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looks beautiful, lacks substance
Cloverfield is a cheap victory for J.J. Abrams. It looked beautiful, had my senses in a whirlwind, and even brought me to heights of movie excitement/fear that I have never before experienced. It was a great theater thrill-ride. However, it completely lacked any kind of meaningful story. It fell short on character development, had no climax, and was devoid of any significant or resolving conclusion. The writer never had to deal with the tough questions of aftermath or origin, and in that sense totally balked on creativity and story-telling. It is not up to the audience to fill in the gaps--that is the writer's job. This movie is the quintessential one-night-stand of movies: incredible looks, an incredible experience, but with no substance it leaves you feeling empty when the night is over.