10 Cloverfield Lane – Not So Original?

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Having only seen the commercials and read the reviews, it was painfully clear – 10 Cloverfield Lane is a rehash. But, the general audience probably isn’t aware of it – including all the critics who herald it as an “original” story.

The premise of the story is simple: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself trapped in a shelter with a quasi-nutball, Howard (John Goodman – one of my favorites) claiming the end of the world by chemical fallout, and another pawn, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), trapped in Howard’s so-called end-of-the-world delusion. Through a series of events, Michelle and Emmett come to learn that Howard is not what he appears to be and that they’re trapped in a very dangerous situation.

Fighting for survival, Michelle eventually escapes and finds out … well … things weren’t what they seem (I’ll save the ending for those who want to be surprised … although … after the first commercial – the ending was blatantly obvious). Not having seen the movie yet, I can’t give a detailed report about the quality and story – which is probably a good thing for those who want to see it. However, having read the reviews and spoilers – I’m glad I saved $35+ dollars and didn’t waste the money to see such a predictable show. Don’t misunderstand, I have liked most of John Goodman’s work, but Hollywood’s offered very little of late to garner my trust – or my money. Worse – JJ Abram’s (Star Wars VII director) name as producer has been associated with the movie – and that alone makes it an absolute turn-off. Other than my recent review of God’s of Egypt, the clearly repetitive copycat story-telling style of Hollywood movies of late seemed outright uninteresting. Frankly – I’ll wait for it to come out on On-Demand.

But, if you read the reviews, “copycat” doesn’t seem to be the buzzword. Although, a few people have caught on …

JJ Abrams is infamous for his re-use and re-hash of other movies, lazy style of directing – and worse – his lazy production in 10 Cloverfield Lane. Why do I say lazy?

Watch, “The Shelter,” Twilight Zone episode from 1961. Or, perhaps, “Time Enough At Last,” from 1959. Or, “A Little Peace and Quiet,” from the re-generated Twilight Zone series in 1985. And, that list can go on … and on … and on. Of course, those are old shows. What other shows have the same feel, story-telling style, are clearly the same thing being regurgitated in 10 Cloverfield Lane? Plenty (Independence Day, No Exit, etc.). The point is, 10 Cloverfield Lane’s ending may be a “twist” ending – but it’s not a “surprise”, or an, “I didn’t see that coming,” type of ending. I know audiences are rushing to theaters to see something new and cool – but this JJ Abrams “sheeple” trend has got to stop! If you pay $20 to go watch a movie – it should be worth $20!! (Not counting that $500 in popcorn, sodas, and plastic glasses that have been repackaged and resold to you over and over and over again!!). That’s a LOT of money!

I’m not saying that 10 Cloverfield Lane wouldn’t be fun. But, watching the same thing over and over again, knowing the ending, and seeing what really is poor production (sorry – I will always be disgusted with JJ Abrams and Hollywood – they really hate people – and I say that with absolute confidence and willingness to back it up), just doesn’t seem like “fun.” Of course, when you consider that it ties into the Cloverfield movie, and that it sets up for a sequel (yep – it advertises its sequel “in-movie” with the way it ends the story … so you’re paying to see a really, really, long commercial) – makes this movie a real let down before even walking in the doors. Exposing our future generations to these types of movies just lowers the bar so far down that the future of Hollywood will be nothing more than derivative, monotonous drivel that will continue to deface the value of what movies could really be if they tried.

But, if you do go and see it – hopefully you’ll have watched those twilight episodes first. A little class television and a few original story lines might just add to your enjoyment! And, it is John Goodman – so that’s a plus (and apparently – the movie’s ONLY “big plus”, as per a LOT of critics – even the ones that like it). It is a big budget film for Dan Trachtenberg, the director (although – if you’ve ever seen: Portal: No Escape, directed by him … well… this is sort of a revamp of his previous work in style and directing … sorry, but again, JJ Abrams likes to pick ’em to do it like he does it – rehash-style!). Still, if you’re a forgiving person, you may just enjoy it. I’ll just save the $20, go do something interactive with family, laugh and have fun, and instead of $500 in popcorn – we’ll rent it in HD for $6.99. After all, it’s not like we don’t know how it ends and will feel “left out!!!”. (That is – we’ll rent it just to support John Goodman – not Abrams!!!)

The best laid plans of mice and men …

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