We just got out of Cloverfield a couple of hours ago. I would highly recommend it to those looking for exactly what the movie promises: a tense monster/disaster movie shot in Queasy-Vision. It's more than a bit of a downer and will make you nauseous if you have the slightest susceptibility to motion sickness. It's loud and dumb but not nearly enough so for lobotomized Michael Bay devotees. I might add that, unlike in most disaster movies, you grow to actually like the main group of characters (who initially seem uninspired), which is all the worse when typical monster movie-type stuff occurs to them.
My strange mental state upon arriving home led me to throw together this PhotoShop mashup of children's television and the original King Kong poster, pictured above and featured on Forest For the Trees as if it's a real comic. I promise I'll get those new cartoons scanned soon.
I actually saw two movies today. The first was "Shall We Dansu?", the excellent original Japanese version of the merely "good" 2004 American remake. Shall We Dansu? is one of those movies where the characters are compelling enough that it's fun just to watch them. Having seen the Gere/Lopez version first, it was interesting to me how direct a transition they had made - many of the American characters (particularly Sugiyama's hothead dance partner and the shy former dance champion who serves as his crush of sorts) seem like anglo clones of the original Japanese characters. While the American version takes a good half hour to rise from mindless banality, the Japanese version begins well and remains consistent throughout.
One edge that I'll grant the American version is its arresting dance number near the end, propelled by the scary-good Gotan Project track "Santa Maria (del Buen Ayre)". It's a clear centerpiece for the movie, and has clear allusions to more than dancing (though thankfully the "suspected affair" subplot has long since been dropped by this point). The Japanese version has no such centerpiece because it simply doesn't need it (not to mention the impropriety to Japanese society of Mr. Sugiyama and Mai meeting after hours just to practice their tango).
(EDIT: Apparently others have thought of this first. It's an obvious pun in retrospect, but I think my poster is better. :) )
1 hour ago