Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller
Release Date: January 17, 2023
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Celebrating 15 years, this LIMITED EDITION 4K Ultra-HD Steelbook includes a bonus Blu-ray packed with special features, including alternate endings and deleted scenes. A game-changing blockbuster that took the found-footage genre to monstrous new heights, Matt Reeves (THE BATMAN) directs this tale of five young New Yorkers thrown into an unprecedented invasion by a monster the size of a skyscraper.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Cloverfield’ tells the terrifying tale of a group of young adults in New York celebrating a friend’s new job with a party only for everything to turn upside down when a mysterious, giant-sized monster begins attacking the city. As things around New York become increasingly more dangerous and the destruction mounts, this group of friends must set out into the heart of the chaos on a rescue mission when they discover that someone close to them was trapped in her home during an attack. Now they’ll have to evade the monster and the soldiers combating it and try to survive long enough to save her.
‘Cloverfield’ was initially unleashed into theaters in January of 2008 and thanks in part to some clever advertising and style choices it quickly became a genre favorite that flipped the found footage format upside down in order to create a film that cleverly utilizes the style to serve up some noteworthy scares and thrills that only become more intense as the tale progresses; all only benefitting all the more from a nice and brief runtime. It’s safe to say that ‘Cloverfield’ still holds up tremendously today, fifteen years after its original release and has since spawned two other films in the franchise (even if one is notably more impressive than the other). If you’ve never had the pleasure of this cleverly constructed found-footage, monster invasion tale then I would strongly encourage you to give it a chance whenever possible. It’s a smart and thrilling ride that works even better than you would expect it to and still serves up all of the fun and chaos today without anything within appearing dated or questionable.
The film was directed by Matt Reeves (The Batman, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) from a screenplay by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale) and in many ways helped make both noteworthy names who would deliver some unforgettable films in the years to come, and ‘Cloverfield’ itself still serves up all of the intense fun today that it did when first released. The film’s cast included Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Annable (credited here as Odette Yustman) and more, many of which only saw their popularity skyrocket after as well and nearly all offer quite solid and fitting roles here that help ‘Cloverfield’ to work as beautifully as it does.
Paramount Home Entertainment celebrates the 15th Anniversary of ‘Cloverfield’ with a new Limited Edition Steelbook that includes the film on 4K Ultra HD, along with a Blu-ray and Digital copy. The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs included in the new release appear to be identical to the previously released 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs from Paramount (the 4K UHD disc still lists a 2018 copyright on the disc, while the Blu-ray disc notes a 2008 copyright and even features an older, VC-1 encoding method as opposed to the AVC encoding more common on Blu-ray these days) but if you don’t already own the previous 4K Ultra HD release, then you shouldn’t be at all disappointed with the stellar Ultra High Definition video presentation featuring Dolby Vision and HDR-10 included within. The new 15th Anniversary release features collectible Steelbook packaging which includes a slip cover that can be removed for a hidden picture behind; with the entire package providing a nice, glossy and solid case with some nice new collectible artwork.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Cloverfield’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition video presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation (just like the disc itself) is identical to the previous 4K Ultra HD release of ‘Cloverfield’ released in 2018 and therefore will be up to each individual as to whether they want to double dip for the Steelbook packaging alone, but if you don’t already own the film on 4K Ultra HD, this may just be the right time to change that. The video presentation looks surprisingly fantastic, especially for a found footage film and it retains all of the glitches and other intended faults within that are meant to exist due to the filming style, but everything around those intended elements and the shaky camera work that comes along with the format look stellar, sharp and richly detailed across the board. The Dolby Vision addition also contributes a notable color palette that works beautifully with the deep, rich blacks on display throughout. Overall, this is a quite impressive Ultra High Definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing fans who don’t already own this film on the format.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is identical to the previous releases of the film yet if you don’t already own it there’s no reason whatsoever to be concerned by that fact as it delivers a clean, booming and often wildly aggressive audio presentation that repeatedly complements the film and contributes plenty of extra tension and excitement to the viewing experience. It regularly utilizes all five available channels in order to send explosions, gunfire, along with crowd chatter and plenty of other action and destruction related effects zooming throughout the various speakers, while still ensuring that all dialogue and other audio elements occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a great 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that sounds consistently solid and should not disappoint.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Cloverfield’ includes a nice collection of previously released extras, the majority of which can be found on the release’s included Blu-ray disc. Included on both discs is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Matt Reeves’, while the Blu-ray disc includes numerous additional extras including the option to view the film with ‘Special Investigation Mode’ which contributes facts and other fun information throughout, plus some ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 3 minutes in length altogether) and ‘Alternate Endings’ (running approximately 4 minutes combined) from the movie, both featuring Optional Commentary by Reeves, along with a Gag Reel dubbed ‘Clover Fun’ (approximately 4 minutes). Also included is ‘Document 01.18.08: The Making of Cloverfield’ (approximately 28 minutes), plus ‘Cloverfield Visual Effects’ (approximately 22 minutes) and ‘I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge!’ (6 minutes).
This new 15th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook release of ‘Cloverfield’ features new, original Steelbook packaging with a slipcase that reveals the monster when removed and complete with images on the front, rear and interior of the actual Steelbook case which itself is sturdy, glossy and well put together. The actual 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs within are identical to the previous releases from 2018 and 2008. You can view a beauty shot of the packaging provided by the studio below for a better idea of what to expect!
*Please note that the above images are taken from the included Blu-Ray disc and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Cloverfield’ 15th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD from Paramount Home Entertainment