Pleasantly Surprised

Disney, Lucasfilm, Syncopy, Marvel Studios and Pixar.

These studios have all created amazing films. Sure, they’ve had a few duds here and there but overall these are the film studios that I can trust. Over the last few days I’ve been mulling over a film I saw on Friday with my best friend Nick, now you need to know a few things about him before we get into this: Nick really likes good films, films that typically involve the creative talents of people like Christopher Nolan, Alejandro Inarrittú, Rian Johnson, Jeff Nichols or Nicolas Winding Refn. He loves the idea of Cinematography, Lighting and Music coming together to form a perfect shot that is just another puzzle piece of crafting a beautiful cinematic story. Another thing to know about him is that he can be very critical of bad films. He and I have disagreed on a few different ones but mostly we can at least see the merits of a film and understand that proper contemplation is needed on a lot of what we watch. So, knowing what you know about us, we were still talking about this film yesterday.

The film is “10 Cloverfield Lane” I went into this honestly just hoping to see it before it left our small(er), picky theater but I came out of it just blown away. From the opening 10 minutes which hardly has any dialogue and instead relies heavily on visuals, to the thrilling, suspenseful finale. For me, it was just a great example of what films can return to.

Mild Spoilers for “10 Cloverfield Lane” ahead.

Nowadays, Trailers give away half of the movie in two minutes. Even my two favorite films of last year(Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens) suffered from it in smaller ways. It doesn’t make or break a movie but I’ve found that the less I know about a film, the more I like it. Word of mouth and intelligent marketing is a very important component whenever you’re releasing a new film and this one mastered it beautifully.

The marketing, like the original, for the film was one of my favorite things about it. Showing a trailer less than two months away from release and showing very little of the actual plot or dialogue was a huge risk and to me it enhanced the film quite a bit.  The fact that I didn’t know(and still don’t) if it was a sequel or an anthology film made it even better. The ending comes as a mild surprise depending on what you were expecting, I had it spoiled for me ahead of time but even though I knew the secret, it was still a great reveal and it’s because the film is just written and shot very well. At no point in this film was the finale given away and that’s another great thing that has been lost over the years.

Honestly, that’s why this film is so great. You can tell that they’re returning to older ways of film-making, The slow build-up to the finale, the occasional tracking shots and the focus on exposition through small character moments. This is genuinely one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time and I can’t wait to see where the series continues whether it is a single narrative or an entirely different film.

At the beginning of this article I named a few different production companies that I have begun to trust and I will proudly add Bad Robot to this list. J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard have all done amazing things over the last few years and ushering in Dan Trachtenberg is a great move on their part if they can keep putting out quality films like this.

4 Comments on “Pleasantly Surprised”

    1. I literally just realized that I did the entire review without mentioning the actors. That just goes to show how well made the movie is lol. Thanks for the feedback, my friend. We’ve got more coming soon.

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