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Blu-ray Review: Cloverfield

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Loads of hype and a lot to live up to Cloverfield only misses one mark: explaining its gigantic CGI star. The intensity of the handheld camera footage isn’t completely original, but lets audiences live through a fantastical disaster from a viewpoint unique to the genre. J.J. Abrams may not get his wish for this to be a cultural giant monster like Godzilla is to Japan, but this a non-stop ride of intense action.

Read the full movie review here.

Wow. Cloverfield is a stunning HD spectacle. While there are few shots that appear grainy (as they did in theaters), this is a flawless example of how incredible Blu-ray can be. Sharp, clean, and remarkably clear, Cloverfield might even look better than it did in theaters. Detail is phenomenal, and the rich, bold blacks create a beautiful contrast. For a film trying to look as if it was shot by a home video cameras, in this respect, it almost fails. On Blu-ray, it does exactly what it should.

Now with uncompressed audio, this is an even louder, crisper home presentation of this memorable movie. Bass is simply astonishing in its power to rattle a room. The intensity of the military battle sequence, complete with spot on surround use is incredible. Even the subtlety of the subway scenes, from the echoes of the dialogue to the fight going on above the characters off screen are flawless. This is one of those immersive tracks you’ll ever hear on any format.

The commentary from director Matt Reeves is going to disappoint a lot of people. This is purely a technical commentary, discussing the shoot and repetitively mentioning the limited budget. There is no explanation for the beast, he points out no small touches, and fails to clarify anything other than how the movie was shot.

That leads into some robust extras apart from that. Document 1-18-08 is a half-hour behind the scenes piece loaded with on set footage. While it begins as promotional material, it quickly turns into a nice look at how the film came to be. Cloverfield Visual Effects is an aptly titled piece on the CG and green screen shots that offers countless comparisons of the live action and final composites during its 22-minute run.

I Saw It, It’s Alive, It’s Huge is a five-and-a-half-minute short on the main creature design. There is confirmation here that the monster featured is in fact only a baby as seen in the film. Cloverfun is a rather bland collection of outtakes for four minutes.

Four deleted scenes include commentary and offer little to the overall film, while most of the footage shown here ended up in the movie anyway. Two alternate endings also feature very minor changes, and you’ll need the commentary to pick out the differences on the second on. Some trailers are the final piece to this disc.

Star Lizzy Caplan had no idea she was auditioning for a giant monster movie. She thought it was going to be a romance film, then something to do with TV show Alias. She had to take the role before reading the actual script for fears of the secrets squeaking out before the release.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.