January 19, 2008 at 4:41 AMWell almost...
For the past few weeks, my pants have trembled in juvenile anticipation of the Cloverfield movie. My little brother busted into my room every evening with an update on recent news of what the "Monster" could possibly look like. I kept reassuring my family and myself that J.J. Abrams wouldn't dare produce a corny movie when he has had such a good record of award winning films and T.V. "He is brilliant," I said. "He will not let us down."
Of course, living awfully close to Hollywood for most of my life, seeing a movie on opening day is kind of a big deal in my family, and we often feel regret if we miss a movie during the first week of its opening. We feed off of the adrenalin rushing sensation of crowded concession stands, people bustling to scarce seats. But the best part is the packed theatres; we love the roar of laughter, pouts, or bouts of anger; it's, oh so contagious. So, of course, we wanted to see Cloverfield tonight, knowing that the top secretiveness of the film would bring in the crowds.
However, on this very night, I also received my sheet music for the Saint-Saens Concerto and Intro Rondo and Capriccioso! And, I did not hesitate to speed upstairs to my practice/bedroom to test it out before the movie was due to start in a couple of hours.
Oh, it sounded so good. I did not believe in myself. I told my teacher, "Do you think I am ready to tackle the Concerto or Capriccioso?"
She answered that she would never assign me a piece she did not think I was unprepared to play effectively. Her statement was confirmed tonight when I discovered just how much my sound and overall technique including musicality has matured. The beginning of Intro R & C is a little rough because of the beautiful quality, but I believe by August it should be in ship shape condition.
As I neared the fun part on Intro R&C, my mom knocked on my door to let me know we were leaving. I sighed, and suddenly I felt a hesitation that I usually do not feel on movie nights. "This movie is interrupting my Saint-Saens. Do you know what I am sacrificing Mr. Abrams and Mr. Reeves? Tomorrow, I could come back to this music and sound totally awful. But I am stopping anyways for what I hope to be a good movie. It better be good...."
So, I set my violin back in its case, and walked off into the uncertain future of movieful experience.
Now, I will take a few minutes to tell you my take on the movie, without spoiling it, as best as possible. (There might be small spoilers in the next elaboration, but I do not think it will ruin anything, so read on if you want.)
"Cloverfield" began slow. The dragging and dragging on of endearments and character relationship building moments were annoying and cute at the same time. But, I will tell you, right from the start, that stupid shaking camera annoyed me to death. I just wanted to make the camera stay still and focus on the characters and eventual action. The whole documentary effect added nothing except for the urge in audience members to yell out, "Wait, what was that? Can you please stop moving the blasted camera?" So, needless to say, I was starting to regret having left my stationary music stand, possessing Mr. Saint-Saens.
Finally after a slightly comedic and tedious ten minutes of complete fluff, the action came, and when it came it hit hard. So hard, in fact, that I could not help but say to myself, "Okay, this might turn out pretty good." The city darkening and bombs exploding seemed to give the movie more of a doomsday feel, instead of the typical corny monster movie aura. The audience was immediately thrust into a profoundly scary mood; the kind in which one asks him or herself, "What if that really happens?"
Now, my family and I have categories for special effects, cinematography, acting and all that jazz. For horrible computerization/acting/effects at the worst level, we put movies in the SCI-FI CHANNEL category. For moderate, we put them in the MODERATELY STUPID AND DISAPPOINTING STAR WARS EPISODE 1 category. And great computerization is the SO DISTURBINGLY REAL LOOKING, IT'S GREAT (KING KONG/TRANSFORMERS, JUST TO NAME A FEW) category. At the start of the action, Cloverfield seemed to be in the first category. My mom even whispered, "Oh no, we've got a SCI-FI." But as the movie progressed, it ended up at the 2nd level and pretty much stayed there until the end, in regards to the flying Statue of Liberty head and the "Monster." I will give the bombs, jets, and toppling buildings a category three rating.
The acting was a category two. The guy holding the camera--I can't even remember the poor chap's name--saved the movie in the content respect. He was funny which gave the movie some much needed balance. If it weren't for him, I probably would have left the theatre for all the constant and badly acted screams, bursting forth from the unconvincingly terrorized extras.
So, for all you v.commies, I would say this movie is not worth leaving the practice stand for, but I would go see it after you feel you have had a nice, focused practice session.
Can't wait to get on the Saint-Saens Concerto tomorrow!!!!
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