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Sunday January 20, 2008 1:00 am

‘Cloverfield’ Warning: Take Your Motion Sickness Pills

Cloverfield

Tonight, I was really looking forward for my chance to see .  Not only was I intrigued by the trailers, I was relieved to watch a movie that was only 1.5 hours long.  A short run time basically guaranteed the action would start quickly.  Unfortunately, the production ended up feeling like the longest 85 minutes of my life.  (And that wasn’t because it was necessarily a bad film.)  It was also the most nauseating experience I had had in quite some time.  (And that wasn’t because it was a particularly gory film.  In fact, it was fairly tame.)  Cloverfield just happened to be the shakiest piece of film I can recall having to endure.  Period.

Had this been any other movie, I might have walked out on it.  The problem was that I wanted to sit through the whole thing.  (I needed to see that bad-ass monster for myself.)  If that meant averting my gaze through a third of the film, I figured that would still be better than completely leaving halfway through it.  I refused to wimp out.

But if any of you out there have a problem with motion sickness, heed my advice:  Take Your Dramamine!  Envision the shaky home video your friend took at your wedding. Then imagine them running with the camera.  Then extend that same piece of film (with no pauses) to movie-length.  I like to think that I can stomach a lot, but this was x 10.  (Though when compared to the sickening feeling I felt on a casino boat once, this was about half as bad.)

NOTE:  I am giving you a piece of advice.  This is not meant to be a review of the film.

I want everyone to understand that I’m not criticizing the director () for using the shaky-cam technique.  In fact, I thought it was a creative storytelling device.  I just wish I had been better prepared.  Although I had seen the commercials and was aware of the movie’s basic premise, I stupidly didn’t put two-and-two together. A whole movie shot on a home video camera should have set off alarms with me.  (Maybe I was just hoping the amateur behind the camera would have a steadier hand.)  So let my cautionary tale be your word of warning.

And before I go, I’d like to add a quick note directed toward theater owners: if you don’t want clean up any future ‘spills’, I’d advise you to post some warnings outside the auditorium doors.  You know, just like the ones you see at amusement parks. 

“Those who are pregnant, elderly or likely to feel queasy during shaky experiences should take precautionary measures before watching this film.  Dramamine can be purchased at the concession stands for $10.”

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