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Monday, March 14, 2016


I go to films for escape.  This weekend I went to two openings on opposite ends of the spectrum:  one featuring an alien, and the other a bunch of fatuous (foolish...inane) idiots.  10 Cloverfield Lane carried a Rotten Tomatoes 90% reviewers' rating, with 85% audiences likes, while RT gave The Brothers Grimsby scores of 38% and 55%.  Like all of my movie summaries, I try to give everything away, so stop reading here if you really don't want to know what happened.

10CL was gripping, surprising and, gasp, had real aliens.  TBG was crude, prurient and a spoof of all those spy films you've seen, with soccer tossed in.  Maybe it was the obvious contrast of good and bad, but I actually enjoyed both films, although Sacha Baron Cohen's fixation with certain body parts and orifices is pathologically troublesome.

He wrote and starred in TBG.  Smart guy, graduated from Cambridge University.  Really.  But something must have gone terribly wrong with him, psychologically.  Remember Borat? And he actually acted in the musical Les Miserables.  His films, however, are usually way over the top.  Mark Strong was quite good as a master spy and Sacha's long-lost younger brother, while Rebel Wilson, well, she pretty much plays her overweight self, with crass indecency.

10CL is, of course, a sequel to Cloverfield, a 2008 film that has been described as a composite of Godzilla and The Blair Witch Project, and did wonderfully at the box office.  So J.J. Abrams (who has been responsible for TV's Lost and the latest Star Wars movie), and his partners, did #2, which is not really related to each other.  

It would have been nice if the nearly 300 foot tall monster from the first (left) could somehow have been related to the alien from 10 Cloverfield Lane.  The photo on the right is not this new horrible alien.

Amazingly enough, I could not find any Cloverfield 2 alien on the world wide web, so I just inserted one of Brigitte Bardot as she apparently looks today.  As this film came in second this weekend (Grimsby was eighth), there will be a #3.  The public loves to be entertained by extraterrestrials, attacks from outer space and sea dragons.

John Goodman (Roseanne on TV, The Flintstones and The Babe on the big screen--and you've seen a lot of him in more than a hundred movies) psychopathically collects Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and tries to convince her she cannot leave because of aliens or Russians outside their bunker in what he described as a toxic atmosphere.  So it becomes a choice of being used and disposed indoors, or face the unknown enemy outside.  My sense is that in the next version, Winstead, who succeeds in her escape, and beyond all common sense destroying the preying worm and linked extraterrestrial aircraft, will next surface near Baton Rouge to share her clue on how to dispose of them.    It would be a stretch for Goodman to show up in the next sequel, but that would make for a very scary return, for he was badly disfigured and had to survive an explosion.

I should indicate that Bradley Cooper (extreme right--Abrams on the left)) is given fourth billing in 10CL.  However, you never see him, although you do hear his voice on the phone.  Cloverfield III?  It is reported that JJ Abrams is producing something called God Particle.  Could there be a link?  On the other hand, no actor/actress from #1 shows up in #2, so these speculations are purely conjectural.  I look forward to the next Cloverfield.


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