Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's not TV, or even a's a ride. And worth every penny if you do the ROI compared to a Disneyland ticket.

Thanks to a very successful and brilliant viral campaign (which included embedded video right here on the Flaming Nose), I was compelled to drag all of my willing friends and relatives to see Cloverfield opening weekend. We helped it sell a LOT of popcorn (with white cheese flavored sprinkles in the Pacific theater chain I attended) and break box office records nationwide. Here is my sociological analysis of this event:

  • It was interactive. People in the audience felt free to share their thoughts about the movie, in full voice and very colorful language. They were especially vocal at the end, and in some cases, violent. I saw soda cups and Twizzlers thrown forcefully by disgruntled males in the core 12-17 demographic.
  • Even though the most secretive part of the promotional campaign involved hiding the identity of the actual monster, most people did not want to talk about the monster afterwards. Why? If you ask me, the movie could have been hugely improved by chopping 10 minutes off the opening boring upscale 20-something pretty people party sequence and replacing it with significantly more quality monster time. Especially when it opens its lizard like cheek flaps and nips a helicopter out of the air. That was awesome.
  • I think the monster was the main character. Has anyone explored its motivation or origin? What if it was an endangered species? Why didn't they just put it to sleep long enough to build a giant wild animal habitat where it could live and be happy and not have to destroy Manhattan? But we would have to neuter it big time, because it spawns horrible small crab babies that bite you and then you get Ebola and explode. Oh, sorry. Forgot the spoiler alert for the 12 people worldwide that are reading the Nose.
  • Does anyone else love...LOVE the news reports that theaters are posting warnings outside that people "prone to motion sickness" might want to avoid the movie? I adore a disclaimer that is based, not on sexual or gory content...but camera style. Is this a first? Warning people that the hand held camera jerkiness is something that they might find nauseating? Why was this warning not posted outside the theater for "Flight 93"? Or "Blair Witch"? Clearly, this is a cinematic breakthrough for annoying camera movements.
  • Why, in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eight, do women still find it necessary to run for blocks and blocks and through devastated monster wrecked tunnels, without taking off their stiletto high heeled shoes? Hate them in 1950's retro horror movies. Hate them now. Just saying.
Best question of all; what does this have to do with TV? You're kidding. Everything becomes television eventually. If a ride (Pirates of the Caribbean) can become a movie; then a movie (Cloverfield) can become a video game (no brainer there), which will eventually turn back into a ride with vibrating seats at a theme park. And then we'll buy the DVD. In Blu-Ray. Which we will ultimately view on television in the familiar confines of our living room. Isn't it a great time to be along for the ride? We'll save a seat for you, right here on the Nose.


Lisa said...

I'm officially totally jealous as I haven't been able to get to it yet! Okay -- it's my goal this weekend! Must see it! I've been salivating about it forever and feel competely bereft, but so glad that The Nose has been represented among that awesome box-office take!
Great review, Jane, I'm sure I'll agree about more of the monster -- can't have too much monster!

Lisa said...

Okay -- saw it, loved it, of course, but... I had to admit that I actually got a teeny little headache watching I getting old or what? Too much soap opera build-up, but I understand the whole "Felicity" vibe but it was keeping us away from the monster. And I did want more monster, which was great when you saw it, but please...MORE! When they were downstairs in that subway station, I kept wanting Hud to scramble back up those steps and video what the hell was going on the surface. It sounded so exciting...I did NOT want to be underground. The sound design for the movie was superb. I'm now wishing they'd make a Cloverfield movie from the military's pov; I have a feeling that would be more my type! :-) And I was sad to have the brave brunette girl die of getting a tough chick she was!
But really...way too much jabbering at the front end of the movie until the good stuff got going. And I wouldn't exactly consider it a suspense-building technique; just felt like a waste of time and the bitter (and dull) pill we had to take before experiencing the exciting cure. Plus, how come some of the great pre-release viral clips, such as that oil rig going down, were more exciting than what we saw onscreen? Will this movie really shine with all the DVD extras? We just needed more monster!