10 Cloverfield Lane – Blu-ray Review

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10 Cloverfield Lane is the spiritual sequel to the J.J. Abrams’ found footage monster film, Cloverfield. 10 Cloverfield Lane is in no way shape or form a direct sequel to Cloverfield, but rather it creates a different tale in the franchise. This is why 10 Cloverfield Lane works so well. Instead of rehashing the same formula as its predecessor, it expands upon the world.

It also is a different experience than Cloverfield. Whereas the first film was a monster movie, 10 Cloverfield is a psychological thriller. What 10 Cloverfield Lane does so well is capturing a person’s nightmare logic, sensing danger even if you can’t explain it. Although this is Dan Trachtenberg’s first feature film, he directs the film like a seasoned vet. Trachtenberg is able to keep things tightly focused. He’s able to build the tension while at times keeping things light-hearted.

The driving force behind 10 Cloverfield Lane is the script by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, and Damien Chazelle. The twists and turns of the story read very much like a Twilight Zone episode. What you expect isn’t what you expected.

The film’s small cast is as great as the script itself. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is scrappy, resourceful, and very smart. She doesn’t get rattled at the extraordinary situation around her, she’s able to ably adapt to it. John Gallagher Jr. is the middleman to this already complex living situation. He’s the bright spot and charms his way into the hearts of the audience. However, it’s John Goodman that is the key piece to this film. He’s scary good and does a good job blurring the lines of his insanity and sanity. If it weren’t for Goodman, the film wouldn’t be as good as it is.

Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a film filled with gripping and tension that’s strengthened by its fantastic cast.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms
NR 5 Atoms - A

Video
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10 Cloverfield Lane is presented in a 1080P MPEG-4 AVC encoded video with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The video is well balanced throughout the entire film. The black levels are deep and inky throughout. 10 Cloverfield Lane has a cinematic feel to it so the video doesn’t quite have a razor sharp detailed transfer, as you’d see from a digital camera. At times, there were several times where I noticed a hint of softness in the video. The color and skin tones are all lifelike and authentic looking throughout the entire film. Overall, there’s nothing special about the video transfer but it is still a pretty good transfer.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms
NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

Audio
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10 Cloverfield Lane is presented in the Dolby Atmos format, but it is also presented in the core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. The review will reflect 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. The film has quite a nice balance of quiet moments and frantic moments, and the audio presentation does a fine job of balancing the chaos and tranquility. The dialogue-heavy film is crystal clear in the center speaker. The surround speakers and subwoofer comes alive during the film’s perilous action scenes. The speakers hit from every direction and also get casually used to blend in Bear McCreary’s score. The subwoofer provides sheer force and booming bass to the sound effects. Overall, it’s a very dynamic audio presentation.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms
NR 5 Atoms - A

Special Features
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10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary with producer J.J. Abrams and director Dan Trachtenberg
  • Cloverfield Too
  • Bunker Mentality
  • Duck and Cover
  • Spin-Off
  • Kelvin Optical
  • Fine Tuned
  • End of Story

With over 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes, the Blu-ray release is not short on information. What it is short on, though, is special features because this release is only comprised of a single audio commentary and the behind-the-scenes featurettes. The featurettes are insightful and informative, but there is a feeling of wanting more.

Special Features Rating: 2.5/5 atoms
NR 2_5 Atoms - C-


Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a captivating thriller that’s filled with twists and turns. It’s not the Cloverfield sequel we all wanted, but it’s definitely a worthy follow-up. The video and audio are top-notch but despite the informative featurettes, the special features are a tad bit lacking.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms
NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

From around the web:
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane is well acted, intense and intriguing and such a perfect sequel that references, but differentiates from the original nicely.