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The Top Three Movies That Should Have Been Cloverfield

The geek nation’s collective undies are in a twist over the release of Beowulf this weekend, and it’s not (primarily) thanks to the chance to see the CGI version of Angelina Jolie’s breasts. Screenings of Beowulf will premiere the highly- (and sweatily-, in many corners of the blogosphere) anticipated new trailer for Cloverfield, the somewhat mysterious monster movie project from producer J.J. Abrams.

Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming flick:

  1. There’s a really big, thunderously-loud monster busting shit up–including the military and the Statue of Liberty–all over New York City.
  2. The Really Big Monster is joined by a bunch of smaller-yet-formidable monsters.
  3. There’s more buzz around this project than from the flies around a drinking contest between Nick Nolte and Mickey Rourke in Tijuana.
  4. It looks completely bad-ass in terms of visuals and story-telling. I’m going to take a hop, skip, and a stumble out onto a limb and say this movie is actually going to be good.

What a perfect storm of geek movie magic. Makes a geek wish that J.J. Abrams had been the driving force behind these came-up-short monster movies…


Remember the hype behind Godzilla? If only the steak had matched the sizzle. There’s a reason that Godzilla has been heralded (by me… I do love me some heralding) as one of the most disappointing geek movies. It’s no small trick to make a visual-effects extravaganza about a giant lizard laying waste to New York boring, but somehow the Paulie Shore and Carrot Top team of movie production–Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich–pulled it off.

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four didn’t have to be a piece of forgettable, bubblegum fluffery. A face-off against the old FF nemesis Mole Man (master of otherworldly monsters who periodically plow from their subterranean lairs to terrorize New York) would have been the perfect set up for a movie of Cloverfield‘s story (monsters attack NY), tone, and approach.

Jessica Alba could have been the frosting on a beautiful cake of modern superhero storytelling… instead of being the only compelling reason to see Fantastic Four.

The Day After Tomorrow

So, no… The Day After Tomorrow had nothing to do with monsters set loose in New York. But I like to imagine a better world… a world in which The Day After Tomorrow in no way resembles the movie that Roland Emmerich visited upon us in 2004.

It’s the same world in which dogs never bark when you’re trying to sleep, gas still only costs $1 per gallon, and Michael Bay is legally precluded from making movies.

Doesn’t that sound like the kind of world you’d like to live in?

4 comments… add one
  • Karen November 16, 2007, 1:03 pm

    Now all I can see are a million geeks in tighty whities picking at their bottoms, in a futile attempt to untwist their undies.

  • Great White Snark November 16, 2007, 4:50 pm

    Sorry about that.

  • nickolai November 16, 2007, 7:57 pm

    Day After Tomorrow was a perfectly respectable movie! Except for the ridiculous premise. And the random pack of wolves. And Jake Gyllenhaal.

  • anim8or November 17, 2007, 9:14 am

    am I the only one bothered by the fact that the statue of liberty head in that trailer is about 10 times too small? does the monster have the ability to shrink monuments before destroying them?

    Oh.. and Beowulf will be the worst movie in the history of mankind. If you run into Zemeckis do your civic duty and give him a kick in the groin from the animation community.

    When he came to our studio he asked how he could make his humans more realistic (since that was what we specialized in, CG for stunts), my good friend (and best rendering artist I have worked with) suggested he FILM THEM!

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