Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Was Beth Worth It? Thoughts On Cloverfield


Ah, the things we'll do for love. It makes us crazy really. And there's no one crazier in love than Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David), the main character in the film Cloverfield. I don't know Beth Mcintyre (Odette Yustman), Rob's love interest, all that much. I know she's pretty and has never been to Coney Island and trying to catch strawberries in her mouth makes her scared. I know that Rob has had a crush on her since high school and that he recently had sex with her. That's all I know, but maybe there's more. Maybe she's a good conversationalist. Maybe she's very thoughtful. Maybe she spends every other weekend helping orphans. And then the weekends between those weekends she delivers Meals On Wheels. And maybe she can paint really pretty pictures. And she sells them for a lot of money, but she doesn't keep the money herself, she gives it to her Grandmother who is about to lose the family house to a really mean real-estate tycoon who wants to tear it down and build a shopping mall there. And maybe, just maybe when she was thirteen, she saved her best friend from drowning because her friend hit her head when she was trying to get into the boat and knocked herself out. I'm grasping here, can you feel me grasping? Can you? Because I am. Maybe Beth wasn't a cheerleader in high school. Instead she helped teach sign language to deaf children. Or maybe she is the most amazing sex that has ever been had. Not just by Rob, but by the entire human race. I need something here, because from what I know there's no way Beth was worth all this fuss. This woman racked up almost as much of a body count as the monster itself. Let's break it down, shall we?

Victim #1. Jason Hawkins. Jason is Rob's brother. Jason gets separated from the crowd because Rob gets a call from Beth and has to stop on the Brooklyn Bridge. Holy shit, stop the running!!!! it's Beth on the phone. Excuse me everyone who is yelling and screaming because you think you're going to die at any moment, could you keep it down, it's Beth. Yes, Beth Mcintyre. She's on the phone and Rob just slept with her a couple weeks ago and he's in love. So anyway, whilst Rob listens to Beth's pleas for help, the monster's tail comes crashing down and demolishes part of the bridge killing Jason almost instantly. But I'm guessing it was worth it because inbetween high school and College, Beth did some social work in Ethiopia helping underprivileged kids.

Victim #2. Marlena Diamond. Marlena doesn't really know Rob or Beth, so I'm guessing she showed up to Rob's party for the free booze. After the initial attack, the group goes underground to avoid the monster. While walking through the subway tunnel on the way to get who else???? the group gets attacked by a group of monster babies. Marlena gets bitten and at first seems alright, but soon enough she begins to bleed from the eyes and then explodes, near as I can tell. Earlier, Marlena had a chance to leave the group and follow the army out of the city. Does she do it? No!!!!!!! She goes to help find Beth because Beth is incredible and I'm guessing that Marlena secretly knows that in the near future, Beth will discover the cure for cancer because why the hell else would she give two shits about a woman she doesn't even know?

Victim #3. Hud Platt. Hud is Rob's best friend and it really shows Rob's patience that he would have Hud as a best friend because within the 74 minutes of the film, I fantasized punching Hud in the face 83 times. Hud is our most annoying narrator and lousy cameraman. He survives most of the movie and successfully helps Rob rescue guess who????? but then gets partially eaten by the monster and thrown through the air to land to his death. But hey, that's cool because I'm guessing that Hud had a bad kidney and Beth was going to donate one of hers to him because why the hell else would Hud give two shits about this woman?

Victims #4 and #5. Rob Hawkins and Beth Mcintyre, the lovers. Rob and Beth survive a helicopter crash (doesn't everybody?) only to end up under a bridge with the monster over them. The military comes swooping in and carpet bombs the creature causing the bridge to collapse all around Rob and Beth, killing them. But hey, it was worth it because what we don't know is that Rob and Beth were going to have sex again and Beth was going to give birth to a superhuman baby. One that would change our entire race and make us live until we were 500 years old. That's what I'm guessing because why the hell else would anyone risk their life and the lives of their friends to save this woman who we really know nothing about.

When the credits rolled after the 74th minute (can a 74 minute movie technically be called a feature?) I walked outside into the lobby of the movie theater and I expected fanfare. I expected free airline tickets to wherever I wanted to go in the whole world. I expected a free car and free gas for the rest of my life. I didn't get it though. If I would have, it would have made my trip to this movie worth it. Because in the end, I didn't care two shits about the actual film.

15 comments:

Burbanked said...

Yeah, yeah, Piper, it's all real funny. Apparently you missed the part where the five friends had been sent back from the future to rescue Beth because she's going to grow up to lead the resistance against the monster. And the monster's killer robots.

Way to pay attention. Maybe you should go see Atonement again which I hear the girls like.

Fletch said...

The prequel will focus entirely on Beth. I think the tentative title is "Cloverfield: The Beth McIntyre Chronicles." It's gonna be sweet.

Piper said...

Burbanked,

Don't you go bagging on Atonement again. It got 7 nominations. And James is a dream.

Sheamus the... said...

as far as the run time is concerned. Those little cameras only have so much tape. If we popped any longer you would be calling their bluff and screaming for a change of tape.

Nayana Anthony said...

Piper, I was utterly with you... until the last paragraph. She was absolutely NOT worth any of it... but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the movie. Yeah, they were douchebags. But come on... they got eaten by a 30-STORY-HIGH MONSTER. That's worth a look-see. :-)

Piper said...

Shea,

The movie is 74 minutes because that's how long the average digi tape runs and I appreciate that. But I did not feel the camera stop enough to justify 7 hours worth of coverage which is the actual time-span of the movie. They give it the illusion that it's supposed to be real-time but it's not even close.

nayana,

Thank you. Some real debate here. The movie is not without its merits, but first - I didn't believe it was near good enough to warrant a truly thoughtful review. Second - I appreciate what the movie is trying to do - but it doesn't do it very well. If you're going to make the movie feel real, then you can't have a jokester camera man and bad dialogue overall. And the video approach, while cool, was also its limitation. The idea that someone was holding a camera while some of those moments were happening either scary or emotional was too much for me to take. Of course they could have made up for it with a whole bunch "get that fucking camera out of my face" lines.

I think overall we make too many apologies for a movie trying to get it right that doesn't get it right. Everyone seemed to say that Transformers was stupid, but it was fun. Can't a movie be smart and fun? Have we lowered the bar so much that we let this kind of crap through the filter?

Sheamus the... said...

I feel ya...

I did love the innercutting between the old footage of him and his girl with the monster dash.

Also something else to look into. There are rumors that in the last shot of them on the ferris wheel you can see something fall from the sky when it pans from the ocean. I missed it but some of my friends have reported sightings.

JA said...

There is a "something" that falls out of the sky; JJ Abrams has said it was a satellite related to blahblahbullshit.

Anyway, Piper, even though you know we disagree on the movie, this post was fucking hysterical. I liked the movie a lot, and I was with Rob going after her (although A) I was not with the others tagging along really, especially Marlena, although I'm glad she did because Lizzie Caplan is AWESOME; and B) the boyfriend and I agreed after the movie that neither of us would do the same, and were good with that). I was with Rob's decision because, as I word-vomited in my review, I think this movie got a lot of what it felt like on 9/11 right, and I remember an overwhelming feeling of sincerity kinda swallowing up my senses, and they set up Rob's need to claim a "moment" during the party scene. This was his "moment" and I could see someone, in that state, feeling the need to turn one's self into the Romantic Hero. Desperate times make for bold actions, and all.

And anyway, just looking at footage of Beth MacIntyre cleared up my sinuses. She's a miracle woman!

Anonymous said...

I'll remember this post if/when we're ever attacked by an enormous creature and you leave me a cellphone message needing help. I'll think "Piper, nah, he ain't worth it!" With friends like you, who needs friends? Ha!
sF

Ray said...

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

You just gave away the film, Piper. Not very nice.

Piper said...

JA,

Glad you liked the post. And as I said in your comments, I'm glad I didn't go with my initial post and this one instead. It was interesting to get your take on it since you were in New York during 9/11.

Steve (Anon) Now you know where I stand when and if the shit goes down in KC.


Sorry Ray,

I don't really consider spoilers if I'm bagging on the film though.

n word jim said...

i would certainly not describe any part of your post as hysterical. it seems to me that you didnt like the the movie cause the little boy sitting next to you didnt repeatedly stick his hand into your extra small bag of popcorn where your butter covered dick anxiously awaited.

PIPER said...

n word jim

I doubt you'll come back and check this, but I'll respond to your comment anyway. It's not like you really want to engage in any kind of discussion on this.

I had no idea it was widely known that if you didn't like Cloverfield you are obviously a petifile. Had I known, I would have lied and said I liked it. Imagine my embarrassment once I found out the link between the two. Stay away kids.

Sorry you didn't find any humor in this. I've discovered that once you remove that stick from your ass, you'll find a lot more things funny.

Caffeine Kiddo said...

Ha, loved your view of things Piper! I was under the impression that Beth birthed the monster, or had the key to the Kingdom of the Crystal skull, or something, she had to right? Whilst Rob was cute and I would muchly love him to come and save me, I to wanted to punch Hud (seriously dude, shut the hell up and drop the fricking camera - no one wants your goddamn comentary! And you shriek like a girl!)and was quite surprised that Lily managed to run through the streets of New York... in HEELS!! Seriously girl, steal a pair of Keds!!!!!!
Guilty admission: I didnt love the movie, didnt hate it, but kind of live in hope that Rob didnt die. Maybe Beth did and Rob and Lily reuntied and hooked up?? :)

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