Under review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

By |  March 22, 2016 0 Comments

I actually got out to see a movie this weekend with my wife! Stunner, right? The kids went with Grandma to see Zootopia while Adrianne and I went at the same time to see 10 Cloverfield Lane. (I felt pretty clever, I must say, getting my wife to this film and getting both of us out of the kiddie movie. “Hey look, 10 Cloverfield Lane is playing at the same time!”)

The preview does a good job selling it, but in case you want my quick version: Michelle (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up after a car wreck, and she’s not in a hospital bed, but in some kind of underground fallout bunker. Howard (played by John Goodman) tells her, cryptically, that no one is looking for her because everyone outside is dead — there was some kind of attack.Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 9.50.53 AM

Most of the movie you’re trying to figure out how crazy Howard is. Some of the things he says are true, some of them are… crazy. “I think it’s crazy to build the ark after the storm hits,” Howard says, and I’m like, “Yeah man, good job!” Later he reveals a secret into what all has happened and then he follows it with a deadpan, “I know I seem like a reasonable person, but…” And you have to laugh.

So are there zombies outside? Aliens? A foreign invasion?

You’ll have to watch, but that was part of the lure of the movie to me — what is it that’s going on outside? The suspense is great. I intentionally didn’t read up on the movie prior to going to the theater… other than having seen Cloverfield I was a blank slate.

It’s a good movie, maybe not rush-out-to-the-theaters-right-now good, but good. My favorite part of the movie was John Goodman’s performance. He was great. I also liked putting myself in the shoes of Michelle, the main character (which wasn’t easy, as she’s a woman) and asking myself what I’d do, how I’d react. Indeed, that was one of the first conversations Adrianne and I had following the film: Why did she do this? I would have done this, I wouldn’t have done that.

If I had a complaint it would be that the Michelle didn’t ask enough questions of Howard early on. This is a common complaint I have of movies, and I have to remind myself sometimes that I just have to let the storyteller tell the story — suspension of disbelief and all that.

My wife and I have a tradition, we rate movies before we see them, on a scale of 1 to 10. Following the movie, we rate it again. Basically we’re saying if the movie lived up to expectations, was better than we thought it would be, worse, etc.

Adrianne rated it a 4 before seeing it (she was none too excited about the film based on the preview.) I rated it a 6 (I’m a huge fan of the movie Cloverfield and J.J. Abrams films, but wasn’t sure a movie that takes place in an underground bunker would make me feel good about life.)

Following the movie, Adrianne gave it a 6 (hey, better than she thought!) and I gave it a 7 (better than I thought, too.) I would recommend it as a creepy thriller that will make for a decent night at the movies… if you go into it not expecting much, like Adrianne and I did.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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