'Cloverfield': Roundtable day four

Happy Monday, Ryan and Tamara —
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out whether reader Sean’s theory about MI:3‘s Rabbit’s Foot being Cloverfield‘s Slusho is valid. I kid, of course, but I love the idea. Same with Andrea’s fear that Slusho is related to Rimbaldi. That in particular would be worth a laugh.
On the note of Earth-JJ and whether Arvin Sloane is the secret head of Dharma 2.0, what is Cloverfield‘s place in sci-fi? J.J. Abrams has said in interviews that he wants the U.S. to have its own Godzilla-esque monster, but seems to me King Kong takes that title. The best monster movies have messages — Godzilla and nuclear war; King Kong and the exploitation of nature for commerce — but the most I can glean from Cloverfield‘s alternate-reality game is that it’s bad to deep-sea drill… and then drink what you find down there. For me, that’s sort of a given.
Let’s be honest, I can watch any number of monster movies on the various sci-fi channels any day of the weekend. Some weekends, they show nothing but monster movies. New ones, too, albeit with special effects that cost a fraction of what J.J. Abrams gets to play with.
It seems to me that Cloverfield‘s biggest innovation (telling the story via hand-held camera, putting viewers directly in the path of a monster attack) is also one that may drive away viewers. Just look at the debate after the first of these roundtable installments, not to mention Tamara’s own reaction. More often than any other genre, sci-fi carries a message. I don’t see one with Cloverfield. The triumph of the human spirit, maybe? And yet the trailer’s opening, hinting that the camera was recovered in what was formerly Central Park, doesn’t bode well for our heroes.
Maybe, of course, I just need to sit back with my popcorn and cherry Coke and enjoy the ride. What do you think?

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