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I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at the quality of
"Chronicle." As soon as I read that it was another "found footage"
movie, I was ready to dismiss it. Glad that I didn't. It's the best of
the genre, way better than "Paranormal Activity" or "Cloverfield" (and
let's not even mention "Blair Witch"). For starters, there's none of
the nauseating "camera shaking" meant to remind you that an amateur is
filming. (Don't we go to movies to see PROFESSIONAL camera work?
Otherwise I'll watch my family's old home movies from trips to Europe!)
And the acting is really quite superb - you nod your head and say,
yeah, that's exactly how today's teens would act in these
There are some exquisitely done special effects, probably nothing ground-breaking, but a couple of "how'd they do that" moments. And there is welcome departure from some worn-out movie clichés.
All in all, two thumbs up.
And don't be surprised if there's a "Chronicle II."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a great movie. It shows the truth behind power, and how it can effect certain people. Now a days movies and stories that have super heroes show two sides to gaining power, becoming a good superhero or a bad supervillan. They don't show the actual struggle of fighting a power that is stronger than the human who gained it. This movie does show that. they don't put on a mask and start fighting crime, they do what anyone their age would do. Use it for pranks and messing with people. They use the powers in a more realistic way, its probably the same way I would react. Then the film turns and shows how the power affects Andrew. He turns into a crazy power house, killing anyone because he can. Someone with his background would end up the same way. He could not handle all that power and he let it overtake him. This film tells the story perfectly. The acting was great and so was the effects. The scene where they fly through the clouds took my breath away, it looked so real. This is a good movie for any sci-fi fan, or superhero fan. I strongly recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really expected to like this movie because my hopes were low. It can
be tough for found footage films to 'land' and actually make the viewer
believe what is happening. Movies like 'Rec','The Tunnel' + 'Super 8'
strike me as movies that found a formula that worked. This movie is
very close to getting the formula right, but ultimately falls short on
If you have seen AKIRA, simply remove the label and add 2 cans of cold water to your memories, and you too will have made an unremarkable film like this.
The movie is not as terrible as say 'Skyline',"I REPEAT: not nearly as bad as that problem pile", but it did leave a similar flavor in my mouth. An experiment in how to make a cheap movie look expensive. This movie does achieve interesting things visually, but they are often cut too quickly and don't really give you much to hang on to. The special effects just seem rushed in. I wish movies like this had double the budget to give it the attention and care that it might have deserved.
The final conflict was worth sticking around for; at least, if you made it through the first hour. Technically speaking, the special effects and the action during the finale is great, but still feels rushed(&/or limited) being a few minutes too short.
That is all I have to say at this time.
It was better than I expected, I'll give it that. Not since The Blair
Witch project have I seen the hand held camera concept been used so
well. Often you did have the feeling that the camera was just following
along in the hands of one of the guys, which was the point of course.
They also had a very good way of introducing a second angle every now
and then by having another teen run around with a camera the whole time
filming for her blog or showing footage from security cams or news
crews. Realistically, in those situations the sound scape changed as
well. For instance when showing security camera footage there would be
no sound. The film stayed true to it's format by always providing a
sound scape as it would have been picked up by the camera currently
showing it's image on screen, which definitely added to the "realism"
of it all.
In the end though this is your basic high-school-nerd-taking-out-revenge-on-all-that-do- him-wrong movie. Even though I must say to some extent it's provides you with a warm fuzzy feeling to see the bullies get what they deserve, the next turn of events is not very hard to predict at any point. You have the basic stages of super heroism, such as getting to grips with your powers, realizing you can do good/evil, and either straying to the dark side or seeing the light.
Entertaining, Visually Stunning, Fast-Paced and Well Directed and
acted, Chronicle is a superb sci-fi movie which is very fast paced,
precise and to the point with stunning visually effects and great
acting and is what it is much due to the excellent work by
Director/Writer Josh Trank who has done a great job in making one of
the most unique movies of the year.
The Story is about 3 friends, Andrew, Steve and Matt who are socially awkward or nerds who make a discovery in a cave which gives them super- human powers or telekinisis which at first they have fun with but as the movie goes on Andrew becomes obsessed with the power he has and goes dark during the course of the movie, which proves to be havoc for the city he lives in and his friends.
The Acting by the young cast is superb and they have precisely done all of their respective roles very well, and its good to see a movie without a big star being such a fine movie. Dane DeHaan specially has done a solid job in the role of Andrew, who is a tricky character to play and he has really justified the character with a great performance, and also Alex Russell has done a fine job in portraying Matt, the cousin of Andrew who also becomes a super-human with him and makes a special bonding while the time.
The Direction of this kind of a fast-paced, visually stunning movie is really superb by director Josh Trank, knowing the fact that the movie was displayed on a Hand-Held video camera, and he has also done a great job in guiding these young actors to perfect their roles, and also a great job in utilizing the great and unique story which is also partly written by him greatly by making one of the best sci-fi movies of the year and definitely an entertaining one which will keep the audience glued to their seats.
The Visual Effects in the movie are simply stunning and some of the scenes shown such as they clouds in which they are flying and more are superb and great effort from the visual team to make this extremely delightful visual effects. The Story written by both Josh Trank and Max Landis is quite unique and great showing how the obsession of power can make a simple nerd do all the wrong things. Landis has also done a good job with the screenplay of the movie.
Finally, this movie is definitely one of the best of 2012, and great visual effects, acting and direction along with a gripping and entertaining story will surely ensure the audience to really love this movie and watch it without any hesitation.
My Rating: 7.5/10
There is a fine line in movies that, if they manage to break it, people
will either love the movie or hate it with no in-between.
This movie seems to be one of them. Filmed in a typical found-footage style, this movie far surpasses all the rest and the points for that are pretty clear to me.
First, very fine and credible characters, they are very well developed, situations are very real, this is filmed in a way that seems possible to happen and that's great for a found footage film.
Second, the pace is very well managed, the little jokes between them slowly turning into something else and surely going into something darker.
Third, The premise is quite simple but effective, 3 friends found a source for super powers,but, as the saying goes, with power comes greats responsibility, these guys doesn't seem to know it, or at least not all of them and this is a guaranteed descent into the subtle dark corners of the mind.
It has a nice atmosphere, well developed characters, good first act, fine comedy parts in the second act and a brilliant and shocking third and final act.
Simply put, this movie is brilliant, I really like it, but, some essential parts of Hollywood storytelling are not here, director and writer manage to get some courage and take a change with something different, usually this means that people will either love it or hate it.
I'm the lover, if you feel yourself at rage in the first half of the movie, don't go on, you will hate it, if you, like me, manage to be amazed at the refreshing new style of the first half,please go on, you will love it, specially the end.
This movie set the bar for found footage films.
8 out of 10
'CHRONICLE': Four Stars (Out of Five)
Another 'found footage' film, this one deals with three high school friends who develop telekinetic powers after coming into contact with a strange object. It was directed by Josh Trank and written by Trank and Max Landis. It stars Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Kelly. The film is a little more unique and original than your usual 'found footage' film and it's a somewhat memorable film going experience because of it.
DeHaan stars as high school outcast Andrew. Andrew has problems at home with an abusive alcoholic father (Kelly) and a sick mother (Bo Petersen). His only friend at school is his cousin Matt (Russell) and he's taken up filming all his daily activities with an HD camera. His life takes a sudden turn when he, Matt and popular classmate Steve (Jordan) find a mysterious object underground. They develop telekinetic powers from it and begin to bond because of it. Things get out of control when they continue to get stronger and stronger.
The film is sort of like an anti-superhero film (like Spider-Man gone bad). DeHaan is reminiscent of a young Leonardo DiCaprio and does a good job in the lead. The rest of the cast is not so impressive. The script is smart though and the directing is effective. It kind of feels like the movie was building towards something more than it ends up delivering but for the most part it works.
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Andrew doesn't have the easiest high school experience. The others make fun of him, his mother is dying, and his father is an abusive drunk(and even so, we understand him... he used to be a firefighter, then he got injured on the job, and now can't earn enough for her medication, and is suffering under the loss of his work identity; a lot of characters(and only the bullies and the like are obnoxious, even though the trailer makes it look like this is full of them) in this are psychologically credible and evoke sympathy even when such would seem difficult to accomplish). He starts documenting his life, and uses that to place a barrier between him and his life... make it something constructed, a piece of fiction. His one friend is his cousin Matt, the pseudo-intellectual. Together with the popular Steve, running for class president(or something like that, anyway), the three find and enter a hole in the ground emitting strange, nonsensical sounds(insert Rush Limbaugh joke here)... why only those three, even when others reportedly found this anomaly? ...good question. It's actually one of the few gaps in the story. Anyway, once they emerge from there(how is never explained... it creates mystery), they find that they have gained telekinetic abilities... and our troubled lead is the most powerful. What happens when someone so downtrodden can do incredible things? They get so good that they can fly, as well, and that's kickass... well, once or twice, it's goofy, but mostly, it is cool. And they do what teenagers would do, in this situation... pull pranks and play airborne football(I guess the clouds are goalposts? And no, they do not ponder if they should become superheroes... how many people would, anyway?). And since the guy filming it(who, unlike a lot of these POV-pictures, or found footage ones, actually has a role, he isn't just there to explain why it's been recorded) enjoys having the camera float, so they can do the crane-shots, panning and closeups that wouldn't come about naturally from this... and no, it doesn't make sense that they'd shoot, say, arguing with each other, etc. This is well-written, with a good amount of humor along the way. The story is well-told and keeps to a solid structure. It is genuinely engaging and tense, with some scenes that really escalate. The FX are excellent. It uses the relatively(! It is 12 mil...!) low budget well. This keeps to a swift pace, not even breaking 90 minutes, and as it gets to the climax, it begins cutting to other views(everyone has cell-phones, and those can capture footage). There is a little bloody, disturbing violent content and moderate to strong language in this. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys stories like this. 8/10
Chronicle is nicely directed by Josh Trank, and well written by Max
Landis and Trank (story with Landis).
The actors, which include Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Kelly give a nice turn in this movie.
3 high school students make an interesting discovery, which gives them some unusual powers that they can't possibly understand. As they try to learn to master these new posers and use them to their liking, their lives move toward a darker.
There are some choices made with camera moves that are interesting.
Overall, the movie kept my interest and there were only a couple of times where I looked at the time. And the ending is pretty interesting as well.
This should receive some commercial success, given that apparently it was made for a very low budget.
The reason why this movie is one of my favorite is because it's the same style with District 9. It is not easy to express the sf super power movie the way like that, but this one made it. A young director's creative idea had became well made movie. But of course, it is not well made than District 9, Chronicle is he's first movie ever made. I gave 9/10 but actually, 8/10 is enough. the reason why I gave 1 more score is because it was he's first movie, but he had made so good. CG was so great and story was 9/10 i guess. A normal teenagers gets a super power is simple story, but all the detail of life, super power, how they think is really good. Also, the movie has a feel that it is a normal teenager's home video. I like this movie and yes, it is well made to me I guess. I didn't got bored when I was watch this film. So I strongly recommend this movie, Chronicle.
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