Experiencing Cloverfield, Boys & Girls…
Now on the radio, “Piece of Me” by Britney Spears featuring a poor chicken & excellent vocal engineering.
Heard over a very important business phone conversation between Mercedes-Benz & Siemens, with Alan on the phone:
“A-lan-kor, jom this Saturday watch movie!”
“Caaann. What movie you want to watch?”
“Oh yea ohh! Cloverfield! What is it about ah?”
The less you know, the better, trust me. On Saturday, after getting 3 tickets for ‘what everyone knows about but doesn’t really know what it is about’ Cloverfield, Alan brought me to Wong’s Cock, sorry, I mean, Wong Kok restaurant. As interns barely making a living in the city of KL, we chose that place because it probably served the cheaper food in 1U. Upon leaving my cock, I mean, Wong Kok, I bought 2 new work shirts to reimburse myself after the robbery last week while waiting for Melvin to arrive. The signs were good, we were all well rested, food very much solidly in the stomach, & the urge to pee has been relieved. This was all checked in view of the severe nausea & vomit-inducing warnings given by people who have already watched the movie.
We stepped into what was 1 of the biggest halls I’ve ever been to, armed with the THX system, & we got really good seats too, behind center. After the usual trailer screenings & annoying B-grade advertisements (some complete with mono-sound features), the screen went blankly black. Then coloured stripes appeared with video camera settings written at the edges of the screen. Before we could wonder whether GSC has screwed-up or that we are watching a pirated VCD version of the movie, the movie began. & we were in for a ride. & the ride was awesome.
If you have not watched the movie, I strictly advise you not to read this review, or any reviews of the movie, & just go in with an open & empty mind.
If you have watched the movie, or you haven’t but want to read on anyway, well, this movie is the unlikely blockbuster to start 2008. We are 1st introduced to the key characters in the movie through 2 snippets of an old tape of Rob & Beth, & the new recording of Rob’s farewell party. Smart move, as the party cleverly tells me everything I need to know on what is going on between the characters while still keeping me interested. & once the 1st “Boom!” blared on screen, we were thrown right into the thick of action as a monster that clearly has a personal problem with the Statue of Liberty rampages around NY city, viewed through the most durable super-video-camera held miraculously by Hud throughout most of the movie.
Thanks to the superb scenes & the extra oomph from the THX system, we all felt like we were actually there, running around berserk with Rob, Beth, Lily, Marlena, Jason & Hud, we were all THE video camera, shaking violently & flipping around in the hands of Hud. Fantastic view, awesome sound. Heck the floor beneath me was vibrating! This was probably the closest thing to really feel how it’s like if a monster ever attacks your city. Although if it was in KL, I’d probably be safe from the monster, thanks to the many many new CCTVs set up everywhere. Hey, our government said that would make Malaysia safer right? Scene after scene, with my mouth gaping wide, heart-pumping sequences (the soldiers shooting scene was really intense & it felt like I was really stuck in the middle of the shootout) kept being churned out by JJ Abrams & co along with some really funny moments too (“Oh My God, you know Superman too? Geez I’m feeling a connection…have you heard of Garfield?”). The scene where everyone crowded around the fallen head of the Statue of Liberty & snapping pics was also a brilliant move! But if you think this is just another monster movie where the monster steals the show & the humans are there just to show brave faces & die, you are completely wrong. The fact that I can still remember the names of all the main characters is a testimony of how character-driven this movie is. It’s basically a love story (a surprisingly sweet 1 too) told under totally monstrous circumstances. Hey, I even thought the final video of Rob & Beth under the bridge was touching. Oh I’m such a sucker. & the movie did not have a soundtrack! The music only started playing 1.5 minutes after the credits started rolling silently. Wow.
Hey, even the unknown actors gave really convincing performances, without a single lame moment. They made us feel like we were part of their group as we went through whatever they went through in the harrowing experience, like we really were beside them all along. Oh, & Beth, who is the sole reason for the deaths of everyone, played by Odette Yustman, was basically a sweeter version of Megan Fox. The scene of Marlena exploding (I think) was a bit too abrupt to absorb though. It was nearly an hour after coming out of the hall that the 3 of us, all pumped up, gathered around a table in Old Town Kopitiam unable to stop talking about the movie, finally took notice of some gaping plot holes. But as Alan put it, “this is the 1st movie where we were really satisfied even though we didn’t know where the monster came from, what it was, what the hell it was doing here, & what happens to it in the end.” Yes, some questionable points, like how an impaled Beth, who shouldn’t have been pulled away from the rod in the 1st place, could run down 50 flight of stairs & run around after that without a problem, or how the 3 could have survived such a high-altitude fall of the helicopter, or why the monster suddenly could activate his stealth-mode before gnawing Hud, were always going to be present. Don’t even get started on how the video camera could have lasted that long. But, that’s for the critics; I was truly thrilled & entertained, & for me, the movie HAD an ending, that is the closure for Rob & Beth. Best of all, thanks to our good seats, none of us felt even the slightest nausea, though Chris in Penang said he almost refilled his pop corn box with puke. Final/current verdict:
Alan, who still wants to act as macho movie critic: 8.5/10 stars
Melvin, who didn’t know anything about the movie beforehand: 11/10 stars
Me, who had high expectations of this movie: 9.5/10 stars
IMDb: 8.1/10 stars
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% fresh!
This is 1 of those movies that will either be loved or loathed by some, but for these 3 jokers, we were united soundly in opinion. I stepped out of the hall with my cup of Coke still 80% full; I forgot to drink it. Never felt this satisfied since Transformers. Oh yea, I didn’t spot this, but apparently there is a splash of water behind Beth in the final scene where she says “I had a nice day”, so you might wanna watch out for it if any of you are going to watch it again. Also, after the credits, there is a voice recording that says “it’s still alive…” when played backwards.
Overheard in a conversation between Alan & Melvin, who are housemates:
“Oi, do you know that we are running out of toilet paper?”
“Yar, didn’t you realize I started using water this morning?”
On another note, it is saddening to read about the headmasters who enforced this separation of male & female students rules in their schools. Hey, even UTP does that at some level. Going back to primary school, I remember boys & girls just mixed freely, & boys like me, we didn’t give a hoot about the fact that girls were girls. We bothered more about how to play harder, how to avoid being caught during those jengkek sessions, & how to pee as fast as possible & get out of the stinking toilet. The funniest moments were shared between guys & girls in my gang (Hsin-Wern & his combo on Jolene) & even female teachers could not escape (yesss, the ever scandalous case involving Joshua & Puan Rosnah, though Joshua maintains he was innocent). Truth be told, we laughed about all of them, simply because there were no intentions, no hidden agenda, it was pure childhood innocence. & it made my school life much more memorable. Of course, as we moved into high school, we were more aware of our hormones, & naturally, even without enforced rules, guys hanged with guys, & girls just naturally hanged with girls. Of course, we did mix around a lot, but naturally the canteen was divided into boys tables & girls tables, & it was common that the person sitting beside you in class was the same gender as you. But to enforce rules such as a gender division in classrooms, allocated gender staircases & corridors would be preposterous! If 2 girls in the form of Poi Li & Yi Lin were not allowed to sit just in front of my table in classes, I probably would have failed subjects like Chemistry, Maths & Biology, considering the number of lab reports & homework I copied from them. Of course some sexual remarks & jokes between guys & girls were aplenty, you can’t avoid those in high school, it was normal interaction.
Of course, back then, the number of sexual cases was not as alarming as they are today, & tragedies of young kids being kidnapped & brinjal-inserting were unheard of. In view of these cases, I acknowledge the fact that something needs to be done, but I highly doubt something as extreme as what these headmasters are doing will be fruitful in any way. The fact that those chickens are avoiding any press contact is enough proof. Looking at how much more memorable my school life was because of the shared moments between boys & girls, I can’t help but feel that the more people are controlled, the more we are curious, & the more we want to become uncontrolled, leading to worse consequences. Can we ever come up with a solution? Where did we go wrong, that Malaysia is now inhabited with truly inhuman sicko bastards?
I was about to launch into a long paragraph about our screwed-up government, but then I decided to backspace everything, simply because enough has been said by a lot of other people. We all know the reason Malaysia still thrives on so-called TOLERANCE & harmony is because the minority TOLERATES the majority in the race population. It’s when you ruffle our feathers, then we will make an issue.
Maybe that Cloverfield monster will come to Malaysia & trample on all our stupid ministers (starting with Uncle Sam) & save us the hassle of trying to overcome a corrupted, rigged & inept election in our process to get the right people to govern our country.