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Cloverfield in Los Angeles

Dan Stone - Sunday, November 28, 2010

Released: 2010
Director: Colin Strause & Greg Strause
Starring: Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, & David Zayas
Website: Rouge Films
Buy this movie at In Theatres - Movie Phone

Do you like movies where entire cities are leveled by strange creatures attacking Earth? If you said yes than you have probably seen such movies as Independence Day, Cloverfield, Starship Troopers, and the Matrix.

Close Encounters of the Digital KindAnd if you have seen any of these movies (or even the trailer for Skyline) than you have pretty much already seen the best parts of this film.

Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) are visiting Los Angeles to celebrate the birthday of Jarrod's childhood friend Terry (Donald Faison). These two pals have a past history as a terrible high school rap duo and Terry has somehow become ambiguously famous for his solo rap career or maybe his acting career. (The movie isn't going to tell you so don't think about it too much). The important thing is they are all staying in Terry's luxurious No, it's not a scene from the new Silver Surfer movie...penthouse apartment.

After a late night of partying, Jarrod and Elaine wake up to the glow of giant bulbs of light descending from the sky. As people of Earth look into the warm blue glow of the lights, their skin begins to turn blue and veiny and they are sucked into giant tractor beams. Since the crew (which is rounded out by a couple of random chicks in Terry's entourage and later a doorman played by David Zayas) is already sitting in a high rise apartment with automatic shutters, this seems to be the safest place to be. This is A huge fan of Watain!where the movie begins to turn into a pretty straight rehash of Night of the Living Dead.

The plot of the film actually borrows so liberally from Night (and all of the above mentioned films) that you would think Sheperd Fairey had written the script. You already know where the plot goes from there. Strange creatures that feast on human brains, arguments about staying vs. leaving. Escape attempts that go horribly wrong, fortifying the apartment and eventual fleeing the scene for safer ground. On top of all this, Jarrod has been feeling a bit strange after an encounter with theYup - Cloverfield. blue light early in the film.

However, there is no reason to focus on the plot points of the actors involved. The human characters are so weak and irritating that you’ll want to see them get theirs. The movie only picks up when our heroes go outside of their penthouse fortress (despite the mind blowing stupidity of such an action given the circumstances). This movie is all about alien destruction, and in that depNope, not District 9artment it really delivers. In fact, this movie is a whos-who list of Hollywood insect alien robots.

All of your favorite segmented alien pals have returned in this movie to have a good time. Remember the Sentinels? Those spindly tentacled robots with the glowing red lights that gave Neo and the gang such a hard time in the Matrix trilogy? This go around they are hardly recognizable in their role as spindly tentacled robot wCalifornia kind of sucks anyway. Well, except for Disneyland.ith blue lights for eyes. Talk about range!

With a command performance that will surely generate Oscar buzz, Giant Flying Saucer once again reprises his role as a giant flying saucer. His scene opposite a Stealth Bomber is a hoot! (what a long storied career Flying Saucer has, his career in the biz going all the way back to the original “V” miniseries) And coming back for more brains is the Brain Bug, who you may remember from his role in Starship Troopers who ate that guy-who-kind-of-looks-like-Chris-Kattan's brain. Let me tell you, Brain Bug has been hitting Alien semen landing everywhere.the gym, he is looking lean and mean. Quite spindly actually.

The last time we saw the Cloverfield monster he was kicking it in Central Park, but he has hitched a ride with a new crew and is LA to catch some tasty waves, a cool buzz and some human brains. This movie is a first time feature from the Brothers Strausse, who boast a long and truly impressive resume of visual effects work to their name. It is no surprise this film is so packed with familiar Anal probing at it's bestCG faces, it’s damn near an Oceans 11 of modern movie aliens.

So if you enjoy watching movies simply to see Los Angeles get leveled mercilessly by an aggressive species of alien with superior technology, this movie will treat you just right. The acting and plot are so thin and ridiculous that it really drags the movie down as you watch them bicker in an apartment. Still the movie does deliver some top notch effects, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.

If this movie had just given the script some polish and focused a bit more on the characters inside the apartment than this film could have been a real winner. An ending that feels forced and tacked on gives you a glimpse inside the alien hive/ship, but by the time that reveal comes, you kind of wish they ended the film moments before. If the directors had just eliminated the actors from the film completely and focused on the star studded cast of alien invaders doing their thing, this would be a 5 star flick for sure.

Here is the trailer:




Skyline 2 Early Promo Picture!
Skyline 2 Early Promo Picture!

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