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Chronicle (2012)


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Starring Wallace from The Wire.

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I would say it is more like Zapped 3. The guys do not seem inclined to do anything heroic, based on the trailer, it seems more like they are all pretty selfish and cruel.

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The Playlist gives it a "B", calls it "refreshing" and "clever":

...while "reinvention" would be too strong a word, "Chronicle" does a nice job of twisting the standard genre tropes into a pleasantly refreshing, highly entertaining story that features no costumes, no villains, no score, and even at less than 90 minutes, a fair amount of substance. If anything, the tiny-budgeted film (though not that poor considering the filmmakers licensed a David Bowie song) is a sizzle reel for Josh Trank who shows he can do on a fraction of the budget what many directors in Hollywood can't do with hundreds of millions. That it turns out to be a pretty whipsmart little movie in addition, isn't too bad at all.
Edited by opus

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Saw this last night with a sold out crowd of KSU students. They loved the Three Stooges trailer. This alone made me proud to be a KU grad.

The movie was surprisingly fun. I enjoyed the story and the characters, although the main, older cousin seems a bit forced, especially when paired with the blogger girl. As the AV Club points our, it's a weird take on the found footage genre because you're seeing things live, really. At one point SLIGHT SPOILER the first camera is actually lost and never recovered, and yet we've viewed that footage already. What they do with the technique in the final act is a fun twist that I'd put with the Last Exorcism's possessed-girl-kills-cat-with-camera as one of my favorite tricks to be done with the "genre."

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What they do with the technique in the final act is a fun twist that I'd put with the Last Exorcism's possessed-girl-kills-cat-with-camera as one of my favorite tricks to be done with the "genre."

Are you talking about the midair fight outside the space needle where we keep viewing it from all of the floating iPhone cameras? Because I thought that was quite clever.

One reason I'm not that big on superhero movies is that I know basically what's going to happen before it even starts, but one thing I really liked about Chronicle is that it genuinely surprised me several times, and I didn't predict where it was going to go.

Also, yay for trailers that don't give away the entire movie.

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What they do with the technique in the final act is a fun twist that I'd put with the Last Exorcism's possessed-girl-kills-cat-with-camera as one of my favorite tricks to be done with the "genre."

Are you talking about the midair fight outside the space needle where we keep viewing it from all of the floating iPhone cameras? Because I thought that was quite clever.

Yes, that's it. I couldn't figure out spoiler tags on my iPad. I think, if we hadn't been viewing this as they were shot, the fact that we got the movie from all of that would have been some clever commentary on our connected society. As it is...I don't know what it might say.

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What they do with the technique in the final act is a fun twist that I'd put with the Last Exorcism's possessed-girl-kills-cat-with-camera as one of my favorite tricks to be done with the "genre."

Are you talking about the midair fight outside the space needle where we keep viewing it from all of the floating iPhone cameras? Because I thought that was quite clever.

One reason I'm not that big on superhero movies is that I know basically what's going to happen before it even starts, but one thing I really liked about Chronicle is that it genuinely surprised me several times, and I didn't predict where it was going to go.

Also, yay for trailers that don't give away the entire movie.

I was thinking that some of their "camera solutions" were pretty clever, even before that. This was certainly a different, and better, film than the trailer implied and I went into what I thought would be a generally fun lighthearted teenager movie and got, well, something with much more insight, intelligence, and depth...... and.... A great look into the potential effects of bullying, and violent parental abuse. This guy could very well be an analogy into what kind of abuse helped to create a Hitler, or a Stalin. I'd like to think that this film would speak to people to care about our society moving towards lessening this kind of stuff. The film inspired me to say a few general prayers for abused and bullied teenagers out there .

I'm wondering though if this is a bit of a guy movie? I mean, I kind dug it, but my wife pretty much despised the film. Did anybody find similar viewpoints?

Edited by Attica

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I'm wondering though if this is a bit of a guy movie? I mean, I kind dug it, but my wife pretty much despised the film. Did anybody find similar viewpoints?

I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard from other people who've had similar reactions.

Edited by Timothy Zila

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Here is my review of Chronicle, which pleasantly surprised me in a number of ways. I found it entertaining--probably my favorite movie that I've seen this year thus far (among an admittedly limited sampling).

Chronicle is a teenage drama centering on Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), an outcast at high school who only seems to enhance his odd persona by always walking around with a video camera. What Andrew sees — what Andrew’s story is — becomes an invitation for our viewing. At high school, we catch glimpses of physical and verbal bullying. Due to Andrew’s perennial awkwardness and insistence on keeping to himself, he is a prime target for high school’s torture chamber of unpopularity. However, at home, we quickly see why Andrew is so withdrawn — his father is a drunken mess who abuses him regularly, and his mother is effectively on her death bed with illness.

Under these circumstances, the found-footage approach effectively adds empathy to the situation, because we are not just seeing why Andrew is the way he is, but we’re also seeing how Andrew’s fractured identity is constructed by his specific perspective. We see what he sees and this sharpens our imaginative recognition of his downward plight.

And, in conclusion:

Taken for what it is, Chronicle is enjoyable entertainment that features a few moments of genuine narrative surprise, and two interesting, connected themes to ponder. Andrew’s decision to record his life is a means for him to place a “barrier” between himself and the cruel “otherness” of the world. Yet, it’s this sense of barrier that also prevents him from being transparent enough to feel embarrassed around newfound friends and trust that they will still love him. Thus, the barrier — the video camera — becomes a tool not simply for chronicling three boys’ discovery of telekinetic powers, but, more importantly, for capturing a visual record of Andrew’s sad descent into classic villainy.

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Good review, Nicholas!

The camera-as-barrier/camera-as-access contrast is a key one in this movie. And it's his desire to film himself well that helps Andrew hone his skills to the high level that he does. Steve and Matt never develop their abilities to such a fine degree of precision. In the climax, Andrew almost subconsciously surrounds himself with cameras. It's like he can't act anymore without being on film.

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Good review, Nicholas!

The camera-as-barrier/camera-as-access contrast is a key one in this movie. And it's his desire to film himself well that helps Andrew hone his skills to the high level that he does. Steve and Matt never develop their abilities to such a fine degree of precision. In the climax, Andrew almost subconsciously surrounds himself with cameras. It's like he can't act anymore without being on film.

Thanks! Yeah, I loved that particular scene, and, in general, how the film found clever ways to keep up the "found footage" approach.

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There's going to be a sequel. Could be tricky, since

2 of the 3 main characters are dead by the end of the first movie.

I suppose they could do more with the government coverup angle, which really wasn't developed at all.

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It's available on Netflix.ca. It reminded me of Cloverfield though that's because it's shot in the same style. I thought they did a good job of displaying both the dialogue of high school students and how they react when they receive their powers was believable. Dane DeHaan looks like Mark Hamill to me.

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Max Landis on where the superpowers come from, and what he would have written for a sequel (or two).

 

 

Landis explained in a little more detail how the kids got their powers. Apparently, they come from Massive Organic Geoelectric Objects, which Landis describes as “a race of crystalline organisms that communicate and propel themselves through radio waves, and turn higher life forms into telekinetic drones.”

 

Landis further revealed to Buzzfeed that he’d envisioned Chronicle as the first of three movies, and that the second would have followed two “embittered” antiheroes tracking down Max, the sole main character left alive at the end of the first film. A few months ago, he mentioned that his idea for the sequel would have centered around a woman who tries to become the world’s first supervillain.

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