Michael Scott

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The Cloverfield Paradox


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Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



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Movie

The Cloverfield Paradox was one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2017, as people were hot off the high that was 10 Cloverfield Lane and wanted to see more of the loosely connected series of films that has been playing the “long game” in terms of over arching plot connections between the films. However, Paramount kind of shuffled the film along, and the science fiction movie was bumped from 2017 to 2018, and then finally it skipped theaters altogether and was given to Netflix to distribute early last year. Now, a full year after it came out on Netflix, Paramount has agreed to release the film on Blu-ray (sadly not 4K UHD, even though the previous two films have made their way to 4K), and while The Cloverfield Paradox is not exactly tonally in line with the previous two Cloverfield films, it is an interesting sci-fi movie in it’s own right.

It’s the year 2028 and mankind is on the verge of extinction. We have suffered a major energy shortage, with cars waiting in line to get fuel, houses barely able to function on low rations, and the Earth in a MAJOR conundrum. How do they continue on with fossil fuels and green energy having failed us? Well, the answer is to build a super space station that will house an energy project that will funnel energy from dimensional rifts into our space, giving us unlimited power and resources for the foreseeable future. As the space station undergoes it’s first REAL test run in orbit, the crew is met with temporary success of the energy beam, only to be met with an enormous backlash that damages the structure of the station and ends with the disappearance of Earth.

AS the crew slowly begins to piece things together strange things start happening aboard the station. One of their crew members goes insane, a random stranger claiming to be the engineering officer appears trapped behind a bulkhead, and random dimensional portals seem to be opening in the ship. The confused reactions turn to horror when the remaining crew aboard the station realize that when you open a dimensional portal to siphon energy, that door can go both ways, and the space station’s inability to find Earth suddenly makes sense. Now it’s a race against time before two universes rip each other apart from occupying the same space, and hopefully get home to earth (which is having a few problems of its own due to the accident aboard the station.
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A lot of people were really disappointed by how DIFFERENT The Cloverfield Paradox was in comparison to what came before it. The first movie was a found footage monster movie, and the second a very tight lipped thriller with just enough sci-fi thrown in to flavor it up. No one could really see the remotest connection between the two until the very end, and even that was tenuous. However, The Cloverfield Paradox completely throws the thriller aspect out the window and goes full on sci-fi, borrowing liberally from films like The Thing, Event Horizon and even little bits of Star Trek and other sci-fi/horror movies. It’s a bit generic, and not exactly the most inventive film, but I enjoyed the movie for what it was. A solid little sci-fi movie with a good amount of creepiness thrown in for good measure.

I’m not going to spoil anything, but needless to say that Abrams and the rest of the writers/directors are taking the long game approach to revealing the over arching connections between all the Cloverfield films. The last two could barely be called connected unless you listened to interviews, but this one actually opens up the reason for the first movie, as well as hints at elements of the second. And with the producers stating that this is getting a 4th and maybe 5th film, we can be sure more “connect the dots” moments are going to be coming in the future. It’s an interesting way of creating a franchise, giving them their own autonomy in regards to stories, but very very lightly weaving in connecting elements that get stronger and more noticeable as the series goes on. The tones change, the genres even change a bit, but overall this was a fun diversion that was MUCH different that the other two films. My only complaint is that the film can be a bit generic at times, having bored so much from better films, as it doesn’t seem to gain any freshness or identity of its own.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 by the MPAA




Video: :4.5stars:
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The Cloverfield Paradox was actually shot on 35mm film and then finished with a native 4K master for home video (which makes the lack of a 4K UHD disc all the more saddening), and the Blu-ray is simply spectacular. The use of actual film gives it a very textured and classic sci-fi feel, with lots of green overtones mixed with light gray and blue as well. Colors are cool and rather muted for the most part, but the primary colors that are on the ship really pop against the green/blue/gray backdrops of the space station. Red blood, a white pit of clothing, or a a bright blue pipe all are richly saturated and very very touchable. Black levels are strong, and I rarely noticed any crush whatseover. It’s well done image that relies on a more classic sci-fi look, but there are instances on planet Earth where it gets a bit hazy (the dust in the air from the first movie’s monsters, and the grim look of the damage). A top notch Blu-ray all around, it earns high marks for being a movie shuffled off to Netflix, and a good looking Blu-ray (although I’m still pining for a good 4K UHD disc).







Audio: :5stars:
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Wow, just WOOOOOOW! is all I have to say about the Dolby Atmos track on the Blu-ray. While it was kind of sad to not see a 4K UHD compatriot to the other 2 Cloverfield movies, the Atmos track more than makes up that small disappointment. Some tracks are powerful. Some very aggressive with the bass, and then there are tracks like this one. Mixes that just grab you by the jugular and punch you in the face with LFE. Then after they’re done beating you with a pipe wrench, start kicking you while you’re down and then move onto your dog, your hallways and by the time the film wraps up you look around at drywall panels just sagging off of vibrated loose nails, and pictures lying cracked on the ground. Yeah, that’s what this one is like. That moment when the Shepherd space station comes into view and drops the first bass bomb, I literally had to go take dishes out of the dish drainer because I could hear them rattling HARD over half a house away. It’s loud, and it’s DEEEP (I’m pretty sure we got close to single digit numbers, as my amp only flickers the clip light when I start dip into the VERY low teens), and it just puts a grin on my face. Don’t be alarmed. While the bass is hot and heavy this is not a movie where it’s nothing BUT bass. Huge sections of the film are complimented with mild dialog driven moments, but the big fun comes from the use of the overheads and surrounds. The claustrophobic nature of being in a space station the entire time gives ample opportunity for creaks and groans to come from any direction imaginable, and those little creaks and groans (and some big ones) are very nuanced and varied in their auditory textures. Overall this is a FABULOUS audio mix, and one of the biggest, baddest, and most aggressive mixes I’ve heard in the Atmos format.





Extras: :2stars:
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• Things Are Not as They Appear: The Making of The Cloverfield Paradox
• Shepard Team: The Cast










Final Score: :4stars:

I can see why some fans were kind of let down by The Cloverfield Paradox compared to the first two movies. It’s not that it’s a bad movie at all, but that it’s a VERY different movie than the monster/pyschological thriller types that the previous two films in the loosely connected series shared. This is much more sci-fi/horror, with hints at the creation of the first movie, which may throw people expecting a similar feel to 10 Cloverfield Lane for a loop. However, stepping back and viewing through a lends after the hubbub and online rage dissipated for the last year, I actually rather like the movie. It’s not a perfect sci-fi movie, but it’s a very watchable one and slowly allows us to see a little bit into where humanity is in the first two films, and see why said beasties are roaming around. While I would have loved to have seen a 4K UHD disc, the Blu-ray is given stellar technical specifications with the only weak spot being a rather modest due of extras. No digital copy is included, but I’m just glad to see a home video release for this one, as I was worried that the Netflix nature of this film would mean my physical collection would be incomplete. Definitely worth checking out as a solid watch in my opinion.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O'Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Roger Davies
Directed by: Julius Onah
Written by: Oren Uziel, Doug Jung
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English DVS 2.0, German, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Thai
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 5th, 2019






Recommendation: Solid Watch

 
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Todd Anderson

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10 Clover was a real sleeper for me... but I’ve weirdly held Paradox at an arm’s length. Probably comes down to time, which I don’t have a lot of these days.

Looks like I need to watch this.
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Will check it out as well. :)
 

Asere

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I watched this one when it first premiered on Netflix and I thought it was just ok but the bass was:hsd::hide:
 

Michael Scott

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I watched this one when it first premiered on Netflix and I thought it was just ok but the bass was:hsd::hide:
haha, you thought the bass was insane n the netflix version? the Atmos track truly is FRIGHTENING. This was one of those moments where I realized I hadn't bolted some things down like I thought I had nad was running to make sure they didn't pull out of the wall lol
 

Asere

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haha, you thought the bass was insane n the netflix version? the Atmos track truly is FRIGHTENING. This was one of those moments where I realized I hadn't bolted some things down like I thought I had nad was running to make sure they didn't pull out of the wall lol
LOL, Now I am tempted to buy! Netflix is pretty good at not neutering the bass compared to Amazon, Hulu and the like but yes if its good on Netflix its got to be frightening on BD/4K.
 

Todd Anderson

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haha, you thought the bass was insane n the netflix version? the Atmos track truly is FRIGHTENING. This was one of those moments where I realized I hadn't bolted some things down like I thought I had nad was running to make sure they didn't pull out of the wall lol
Ok. I just hit buy. :hsd: + :hsd: = :devil:
 
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