In the current myriad of overly-hyped summer blockbusters that have been released in the past few months, such as Prometheus and The Amazing Spider-Man (both of which were covered in articles that I had written in the past week), it’s easy to forget that a bad movie is just that: a bad movie. None of the gloss you surround an upcoming release is going to hide that fact. If you’ve made a crap movie, people will react, perhaps not appropriately, but they will in fact respond in a certain manner. This isn’t to say that it still can’t be a rousing success, financially-speaking, that is. Often, this will result in a sequel, a follow-up, that, for obvious reasons, is typically a rehash of what had come before (the Transformers film series. That speaks for itself), usually avoiding risk in order to keep things box-office friendly.
With that said, one of the first films I had ever found myself getting hyped up over was the J.J. Abrams-produced found-footage film, Cloverfield. Right from the start, when the first teaser trailer was released, people were hooked, pretty much because they had no idea what they were watching. Among some of the most striking imagery included in the marketing was the head of the Statue of Liberty, which had been ripped from it’s body and flung across the city by SOMETHING. Something big. And clearly pissed off. What was it? Well, you’d have to pay for a movie ticket to find out.
Unfortunately, what most people got wasn’t exactly what they had expected, but I for one, at least back then, was totally pleased with the film. In fact, I went to watch it again in theatres with a friend. The film really inspired me, along with a multitude of other sources, to go into filmmaking, as well as heightened my interest in giant monsters.
However, over recent years I’ve grown more and more critical of the film in tandem with the expansion of my interests and intellectual capacity. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the film, or even dislike it. I’m simply stating that there are many areas where it could have been improved. Now, with all the talks of a sequel in the works (eventually), as well as with all the blockbusters surrounding me these days, I thought I’d take a look at where the original failed to really leave an impression, and how a follow-up can significantly raise bar from it’s predecessor.
Oh yes, and here’s a spoiler warning for anyone who has failed to watch a movie that came out 2008, especially one that had been hyped so bloody much before its release.