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Dan Trachtenberg
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

Box Office:
$15 Million.
Opening Weekend:
$24,702,752 on 3,391 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 103 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 6/14/2016

• Audio Commentary with Audio Commentary with Director Dan Trachtenberg and Executive Producer JJ Abrams
• Seven Featurettes
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


10 Cloverfield Lane [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 12, 2016)

Eight years after Cloverfield offered a successful monster movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane delivers a sequel – sort of. Or not.

After she fights with her boyfriend, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) flees her New Orleans apartment and drives through rural Louisiana. As she ponders her relationship, another vehicle slams into Michelle’s car, and this knocks her unconscious. When she awakes, Michelle finds herself imprisoned in a small cement room.

Michelle soon meets her captor: Walter (John Goodman), a man who claims he saved her from a deadly threat that makes the outside world deadly. Another inhabitant named Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) confirms some of Howard’s apocalyptic claims, but Michelle’s doubt remains. We follow Michelle’s attempts to separate fact from fiction and deal with her imprisonment.

Earlier I claimed that Lane provides a semi-sequel to Cloverfield, but don’t take that too far. One can find connections between the two, but these links remain awfully tenuous – so tenuous, in fact, that even after I read comments from the filmmakers, it’s still unclear where Lane exists in the prior movie’s universe.

All I do know is that Lane offers a radical shift from Cloverfield. Whereas the 2008 movie delivered a wild, frantic monster movie, Lane gives us a quiet, composed thriller that hints at the Hitchcock sensibility.

Actually, to a certain degree, Lane feels like the Tim Robbins basement scene in 2005’s War of the Worlds stretched to feature length. That might sound like an insult, but I don’t mean it as one. Lane takes a particular premise and spreads it out to create an interesting drama in its own right.

Much of the tension relates to Walter’s sanity – or potential lack thereof. Lane leaves many elements up for interpretation; it plants clues but doesn’t telegraph notions that would spell out concepts for the viewer.

I appreciate that fact. Most movies tell us everything without room for nuance, whereas Lane leaves open plenty of room for different views and debate, and most come back to Walter, as he stays a slippery character.

I’ve now seen Lane twice, and I still find it hard to nail down the details behind Walter. Did he actively stalk Michelle? Did he really have a daughter? Did he want Michelle to be a surrogate child or a spouse – or neither?

Good questions, ones that I can’t clearly answer – and maybe no one else can, either. Lane provides hints but leaves enough wiggle room for discussion and various views, a refreshing change from most Hollywood fare.

Our limited group of actors do well – especially Goodman. He gets the most challenging part, as he needs to give Walter a creepy edge but not go too far into nutbag territory. Goodman succeeds in this endeavor, as he adds just the right vibe to the part.

All that, and the end of the world, too! Maybe – I don’t want to spill too many beans about what happens here. Suffice it to say that 10 Cloverfield Lane keeps us guessing and becomes a lively, involving thriller.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

10 Cloverfield Lane appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.36:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This wasn’t a stunning image, but it seemed fine.

Sharpness was the only minor issue, as the many low-light interiors tended to favor a mild softness. Those trends weren’t significant, though, so the image may have lacked great clarity, but it appeared mostly concise.

I saw no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to play a factor here, so the film looked clean.

In terms of palette, Lane tended toward standard teal and orange. These hues showed adequate representation within stylistic constraints. Blacks were fairly dense, and shadows seemed acceptable; these elements didn’t excel but they appeared more than satisfactory. Though this wasn’t a killer visual presentation, it fit the movie well enough.

Despite the story’s restricted setting, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Lane worked nicely. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie came with occasional instances of dynamic information, mainly during a few action sequences. Those popped to life in an exciting fashion.

Most of the flick went with gentler audio, and those segments succeeded as well. These contributed a good sense of atmosphere and formed a creepy, claustrophobic sensibility throughout the film. Despite its mostly subdued nature, the soundscape helped bolster the story.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was bold and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared accurate and dynamic. Speech remained natural and without edginess or concerns. I felt the soundtrack suited the tale and helped it succeed.

Among extras, we locate an audio commentary with director Dan Trachtenberg and executive producer JJ Abrams. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, Trachtenberg’s experiences as a first-time director, cinematography and editing, cast and performances, sets and production design, music, audio, effects and other domains.

Trachtenberg and Abrams provide a perfectly serviceable commentary. Though they occasionally spend too much time on praise, most of the track sticks with movie-related information. The piece moves fairly well and gives us a good – if not great – look at the film.

The disc also contains seven featurettes. With a total running time of 34 minutes, 42 seconds, we find “Cloverfield Too” (9:07), “Bunker Mentality” (3:48), “Duck and Cover” (1:44), “Spin-Off” (3:52), “Kelvin Optical” (6:07), “Fine Tuned” (6:42) and “End of Story” (3:19). Across these, we hear from Trachtenberg, Abrams, producer Lindsey Weber, co-producer Jon Cohen, production designer Ramsey Avery, director of photography Jeff Cutter, costume designer Meagan Luster, special effects supervisor Matt Kutcher, Sr., special effects technician Matt Kutcher, Jr., editor Stefan Grube, VFX supervisor Luke McDonald, supervising sound editor Robby Stambler, composer Bear McCreary, co-producer/unit production manager Bbob Dohrmann, and actors Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher, Jr., and John Goodman.

The featurettes cover the project’s origins and development, story and characters, the director’s approach to the material, cast and performances, set design, costumes and cinematography, various effects, editing, audio and music. These go over a good array of topics and do so in a manner that accentuates the commentary.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Lane. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

Taut and compelling, 10 Cloverfield Lane offers a brisk thriller. It boasts a clever twist on its genre and strong performances to turn into a fine experience. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio along with some informative supplements. Lane turns into a strong directorial debut for Dan Trachtenberg.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.1851 Stars Number of Votes: 27
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