I remember back in 2007, sitting down to watch the first Transformers film; and before it started, a trailer played: It featured a group of twenty somethings at a party in a loft in NYC, nothing fancy… cool, another romantic comedy. THEN, the lights go out and the entire building shakes. The group in focus runs up to the rooftop to witness a MASSIVE explosion; as they flee the building, the camera shakes and cuts in and out. The group arrives downstairs only to see the HEAD of the STATUE OF LIBERTY hurdling towards them. END OF TRAILER. 1-18-08… To this day, the teaser trailer for Cloverfield is still my favorite teaser of all time. It was perfect. Fast Forward to earlier this year, and here we are again… three people in a bunker underground, something is up… 10 Cloverfield Lane?! A SEQUEL?! FINALLY? The film was more a “spiritual sequel” (thanks for that term J.J. Abrams…) than a full blown one; and in SO MANY ways, it works better this way. It arrived on Blu Ray last week, check out my review below!
10 Cloverfield Lane comes to Blu Ray courtesy of Paramount Home Video, and honestly, I’ve never come across a Paramount release that I had bad things to say about. They are ALWAYS top notch in their encoding. HOWEVER, there are some noise issues with 10CL… nothing massively distracting; but 10 Cloverfield Lane was digitally photographed so there’s some noise spikes, usually in lower light areas, such as in Michelle's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) room. Generally, however, the image is clean enough and sufficiently detailed and pretty accurately colored. Howard’s (John Goodman) mug looks especially creepy on Blu Ray, up close. Black levels hold up nicely, yielding a good, positive depth and some fine shadow detailing. Where there is CGI (no spoilers) it looks pretty even, not jarring or overly fake. It’s a great transfer, a few minor issues that the average Blu Ray watcher isn’t even going to notice or care about.
One of the first loud scenes in the movie comes right before the title card, Michelle’s car accident. It sounds LOUD, it sounds VIOLENT, it sounds BRUTAL… it sounds great. There’s A LOT of atmospheric sounds buzzing around during the bunker, from the fluorescent lightbulbs starting up, to the creaks of the floors, and those ominous rumblings heard from above the bunker. Again, the 3rd act is where the sound really shines, but without getting too into spoiler territory, it’s tough to say much about WHAT sounds good and WHY… just watch the film and you’ll understand.
10 Cloverfield Lane contains a really great commentary track, and a handful of featurettes. I was more disappointed with this, though I probably shouldn’t have been, given the slim supplemental package that the original Cloverfield had too. The commentary track is with director Dan Trachtenberg (who it’s worth mentioning, is directing his FIRST feature here… WHAT a way to START!) and producer J.J. Abrams, who discuss everything about the film from inception to release. The featurettes included slightly expand on these concepts; but in some ways fall short. They are: Cloverfield Too, Bunker Mentality, Duck and Cover, Spin-Off, Kelvin Optical, Fine Tuned, & End of Story. The 7 together total about 30 minutes’ worth of coverage; disappointing indeed, but if nothing else the commentary is where the money is with special features here.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a fantastic movie in my opinion, a core human interest story of survival and the unknown. Every part of the movie excels, whether considering writing, direction, production design, or performances. There are some surprises and a few turns during the last third of the film, and I’d only be doing you a disservice if I spoiled them here, so I won’t. This film is just very broadly entertaining moviemaking. The cast of three is great, with Goodman leading the charge in one of the best performances of his career; awards buzz should DEFINITELY come his way. Paramount's Blu-ray release is very highly recommended!