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Three of the dumbest teenagers on planet Earth (and that's amongst fierce competition at their high school) acquire powers that far from turning them into super heroes, turns them in to ultra dumb fatheads with incredible super powers, who apart from shouting and whooping at each other (do all American kids truly behave like that? It's exhausting) at every given opportunity, spend an in ordinate amount of the picture spouting banal dialogue (12 year olds would get it perhaps) and being completely thick. I know when we're young we're unworldly and naive and given to making rash judgements and poor decisions, but these guys get the award stereotypical teen movie morons. Of course its in the script - if indeed there was one for much of the dialogue seemed off the cuff and spontaneous. The three principles are really good at their craft, working with what was a clichéd portrait of American schools and teens. Yuh know, the school bullies, the cheer leaders, the party animals right down to the local neighbourhood thugs in Andrew's (one of the three boys and principal characters) Piney leafy neighbourhood, albeit a neighbourhood that's distressed and low rent. I got very frustrated by the illogical and banal dialogue and just couldn't see how the three boys could continue to be around each other as they spent a lot of time at loggerheads and being macho (Yawn!) with each other. As long as you're not looking for any intellectual approach to the script this will satisfy those who have been missing Superman lately and in fact at times it put me in mind of one of the early Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. Its Schlock as far as I'm concerned, but kids will probably identify with it.... sadly! Good performances from Alex Russell and Michael B Jordan and a truly terrifying performance from Michael Kelly as Andrew's drunken sadistic father.
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.
Chronicle is the Blair Witch Project of the super hero flicks.
The good. Surprising. Funny. Immersive.
The actors. Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan who play the main characters give us a very good performance. You really get into the mood of those guys goofing around, it's crazy. DeHaan, who played the troubled kid, is even excellent. Nice ending.
The bad. At some point, the hand-held camera premise got a bit constrictive and they had to find an other camera totting character, the blogger. That was one too many, and you loose the intimate feeling of the group.
The ugly. When they couldn't keep the hand-held camera premise anymore, they shifted to include CC camera. There's even a shot done from a point of view where there's no "naturally occurring" camera.
The result. Really worth the seeing, just don't expect perfection.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is, by far, the best POV film since Cloverfield - fact! Although drawing obvious comparisons to Cloverfield with its personal camcorder style film, Chronicle takes any sort of conventional camera view point, whether it be CCTV, helicopter cameras or a blog camera, filled by one of the main characters love interest - a simple plot line designed to improve the narrative of the storyline. However any changes to the storyline and similarities to Cloverfield, Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity etc stop there. What this film is - is more of a teen angst drama, similar to 'I am number four' in many respects, although a better made and written story. What this film does so well is create a realistic downfall of the main character, combined with superhuman powers forced upon him, his cousin, and the popular kid in school. What happens after that, is anyones guess. I can't reveal too much, but if you enjoyed the filming of Cloverfields' action scenes, or Paranormal Activity's realism, you will probably enjoy this too. Not your typical superhero film but with the style of filming aside, plotwise, this has many similarities with the extremely classic Akira - and if you watch this film and enjoy it, I seriously recommend Akira a watch - albeit an anime, Chronicle has clearly been influenced a lot by this classic. If Akira was ever to be made live action and if they ever made it of a similar quality as Chronicle, then it wouldn't be a half bad attempt. Although the acting is often understated, the superhuman powers have absolutely no explanation - all that does is envelop the viewer with the sense of limitless possibilities in terms of the final outcome. Although the plot line is often predictable, the actual varied scenes keep the story moving at a very decent pace, almost perfectly filling its hour and a half length, any less would be too short, and any longer would definitely be long winded. Not a film for a sequel I fear, only because a sequel would be difficult to make as good.
*** 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.
Like so many movies of the past decade,Chronicle is one that makes use
of the "handycam" technique. In other words, it's told from the
perspective of several hand-held camcorders so as to give it a more
authentic (and ultimately, perhaps, more personal) atmosphere. The
technique works here, as it's the sort of thing you'd expect from a
socially awkward high school student who uses the device toin his
words create a barrier from himself and the harsh nature of the
reality he inhabits.
The story is minimalist in its presentation, and that's just fine. It follows the increasingly familiar narrative arc that finds an otherwise oblivious group of protagonists stumbling across something extraordinary and coping with its effects on their lives (in this case, that something is a pulsing blue crystal in the middle of the Washington wilderness). How or where the object came from is irrelevant, as our focus is directed to the teens who, through their interaction with the mysterious item, gain unbelievable powers that grant them the ability to manipulate objects at will. Everything is fun and games at the beginning: they spend their time playing practical jokes on unsuspecting victims in toy stores, relocating the automobiles of mall shoppers, and throwing baseballs at one another to see who can best "control" their abilities. As each character's personality is further hashed out, though, we see what really makes them tick. In the case of Andrew (Dane DeHaan), we get a character who's tired of being bullied by everyone in his life (the lone exception being his dying mother). As Andrew's power grows so does his penchant for darker musings.
There's an effort to work tragedy into the story, too, as a perfect storm of circumstances sees Andrew stealing and murdering in an effort to obtain enough money to buy the costly medication that will sustain his mother's life. When she dies and his alcoholic father blames him for her passing, he loses control, unleashing his rage on downtown Seattle. It's quite the spectacle, and, at times, feels a little too Hollywood. While the first 9/10 of the movie are guerilla-esque, the end is borderline laughable. Buses are hurled through the air and skyscrapers are demolished, all while our anti-hero screams at the top of his lungs like an afternoon matinée villain.
Another problem is that Andrew's shifting moodsfrom ecstasy at having finally found some friends and rage at the sight of his abusive dad feels a little too jarring. The transition from angst to downright malevolence feels a little too forced, and this detracts from any emotional empathy that might exist.
Most of the movie, though, is competent enough, and there's just enough philosophy and old school Shakespearean melodrama to make it stand out from the crowd.
This was a movie that surprised me in a good way. The acting was better
than normal, the script even more so, but the special effects, for a
low budget movie, were spot on. The teens in the movie and for the most
part, everyone, acted like real people, doing ordinary things and
dealing with challenges, including the pending death of the main
character's Mother. What especially appealed to me was that the kids
dabbled in their powers, growing more bold each time, and doing stupid,
silly things, just like ALL of us would do. The death of the first main
character, Steve, was sad as he was the one that brought a sense of fun
to having these awesome powers. As the effects of Steve's death and the
guilt took its toll, the movie now spiraled into darker territory.
As we hit the last third, when Andrew gets desperate for funds and starts his robbery spree, we know he and we are venturing in the Dark Zone and it will end badly. It does, but all the fighting and action sequences are extremely well done and the ending leaves you fulfilled in how it played out.
This was a "small move" that I barely heard about when it hit the theaters, and happened to find on cable. I recommend it, it's worth the short running time of less that 90 minutes and you'll get a kick from it.
One day a loner kid whose mother is dying and his injured
former-firefighter dad abuses him decides to film everything. That
ostracizes him more from him peers because he runs around everywhere
with some giant camera on this shoulder.
After a party his philosophizing cousin and another friend ask him to film what they found- a large perfectly circular hole in the ground. They jump into it and follow along the cave to find some alien looking giant glowing mineral. Something happens and the the filming is interrupted.
When the filming continues after some time we find them in the backyard controlling a baseball with their minds. Since the incident, they've developed telekinesis. At first with small objects, then larger ones, then themselves. They take their powers public bothering innocent people in stores and parking lots. Then they lean how to levitate and eventually fly.
When the poor loner kid's mom is one the verge of dying, the kid puts on a protective suit and tries to rob a gas station to get meds for his mom. On his way out, the attendant shoots at him; an explosion ensues and the kid catches on fire. He ends up in the hospital. Even there, and after the mom's death, the father will blame him and try to abuse him. The kid loses it completely. Having realized he's an apex predator and that the strong destroy the weak, he's now ready to unleash his powers and destroy all who get in his way. It's left to his cousin to try and stop him.
Chronicle overall has a good idea. It's entertaining to watch the kids develop and tame their powers and experimenting with them out there in the world. The filming is part POV, part third person because fortunately, the kid learns to control cameras and has them swarming around him. Thankfully, even when he has his old camera, the quality of the footage is excellent- unlike those poor bastards in horror movies who are forever condemned to film stuff in dismal quality grainy video. So at least that makes the POV stuff tolerable. But Chronicle retains the weaknesses of that kind of movie. It's boring at times, the portrayal of relationships overall is pretty poor- the relationship between the cousin and some girl is just awful, and eventually you end up with people just screaming at each other. Still, the entertaining aspects outweigh the negatives and this movie offers something we don't see often.
"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.
What if some normal (American) guys get superpowers? Will they be heroes? Well, according to "Chronicle" not necessarily! This "Cloverfield" style movie is very entertaining and it raises some questions about our times. And one sort of understands the guy who goes mad instead of using his powers for good. Bullying, abusive father, a sick medical system that does not grant his sick mother the help she needs because of money issues.... Something to think about behind all the noise and entertainment. The actors were great and talented, and that made "Chronicle" in any case fun to watch. Good work... even if it is not always logical...
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