"terrifyingly realistic with the camera movements"

Cloverfield is an original and fresh idea. It's Blair Witch Project meets Independence Day. But it's done with style, heart, and a surprising amount of substance. While The Blair Witch Project featured annoying people screaming at each other, this film actually made me care about the characters, thanks to the romantic drama tone established during the first half hour. The cast, which is comprised of mostly no-name actors, pulls off a collaboratively believable performance. Every actor in the film helps sustain the illusion that this is real footage from the night, and that they are being completely natural on-camera.

Of course, "Cloverfield," produced by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams, is a much more ambitious undertaking, using all of Manhattan as a playground of destruction. It starts off in a upmarket loft where they hold a going away party for Rob, who is leaving for Japan. The party is being documented with a hand-held video camera by Rob's best friend, Hud. The party is disrupted by what they think is an earthquake. That's when the fun really starts.

This film was quite an experience. I don't think that fans will be disappointed; I wasn't. I won't say much about the film itself since that is half of the hype, but I will say this: The film was very well done and kept me involved with what was happening. It was terrifyingly realistic with the camera movements, and that may make some viewers sick to their stomachs. I personally thought the cinematography added a lot to the film.

The thrilling visual and sound effects wowed me (there were a few times when my eyes closed and my jaw dropped). Any sci-fi film will also benefit from a sense of entrapment and this film pulls off the seemingly impossible challenge of making New York City seem claustrophobic because there was nowhere to hide. Simply put, the film is an amazingly visceral experience. It's studio logo, production logo, film. No credits whatsoever, which just adds to the overall immediacy of it.

I do have a few concerns, most commonly 'why is he still filming'? and how are the girls running in high heels! Beware those who need need to have every loose end tied up. Spoiler (Apparently the camera battery will last forever with no replacing or recharging, while further powering attachments for any situation that is called for - an incandescent light, night-vision mode, etc. It also gets dropped numerous times, and nuked at the end. Wow!)

Above all, I thought it was a tremendously original piece of cinema...my final thought... what happened next?