The CLOVERFIELD movie poster.

posted by efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 7:42 am

People, I’d like your opinion on this – there is a movie called CLOVERFIELD to be released on January 18, 2008. From what I can make out from the trailer, it is about a monster that destroys New York City and is filmed from the point of view of an amateur film maker (a'la Blair Witch Project).

The movie poster for this depicts a headless Statue of Liberty in the foreground and a shot of downtown Manhattan in smoke and in ruins (forgive my computer ignorance, but I did not know how to attach a shot of the poster for this commentary. Search the web and I’m sure you’ll find it easily).

In my opinion, I find this poster incredibly offensive and insensitive to not only those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, but also to the surviving family members who must live with the horror of that day for the rest of their lives.

In the last ten years or so, it seems that the island of Manhattan has been hit with everything from alien destruction (Independence Day), to a comet (Deep Impact), to asteroids (Armegeddon), to Godzilla (1998), to mother nature’s wrath (The Day After Tomorrow), to King Kong (2005)! I would have thought that after what actually happened on 9-11, Hollywood might have given that “bit” a rest.

I, of course, expect those in Hollywood to be insensitive pigs, but this movie poster seems to go a little too far for me. The designer of this poster (in my opinion) could not have done much worse if he/she had walked up to the grave of a 9-11 WTC deceased and SPIT on it!

I honestly don’t feel I’m being unreasonable about this one. What do you think?

Comments (32)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 8:37 am

Loves movies… I think you’re being overly sensitive. I’m a NYC native (born, raised and still living in the area) and I see this as just another monster movie. Have you seen the trailer for the film which shows the head of the Statue of Liberty being hurled like a bowling ball down a Manhattan street? Maybe I’m just overly INsensitive, but I’m actually intriqued by the movie and look forward to seeing it. There has been much discussion and speculation on boards all over the net as to the nature of this particular film – albeit mostly from the film-geek perspective of trying to figure out what the “monster” is and how much of it will producer JJ Abrams (of “Lost” fame) show us in the final cut.

You bring up an interesting and fair point, but from my perspective, I see nothing offensive. Monster movies and terror films always seem to reflect something about the collective psychology of the times. When Godzilla rampaged around Tokyo back in the ‘50’s, the citizens of Japan were not that much further removed from the devestating nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Often, films like this provide a catharsis of sorts for folks reeling from disaster or dealing with deep-rooted fears in the aftermath of real life horror such as that perpetrated on 9/11. Let’s see how the rest of the country (and NYC in particular) responds at the box office.

William
William on December 6, 2007 at 10:04 am

How do you like the poster to “I Am Legend”. It shows the Brooklyn Bridge damaged.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 10:27 am

Ed, you raise a good point, particularly in context with the original “Gojira” of 1954 and its context to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And yes, maybe I do tend to get a little over sensitive and angry when it comes to the nature of Hollywood movies and those that run it. I still, feel though, that the design of the poster could have been better thought out. Perhaps a shot of a different part of NYC, say of the Empire State Building in smoldering ruins, might have hit me a little less below the belt and still made the same point about the movie. Downtown NY and Ground Zero have seemed like sacred ground over the last six years.

I did see the trailer you speak of. It did not impress me very much. To begin with, I think Godzilla rampaging through NYC in 1998 was enough for me. Second, I don’t like watching movies that are filmed in the style of the viewer’s P.O.V. (a'la Blair Witch Project). Would you believe that after I saw The Blair Witch Project, I actually felt dizzy and a little ill? Who needs that?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 10:29 am

That’s right… Apparently in this version of the venerable tale, the Government blows up the bridges in order to quarantine an infected population.

Here’s a link to the I AM LEGEND poster.

And this link is to the CLOVERFIELD ad.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 10:36 am

Thanks for the links, Ed. With the exception of the AutoCad program I use for work (I’m an architect), I’m afraid I’m a bit of a computer idiot! Good thing I married a woman who isn’t!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 10:38 am

I guess we have different tastes, Loves movies. I actually enjoyed BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and was quite terrified by much of it!

The 1998 GODZILLA was a really bad movie, primarily (IMHO) because I think its director Roland Emmerich is a hack. I have a bit more hope for CLOVERFIELD. I am a fan of monster/sci-fi flicks that are well done (as opposed to the ‘overdone’ approach taken by Emmerich) and so far I’ve enjoyed JJ Abrams work on “Lost” and MI3 – even though he is not the director here, but a producer. This is a movie I’ll probably try to catch on the big screen – provided it isn’t universally panned as completely inept.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 6, 2007 at 10:40 am

To be honest, the only way a poster could offend me is if they were talking crap about me…on the poster.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 10:43 am

The poster for I AM LEGEND definately hits me a little less because it’s of the Brooklyn Bridge. I realize, of course, that downtown NY is right behind it, but it doesn’t seem as blatantly “in-my-face” as the CLOVERFIELD poster.

As for the movie itself, I won’t say that I AM LEGEND doesn’t look intruiging. Will Smith has made some good sci-fi movies. Trouble is, I’m really trying my best to avoid wasting time and spending money seeing material that I’ve likely already seen on screen in one form or another. And while the concept of one man being the last man left on Earth (I recall Burgess Meredith in “Time Enough at Last” on The Twilight Zone – love that episode!) is thought-provoking and interesting, the other part of the story involving the infected “others” roaming the earth seems a lot like the concept of “Night of the Living Dead” or “28 Days Later”.

I’ll probably just wait for the movie to be released through Netflix.

KramSacul
KramSacul on December 6, 2007 at 10:43 am

NYC and every landmark in it has been blown to bits in countless movies. Can’t Lady Liberty get a little trashing too?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 10:44 am

That’s exactly how I feel, Manwithnoname. And then ONLY if the crap about me was completely false!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 10:48 am

Hopefully, if the Empire State Building gets it in this flick, it won’t be depicted as being situated in the MIDDLE of Fifth Avenune like it was in INDEPENDENCE DAY (more Emmerich schlock that I hated)! Smith does have a good track record in the genre. As much as I hated ID4, it was a hugely popular film. I greatly enjoyed the lighthearted MIB flicks and think that I ROBOT was a very satisfying sci-fi actioner. Very much looking forward to this version of I AM LEGEND.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 10:50 am

Ed, I stopped watching television years ago because I got so tired of the crap! In fact, the last time I followed a television show so religiously, week after week, was TWIN PEAKS, sixteen years ago. However, I will admit that I am very impressed with LOST. My wife and I have been watching it through Netflix, so we’ve only seen the first two seasons so far. I refuse to sit through commercials, even if it’s something I like.

We definately have different tastes. But then again, that’s what makes all of the ongoing chit-chat so interesting. If we all had the same taste in movies, we all would probably think something like SPIDERMAN 3 was the best movie of the year.

NOT!!!

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 10:51 am

Kram, she actually did get a little trashing already, back in 1981 with the movie poster for ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Look it up.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 10:56 am

Before 9-11, there were two movie scenes of downtown NY that really gave me the chills. The first was in DEEP IMPACT (1998) when the tidal waves hits the tip of the city and engulfs it in water. The second was in Spielberg’s A.I. (2001) during the “2000 years later” sequence when NYC has completely turned to ice and the tips of the Twin Towers are sticking out. That in particular, creeps me out a bit now, considering the towers came down only two months later.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 6, 2007 at 11:50 am

Being a liberal, I think Hollywood is taking it too far to make really good movies and just being a bit conservative, making movies to rekindle us of the fear that’s in the news. After the release of Dawn of the Dead (the original), the number of shootings at malls increased, including the one in Omaha, where a new movie theater will be open soon but will have to increase security due to this tragedy. As for Cloverfield, I hope it’s the most serious monster movie of the year and not some silly remake of an old movie. J.J. Abrahams knows what’s going for him, with that movie and the upcoming star trek sequel, whose trailer will be attached to Cloverfield.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Has everyone forgotten “The Day After Tomorrow”? Various posters for that film depicted New York/Lady Liberty being destroyed by snow or high water even though many other cities in that film were destroyed including Los Angeles. This was in 2004, well after 9/11.

BTW: Movies like “Tomorrow”, “Godzilla” and “ID4” play much better on a TV screen then they did in theaters.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 6, 2007 at 12:19 pm

You want Statue of Liberty trashing? How about the original “Planet of the Apes”?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 12:32 pm

All three of those films by my “favorite” director, Roland Emmerich. In his IMDB.COM biography, it is said that his favorite films are the disaster epics of the early ‘70’s (EARTHQUAKE, TOWERING INFERNO, POSEIDON ADVENTURE). That makes sense. Of the lot, I probably enjoyed DAY AFTER TOMORROW the best of all. You may be on to something there, Manwithnoname… That’s the only one of the three that I only saw on TV (albeit on a nice 60 inch in HD). I’ve never revisited GODZILLA on TV, but I did give ID4 another go with a DVD rental and I hated it even more than the first time I saw it on the big screen! I still think he’s a hack. STARGATE wasn’t horrible, but that’s faint praise. I think his most effective bit of filmmaking is the sequence in THE PATRIOT (which I think was actually CUT from the movie and seen only as an extra on the DVD) where Mel Gibson’s child stands by the river behind their house and watches in silent horror as the bodies of the dead soldiers from the battle upstream start to float past her.

He’s got a remake of FANTASTIC VOYAGE in the works for 2010.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Manwithnoname, the Statue of Liberty scene from the original PLANET OF THE APES is perhaps the best and most haunting fade-out to a movie I’ve ever seen in my life! It still gives me chills when Charlton Heston finally realizes where he’s been the whole time.

Flashback: In 1979, there was a bad disaster movie called METEOR with Sean Connery and Natalie Wood. One of the newspaper ads depicted the meteor headed straight for the World Trade Center. Back when I was kid, I probably thought that image was cool. Today, I’m sure I’d look at that image with a little more poignancy.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Hey Loves Movies… We agree on the ending of PLANET OF THE APES! That is a great ending… and we continue to hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach as the credits come up over a black screen. Perfect ending and classic Rod Serling. Tim Burton (who I otherwise greatly admire) really mucked it up with his remake. Not that the newer version is without merit – but that ending is tacked on without any semblance of logic or continuity. Just a feeble attempt to recreate the shock of the original’s final and inspired twist. Also have to say that the musical score by the otherwise dependable Danny Elfman in the Burton film can’t compare to Jerry Goldsmith’s innovative score for the ‘68 film.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 6, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Ed, I’m gonna go off the track a bit here (what else is new?), but I loved the original PLANET OF THE APES so much that I have never wanted to ruin it by seeing any of the four sequels that came afterward. I don’t ever want anything to contradict the memory of that classic chilling fade-out.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Interesting, Love movies. PLANET OF THE APES is one of the earliest movie-going memories I have. I was a mere tot of 3 or 4 and not really old enough to comprehend the film on any major level, but there are images that I can recall having stayed with me as an older child of 9 or 10 when I finally saw the movie again on re-release. I saw CONQUEST and BATTLE (the final two chapters) on their original theatrical release in the early ‘70’s and then finally saw ALL FIVE of the original films during the summer of 1974 when Fox re-released them in the infamous all-day “GO APE” package! What fun that was.

You’re really not missing much as the sequels were quite inferior to the original (with each successive film being more cheaply produced than the last), but there are interesting elements in each film and the “saga” as a whole goes full circle. Anyway, they were great entertainments for kids – certainly not geared towards older, more discerning audiences!

Marcel
Marcel on December 6, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Regardless of the Cloverfield advertisement, I’m plain sick and tired of movies about New York and Los Angeles being destroyed. I don’t see the entertainment value or attraction. This film sounds like a bomb anyway, and “I Am Legend” will get eated up by the new National Treasure, The Golden Compas and Charlie Wilson’s War.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on December 6, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Poster is fine with me …its amovie …..a ny native!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 6, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Have there been any movies that destroy Chicago instead?

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on December 6, 2007 at 6:31 pm

No one cares about Chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just kidding!!!!!!!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 6, 2007 at 6:42 pm

The 1937 movie “In Old Chicago” was about the great Chicago fire of 1871. There was also the 1957 B movie titled “Beginning of the End” about giant locusts attacking Chicago.

KramSacul
KramSacul on December 6, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Chicago is more of a car chase city.

ron1screen
ron1screen on December 6, 2007 at 9:07 pm

It’s a movie! Fiction not reality, NY is the subject for many films that include it’s destruction because NY is one of the most famous cities in the world. While what happened on 9-11 was tragic and should be held in a place of respect and rememberence, this film and it’s ad material is in no way offensive. I doubt NY is going to forgo all the film revenue on future projects just because the material may inclue the cities destruction.

efriedmann
efriedmann on December 7, 2007 at 6:06 am

It occurs to me that all negative feeling and opinions about Hollywood’s treatment of tragic real life events are likely to fade over time. Somewhere down the road, a long time from now, there will be a big budget “event” film that will tell the story of what happend in NYC on September 11, 2001, much in the spirit of JFK, TITANIC and PEARL HARBOR. It will means watching on screen, a recreation of the two planes that slammed into the towers and them watching them crumble to the ground.

I’m sure someone like Michael Bay is just licking his lips, waiting for his big chance to do it! The man does love to blow sh*t up!

KramSacul
KramSacul on December 7, 2007 at 9:25 am

I doubt there will be any need to make a 9/11 recreation movie anytime soon as there’s tons of footage and two movies already to fill that void: WTC and United 93.

I do expect more tv series and docudramas though.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 7, 2007 at 1:41 pm

When I was a kid the monster had already destroyed New York and London and Tokyo was the real target. I remember people gasping in London theatres during the final scenes of “A.I.” which depicted a shattered lower Manhattan.

I don’t mind seeing New York blown up and it has become a film language tradition for the “end of civilization” that actually compliments the city and makes it seem more important than it really is. I mean if you thought you were the last man on earth would you stay in Manhattan?

We can always ask the French to make us another statue but we can never get back our two hours after watching filmmaking from the mentally challenged Roland Emmerich.

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