Jan 30, 2008

Which did I like more, the Star Trek teaser or Cloverfield?

What's a geek girl to do? I've got to choose between a movie I've been anticipating for months and a one-minute fifteen-second teaser trailer. On one hand you've got a mysterious monster movie produced by one of my favorite people, J.J. Abrams, on the other you've got a glimpse at a new movie from a series I've loved since I was a little girl...also produced by J.J. Abrams. Hmm. Let's break it down shall we?


Before the teaser trailer for the new Star Trek movie was released, a friend told me it would probably be some lame shot of the Enterprise going into warp. I had to tell him, probably with a little more geek force than I should have, that the Enterprise wasn't even built yet considering this movie is taking place with the original cast in Starfleet Academy. So it was really awesome to see that that was exactly what the teaser trailer was, the Enterprise being built.

I gotta admit, I hate teaser trailers for the most part. I'm probably already super-excited for your movie, teasing is just mean. You have more footage, we know you do, just use it! That being said, I got goose bumps hearing Leonard Nimoy's voice say, "Space, the final frontier."

Honestly, I look forward to any new Star Trek movie, but this most recent effort in particular seems like an interesting premise. I just hope that no sequels are made from it. I know that sounds weird. I'm sure they have the material they could use for one, I just think it's a bad idea. Tell this story and let it be. In my way of thinking it's more interesting to see new technology and advances as opposed to looking back.

Since Leonard Nimoy has a part in this film I'm assuming it's all going to be told from his point of view. Since William Shatner has not been offered a role I'm also assuming Nimoy's part takes place sometime after the Star Trek Generations timeline where Captain Kirk died on Veridian III. If that's the case, I feel bad for the guy, the could have easily set this before that incident. It's not going to make or break the movie for me though.

Then there's Cloverfield, which seems to have become a love it or hate it movie from what I've been hearing. Personally, I loved it. I also learned everything I possibly could about it before it came out. Not spoilers really, I'm not usually a fan of spoilers, just the general idea. Monster movie, NY, no big stars, shot with a hand-held camera. I think the biggest problem for the people who didn't like it was that they didn't know what they were getting themselves into. I can understand someone who didn't know going in that it was shot that way being annoyed by it.

The other critique I've heard a lot has been people saying this was meant as an allegory to September 11th. I'm not getting into that debate. What I will say is, if you have a monster movie based in the United States it's going to be in New York, just like a monster movie based in England would be set in London. It's the city with the most recognizable landmarks that no one could mistake for being anywhere else. The other simple fact is; you can't get trapped in Chicago or Miami. New York is an island! Take out a couple bridge and tunnels and you've got yourself the perfect setting for a really intense monster movie.

Casting relative unknowns in Cloverfield was a good move. It created more believable backstory for the characters than would have been possible with a star in the same role. Though making the main characters rich yuppies who you'd kill for their apartments or trust funds did make it a little hard to like them at first. But once they were on the streets fighting for their lives like everyone else you forget that. Well, at least until they went back to Beth's dad's apartment. I'd still live in it post-monster. Don't lie, you know you would too.

My favorite part of Cloverfield was Lizzy Caplan as Marlena. Specifically the awesome Superman dialogue between her and Hud down in the subway tunnels. I didn't know this until I looked her up afterward but she had a small roll in Smallville a few years ago apparently, which makes for a nice coincidence.


Hud: Ocean is big, dude. All I'm saying is, a couple of years ago they found a fish in Madagascar that they thought had been extinct for centuries.
Rob: So, what? It's been down there this whole time and nobody noticed?
Hud: Sure. Maybe it erupted from an ocean trench, ya know? Or a crevace...crevice! It's just a theory. I mean, for all we know it's from another planet and it flew here.
Marlena: Like Superman?
Hud: Yeah! Exactly like Su...wait. You know who Superman is?
Marlena: Oh my god. Whoa...You know who Superman is?
Hud: Okay...
Marlena: Whoooaaa...I'm like feeling som...are you aware of Garfield?


You can't really get much better than that. Plus it gave us all a nice chuckle in between fearing for their safety. Speaking of safety, I've seen enough movies in my life to know that when rats run in one particular direction, you should join them. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade anyone? They were a little slow on the uptake there. They were more concerned with it being gross than the fact that the rats were running away from something.

The monster itself was scary in my opinion. With all the speculation that went on I'm sure people over-hyped it too much and were disappointed. The thing is, what the monster looked like didn't matter nearly as much to me as what was going to happen to the characters.

But of course everyone is still speculating. Is the monster from the sea? Space? The government? If you want to check out a bunch of the theories check out this article from the Geeks of Doom. Now forget all that. I've got your real answer. None of the above. The monster is actually from New Jersey. That's right. NEW JERSEY! We got sick and tired of all you New Yorkers using our malls, talking down to us all the time, making everyone think we say it "New Joisey" and trying to claim the Statue of Liberty as your own. We didn't have the monster throw her head at you for no reason. And here you thought all those factories and swamps were just for recycling and dumping bodies. That'll teach ya.

Ok I'm done. :-) The win goes to Cloverfield for being and actual full satisfying movie rather than a teaser trailer that made me scream how December 25th wasn't nearly close enough. Though I couldn't ask for a better Christmas present.

4 comments:

Alexander The Poet said...

Very awesome post.

But sequels are so 90s. It's all about trilogies now. LOL

And I believe the character of Kirk has been recast, so he will be in it. Not dead, like you've written, or maybe I read it wrong?

charles said...

talk more about boobs

HitchcockGeek said...

What a minute. How can this movie be about the Enterprise being built yet ALSO take place after Kirk is dead? I'm confused.

Nerdy Bird said...

Haha, sorry I know it's a bit confusing. From what I know, the bulk of the movie is set in the past when the original cast is still in Starfleet Academy (school basically). But since Leonard Nimoy is cast I'm assuming the movie is going to be coming from his point of view in Star Treks "current" time, that is, after Kirk has died. Like he's reminiscing about the "good old days" you know? Zachary Quinto, Sylar from Heroes is playing young Spock in the film.

This is all speculation from what I've heard mind you. I've also heard it could be an alternate reality also, so who knows.