10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 35 Old 06-14-16, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review


Title: 10 Cloverfield Lane

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HTS Overall Score:85




Summary
“10 Cloverfield Lane” is basically J.J. Abrams spiritual successor to his 2008 film “Cloverfield”, but with a strange new coating over the old monster plot line. Instead of being a shaky cam’d film about a giant monster, or alien, terrorizing the city as a bunch of teens scream and run away, we have a strangely hypnotic paranoia thriller that capitalizes on the LACK of knowledge about what’s going on in the outside world. However this compartmentalization of information comes at a price, as the first 2 acts of the film keep so little of the supernatural, or extraterrestrial, that by the time the shocking “reveal” happens we’re sitting there going “wait? This just feels a bit awkward”. “10 Cloverfield Lane” does a FANTASTIC job with the first two acts, and they are so rightfully praised that it sort of makes up for the weakness in the third act, despite my critical mind going haywire over the already suspected ending.

We had already known by the name alone, as well as J.J. Abrams stating this was sort of a spiritual successor to his 2008 flick, “Cloverfield”, that there were be the monsters in the film. We just didn’t know WHEN that would happen. Ironically the film starts out JUST before the attack that happened in “Cloverfield”, but really only minutes before. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is on the road after an argument with her boyfriend, only to be run off the road and into a horrible accident. Coming to in the bottom of what appears to be some sort of cement bunker, Michelle realizes that not only is she not in her car, but she is chained to the wall by a crazed doomsday prepper named Howard (John Goodman). Howard informs her that the he witnessed an attack outside and that he barely made it in to the shelter in time with her body that he found on the side of the road. Naturally suspicious, Michelle tries to escape from Howard time and time again, only to have the gruff man restrain her once more.

Interestingly enough, Michelle is not the ONLY waif that Howard picked up, as the contractor who helped BUILD the doomsday shelter that they’re in, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) is there and is able to corroborate his story about some sort of attack (combined with seeing the rotting corpses of farm animals just outside the bunker window). However things are not ALL hunky dory, even after that revelation. Howard eccentricities seems to belie a darker secret underneath. Something that he’s been hiding from them the whole time, exasperated by the fact that he controls every aspect of their life and goes into a rage every time they make even the slightest deviation from the plan. Desperate to get out from the man’s iron control, Emmett and Michelle come up with a plan that very well save them, or doom them if Howard ever finds out.


The first 2 acts of “10 Cloverfield Lane” are actually rather brilliant. The film has this sense of claustrophobia and tension that mimics those of your standard kidnapping thrillers. John Goodman is pure creepy as the sometimes sympathetic, sometimes domineering and evil Howard. Emmett and Michelle seems to have a bond over their captor, despite Emmett completely trusting him at the beginning. However that changes as new information is revealed and Howard’s wild mood swings seem just a bit different than your average kook. The third act of the film is where the film starts to fall apart as we have just spent a majority of the movie in what seems to be a conspiracy thriller with a kidnap angle. The whole plot points about Howard maybe killing a young girl, or his domineering nature, or even WHO he IS just gets wiped to the background once Michelle makes it topside.

I may be spoiling for some, but it was common knowledge that we were going to tie into the events of “Cloverfield”. So I don’t feel so bad about revealing that YES we get to see a bit of the Aliens, but that is where the movie falters. Now that Michelle realizes that Howard WASN’T lying, all of the tension and story buildup gets overshadowed by her trying to survive in a world with aliens. All of the questions raised in the bunker seem moot as the tone dramatically shifts to a sci-fi adventure that doesn’t seem to mesh well with the first two acts. With that being said, the first two acts are nothing short of enthralling, and even though the 3rd act falters, it doesn’t ENOUGH to where I just throw my hands up and say “wow, you just ruined the movie”! Rather it’s just a frustration and a bit of a letdown in the execution of the ending.



Rating:

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language



Video
The 2.39:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray for “10 Cloverfield” is a thing of beauty. Despite the fact that 99% of the film is shot indoors in and underground bunker, the picture is nothing short of spectacular. Colors are vibrant and rich, with strong primaries and impressive contrast levels. Skin tones look natural and clean, while the fine detailing around the meticulously kept bunker is incredible. Fine detailing can be seen along the rough edges of Michelle’s makeshift hazmat suit, as well as the individual hairs on John goodman’s scraggly rock star style beard that he supports the whole movie. Shadows and darker bits of the film are copious, but never show off any banding or black crush to mar the imagery. Sometimes I noticed a flicker where the shadow detail is obscured and looks a bit milky, but those were usually gone in a matter of seconds, making me wonder if I had seen them at all.






Audio
Wowza! Simply WOWZA! Paramount’s Dolby Atmos track is a literal monster of an experience, with wide dynamic range that shifts from one spectrum to the other, and a wildly immersive experience. The film starts out quiet enough, but not 5 minutes into the film we have a scene that literally made me leap in my chair. I won’t spoil it, as it is an important moment in the film, but the sheer ferocity and suddenness of the explosive leap from whisper quiet to incredibly raucous is jaw dropping. What makes “10 Cloverfield’s” sound design so appealing is the fact that it doesn’t keep up a bone tearing “action” experience the whole way. Large portions of the film are spent in relative quiet, with just the sounds of the dialog to keep the listener company. However those quiet moments can be disturbed at a moment’s notice with the sound of a helicopter roaring overhead, or the slam of a person’s fist against the glass door with a sense of incredible force and power. At the same time the little things make for an intensely enriching experience like the room filling music from Howard’s jukebox, or the rushing sound as Michelle makes her run for freedom near the end of the film. The heights and surrounds get a VERY active workout during those scenes, but know when to quiet down when the movie gets a bit more dialog heavy.






Extras

• Commentary by director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams
• Over 30 minutes of Behind-The-Scenes Footage






Overall:

“10 Cloverfield Lane” seems to be one in hopefully several films that take place independently within the “Cloverfield” universe, but I’m not sure how much audiences will be able to absorb if the series continues on like “10 Cloverfield Lane” did. The first 2 acts of the film are fantastic as a character driven thriller, but the last act tries way too hard to cram too much sci-fi goodness from the first “Cloverfield” into a short 20 minutes. In the end you feel a little bit cheated, especially with how well the buildup was with John Goodman’s character and Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Michelle. Still, it was entertaining up until that last eye rolling 30 minute period, and still a very entertaining sci-fi/thriller. Audio and video are simply outstanding, and while the extras are uber slim, the package is still impressive enough to make for a solid watch.



Additional Information:

Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.
Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
Written by: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 Core), French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 103 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 14th, 2016



Buy 10 Cloverfield Lane On Blu-ray at Amazon


Recommendation: Solid Watch


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post #2 of 35 Old 06-14-16, 02:12 PM
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review

Wow. Great Trailer. Thanks for the review. I will check this one out. I like John Goodman so I will enjoy his performance in this movie as well.

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post #3 of 35 Old 06-16-16, 08:40 AM
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review

I might need to test the waters on this one...
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post #4 of 35 Old 06-16-16, 08:46 AM
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My interest has also been piqued. Thanks for the review Mike.
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post #5 of 35 Old 06-16-16, 09:41 AM
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review

I'm always so torn about spending time watching movies that could be great...but have the possibility of coming up short for the last third.

Know what I mean?

Time is so valuable...hate to feel cheated! ;-)
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post #6 of 35 Old 06-16-16, 09:43 AM
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I know what you mean.
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post #7 of 35 Old 06-16-16, 11:55 AM
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review

I did a blind buy on this one and boy really liked it. The Atmos track was really good and dynamic. The film keeps you guessing what is really happening and who is really good or bad.
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post #8 of 35 Old 06-16-16, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review

Quote:
Todd Anderson wrote: View Post
I'm always so torn about spending time watching movies that could be great...but have the possibility of coming up short for the last third.

Know what I mean?

Time is so valuable...hate to feel cheated! ;-)
I wouldn't worry TOOOO much. It's just a little disappointing. It's not like I threw my hands up in the and air and just walked out at the end.
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post #9 of 35 Old 06-18-16, 05:37 PM
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Went to Best Buy in hopes of scoring a 4K version of this but to no avail. How are we (me) going to transition our libraries if they don't release the content? Anyway, rented the regular Bluray version and watching it tonight.
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post #10 of 35 Old 06-18-16, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane - Blu-ray Review

Quote:
JBrax wrote: View Post
Went to Best Buy in hopes of scoring a 4K version of this but to no avail. How are we (me) going to transition our libraries if they don't release the content? Anyway, rented the regular Bluray version and watching it tonight.
yeah, at the moment the ONLY 4K releases Paramount has released are the two Star Trek films... it was their "toes in the water" moment.
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