Friday, January 18, 2008

Is Cloverfield a video-game movie?

Gus Mastrapa has seen Cloverfield and concludes that it has more in common with video games than do many films that are based on video games. He draws parallels between scenes in Cloverfield and games like BlackSite: Area 51 and Half-Life 2, concluding that this is the first film whose method of storytelling seems to be primarily informed by the way games tell their stories. There's also room for this interesting take on Super Mario 64:
When I think about the third-person video game camera, I always think back to Super Mario 64 and that moment when Mario walks up to a mirror and we see Lakitu, the bespectacled turtle, floating on a cloud, dangling a movie camera from a fishing pole... Part of me thinks that it was the introduction of Lakitu that made games too complicated for the average player. Because when we're playing Super Mario 64, we're really responsible for two characters. We move Mario around. And we have to keep tabs on Lakitu to make sure he's giving us the shot that we need. These new perspectives complicate things. Are we Mario? Are we Lakitu? Or are we the camera that Lakitu is dangling?

And here I thought Cloverfield was just about a big slimy monster!

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