Caught Cloverfield last night, after the kiddies went to bed (and after a super great date night where Kimi and I had a wonderful dinner out at Castro Point).

Look, this is a really well-made version of The Blair Witch Project reborn as a giant monster movie, and if you get motion sickness at all, the camera work here is going induce severe nausea.

It’s basically real-time (playing back the tape of a home movie), and so that means there’s no explanation and less resolution than you might hope for. There’s really less of everything that you might hope for. That said, I thought it was well-acted and exhilarating, unconventional, and even unpredictable (all things I’m really looking for), with first-rate production and special effects — and I’d rather it left me wanting more instead of feeling it had overstayed its welcome.

My main complaint is I’m not ready for 9/11 imagery to be reused in a monster movie. Early on, you get the clouds of smoke billowing down New York streets as panicked Manhattanistas take cover. I know this is 2008, over six years from 9/11, but trivializing the terror of that day by co-opting those emotions for a $10 carnival ride of a movie seems reprehensible to me. The movie would not have worked as well set in L.A., but I think Boston or San Francisco or Chicago or London or Paris would have served much better.

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