I have a regular group of “movie buddies,” but it’s also common for me to catch a flick by myself due to spontaneity. One of the guys who almost always says “yes” to a quick text about a movie is Aaron Peck – internationally famous blogger over at the Confusing Middle. Aaron is also the children’s ministry assistant at our church, and he and I both simply enjoy movies.
He suggested over on his blog that we write movie reviews about the ones we see. Although we love movies, we often disagree about whether we liked what we watched. So without any further ado, here’s our first collaborative (kind of) effort about 10 Cloverfield Lane. It was posted in its entirety on Aaron’s blog.
Aaron: Recently I mentioned that I’ve been catching a lot of movies with my pastor and friend, Jeff. And, since we’ve been seeing so many movies, I thought it would be a good idea for us to work together on dual movie reviews. Luckily, Jeff was willing to play along. And I thought that our first opportunity to see and review a movie would be with next week’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But, as it happens, we ended up seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane on a whim. And kids, it was a good decision.
As this is our first attempt at a movie review, I feel that some bugs may need to be worked out. After the movie ended, we decided that we would go our separate ways and write our own thoughts down and email them to each other. Jeff was able to get his review to me before I got around to sending mine, but I didn’t want to read his email until I wrote mine. So then I did. And then I read his and realized that our thoughts were really similar. Like, amazingly similar. So I’m gonna let Jeff take over from here:
Jeff: Before I embark on this new blogging direction of movie reviews, let me offer a few caveats. I have a very lowbrow approach to movies that causes much disdain among family, friends and coworkers. When evaluating a movie, I am generally going to give it a good review if it has one of three elements in it: explosions, aliens or zombies. I don’t pay any attention to movie reviews–especially ones by official movie “critics.” I’ve generally found that if the critics don’t like it, I will. On top of that, the ratings by movie goers themselves–whether rotten tomatoes or stars–don’t generally encourage or dissuade me from seeing a movie.
What do I not like? Lots of profanity turns me off quickly. It’s not completely a movie killer for me, but usually so. In addition, nudity is a turn off. Well, it’s actually the opposite, but I just don’t need it in my head or mind. It bothers me–especially because of my faith and though life, so I will steer a wide berth around movies with it.
Ok… on with the review. And I’ll avoid spoilers, because this is one of those movies that could easily be spoiled.
I loved the way the first five minutes of the movie was shot. The camera angles and music drew me into the story almost immediately. One of the main characters was shown on the phone talking, but she was muted out. All you could hear was the background music. Very nice set up.
The movie quickly takes a turn in which you begin to wonder exactly what is reality and what is not. It hangs on the acting of the three main characters–John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher, Jr. They do a superb job.
During this mid-part of the movie, it has a very M. Night Shyamalan feel to it. You can tell something is not. quite. right. and you’re left wondering which direction the movie is going to go. Subplots on top of subplots with a growing realization of otherworldliness leaves you feeling like you’re watching a combination of Seinfeld and Fringe.
The best line of the movie? Mine. During a particularly intense scene in which a woman tries to force her way into the doomsday bunker where the main characters are holed up, she screams, “Let me in!” It was unsettling. I leaned over and told Aaron, “I had some Jehovah’s Witnesses do that to me once.”
As the movie wrapped up, it simply got crazier and more intense. When the credits began to roll, I knew I’d seen a movie that would leave me comparing it to The Sixth Sense or The Village.
My rating? 4/5
Aaron: And I was going to include all that I originally wrote about the movie after Jeff’s review, but, like I said, our thoughts are kind of redundant. And I’d hate to bore you all by repeating everything you’ve already read already. The only thing I’d like to add is that, where Jeff compared the film to M. Night Shyamalan’s work, I was thinking along the lines of Alfred Hitchcock. But that makes sense, because Shyamalan paid homage to Hitchcock with a lot of his earlier films. Following Jeff’s lead on the 5-point scale, I’d go with a 4 as well.
So, these reviews will be a work in progress. I’ve proposed that, after Batman v. Superman, we have a conversation that’s recorded and then transcribed into a blog post. We’ll see if Jeff’s on board with that Thursday night.