One of the most interesting “mixed” genre films of recent memory is former video blogger (podcasts, etc.) Dan Trachtenberg’s film adaptation of Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken 2012 “spec” story, 10 Cloverfield Lane.
It is part sci-fi thriller, complete with an alien invasion (oops, I guess that’s a spoiler alert), and part hostage drama, complete with a psychopath holding a vulnerable woman as a prisoner in an underground bunker. Both elements are blended perfectly together.
Word arrived this past week from Paramount Home Media that 10 Cloverfield Lane will be available as both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings on June 14. With that release date, the ARR is a quick-to-market 95 days and domestic ticket sales were an impressive $71.5 million.
Since the film also makes it home entertainment debut on the same date as Paramount’s previously announced entry into the 4K Ultra HD arena — with Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness — we can only assume that a 4K Ultra HD SKU is possibly planned for later in the year.
There is a certain irony in Paramount not “stepping” on the exclusive Star Trek 4K Ultra HD launch with a last minute addition of 10 Cloverfield Lane — J.J. Abrams directed both of the Star Trek films and is the producer of 10 Cloverfield Lane (and one month later his production of Star Trek Beyond hits theatres — with direction by Fast and Furious’ Justin Lin). Paramount has a lot of “happy” juggling problems on their hands with this bounty of riches.
As to the story, which is a real “frying pan and fire” rollercoaster ride, a woman known only as Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead — as John McClane’s adult daughter in Live Free or Die Hard, plus in such films as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Thing, Smashed, Kill the Messenger, etc.) is driving in a remote area of Louisiana when she begins hearing strange reports on the radio. Distracted, she totals her car … and awakes a prisoner in what appears to be something of a bomb shelter.
Being a prisoner, it is explained to her by her captor, Howard (John Goodman), is for her own good. There is something deadly outside his underground home and he doesn’t want her to attempt to escape — “It” might get in.
Also in the “shelter” is a young man named Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr. — Short Term 12, Olive Kitteridge, etc.), who more or less confirms Howard’s story. And soon, she is given reign of the place, but begins to suspect that something is not quite right about Howard … she’s not so sure about Emmett.
Tick … tick … tick … tension builds and a plan is hatched to escape. But escape to what? And will Michelle’s unhinged host actually allow an escape. What a rush. Like we said, 10 Cloverfield Lane is one of the most interesting mixed genre films to surface in recent memory.
As to bonus goodies, which are limited to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack edition, director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams provide commentary and there is a 30-minute Behind-the Scenes featurette.
In other release news from Paramount Home Media this week, Tina Fey’s war comedy about novice reporter Kim Baker’s baptism of fire in Afghanistan, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (based on her memoir, “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan”) will be available on June 28 as both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings.
The ARR is 116 days and ticket sales currently stand at $23 million.
Bonus nuggets include deleted and extended scenes, plus five featurettes — “All In: The Making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” “War Reporter: The Real Kim,” “Embedded In Reality,” “Wedding Party” and “Laughing Matters.”