'Cloverfield': Roundtable day three

Much thanks to Andy and Tamara for letting me share in this Cloverfield blog conversation. I’ve learned a lot so far, most of all that the readers of this blog sure hate themselves some shakey-cam. Good Lord. I wonder if Shakey-Cam asked their sweetheart to prom or something. I’m going to sidestep the shakey-cam topic, if I may, since it’s largely a personal aesthetic choice each person can make for themselves. Instead, I want to look at two things that have me excited about this film.
1) The “Earth-JJ” Theory
Earth-JJ is something that I coined back in October, in one of my first posts over at Zap2It’s Guide to Lost. In it, among other things, I postulated that the Cloverfield movie was in fact a Lost movie, showing things that could describe why a certain Lost character might have been so gosh-darn upset at the end of Season 3. (How’s THAT for a vague reference?) And one of the central tenets of this theory is that every single J.J. Abrams work exists within one single universe.
That means that Sydney Bristow and Jack Shepard and Ethan Hunt and a big honkin’ monster all exist within the same reality. In that article, I specify several instances of how one show/movie bleeds into the other. Well, turns out, there was another absolutely huge one that I didn’t know but has come into the light since: turns out some familiar faces like themselves some Slusho.
Now, what’s Slusho, you ask?  This brings me to topic #2.
2) The Medium Matters Not
Slusho is a fictional beverage that exists within Earth-JJ, and just might be the very reason why Central Park turns into “Incident Site U.S. 447.” It’s also a central part of an alternate-reality game (ARG) that provides background information on Cloverfield. Some love the ARG; others bemoan the fact that they have to sift through countless external sources in order to get the full narrative.
Whether or not the ARG provides information vital to Cloverfield that will leave the non-initiated in the dark is yet to be seen. But speaking personally, I love anything and everything I can learn about Earth-JJ. I would rather learn over the course of a few months about the potentially insidious nature of a certain Slusho ingredient and the activities of the Tagruato Corporation than to waste the first twenty minutes of the movie wading through scene after scene of exposition explaining the very same things.
In addition, I’d suggest it would be indeed the height of arrogance to place information vital to understanding the film through ARGs, mobisodes, in-character blogs, or a host of different media. However, I would say that the very act of spreading the narrative across multiple media, when deployed correctly, actually expand the narrative in a way that is infinitely more exciting than one stuck in one particular method. Film, television, print, web, video, audio…in the end, it’s all about the STORY, right? I’m happy to get as many parts in as many ways possible. Not unlike Depeche Mode, I just can’t get enough.
Earth-JJ is simply that interesting.
Andy/Tamara, what do you like about Earth-JJ? Do you feel the online stuff works against the film in the eyes of the casual fan? Or are you too busy scanning the trailer to see if the monster attacks Felicity?
To be continued Monday…

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