‘Cloverfield’ spoiler in New York City subway

I was riding home tonight on the train, as I typically do when I need to get home, and we were stopped for a few minutes at 86th Street, on the express track. While I was waiting for the conductor or whoever to fix whatever the problem was, I noticed that someone had written, in permanent black marker on an unrelated billboard that was gracing the platform, a major spoiler for Cloverfield. I’m not going to repeat what the killjoy had written, partly because I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it, and partly because it was only half correct. It’s as if someone had written, in the summer of 1980, “Darth Vader is Luke’s uncle, and Luke loses his nose.”

The thing I really want to say is this: What kind of candy-stealing, ponytail-pulling, wedgie-yanking numbnuts does this kind of thing? How have we raised our children, that they’re so inconsiderate that they think it’s funny to ruin a movie for random strangers?

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Wed, Jan 23, 2008 9:36am

Hey, you wanna know how Titanic ends?

The ship sinks.

What kind of candy-stealing, ponytail-pulling, wedgie-yanking numbnuts does this kind of thing?

The first major instance I recall where people were deliberately spoiling a movie was for Basic Instinct, way back in 1992. Some gay and lesbian groups were really upset that the movie portrayed lesbians as being a bunch of psychos and murderers (it is true that pretty much every lesbian/bisexual woman in the movie was a murderer), so they went around telling everyone they could the ending of the movie, so that (presumably) people would not see it.

It didn’t work.

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 9:54am

I think it’s called the age of “information”. In a way, your subway spoiler seems to have been indulging him/herself in the exact kind of omni-present “we are all chroniclers of culture” sort of approach that the movie itself is (tangentially) about. The levels of meta are making my head hurt.

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 3:44pm

Ah, so being a brat is meta now, is it?

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 4:38pm

Hey Mj I saw cloverfield and , I didnt love it as much as others.However it did leave me curious. How did they manage to get the extras they got, running around like freaks in the middle of NYC without getting any kinda buzz as to traffic trouble or regular people on the street wondering whats going on? Because I remember when War of the worlds was filming in Hoboken there was alot of people wondering what was going on with all the lighting effects.

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 5:06pm

HDJ, since a lot of the stuff in the movie is CGI, the extras would have no idea what they were running from; they’d just be told, run this way and act like you’re scared. The fact that the entire movie is shot on handheld video cameras means that there’s not a huge requirement for things to be excessively choreographed; in fact, you wouldn’t want that because the movie is supposed to appear spontaneous.

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 7:27pm

thats not what i ment,, how like how come nothing was said when the blocks got shut down for the movie

Pen Dragon
Pen Dragon
Wed, Jan 23, 2008 7:35pm

A day or two after the 6th Harry Potter book came out, someone spelled out “Snape kills Dumbledore” by sticking paper cups in a chain-link fence on a highway bridge.
I’ve always hated Harry Potter, so I got a good laugh out of it.
My guess is that the perp was either offended or excited by the hype, and then disappointed by the final product. I can understand (but not always sympathize with) this mindset; who hasn’t wanted to destroy something that disappointed them (I’m looking at you, Phantom Menace)? And who isn’t sick of the relentless, undeserved hype of just about any pop-culture item you can name?
What I don’t get is how this particular spoiler managed to get the details wrong. Do hype and disappointment affect morons as well as normal people?

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 8:08pm

Ah, so being a brat is meta now, is it?

It is if you’re so completely cool in your own bratness that you’re convinced that your bratty actions are simply social commentary on the bratty-ness of others.

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 8:21pm

HDJ, people knew that a movie was being filmed. This happens all the time in NYC. They just keep everyone who didn’t need to know the details in the dark. Most, if not all, of the effects were added after the fact, so really only the principal actors and crew needed to know anything at all.

Wed, Jan 23, 2008 9:21pm

Yeah, we New Yorkers are totally used to movie shoots shutting down blocks all the time. Usually it’s some episode of *Law and Order* being shot, but we get our share of movies, too. And absent the monster, no one would know anything beyond the fact that it’s obviously meant to be some kind of horror movie.

who hasn’t wanted to destroy something that disappointed them

Jesus. What? Really? “Destroy”? And that includes ruining it for others who may not have been disappointed?

That’s one of the most selfish and most childish things I’ve ever heard.

Roger BW
Thu, Jan 24, 2008 7:56am

“What kind of candy-stealing, ponytail-pulling, wedgie-yanking numbnuts does this kind of thing?”

What kind of lousy one-shot movies have we got used to, that knowing how it ends can ruin the whole experience? Guess nobody will be buying the DVD, then?

(And a good thing too, I think, but then I got fed up with shaky-cam well before Battlestar Galactica made it cool again.)