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Cloverfield

A $25 million dollar budget and a handheld camera
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 16, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars

If the makers of The Blair Witch Project had had a $25 million budget, or if the Godzilla people had had digital video technology and computer-generated special effects, they probably would have come up with something more original than Cloverfield. But credit director Matt Reeves and producer J.J. Abrams for the premise, which by now is familiar to all from the saturation marketing. Friends throw a surprise party for a guy leaving Manhattan for Japan. They give the dumbest fellow in the room a camera. Then something awful destroys the city. Kind of puts one’s personal problems in perspective, doesn’t it? Well, no, because it sets up that old disaster-movie cliché where the hero desperately tries to rescue his beloved while the world is being destroyed — the difference being that Cloverfield is shot with a handheld camera by someone making stupid comments. Despite the surreal images and the gratuitous 9/11 references, all this amounts to is about a $40 million opening weekend. 84 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Circle/Chestnut Hill + suburbs

  Topics: Reviews , Matt Reeves (Director), CLOVERFIELD
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