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3 friends discover telekinetic abilities in a hole in the ground,
literally. But that is where the similarity with the rest of the
Superhero movies ends. They don't feel obligated to wear capes and
masks and go around the city fighting injustice. They're just being
boys with an incredibly powerful toy. That's until Andrew's troubled
personality, magnified manifold by his new found power and his ability
to wield it, goes completely cuckoo.
What's good : The trailer projected Chronicle as an action flick. However its actually a coming-of-age story of a troubled boy, whose rage just gets amplified with his new-found powers. The acting from the small, young cast is good, especially from the 3 leads. Dane DeHaan is brilliant as Andrew, the primary character of interest in Chronicle. He's the guy whose camera is 'chronicling' the developments in this movie. The fact that DeHaan looks like a cross between Leonardo DiCaprio and a very young Mick Jagger adds greater appeal to his character. The special effects are top notch and in spite of the fact that it was filmed on a relatively meager budget of $12-15Mn, Chronicle has at least 4 scenes that any other movie due later this year will struggle to outshine. Keep an eye out for the airplane scene.
Whats not : The fact that there is a sequel coming was conveyed rather blatantly in the closing scene. Good thing is, I cant wait for it! There's a lot of shaky camera-work in the beginning which can cause dizziness. But things get easier when Andrew discovers God mode (camera levitation) Verdict : For folks who like sci-fi, superhero films or simply crave an 83 minute adrenaline rush, this is a must watch.
My rating : 10/10!
I had actually had quite high hopes of Chronicle but what a
disappointment. What made things worse is that I am not a fan of
Handcam films like this which makes it even worse.
Technically very polished from a special effects view although there were not many in the film, the story itself is a real let down and ultimately one can guess whats going to happen next, right up to the end, all very predictable.
Soundtrack wise nothing to write home about, the actors screaming occasionally only made things worse.
All in all a really terrible film with little depth and if there are any hidden meanings? well hardly worth the effort trying to read them.
Wasn't expecting much but was dragged by high IMDb review score... was so wrong here- film is so boring that I started to fast forward in the middle of it (for 3 minutes as my girlfriend told me to stop as she watched most of it and it's not much of torment left). Film is done in a Blair Witch Project way- main characters are filming everything and it's the same way of personal camera story tell way. As all we know it tells the story of American teenagers and such teenagers are the only positive audience this film can have. Actually I am really surprised it can have any positive audience as I really tried hard to understand what could be graded so high... Film doesn't show anything- action just goes flat forward relentless- guys are talking about everything but nothing they say is really interesting. It tries to show feelings guys share between each other- their relationship and emotion-play. The thing is that story is sooo poorly made and scenario is sooo weak that all the behaviour of the guys (specially Andrew with his psycho problems) is tiresome and is annoying for the spectator. The only positive thing is special effects- they are nice but you could good as well watch them separately- you would save a lot of time... So I will- as this movie- tell no more- there is nothing more to say...
This is a tough call. While the premise is interesting, and the story quite entertaining, something's just missing with "Chronicle." It plays around with the whole superhero/villain theme, which is rather refreshing. It seems that in most sci-fi stories that involve sudden gains of power, the protagonist is always somehow good. "Chronicle" plays rather well with this notion, which is a new spin to the story -- it's the Magneto of regular superhero films. Otherwise, the biggest setback of the film is it's rather poor character development. While we are made to feel sorry for the main protagonist, Andrew, the ways that we are made to feel that way are rather clichéd: no friends, bullied at school, abusive father, etc. His rage and his inner turmoil somehow is multiplied to the verge of bursting, without it quite making a lot of sense. The three main actors were pretty decent, especially Alex Russell who was the most engaging and believable of characters. The hand-held camera, and the very choice to do a camera perspective for the entire film, is a rather divisive choice as I have come to see in reviews, but I did not mind it all that much. The escalation of the story by the end somehow happened out of nowhere and escalated quite dramatically. A bit too much for my taste, with a rather anticlimactic ending. It was a nicely conceived idea and some great visuals can be seen in the film, but this falls into the mediocre bracket easily. 5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
...said up-and-comers being tyro director, Josh "The Kill Point" Trank,
writer, Max "I am my father's son" Landis, and lead actors, Dane
"Lawless" DeHaan, Alex "Carrie (2013)" Russell, and Michael B. "Red
Tails" Jordan. In a tale that riffs on ancient Greek admonitions about
hubris and the Judeo-Christian equivalent, "pride goeth before a fall,"
"Chronicle"'s three high-schoolers discover a strange artifact that
transforms them into superhumans (powerful telekinesis, flying,
relative invulnerability). The results are eventually tragic, although
the film ends on a note of hope and redemption. The trip along the way
is refreshingly well done, an examination of the nature of the superman
without the embarrassment of comic book adolescence. No spandex
costumes, no crime-fighting, adventure-seeking nonsense, just a
thoughtful examination of Lord Acton's famous adage, "Power tends to
corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," which he expanded
upon thus, "Great men are almost always bad men." The "found footage"
presentation makes it immediately accessible, especially since there's
a notable dearth of shaky-cam so often associated with that conceit.
I note with interest that the trinity of leads all have biblical names closely associated with the New Testament: Stephen (Steve) was an early Christian martyr, while Andrew and Matthew (Matt) were Apostles of Jesus. Coupled with Andrew's interest in Tibetan mysticism and Matt's eventual journey there, along with Andrew's dramatic arc akin to a male version of "Carrie" ramped up a few orders of magnitude, this can't be accidental. References to folks like Schopenhauer and Jung highlight Andrew's ultimate belief that he has become an "apex predator," thus making the tragic finale all the more inevitable.
Still, despite a satisfying close to the story (which I will not spoil), there's plenty of wiggle room for a sequel, and given that this brisk (running time less than 75 minutes by my DVD clock, not counting credits) sci-fantasy made a very handsome profit, I have little doubt there will be one. We can only hope that Landis gets to script it. Recommended.
While not a bad film, Chronicle isn't the groundbreaking event that it is trying to be. If you aren't a teenager, or if you have even an interest in stories from other countries, you'll see beyond the surface of Chronicle. But first, lets get to the good stuff. The climactic sequence is pretty cool. It is very reminiscent of Akira (both the manga and the film), and the use of found-footage makes for a great montage of sources to bring that action to life. That said, however, the rest of the film plods along with a story that is manufactured for teens, fails to have any conflict, and is really nothing more than a origin story for a comic-book villain. The thing is all of this has been done before, and done much better. Unbreakable (origin story, which actually had conflict, and an arc to the story). Akira (some REAL mind-manipulation). Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield (found-footage that actually served the story). And I'm not really sure why they made this movie as a found-footage film. It really didn't enhance the film in any way. It was actually distracting. Because I was constantly aware that this was supposed to be a camera floating around. And I kept thinking "who would actually be carrying a camera around in this situation?" But if you are a teen, or haven't seen any of those other films then you might like... no, screw it, go see those instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie starts out like any movie. You have a kid that is bullied at
school, abused by his father, has a dying mom, is socially awkward, and
is in high school. He buys a camera and tells his dad, "I'm recording
everything from here on in." You think his life is going to stay the
same, like all teenage movies. But at a party, he, his cousin, and his
cousin's friend go into a hole they find in a forest, which contains a
supernatural crystal which gives them all nosebleeds. The movie flashes
forward when they are discovering their new powers which include
telekinesis and flight. But the kid, Andrew, starts to become corrupted
with these powers. The second half of the film is about him exploiting
these powers and killing people. The climax is intense, poignant, and
This movie was excellent. It was timed beautifully and made with skill, precision, and knowledge. It was a pleasure to watch, and probably the best found footage movie I have ever seen, taking into consideration Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. The climax was beautiful and the very end was sad. I couldn't help but cry at the last scene.
One thing this movie could do to improve is make it easier to tell who is filming. It got confusing at some parts and not very enjoyable.
Finally a different kind of superhero movie! This movie does not
involve super villains, spandex outfits, or a love story. This is the
story of three normal high school kids who gain extraordinary powers,
and begin using them for their own pleasure. This is a story of how
great power can lead to great corruption. It also shows you what
bullying, isolation, and ridicule could do to a person.
The movie starts out fairly well; it sets up the everyday life of the main character who holds the camera for most of the movie. He comes from a broken home, and is harassed and bullied in school. You go through the whole movie feeling sorry for him, no matter what happens. The main character, his cousin, and their friend discover something that grants them amazing telepathic abilities, and the movie really begins to open up.
The great thing about the middle portion of the movie is its light-hearted tone. As the three guys fool around with their new abilities, you smile, laugh, and gasp in awe along with them. And then the tone darkens. It's amazing to see the character developments later on, and it's easy to feel sympathy and pain for the characters. As certain things start to go bad, it's not hard to feel a sense of desperation and intensity as the events unfold.
Along with the characters and the story, the camera work and special effects really add another dimension to the movie. It's easy to see what is going on, as the shaky-camera technique is not abused in this movie. The dark tunnels, the cloudy skies, and the emotional interactions between the characters were very well done. In the scene high in the clouds, you can actually feel a sense of weightlessness. The action scenes are very intense, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I won't give anything from the end away, but I will say that it was a very good wrap-up for all the events that had occurred before. It seemed like the best way to bring the conflicts to an end.
I definitely recommend this movie for all who want to see something fairly new among movies about superheroes. There are no super villains, no costumes, and no love story, rather it's a story about being at war with yourself, friendship, and strength. It also teaches you a lesson: don't ever ridicule someone for being different, especially if you have no idea what kind of background they come from. It's worth every dollar and every minute of your time.
I was not going to write a review for this movie, but after seeing the
overall score and how most of the people raved about it, I just had to
This movie barely kept my interest for the first hour. I saw my share of found footage films, and by no means is this one of the best. The camera work is too shaky, the dialog is boring - people talked so much about that camera that frankly it became the main character (I am not kidding - they had entire conversations about that damn camera, and kept reminding the audience someone is filming) and the characters are people I couldn't care less about. I mean, if, by the end of the movie, there is no interesting story, no characters I sympathize with and no scares, what is there left for me to like?
I did like the premise, but the trailer was misleading as I thought the storyline of the origin of their powers and their effect on others will be at least investigated if not explained. Nothing happened, except the mental deterioration of the main character, which was to be expected (I mean, common, abused kid with self confidence issues, who did not see that coming?). The "climax" of the movie, if you want to call it that, lasted about 10 minutes.
As usual, potential does not translate directly in success - there is more to an entertaining movie than the good idea it is based on.
Found Footage done right
By now I'm sure we have all had our heads done in by the found footage craze, spearheaded by the ever growing popular Paranormal Activity franchise, which I consider to be some of the most uneventful pieces of cinema today. With Chronicle we get something that I have craved for in a movie shot with hand held cameras: an actual story with interesting and complicated characters. All of our protagonists are regular people who, in the midst of acquiring powers, must find out how to deal with them and how it will affect everyone around them. The talent involved in the film is great, with all of the leads playing their roles superbly. Not only does this help the movie in its overall quality, but also allows for the audience to connect to the characters they're seeing on screen. Although the style continues to bother me, the found footage style has finally showcased its full potential with this fantastic film. If only there were more just like it.
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