In the Valley of Elah and Cloverfield…


It’s been another 2 film weekend for me…

In the Valley of Elah – Don’t get caught up in whether this is a propaganda film about the war in Iraq. In my opinion it isn’t. It’s a story about a father trying to find his missing son. That’s not to say the film avoids the subject of war and the armed forces. On the contrary, the film deals with the impact war has on soldiers, but this theme is not specific to any one war or any one country. The subject matter means it’s quite a tough film to watch, but it’s well worth seeing. Just don’t expect to come out with a smile on your face.

Cloverfield –  WOW! This film is totally awesome! I completely loved it. Imagine a documentary of a disaster in New York done in the style of The Blair Witch Project. Of course, if you couldn’t stand the camera work of Blair Witch you’re going to hate this too, but for me it added an extra sense of drama and realism to the whole thing. I know I always complain about camera shake, but here it’s totally appropriate rather than feeling contrived. There were enough monster shots to get me into it, but it wasn’t overdone like normal Hollywood monster movies.

On the way out I heard many people saying things like, “What a pile of sh*t”, and, “That’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen”. I guess these people like their monster movies to look like Godzilla, which was a terrible film and represents everything I hate about Hollywood monster movies. Each to their own…

I’m not trying to say this is the perfect film. Sure, there are faults I could pick, but I came out of the cinema feeling like I’d witnessed something totally cool, which doesn’t happen to me very often, especially where monster movies are concerned.

So be warned, it ain’t Godzilla, Independence Day or War of the Worlds. It’s a cheese free zone.



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

7 thoughts on “In the Valley of Elah and Cloverfield…”

  1. Hi.

    If they do a good job of it, I’m quite happy to watch it. If they do a bad rehash totry and make some quick bucks I’m going to be really dissapointed.



  2. Not sure I’d call Cloverfield awesome. But it has one thing I’ve
    never seen in ANY other “monster” movie: the monster scenes
    are totally non-important, it completely concentrates on the
    human side of it. And that is truly unique! Sensational movie,
    as far as I’m concerned. Not awesome: just so different, it
    practically creates its own class.
    Heard the same kind of “comments” from some folks on the way
    out: I guess they like their “monster” movies predictable…

  3. I agree about Cloverfield, I knew from the trailers that this would be ‘my kind of film’, although I have to admit that during the first 10-15 minutes I thought I couldn’t take any more of the wobbly camera work (not feeling sick, just annoyed by it).

    However once the action starts, the ‘wobbly camera’ just made the action all the more enjoyable.

    I can see why some people wouldn’t enjoy the film, but I really enjoyed it.


  4. A nice variation on the “Monster eats City” plot, because of the “amateur camera” the monster shots looked a lot better than the usual CGI stuff seen in such movies, at least in my opinon.

  5. Valley of Elah was supposed to be anti-war and how awful our soldiers are. I guess???

    I am numb to this liberal dredge. I would not stop to avoid a child in the street (doing what?) in Iraq–and I am a grandmother. I’ll be damned if I would put my men at risk of a human bomb or having all the cretins running out of the bushes to kill me.

    Doubt if most writers of this stuff know the history of the Arabs. They never had captives or used torture–just hacked off heads of those who disagreed with them and were not able to be a slave. Read about Suleiman the Magnificient.

    Unfortunately–no one knows history about anything anymore–doesn’t matter, most of it has been revised anyway.

    This did not sway me to feel sorry for anyone in Iraq. Children either.

  6. I would prefer it if you didn’t single out any specific nations on my blog. I would rather not have to consider censoring anyone.

    I don’t think the message the film is trying to convery is directed at any specific war. I also don’t think the film particularly cares which side you are on. For me the message is that war dehumanizes people. This is true of both sides.

    When people are asked to do extraordinary things, like fight in wars, it changes them. The impact of this change is the subject of the film, in my opinion. The actual war is irrelevant.

    That’s the way I interpretted the film anyway. 🙂



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