We Watched ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ — A He Said, She Said Review of The Genre-Bending Flick

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Icon Vs. Icon’s husband and wife team, Delores and Hank Price, Jr., continue their winning streak this week with a brand new Pick of The Week. Check out their takes on Dan Trachtenberg’s, ’10 Cloverfield Lane,’ which stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. and Douglas M. Griffin. Give this dynamic duo a follow and marvel at their online antics on Twitter at @deloresprice80 and @thehenrypricejr.

She said: Hank and I sat down to watch “10 Cloverfield Lane” the other night.
The only things I recall from the first film in this franchise, “Cloverfield,” is the found footage storytelling made me wanna barf and there was a dinosaur. Also, heartthrob Hank took me to a double feature at the movies that day – “Cloverfield” and “Rambo.” Back off ladies, he’s taken.

Anyway, I’m a longtime fan of John Goodman from his days as my lower middle class hero, Dan Conner, on “Roseanne,” so my interest was piqued when I saw the trailer portray him as a paranoid basket case.

I knew this was connected to the first “Cloverfield” film but it’s almost a standalone with the tension and drama unfolding across the screen from Michelle’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) terrible car crash to her waking in chains in a grimy room reminiscent of the “Saw” films. Howard (John Goodman) apparently found her on the side of the road and saved her from an attack – aliens, nuclear, your mom? You don’t need to know what exactly, if anything, is outside lurking but it’s added drama for the viewer that mixes well with Howard’s slow unveiling. Is he a doomsday savior or a psycho? If there was an apocalyptic situation unfolding on the world, a doomsday prepper would be the only person truly prepared – and I don’t mean those weirdos ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.

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The setting is a bunker in rural Louisiana. A tight space that is more than enough for three talented actors, especially my boy John Goodman. Such an amazing performance. I also enjoyed Winstead’s work as well as John Gallagher’s Jr.’s role as likeable Emmett DeWitt. However, I learned Bradley Cooper was the voice of Michelle’s boyfriend, Ben. That doesn’t sound cost effective. What’s the point? Is his voice that great? He was in the movie for how many minutes? Weird.

I won’t spoil the ending because that would be rude (hear that Hank?!). However, I will say I didn’t like it because it wasn’t believable through the character development. So, although the ending in itself is climactic, for me it was anti-climactic because it wasn’t true to the character as we had been presented. Perhaps they could have further explored these traits they wanted her/him to have during the film, maybe it’s just me. Who knows!

He Said: It’s always a treat when I manage to see a movie months after its theatrical release that hasn’t been spoiled for me. Fortunately, I managed to avoid any significant spoilers for “10 Cloverfield Lane” because it’s a great movie that I won’t spoil for you, Dear Reader. (To Dolores – HMPF!)

This movie pretty much came out of nowhere. The trailer, which gives nothing away, dropped about a month or so before the movie’s release. Everybody had theories about the plot and how it connected to “Cloverfield.” What’s funny is the movie’s connection to “Cloverfield” is made about five minutes in, though it doesn’t really give anything away. Nonetheless, very little is revealed and it’s great to watch the layers peeled away over the course of 100 minutes. Is Howard telling the truth? Is he crazy? Is it both? The answer isn’t revealed until the very end.

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Unlike Dolores, I really liked the ending and what it might mean for future “Cloverfield” movies. The movie is different from its predecessor, which was a found-footage Godzilla movie. “10 Cloverfield Lane” is a suspense/sci-fi movie that bears little resemblance. Perhaps JJ and Friends will employ other genres in future installments.

It’s hard to say much more without getting into the details, which may give too much away. I will say it’s easy to enjoy this movie without having seen “Cloverfield,” and it’s a great way to spend a weekend evening in a dark room with a bottle of wine. Two thumbs up from Hank.

Editor’s Note: Despite Hank’s mention of a dark room and a bottle of wine, no lovemaking occurred during the screening of the film or it’s subsequent review. Maybe next time, pal! 

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