I had a chance to visit the brand new "custom made", "eco-friendly", Monona Wal-Mart, which, like Cloverfield, seemed a bit overrated.
Some features that it flaunts is the under-store parking, to save valuable real estate (and the special escalators that hold shopping carts to get you there... although Ikea has had those forever), skylights to allow for more natural light... which is actually kinda nice, and freezer cases where the lights turn off when nobody is near by (memorial library stacks, anybody?).
My biggest complaint it was really cold. Probably because the underground parking wasn't heated, and there weren't many doors keeping the warm air in the store. Or they're trying to save energy.
But if you're a Wal-Mart fan, definitely better than the crappy old one on the west side of Madison.
I obviously knew the style of the movie from the trailers... but I thought it would be more like "The Office", filmed with steady-cams but faked to look hand-held. Nope. They strapped a cheap consumer camera on somebody's head and had them run around like a crazy lunatic.
The first 15 minutes of character building almost seemed a waste, as 45 minutes in I wanted to see the characters die so the camera would stop moving.
I also was expecting the main part of the film to be "wrapped", like the plot line of the treasure hunters before and after "Titanic"... but Cloverfield is basically somebody sticking in a lost tape found in Central Park and hitting play. You will only find out what the characters find out, and nothing more.
Three stars for cinematic creativity and spectacular special and visual effects, but that's about it. If you haven't seen it yet, wait until it comes out on DVD and watch it on a small TV, otherwise you'll come walking out of the theater feeling sick.
Just go see it. Minus a very awkward 5-minute segment, this was an excellent movie. I laughed so long at some of the one-liners, that others in the theater started laughing again. The cast worked really well together, and Ellen Page, who plays Juno, has quite the spunk. I also really enjoyed the music-- but the fact that you have to buy the entire album on both Amazon.com or iTunes to get the main songs, is really lame. Bad call Warner. No money from me.
I just got back from Heavenly Mountain at Lake Tahoe CA/NV. Wonderful trip, and probably the hardest skiing I've encountered so far. I also want to take this opportunity to point out that The Block Hotel is overrated, and their website makes it look significantly better than it actually is.
And a sweet video is coming soon. You'll be calling me the next Warren Miller ;)