Comic-Con Abuzz with Cloverfield Chitchat

This week it's all about the geek. With Comic-Con panels spewing dirt o' plenty on the upcoming genre properties of the next year, it's hard to not talk about the repercussions of what was said. Which leads us to the mysterious J.J. Abrams property nicknamed Cloverfield (but rumored by AICN founder Harry Knowles to be titled Colossus). Is this something to be excited about? Can it live up to the hype? This reporter believes it can.

First of all, if there's one thing Abrams proved with the first season of Lost, it is that he could take a fairly simple, pretty clichéd genre idea, put the focus on character and story development rather than special effects and action, and turn out a highly satisfying, engaging product. Have we seen giant monsters before? Yep. Have we seen one told through the personal experiences and handheld video camera footage of our main characters? Never. This unique angle, of focusing on people trying to survive an attack that happens all too quickly, is an intriguing concept that plays to Abrams strengths.

Secondly, digital video hides special effects better than pretty much any other format. This, being shot entirely on digital video, should make for some seriously, cool, creepy effects that don't take you out of the movie when they don't have enough money to finish properly render them. I think the digital nature of it could also lend to an authenticity not present in big-budget event films. It's not going to be slick hyper reality. Watch that trailer. It's going to be a gritty, scary reality. I like that idea a lot.

And lastly, I'm really excited to see someone scheduling an event film for mid-January. While this isn't necessarily a confidence builder, I want so badly for this to not only be good, but to do huge business. This could set up a possible break of the January dumping ground to which we're all accustomed, and prevent us from being showered with crud like Code Name: The Cleaner, week after week until Valentine's Day.

It's a bold concept by a guy who keeps trying things that everyone says will fail, but always work out. I'm really pulling for this one.

C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me


Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.