Cloverfield 4K SteelBook review

Dec 30, 2022- Permalink

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Matt Reeve’s monster flick Cloverfield, Paramount has released a 4K SteelBook and I had a chance to take a look. The 2008 found footage flick stars Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, and Odette Yustman as a group of friends trying to escape a giant monster attacking New York. So, just a regular night in NYC. It grossed over $170 million and spawned two sequels, 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and 2018’s The Cloverfield Paradox. An important note: The Cloverfield 4K SteelBook contains the same 4K disc as the 2018 4K release. The difference here is the SteelBook packaging which will be of interest to collectors.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265 encoded upscaled 4K digital transfer with Dolby Vision and HDR10 is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is a found footage movie, meaning that it is meant to appear as if it was shot by the characters themselves during the events and, in this case, on 1080p cameras. So it’s a dark and gritty and shaky cinematic experience and that’s what the filmmakers intended. Though the upscaling to 4K does add some sharpness to items like textiles, some scenes are intentionally blurrier than others. The video presentation does benefit from the HDR, with deep blacks and brighter specular highlights.

On the audio side of things, you have the choice of an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack as well as French (Canada), French (Parisian), Spanish (Latin America), Portuguese (Brazil), German and Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Subtitles are available for English, English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. The soundscape makes good use of the surrounds and subwoofer, placing you in the centre of the action with the group of friends. Dialogue is clear. It would have been nice to see the soundtrack rejigged for Atmos for the 15th anniversary but, as mentioned, these are the 2018 discs in a new outfit.

The Cloverfield 4K SteelBook set contains the 4K disc, a Blu-ray copy and a digital code. Extras, located on the Blu-ray, include audio commentary by Matt Reeves, some production and behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes and alternate ending. The SteelBook packaging includes a transparent plastic slipcover which hides elements of the SteelBook case while showing a damaged Statue of Liberty through a lens. Removing it reveals the predominantly green SteelBook art. On the front, we see the monster attacking the city, with a distant fire giving some splash of orange-red tones with the elements of a video camera around the image. The rear of the case depicts more damaged buildings on fire. The interior of the packaging continues the green-tinted theme with a camera viewfinder depicting an action scene.

In case you were daydreaming while reading I’ll reiterate that the Cloverfield 4K SteelBook contains the same discs as the 2018 release with the new aspect being the SteelBook packaging. If you already have the 4K disc, you’ll have to make the decision if the collector’s packaging is worth the purchase. If you don’t own it, the packaging is a fun addition to a good presentation of a fun and fast-paced film.