three, minus some stuff to be put in the next two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well, on the plus side, 10 Cloverfield Lane falls to #4 in its second weekend, behind Zootopia and two films I don't care about.

On the negative side, it was a fairly cheap film to make (some fx, but most of the movie takes place in a basement, essentially), and they cleverly/misleadingly used the Cloverfield name to help the marketing (even though it's not really a sequel to the 2008 film)... so it'll make money overall and we'll probably have to deal with a sequel to it.

Which the ending of the movie of course leaves open as a possibility. :skep:

Just one more reason to lock J.J. Abrams in a toolshed with a rabid wolverine.






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It had a story line, and things to figure out, so I basically got my $8 of enjoyment out of it.

It is a movie where I think you need to go back and watch it again to figure out what was presented that you should have caught the first time. Also, you can further ponder the commentary it makes upon how each individual's personality helps shape destiny.

My question is how did the woman have make-up on all the time, when in the bunker? Did her eyeliner make it into the bunker with her?

And, wouldn't that barrel of whatever smell kinda bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I swear that happens every time we host a family meal during the holidays.
Yup. Those giant ocean monsters are worse than telemarketers.
 
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