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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[8.25/10] Chronicle (2012)


Chronicle (2012)

Brief review: So far, we've had tons of POV / Found Footage horror films, but Josh Trank's debut feature, "Chronicle", has to be the first-ever sci-fi flick shot in this style. Luckily, the hand-held filming technique adds some authenticity to the already clever story with a refreshing spin on the concept of superheroes, and truth to be told, if the movie wasn't presented this way, it wouldn't have been as effective. While the first half of "Chronicle" is mostly 'fun', where the characters enjoy their newly-gained superpowers and play harmless games with them, the second half gets a whole lot darker - the anger unleashes, the violence starts to dominate, and the consequences become disastrous. The chaos-fueled superpowers (imagine X-Men's Magneto, but without the 'metal only' limitation) match well with Trank's inventive and energetic direction, the special effects are pretty much impeccable most of the time, and the action sequences are visually-astonishing, exciting, and heart-pumpingly spectacular, featuring lots of smashed cars, destroyed buildings, fast moving objects and even Superman-like flying. Both, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan deliver solid and convincing performances, but it's Dane DeHaan, that steals the show as the anti-social teenager, Andrew, who tries to cope with his repressed anger, aggressive father, deathly sick mother and out-of-this-world telekinetic powers all at once.

Overall summary: Seemingly fun on the outside, yet darkly grim within, "Chronicle" is an imaginatively-crafted and highly entertaining sci-fi flick, that not only impresses with its creative take on the superhero genre, but also manages to use the POV gimmick to its advantage.

32 comments:

Alex Jowski said...

Chronicle seems like one of those movies that, from the trailer, looked like garbage but from what I've read turned out to be pretty good. Guess i better check this movie out.

Nebular said...

Alex, I'm not sure whether Chronicle will be your cup of tea or not, but for me it worked. Don't judge a movie by the trailer alone, because you might ended up terribly mislead. :) I actually LOVED the trailer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just wished they hadn't given away the whole plot in the trailer. The storyline was exactly what I expected. However, it was a well-crafted film and done much better than most found-footage films. The director has a bright future.

Nebular said...

Alex, yes that was probably a mistake. The showed too much in the trailer, and made it a bit too predictable. Apart from that, I was impressed and thoroughly entertained.
Glad you liked it as well.

Matthew Vanacore said...

Great write-up, George! I'm super interested in seeing this. The positive buzz has been sensational. The writing, directing team of Landis and Trank are on the rise in Hollywood. I can't wait to see what they both accomplish next.

Nebular said...

Matty, well, not as skillful and rich as yours, but thanks anyway. :)
And you should be excited, it's very refreshing and well-made, and also quite dark in its second half.

I can't wait either. Thanks for the comment, pal. :)

KingDota said...

Everyone is talking great things about this one. I for one still have some doubts about it. Lets just wait and see. Still think 8.25 might be a litle too high but I can udnerstand.

Nebular said...

KingDota, it received higher ratings than this one by some critics. I don't think I overrated it at all. It was unique, well-made and tremendously entertaining, and it deserves all the credit it received.
Just see it and then we'll talk, okay? :)

Maynard Morrissey said...

god, I'm soooo fuckin' excited about Chronicle since I saw the very first teaser. I hardly can't wait until March when I'll finally see it!

Melissa Bradley said...

Great write up, sweetie, and I would be more interested, but once again it's teen boys getting the superpowers/having the adventure/meeting the aliens, etc. Boring! Girls would have made this movie more appealing to me. But when Hollywood gives us powers, do we get to toss buses and crush cars with our minds? No! We get to be witches ala The Craft and wear tight schoolgirl uniforms. Hooray...;)

Reylan | Labor Posters said...

Is it PG-13? I'm wondering why my 9 year old son not let by the cinemas staff to watch this film?

InfinitePlans said...

Really looking forward to this one, found out about it a couple of days ago and it just looks so awesome.

Nebular said...

Maynard, I was super-excited about it as well, and thankfully, it was released on the same day in my country as it was in the US. I'm glad that I didn't have to wait another month or to two to see it. :)
I think you're gonna love it. :)

Nebular said...

Mel, thank you so much.
You know what, it's not nearly as boring as you think it would be. The story is not your typical teen superhero tries to save the world, but shows the dark side of possessing superpowers... because 'they' gave it to the wrong man. LOL.
I agree though, it would have been nice to see girls with superpowers for a change, but on the other hand, girls are too reasonable to blow things up, hence, the movie won't be as spectacular to watch. Just saying.. :)

Nebular said...

Reylan, there's A LOT of violence in the second half, and I'm not sure that this particular film would be appropriate for 9 year old to see.

Nebular said...

InfinitePlans, it's just as awesome as it looks. Give it a shot, and definitely watch it on the big screen.

Melissa Bradley said...

LOL Hugs, hon! You're right, girls are too reasonable to blow stuff up. ;)

Since it's the darker side, I think I'll have to watch. You should be a lawyer, you always know just how to present information.

Ricky said...

Sounds like it's better than I expected it to be.

Nebular said...

Mel, LOL. You think so? Wow, imagine me as a lawyer.. It would never happen, so but dreaming things is 100% free, right?

Well, there are some badass chicks that might blow up a thing or two, but the majority of the female characters are too modest to be rage-y. :)

Big hugs for you too. Tomorrow is my final exam, wish me luck. So far, so good - Three "A"s and one "B+". Yay me!:)

Nebular said...

Ricky, it was exactly what I expected it to be - a smashing entertainment! :) Check it out ASAP.

Multiplex Slut said...

This was a 6/10 for me, so I wasn't quite as big a fan as you, but it's still a perfectly fine and fairly inventive entertainment that thoroughly shows up the bog-standard Hollywood dreck like Man on a Ledge.

Incidentally, did you get something of the young Leonardo Di Caprio from Dane DeHaan?

Nebular said...

Multiplex Slut, I loved it. I couldn't help myself but being impressed. :)

I'm not saying it's perfect, but for what it was, it's extremely well-made and executed. It was like a breath of fresh air to me.

I did, actually. Only that Di Caprio was maybe way too cute back than, and DeHaan has some grit to him.

Craig Edwards said...

I like a good found footage movie, and I'm pleased to see expansion into other genres than horror. I'm looking forward to a comedy, or maybe a martial arts found footage flick. Chronicle sounds like something I'll check out on video, since the presentation of FF movies is automatically degraded in quality. Terrific review!

Nebular said...

Craig, thanks a lot, mate :)
I disagree about the quality of FF flicks, this one in particular. There are some top-notch special effects and stupendous action scenes that deserve to be seen on the big screen. :) I'd love to see other genre filmed in FF style. A martial arts film would be great! "Catfish" was a drama/mystery shot in this style and it worked quite well.

HorrO said...

If I reviewed this movie, I would have mentioned most of the same things you did. Great comparison with X-Men. The ending was crazy. My only complaint was that most of the early half of the film was shot with the one guys camera, and then at the end it appeared to be shot with multiple ones. I didn't like the sudden change. Plus its hard to believe all that could be going on and they still have his camera catching it all. Otherwise, I enjoyed the movie!

Anthony said...

I might go watch this one this weekend.

Nebular said...

HorrO, first of all, I'm glad you liked this one. There was a lot to be enjoyed in it. I agree about the camera thing, but if it wasn't the way it was, they wouldn't have managed to shoot all the madness. :)
So, like me, you thought of Magneto, didn't you? :)

Nebular said...

Anthony, you should definitely check it out while it's still at the cinemas. It's worth-seeing on the big screen for sure.

farawayeyes said...

Missed this review and the movie was her and gone. It will have to be a rental. Sounds worth the time it takes Netflix to catch up with me.

Nebular said...

farawayeyes, if you have a huge plasma/LCD TV, rent it on Blu-Ray/DVD when it comes out, to enjoy it fully. Just a recommendation. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Nice to know the "found footage" genre isn't all gimmick. Yet...

Nebular said...

Maurice, well that's a partially true. It's always a gimmick, but it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. :)