Stephen David Miller

Startup cofounder, AI researcher, podcaster, person, etc.

Review: The Cloverfield Paradox

Nothing of interest was coming out this week, so Chris and I concocted an elaborate plan: watch and review all of the 2017 Oscar-nominated documentaries. Five features in a single weekend; that’s a lot of streaming. Arguably too much.

Then Cloverfield happened.

I’ll be honest, it is hard to write a meaningful review of The Cloverfield Paradox (2.5/5) — a fluffy, inoffensive B-movie that somehow mashes up Alien, Armageddon, Godzilla, Gravity, Back To The Future 2, and every terrible conversation between stoners who read a wikipedia article about quantum mechanics and think it relates to philosophy. Is it dumb? Absolutely. Is it interesting sci fi with well-defined rules? Hell. No. Does it have kinda fun horror tropes and jump scares to move it along? Sure. Is it packed with a fantastic cast who do their darndest to elevate the material? Wall to wall. Does Daniel Brühl punch a Russian in the face? Does Gugu Mbatha-Raw cry on command like nobody’s business? Does Chris O’Dowd utter the line “I’d like to take a bath with identical twins and a tub of Rocky Road” while the fabric of spacetime is literally ripping apart? Check, check, check. Does any of this relate to the Clover-verse? Not in the slightest. Would it have survived a standard theatrical release under a title that didn’t staple it to the back of better movies? Highly doubtful. But in this context, after all that documentary heaviness, The Cloverfield Paradox was a mostly fun escape.

Chris and I talk about Netflix’s business model, what quantum entanglement isn’t, Hollywood’s bizarre insistence on making characters use silly text lingo in serious situations, and the dubious pun “in-Dan-Tractable” in this week’s (lighter) episode. Stay tuned for documentaries.

See my review on Letterboxd