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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 ***
Matt is a regular popular guy. Steve is a regular guy. Andrew is a regular nerd. Their friendship is a little weird to understand in the beginning, since they're not that similar to each other. One night they're heading to a party and one of them falls in a hole. The other two fellas go down together, and in that hole something gives them strong powers, which allow them to do anything they feel like doing. As the film goes, Andrew starts abusing of his power and hurting people for no reason. Matt and Steve try to calm him down, but they never succeed. Acting is very good from the three main actors, with no exception. The whole story is VERY entertaining and interesting, probably helped by a strong directing and a beautiful photography directing. The only thing that doesn't let me give this a higher rating is the saturated use of domestic camera-- not that I find this a bad choice, but too many movies used this tactics recently.
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.
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.
So I eventually got around to watching this and I must say what a
I do like found footage films, and I've been a fan of the genre since the blair which, but this film took the genre to a whole different level. This isn't no cheap effects film where the camera is always shaking because there's nothing to show, this film had fantastic effects. And did very well for its budget.
The acting was great, I was convinced the whole time as a viewer that these teenagers had those abilities, as anyone if they got those abilities would be having fun and doing stupid pranks. But as they get stronger the whole film changed into a 'matrixy super man' type of film. Without spoiling too much, it has its fair share of flying around and great action sequences.
I must say this one of the most original films I've every seen and better yet the best found footage film ever made. This film was short but takes you on a great adventure all the way through and even emotional at times.
So for this my overall rating is, 5 starts (10/10) And also the best found footage film ever made, alongside Blair which, Clover field, End of watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched a preview of this film and i got the wrong impression so i
put off seeing the movie. The preview looked cheap and nasty both in
production and in cast. I was wrong. I was reminded of Cloverfield as i
watched this movie.
The main characters where being filmed with a standard video camera, just doing what they do, when something happens and the story becomes something else entirely. I have been waiting for an unnatural accident or encounter that would infuse me with super human abilities since i was four years old. If your the same you will enjoy this unassuming story.
Its fun and surprisingly good to spite a little bit of plot predictability like the character Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan).There are flying scenes that are very satisfying and convincing - special effects that contrast the low budget feel of the production. The hand held camera scenes are steady and work well. Slightly less predictable was the characters of both Matt Garetty(Alex Russell)and Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan). I got a lot of unexpected surprises from this interesting super hero story. Well balanced and very entertaining.
I love a good comic book/superhero movie. They're my weakness, and I'm
open to giving just about all of them a fair chance (for example, I
paid to see RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER in theaters despite being well
aware of how lame the first movie came out). While I am a massive fan
of comic films, it doesn't mean that I'm blind to the fact that they
have become a little formulaic in their execution. Whenever a new
superhero is brought to the silver screen, regardless of how well it's
done, you always sort of know what to expect. So I am incredibly
supportive of any effort that tries to rattle the system a bit and
attempt something different with one of my favorite genres. CHRONICLE
is just that: a new spin on a popular genre. The characters in this
movie aren't from any established comic book series; the story is
completely original and written by Max Landis (son of director John
Landis). Three teenagers in Seattle are exposed to some bizarre alien
object buried in a field and soon find that they have developed
telekinetic abilities. Andrew Detmer is your average socially awkward
teenager, quietly coping with a terminally ill mother and an abusive
alcoholic father. His closest "friend" is his philosophical cousin Matt
and he fails to connect with any of his classmates, including captain
of the football team/future class president Steve Montgomery. The three
of them are brought together by their fantastic circumstances and start
off using their powers for pranks and fun, but everything soon spirals
out of control.
CHRONICLE was Josh Trank's directorial debut. The man was only 27 when it was released, and it went on to gross $125 million. I don't care who you are, that's impressive. I dug this movie a lot more than I expected. The trailers had piqued my curiosity but the whole "found footage" angle has been so overplayed in recent years (sometimes well, sometimes not) that I wasn't in any rush. The entire movie plays out from the perspective of Andrew's personal video camera because his life is so miserable that he's decided to record it for whatever reason. Regardless, the format works out perfectly in the context of the movie. The movie is at an advantage not shared by other found footage movies in that it's character/cameraman uses his telekinesis to float the camera around, achieving angles that other movies of this format can't. It also had the good thinking to not limit itself to Andrew's personal camera, as they are many moments in the film cutting to other recording devices in the vicinity to capture the scene, whether it be a camera phone, a security camera, or internet video blogger Casey Letter (Ashley Hinshaw) who's only real purpose in the movie appears to be to act as a second viewpoint. The home video style has the added bonus of making the effects in the movie, impressive enough on their own, appear more authentic. When these friends are engaging in their pranks with their newfound powers, it looks legit.
The movie stars a bunch of unknowns, of course, and it probably wouldn't have worked any other way. Fortunately, the non-stars in this movie have enough talent to come off as real high school students in a bizarre situation. Michael B. Jordan is charismatic as the football star, and Alex Russell does well enough as Matt, the voice of reason who decides one fateful afternoon that rules need to be set when things get a little out of control. But the real talent here is Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer, the true focal point of the movie. While all three of these kids received the powers, the story truly focuses on him. He's from a dysfunctional home with an abusive father, and he's never had any real friends to speak of. He's a walking joke at school, made even more awkward when he decides to start carrying his camera everywhere. He's a ticking time bomb and fate has just turned him into a weapon of mass destruction, with only a shred of self-control keeping him from going off. He's a vulnerable, lonely kid who finally feels like part of something and his eventual downfall when the pressure becomes too much feels sincere and you can't help but feel for the kid. And when he does finally meltdown, it pretty awesome. CHRONICLE was one of my surprise favorites at the start of 2012, so I'm glad I gave it go.
"Chronicle" is shot in found footage format meaning they pieced
together a bunch of random footage that they "supposedly" found. For
the most part it is effective, but I couldn't help, but think that a
more traditional take would have been as if not more effective.
Sometimes I questioned why they were carrying around a camera, mostly
during some of the more elaborate and dramatic moments. However, what
they did was effective and gave a good style to the film.
The film deals with the theme of being an outcast. The main character is abused throughout the early parts of the film and he holds back a lot of his temper, which blows out of proportion as the movie progresses. When he gets his powers he can't take it anymore. The movie is not only about not treating people that way, but also about controlling your temper. Also it deals with evolution and how certain people feel that they are superior when they have certain talents or abilities that no one else has.
The acting and characters are all really good. Characters are very real, they don't put on tights and go fight crime when they get their powers. The guys mess around and see what is capable with their new found powers. They pull pranks and use it for their own benefit, much like most of us if we had powers. The acting is great and each lead has adds a level sophistication to their performance. A lot of emotions are present on their face and we can feel their humanity. I wish we had gotten more of their faces because that is were the heart and emotional connection is in the film.
Overall, "Chronicle" is a really good movie. It shows us what one would really do if they had came across some super powers. There is a level of emotion present and the story builds up to a satisfying confrontation and conclusion. The found footage format doesn't always work, but the strong writing transcends the story to another level. I give it a solid 4/5, a faulty directing choice doesn't hold back the great writing and acting.
As the film starts, as with most found-footage films, we gain an
understanding of the characters. Here, we see that the protagonist is
shy, and bullied, and weak, and we sympathise with him. But, as soon as
things get interesting, we forget nearly all that.
As the teens start experimenting with their powers, we find it fun and intriguing. As each one is revealed, we get more excited and more interested. Unfortunately, though, after the first act things get a little tiresome and uninteresting. During this period, I was tempted to give it a seven.
But, the final act seriously packs a hell of a punch, and by the end, I wanted to give it a 10. The inventive methods of cinematography are dazzling, the effects are good and it is totally unpredictable and packs many emotional punches. You'll leave feeling thrilled and inspired, guaranteed.
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