REVIEW: SUPERSTORE – SEASON 4

Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)

Starring

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)
Lauren Ash (She-Ra and The Princesses of Power)
Colton Dunn (Bad Internet)
Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls)
Nichole Bloom (Project X)
Mark McKinney (3rd Rock From The Sun)

Mark McKinney and America Ferrera in Superstore (2015)Recurring / Notable GUest Cast

Kaliko Kauahi (Hall Pass)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Kerri Kenney (Reno 911!)
Carla Renata (Living Bibilically)
Ryan Gaul (Identity Thief)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Orson Bean (Innerspace)
Fred Melamed (In A Word…)
Meagen Fay (That’s My Boy)
Sean O’Bryan (Vantage Point)
Ernie Reyes Jr.(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Ellen D. Williams (How I Met Your Mother)
Jennifer Irwin (Exit Wounds)
Isabella Day (The Escort)
Chris Reid (Power Rangers Ninja Steel)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Chrissy Metz (This Is Us)
Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty)

Lauren Ash in Superstore (2015)Superstore is a delightful workplace comedy about a megastore in middle America and the lovable weirdos in it. Now in its fourth season, Superstore is as brilliant as ever, and it’s finally able to lean in to the charming romance it’s been building up for years. It may seem blasphemous to declare Superstore’s prominence in such hallowed company, but TV romance has come a long way in the decade-plus since The Office. There was Ben and Leslie on Parks and Recreation and Jake and Amy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Superstore feels like a natural followup because of how it makes you feel. Like The Office, Superstore began with Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) having just enough chemistry for us to be equally titillated and worried. She was married and he was interested and we’ve been down this road before.Kerri Kenney, Mark McKinney, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Kelly Schumann, Kaliko Kauahi, and Nichole Bloom in Superstore (2015)But week to week, Superstore makes us feel warm and fuzzy. Like The Office and its ilk, this is an ensemble comedy with enough hilarious performances and wild B plots to wholly distract from Amy and Jonah when it wants to — or to let them be friends without any agenda when it serves the plot. Parks didn’t waste too much time on tension once Ben and Leslie got together. Nor did Brooklyn Nine-Nine, instead subjecting its central couple to the very real struggles they’d experience as working detectives and opposites in attraction. Similarly, Superstore thrives equally on stretches of agonizing tension juxtaposed with bursts of bliss that are the hallmark of a good crush and TV romance.Irene White and Kaliko Kauahi in Superstore (2015)Superstore began with a situation that ostensibly doomed Jonah to years of Halpert-esque waiting. But in 2018, Halpert-ing isn’t as romantic as it once was. Listening to some of Jim’s romantic overtures years later — and seeing the real-life copycats it inspired and sometimes misled — does lead us back to some toxic ideas for young men, even if Jim and Pam’s love was true. Superstore borrows the best of the Jim-and-Pam model, then updates it with subtlety and precision. Superstore borrows the best of the Jim-and-Pam model: the chemistry, friendship, and support that laid the foundation for their successful romance, and the emphasis on timing, which can make or break a relationship.Danny Gura, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)Then Superstore updates it, refines it, with genius subtlety and precision. Amy’s husband Adam (Ryan Gaul) is far less obvious a villain than Roy on The Office. A furtive kiss at the end of Season 2 (remember “Casino Night?”) leads to awkwardness and confusion, but not to a clean break; while Jim had the luxury of transferring offices to get space from Pam, Amy and Jonah do not. There’s no question of them not being friends even when one or the other wants more. Season 3 ended with as fresh a start as this two could have. They had sex, and Season 4 (spoiler alert!) even pulled a classic Jim-and-Pam fakeout on us as they turned out to be dating in secret — while Amy was pregnant with Adam’s baby. It’s messy and complicated in a way that The Office wasn’t, in a way that TV has naturally embraced over the past decade, which only makes it realer and more worthy an emotional investment. America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)In a year when we all consistently turn to The Office for comfort and sanity, Superstore’s central romance is a perfect companion. It’s soothing and simple when little else is, and being reminded of the great TV ships that sailed before it only adds to the enjoyment. Jonah, Amy, Jim, Pam – you’re all in good company.

REVIEW: SUPERSTORE – SEASON 3

Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)

Starring

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)
Lauren Ash (She-Ra and The Princesses of Power)
Colton Dunn (Bad Internet)
Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls)
Nichole Bloom (Project X)
Mark McKinney (3rd Rock From The Sun)

Howie Mandel and Mark McKinney in Superstore (2015)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Wolé Parks (The Vampire Diaries)
Howie Mandel (Gremlins)
Kaliko Kauahi (Hall Pass)
Michael Bunin (My Boys)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Isabella Day (The Escort)
Ryan Gaul (Identity Thief)
Carla Renata (Living Bibilically)
Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Phil LaMarr (Supergirl)
Jolene Purdy (Donnie Darko)
Robert Pine (Red Eye)
Jennifer Irwin (Exit Wounds)
Kerri Kenney (Reno 911!)

Mark McKinney, Linda Porter, Irene White, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Kaliko Kauahi, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)If you want to see a pitch-perfect, beautifully executed sitcom episode, look no further than “Gender Reveal,” the 20th episode of Superstore’s third season. That episode of the NBC sitcom ends with a moment you always knew the show would get to — a big, big kiss — but what comes before is such a roller coaster that by the time the moment actually happens, it’s about the fourth or fifth thing on your mind. In its third season, especially, Superstore has been so cognizant of all the sitcoms before it that it could be compared to; it would be easy for the show to constantly subvert our expectations based on those earlier reference points.Linda Porter, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, and Jon Barinholtz in Superstore (2015)Love in the time of late capitalism: how Superstore revived will-they/won’t-they romance
Instead, it does something different. It gives viewers what they want, but in a way where they’re no longer sure they want it. It understands the tension between expectations and results better than almost any comedy on television, and it also understands how that tension is baked into the grinding nature of a retail job, where even the slightest variance in routine can feel like a huge deal. The momentum from “Gender Reveal” continues through the season’s final two episodes, including season finale “Town Hall,” which aired Thursday, May 3, and reveals just how many of the season’s seemingly tossed-off plot points were specifically set up for what happens in the finale (my favorite kind of serialization). Superstore is a show that dabbles in political and social issues, yes, but it’s also a show about maintaining your dignity in the face of a system that sees you as just another piece of a corporate puzzle. That makes it one of the best shows of the year, and it also makes watching season three, newly available in full on Hulu, a must. Spoilers for the season follow.Kerri Kenney, Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Kaliko Kauahi, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)I’ve written plenty of times before about how Superstore, with its big-box department store setting and willingness to talk about issues pertaining to the American working class, is one of TV’s most sneakily thoughtful comedies. It lures you in with its ace ensemble of actors, its tart sense of humor, and its surprisingly playful visual sense — never more evident than in the little one-second vignettes of customers shopping that play between longer scenes — then hits you with storytelling about what it means to live on the edge of poverty.America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Lauren Ash in Superstore (2015)This made “Town Hall” something of a thesis statement for the entire show. The characters discover that Cloud 9 (the titular superstore) presented fraudulent reasons to fire elderly employees, resulting in the dismissal of Myrtle, a supporting character, earlier in the third season. Myrtle was older, and she wasn’t the best Cloud 9 employee, but she also didn’t deserve to be fired for a bunch of made-up accusations (which included “wearing gang colors to work”). So her former co-workers hatch an elaborate plan to interrupt a town hall meeting with Cloud 9’s CEO, which is being held at their store, in celebration of its recovery from being struck by a tornado (in the season two finale).America Ferrera in Superstore (2015)What unfolds from there wraps in story points from the season both big — the unexpected pregnancy of series lead Amy (America Ferrera) — and small (the existence of a tunnel in the store’s crawlspaces). With its interest in the ways corporations exploit and thoughtlessly throw out their employees, it feels like both a singular episode of the show and a culmination of the season en totale. The effort to save Myrtle’s job fails, as the CEO quickly realizes what’s happening and essentially buys off the only person with real, hard proof of what happened before any evidence can be revealed. Just another day in corporate America. So even when the episode ends with Amy finally having sex with love interest Jonah (Ben Feldman) — while accidentally and unknowingly being broadcast by a camera feed that beams footage of their hookup to the entire corporation — that, too, feels like a thesis statement for a show that’s never met a dull workplace moment it couldn’t spice up with a hint of romance.Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, and Kaliko Kauahi in Superstore (2015)And yet this isn’t held up as a “finally!” moment entirely. Amy, after all, is pregnant with her ex-husband’s baby, and Jonah both knows that and isn’t quite sure what to do with it. (The big kiss between the two at the end of “Gender Reveal” is followed by Amy telling Jonah she’s just learned she’s pregnant.) Superstore has never met a sweet moment it couldn’t lace with uncertainty or melancholy. Yes, there were less successful episodes in season three (in particular an episode centered on a visit to Target that played like the grossest forms of product placement), but the construction of the season on both macro and micro levels was so precise that it became one of the few shows I made sure to watch live every week when it aired, instead of after the fact on Hulu. It’s rare to find a comedy that’s funny and meaningful and exquisitely made, but Superstore understands that all three of these qualities feed into one another. Good storytelling and thoughtful considerations of the world we live in will make the jokes funnier, while having funny jokes will make the political stuff slide by more easily. And so on.Mark McKinney, Linda Porter, America Ferrera, Felipe Esparza, and Kaliko Kauahi in Superstore (2015)My favorite moments of “Town Hall” often featured quick cutaways to other Cloud 9 stores around the world, watching the town hall meeting over the internet. Each of these stores, in Beijing or Mumbai or Vancouver, must have its own stories, even if the stories we’re privy to are the ones at the Cloud 9 in suburban St. Louis we check in on every week. In the world as realized by Superstore, we might be from different countries. We might believe different things. We might have wildly different life circumstances. But goodness, do we all hate our jobs.

 

REVIEW: SUPERSTORE – SEASON 2

 

Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)

Starring

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)
Lauren Ash (She-Ra and The Princesses of Power)
Colton Dunn (Bad Internet)
Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls)
Nichole Bloom (Project X)
Mark McKinney (3rd Rock From The Sun)

America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Colton Dunn in Superstore (2015)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Kaliko Kauahi (Hall Pass)
Ryan Gaul (Identity Thief)
Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2)
Cecily Strong (The Boss)
Tara Lipinski (Kidding)
McKayla Maroney (Bones)
Sarah Dumont (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse)
Carla Renata (Living Bibilically)
Michael Bunin (My Boys)
Nate Torrence (Get Smart)
Brooke Dillman (Superbad)
Azie Tesfai (Supergirl)
Ravi Patel (American Housewife)
Jeremy Howard (Breaking Bad)
Artemis Pebdani (Son of Zorn)
Isabella Day (The Escort)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
E.J. Callahan (Bubble Boy)
Brenda Song (Dollface)

America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)Superstore, the NBC sitcom began as a pretty ho-hum network comedy. Created by The Office writer Justin Spitzer, Superstore updates that show’s small-town, regional paper company to a fictional big-box chain store called Cloud 9 in St. Louis, Missouri — the kind of place where the employees of a small-town regional paper company might find themselves working when they’re inevitably laid off.By the end of Superstore’s first season, the show had deepened its critique of the soul-crushing nature of retail work: The season ended with the store’s employees — led by Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) — walking out in solidarity with Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom), a pregnant, 17-year-old worker who was denied maternity leave. Consequently, its second season has been more urgent and focused than the first, even as the show’s universe has expanded to include minor characters who were essentially background players at the series’ start.Mark McKinney in Superstore (2015)In one episode midway through the current season, “Ladies’ Lunch,” Cloud 9’s hardboiled assistant store manager, Dina (Superstore MVP Lauren Ash), takes a group of female employees out for lunch after the whole store discovers that Amy and her husband are in marriage counselling. There, the timid Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) — a character who, up until then, was notable mostly for getting herself stuck on a high shelf without a ladder when the employees accidentally lock themselves in for the night — takes advantage of a rumor that district manager Jeff (Michael Bunin) is dating someone in the store. A misunderstanding leads the Cloud 9 employees to assume that Sandra is the culprit, and when the women ask her what it’s like to date Jeff, she gets a far-off look in her eyes and goes into a little too much detail describing her fantasy relationship.America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)It’s a moment that forces the viewer to look closely at a character we probably hadn’t really noticed before. The writers did this a lot throughout the second season, subtly widening the show’s scope to include minor characters in major plotlines. Despite the traditional, situation-of-the-week format, several through lines began to surface over the course of the second season: Glenn (Mark McKinney), the softie store manager, makes multiple references to the family hardware store — his nirvana — he used to run, before Cloud 9 bought them out; warehouse manager Marcus (Jon Barinholtz, Ike’s brother) is constantly asking co-workers to socialize after hours, an offer no one seems to want to take him up on; casual remarks about the store’s vulnerability to tornadoes (it’s the Midwest, don’t forget) aboundAmerica Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Carla Renata, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)Those remarks finally take their toll in the finale, “Tornado,” in which the store gets hit by a tornado. One of the show’s dominant themes — the lack of control Cloud 9’s workers have over the conditions of their labor — is writ large when the impending storm traps everyone in the store, powerless to do anything but wait.Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)On top of everything, in the finale, Glenn must choose six associates to lay off, as per corporate’s instructions — a task that paralyzes the boss and sends his employees into an anxiety spiral. The nature of Cloud 9’s corporate hierarchy means even Glenn has little influence over the store he manages: In a previous episode, the store’s heating system breaks down, but since it’s controlled by corporate, there’s nothing he can do; feeling depressed and obsolete, he admits he doesn’t even need to be there to unlock and lock the doors each day, since that’s all done by a computer somewhere far away.America Ferrera and Ben Feldman in Superstore (2015)Glenn learns what the rest of his employees have already figured out, namely, that they can only control their relationships with each other. That’s a bittersweet realization. A job is only as good as the people you work with, but the people you work with can’t give you paid maternity leave, or a living wage, or the guarantee of a safe work space. But there’s one thing they can provide that the Cloud 9 corporate overlords sure won’t: The dignity of being treated like a human being.

 

REVIEW: SUPERSTORE – SEASON 1

Mark McKinney, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Kaliko Kauahi, Nichole Bloom, and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)

Starring

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)
Lauren Ash (She-Ra and The Princesses of Power)
Colton Dunn (Bad Internet)
Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls)
Nichole Bloom (Project X)
Mark McKinney (3rd Rock From The Sun)

America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Colton Dunn, and Nichole Bloom in Superstore (2015)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Eliza Coupe (Future Man)
Sean Whalen (Twister)
Kaliko Kauahi (Hall Pass)
Natasha Leggero (Let’s Be Cops)
Isabella Day (The Escort)
Sean Gunn (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Ryan Gaul (Identity Thief)
Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2)
Dan Bucatinsky (The Post)

ABC continues to show an affinity for ensemble workplace comedies with the new sitcom “Superstore.” Like the paper-pushers at “The Office,” the creative misfits of “30 Rock,” the small-town government employees of “Parks and Recreation,” and the Nerd Herders of “Chuck,” “Superstore” offers up a retail island of misfit toys in a big-box behemoth.America Ferrera and Nichole Bloom in Superstore (2015)Clearly based on Walmart, Cloud 9 is far from heaven for floor supervisor Amy (the winsome America Ferrera, of “Ugly Betty”). She recognizes the daily drudgeries and absurdities of selling off-brand products and cubic-zirconia knockoffs. Into the store comes new employee Jonah (Ben Feldman, last seen inducing swoons on the underrated “A to Z”). He thinks himself a little too fancy for an environment where artfully stacking soda cans is one of the few means of workplace self-expression. Nichole Bloom and Nico Santos in Superstore (2015)The ensemble is rounded out by familiar types who are given small, but crucial, fresh twists. The best of them are rapaciously ambitious new associate Mateo (Nico Santos) and slacker jokester Glenn (Colton Dunn). Created by Justin Spitzer, who wrote some excellent episodes of “The Office,” “Superstore” veers from silly to sophisticated to sour notes as quickly as you can go at Cloud 9 from housewares to toys to guns.America Ferrera in Superstore (2015)The finest line the show has to walk is drawn in its opening moments when Jonah mistakes Amy for a customer and comes off like a snob. With recurring sight gags focused on the store’s less savory customers — a child test drives a potty, an adult test drives an actual toilet — that toggle between absurd and acidic, “Superstore” needs to heed its own advice about avoiding condescension.Danny Gura, America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, and Colton Dunn in Superstore (2015)Ferrera and Feldman have a nice chemistry, but a serious obstacle to potential romance thrown in at the end of the pilot also means that the writers will need to be very careful with the pair’s work flirtation. Like the type of operation it represents, “Superstore” has a little bit of everything.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: AS ABOVE, SO BELOW

CAST

Perdita Weeks (Penny Dreadfull)
Ben Feldman (400 Days)
Edwin Hodge (The Purge)
François Civil (Molière)

Scarlett Marlowe, a young alchemy scholar, is searching for the philosopher’s stone, a legendary substance capable of turning base metals into gold and granting eternal life. After finding the Rose Key and narrowly escaping a cave collapse in Iran, she travels to Paris, where she enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend, George, and cameraman Benji. They use the Rose Key to translate the headstone of Nicholas Flamel, who wrote about the philosopher’s stone. The headstone contains a riddle that leads them to believe that the philosopher’s stone is hidden 370 feet underneath the streets of Paris. Scarlett also enlists the help of a guide named Papillion, his girlfriend Souxie, and their friend Zed, who are familiar with the layout of the Catacombs of Paris. George refuses to follow the group into the catacombs, but is driven underground with the rest when a policeman spots them trespassing. After crawling through a narrow tunnel which collapses behind them, they encounter female cultists who appear to be performing a mysterious ritual. The group then find themselves in a blocked tunnel that Papillion is reluctant to enter, as people who have entered have never been seen again.After venturing deeper into the catacombs, the group encounter La Taupe, a friend of Papillion who disappeared into the catacombs years earlier. He agrees to guide them out, explaining that the only way out is down. They eventually find a tomb filled with treasure, as well as the philosopher’s stone. Removing the stone, Scarlett realizes that the treasure is a trap, and the chamber collapses. With the philosophers’ stone, Scarlett is able to heal injuries that Souxie sustained in the fall. La Taupe is lost under the rubble, and the group decide to leave him behind. The group find a Gnostic Star of David, which symbolizes the notion “As above, so below.” Seeing that a door has been drawn onto the ceiling above, Scarlett finds a real door in the floor below. Beyond the door, the group finds the entrance to a tunnel that is marked with the phrase “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” in Greek, identical to the entrance to Hell in Dante’s Inferno.Passing through, they find a reflection of the room they left behind. There, they discover La Taupe, who kills Souxie before disappearing. The remaining members of the group realize that they must continue deeper into the catacombs in order to escape, and they climb down a hole. However, Benji is pushed to his death by the lead female cultist. Leaving his body behind, the rest encounter a man sitting in a burning car, which recalls an incident in which Papillon was forced to leave someone to die in a car crash; the man pulls Papillon into the burning car before it disappears and Papillon is left buried upside down. The rest of the group are unable to pull Papillon from the ground, and they decide to continue into the catacombs. Visions of demons follow the group through dark tunnels, and one attacks George. After the philosopher’s stone fails to heal his injuries, George murmurs, “Vitriol.” Remembering the word from a riddle, Scarlett realizes that the stone itself is yet another trap. Only by returning it will she find the real philosopher’s stone.As she races back to the tomb, she finds a hanged man, whom she recognizes as her father. She apologizes to him for not answering the phone the night that he killed himself. She then returns to the tomb, where she finds a polished mirror that makes her realize that she possesses the magical abilities of the philosopher’s stone. Scarlett returns to George and heals him with a kiss. She then explains to George and Zed that the only way to escape is to admit to their torments, just as she admitted that she feels responsible for her father’s suicide. George admits that he accidentally allowed his brother to drown when the pair were kids. As the demons continue to chase them, the group jump down a deep hole. At the bottom, the hole above them closes and a manhole appears on the ground below. Jumping through, the group find themselves right side up on a street overlooking the Notre Dame. Scarlett and George hold each other, realizing that they are safe, while a dazed Zed walks away into the night.Although I’m sick of ‘found footage’ it works better here. For obvious reasons, the budget can’t be massive, so this filmmaking style is particularly suited to horror. There’s more nuance than usual. The main characters use deductive reasoning and historical analysis in order to solve riddles and navigate the labyrinthine catacombs. Dichotomies drawn between light and dark, and up and down, are intriguing and thought provoking. The cast of unknowns delivers strong performances. It’s tough to get through a whole scary movie without poor acting or cheesy moments. If you’re looking for a decent flick this weekend, especially if you dig horror, you can do a lot worse than As Above/So Below.

 

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: CLOVERFIELD

CAST

Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Michael Stahl-David (In Your Eyes)
Mike Vogel (Bates Motel)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Brian Klugman (Bones)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)
Ben Feldman (As Above So Below)

71e8zk6t4LL._SL1500_The film is presented as found footage from a personal camcorder recovered by the United States Department of Defense. A disclaimer states that the footage is of a case designated “Cloverfield” and was found in area US447, “formerly known as Central Park”. The video consists primarily of segments taped the night of Friday, May 22. Occasionally, older segments are shown from a previous video that was mostly taped over.10519267_743169505741924_3711826686541512601_nThe first video segment shows Beth waking up on the morning of Monday, April 27 having had sex with Rob, a previously platonic friend, who is filming her. They make plans to go to Coney Island that day. The footage then cuts to Friday, May 22, when Jason, Rob’s brother, and his girlfriend, Lily, prepare a farewell party for Rob, who will be moving to Japan. Their friend Hud uses the camera to film testimonials during the party.
41992199_1955607841164745_1867220934398574592_nAfter Beth has an argument with Rob and leaves the party, an apparent earthquake strikes, and the city suffers a brief power outage. The local news reports that an oil tanker has capsized near Liberty Island. When the party-goers leave the building, the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty is hurled into the street in front of them. Hud records what appears to be a large creature several blocks away, which collapses the Woolworth Building. Later, during the evacuation of the city, the creature’s gigantic tail destroys the Brooklyn Bridge, killing Jason and several other people. News reports show the Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division attacking the monster, and smaller “parasite” creatures falling off its body and attacking nearby pedestrians and soldiers.[5]
71740755_2986547011420550_8298960998761496576_nRob listens to a phone message from Beth, saying she is trapped in her apartment and unable to move. Going against the crowd, Rob, Hud, Lily, and Marlena (another party guest) venture to Midtown Manhattan to rescue Beth. They get caught in a battle between the creature and the National Guard and run into the Spring Street station, where they are attacked by several of the parasitic creatures inside the subway tunnel. Marlena is attacked and bitten by one of the creatures. Exiting the subway via the 59th Street station, the four come to a command center and field hospital, where Marlena develops a reaction to the bite, which causes her abdomen to inflate and explode, killing her. One of the military leaders tells the group when the last evacuation helicopter will depart before the military executes its “Hammer Down Protocol,” which will destroy Manhattan in an attempt to kill the creature.
71643117_10221170888807609_75716815979806720_nThe group eventually rescues Beth, who was impaled on exposed rebar, and the four make their way to the evacuation site, where they encounter the creature once more over Grand Central Terminal. Lily is rushed into a departing Marine Corps helicopter and escapes. Moments later, Rob, Beth, and Hud are taken away in a second helicopter and witness a U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomb the creature. The bombing appears to harm the creature, causing it to fall, but it then lunges at the protagonists’ helicopter, causing it to crash into Central Park. The film skips to Saturday, May 23 (less than an hour later), with a voice on the crashed helicopter’s radio warning that the Hammer Down protocol will begin in fifteen minutes. The three friends regain consciousness and flee the remains of the helicopter, leaving the camera behind, but when Hud goes to retrieve it, the creature suddenly appears and kills him.
72391718_2475979002645594_1049410855742996480_n
Rob and Beth grab the camera and take shelter under Greyshot Arch in Central Park. As air raid sirens begin to blare, and the bombing starts, Rob and Beth take turns leaving their last testimony of the day’s events. The bridge crumbles and the camera gets knocked out of Rob’s hand and buried beneath some rubble.[6] As the air raid approaches, Rob and Beth each proclaim their love for each other just before another bomb goes off, at which point they both can be heard screaming while the monster roars in pain, presumably killing them all.
MV5BMTQyNDI5MjMyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTUzMjgxNA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_The film then cuts to the footage of Rob and Beth’s Coney Island date on April 27. Unnoticed by them, something in the far distance falls from the sky into the ocean. Rob faces the camera towards him and Beth, and zooms in on Beth, who says “I had a good day.” The tape then freezes and cuts out. After the end credits there’s a voice saying “Help us” and in reverse it says “It’s still alive”.71e8zk6t4LL._SL1500_The film had been hyped for months via viral marketing, JJ Abrams fan boys, and media coverage/ monster speculation. Did it live up to the hype? The answer is yes Cloverfield is by far the most intense monster film I have seen in a while.The monster itself is actually not seen in its entirety only being viewed from different angles for the audience to piece it together as the survivors themselves are, you pretty much know as much as they do about everything going on making you actually feel like you’re there. Critics compare the film to Blair Witch meets Godzilla but it is so much more than that, Cloverfield is the definitive American Monster Film.