Thursday, 7 April 2016

EYE FROM THE RIGHT: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE


Contemporary Media seen from the Right



Summary: Although his Star Wars has warmed on me slightly after initial shattering disappointment, this is another terrible exercise in cinematic excrement from JJ Abrams, this time as producer.  
I'm sure, like me, you have all been waiting your whole lives for the John Goodman rape dungeon movie. Correct? Well folks, guess what? Wait NO more! The Goodman rape dungeon pic for all the family is now here via your purveyor of high brown cinematic culture and content – Hollywood’s new "Mr. Wunderkunt" – JJ Abrams. Yes, John Goodman is in full Joseph Fritzl mode, building himself a nice little family life down in the depths of his bomb shelter somewhere in the rural Mid West.

“But hold up a minute” I hear you say. “Is this not a sequel to the Cloverfield movie about some giant rip-off of Godzilla that the said Wunderkunt thought up a few years back?” Yes it's true. Cloverfield (one) was indeed a Godzilla type creature wrecking havoc on a city, told from a POV perspective and was not a total failure all things considered, but neither was it that wonderful. “So has Cloverfield  two got anything to do with Cloverfield one?” you ask hopefully. In a word, No! They are two entirely different and unrelated movies, just with some slight monster silliness in both.

JJ Abrams has come to represent the NEW GEN of Hollywood directors (snore) – most of whom you don't remember as they are almost anonymous and interchangeable. Names like Bret Rattner, McG, Dan Trachtenberg (who directs here), Zack Snyder, Gavin Hood, Matthew Vaughn, Bryan Singer, Tim Miller, yada yada yada. Of this motley crew JJ is The King. He stands out as the one most earnestly and convincingly trying to rip off the career of their directorial Ur-form – Mr Steven Spielberg.

From his Lost series – that I admittedly never watched except for an episode or two – to his movies like Super 8, you can see the stamp off SS all over his work. He did his thing on Star Trek, ending a great run of rather interesting Star Trek: Next Generation movies with the good Captain Picard, to basically try and mimic the original series, but with today's FX. The results, over two films, were not exactly stellar.

Not a good time for a selfie.
After that he was given the Gold Ticket – the Star Wars franchise – and while he fared slightly better there, considering the stakes, the results were again a tad lackluster. But never mind; all his work makes a lot of dough – the bottom line in Hell A, so keep shovelling that shit JJ! 10 Cloverfield Lane, his latest spade load, is mainly rather dumb, as it does not know what it wants to be – either a scary abduction and rape dungeon movie starring the Dad from Roseanne, or a sci-fi movie, where aliens are attacking the earth and there's a legit threat, and said Dad is actually a common sense saviour doing the right thing. Cinematic mental midget JJ Abrams tries to have it both ways, of course, and the results are doubly mediocre.

The film is NOT really a rape dungeon movie, either (drat!) – it has the trappings – but John Goodman is decidedly non-sexual and just wants to save the two young people he has "rescued." You spend 80 to 85% of the film assuming Goodman is a tin-foil-hat nutter, before you realize in the last 20 minutes that, no, he’s not and that there really is an alien attack underway above.

This makes the actions of the characters up to this point null and void, while negating the whole emotional dynamic of the film's plot – with the protagonists actually battling against someone who is out to save them! The last 15 minutes includes a brief fight with some weird aliens who look like they were borrowed from that sequence in Star Wars where Han Solo first re-appeared on that space ship. Glomp! But the whole result is all rather pointless, I’m afraid.

Die hard fans of sci-fi thrillers may like it and even appreciate the perverse twists – but I’d sooner watch a classic 50s sci-fi movie, like Them!, The Thing, or Earth vs. The Flying Saucers – as well you should.




 

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