Matt Reeves On Cloverfield’s Finale And The Importance Of Physical Media [Exclusive Interview]

I wanted to thank you for doing this because I think there’s an importance to physical media. Maybe that’d be a good place to start. Why is a physical release of this movie important to you?

You know, it’s funny because when you mentioned that, I really think of something that for me was such a formative thing as I was growing up, becoming a filmmaker, and then being a filmmaker. Do you remember Virgin Megastore?

Oh yeah, of course.

Going to Virgin Megastore, that sadly would be, often, many of my Friday nights. “What are we going to do? Oh, Virgin Megastore’s open till two, let’s go and let’s look at the Criterions.” The idea of being able to hold the movie that you love … it’s funny, when I was a kid, after I saw “Star Wars,” my dad was a business affairs executive and he knew someone at Fox. So for Christmas — and this is something that I think people don’t understand because now everything’s so easily available. You have it on your phone, you have it all over. But when I was 11, my dad for Christmas got me this big box and I was like, “What is this?” And it was before they were commercially available because he worked at a network and they used to watch shows right on Betamaxes.

I was like, “What is this?” And he said, “Well, this can record and play things on the TV.” And I was like, “What is that good for?” And he said, “Well, open the other box.” The other box was two tapes. And I was like, “What’s that?” And he said, “That’s the whole movie of ‘Star Wars.'”

The weird thing is, this wouldn’t mean anything now. Now, if you bought a kid “Star Wars,” they’d be like, “Oh.” Or you download it. They’re watching it on streaming on Disney+ or whatever it is, and it is what it is, but that gift was one of the most important gifts that I ever got. It was like my dad gave me “Star Wars.” I was like, “You’re giving me the whole movie?!”

So I’ve always had this kind of love of being able to hold the movie that I love. And also, that was my film education. I remember watching on the Criterion, all the stuff with Martin Scorsese, him talking about, in “Taxi Driver,” certain frame rates that he was using in different shots. I was like, “Oh my God, this is film school all over again.” So I just have a real love for that.

And, honestly, with streaming, the image is not always pristine the way it is [on physical media]. My favorite thing, still, when I want to throw something up and it’s my favorite movie, to be able to go from the Blu-ray or the UHD or whatever and just put it up. You’re going like “Oh, wow, there it is looking as good as if I was seeing it in the theater, really, except I’m not in the theater.”

So it has always meant a lot to me, physical media, and actually it’s something that I miss. You don’t really go to the video store anymore. There was a place called Laser Blazer. Remember Laser Blazer?


You could go and look at all of those. So I share that with you, and I miss that.

[Gesturing to my overflowing shelf of Blu-rays] As you can see behind me, this is but a small sampling of my collection. I mean, maybe it is an offshoot of being a kid going to a video store and…

Hey, I love the “Conversation” poster. That’s cool.

Yeah, I got “The Conversation” up there and “Raiders (of the Lost Ark)” and…

Oh, you got “Creepshow.”

Yeah, “Creepshow,” too.


Thanks! What I was saying earlier is that maybe being a physical media enthusiast is an offshoot of going to video stores when you’re a kid. Just the idea of having the movies you want at your disposal.

Oh yeah, there’s that whole experience, too. Just like, “Hey, it’s Friday. What do you want to see?” You could see something old, you could see something that just came out that you hadn’t seen or that you had seen, but you want to see it again. There was a kind of preciousness to it. I love the convenience of streaming, but one of the things that I really sort of loved about the idea of physical media and also the going to the theater was, there was a certain level of preciousness. It’s like when my dad gave me “Star Wars,” it wasn’t like, “Oh yeah, so now I have ‘Star Wars,'”, it was like he gave me my favorite movie. It was a crazy thing.

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