Action / Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller


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April 27, 2012 at 11:49 PM



Michael B. Jordan as Steve Montgomery
Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer
Ashley Hinshaw as Casey Letter
Michael Kelly as Richard Detmer
720p 1080p
600.96 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 7 / 16
1.25 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 57 / 97

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Troy_Campbell 9 / 10

A tremendous achievement in low-budget filmmaking.

The next in a long line of "found footage" flicks that have been flooding our cinemas over the last few years, Chronicle breaks free of the usual constraints within that sub genre to concoct a truly memorable sci-fi thriller. Retracing the steps of three teenage friends who are gifted with telekinesis after a chance encounter with something (intelligently, the movie never stipulates what exactly), the story focuses on the varying paths they take with their new found talent, but not until they have had some juvenile fun with it first. This is an amazingly accomplished debut feature for writer-director Josh Trank (who co-penned the script with Max "son of John" Landis); his technical veracity is utterly mind-blowing – especially when you consider the shoestring funds he had to work with – and his narrative pacing is impeccable. The icing on the already yummy cake is the marvellous CGI that allows our protagonists to fly, crush cars and stop baseballs in mid air – all seamlessly and photo-realistically. Chronicle is a tremendous achievement in low-budget, big-concept filmmaking.

Reviewed by markdroulston 7 / 10

A shot in the arm for superhero origins

Ever since the breakout success of 1999's The Blair Witch Project, the found footage film has become a subgenre in its own right. In a similar vein to Blair Witch, the Paranormal Activity series has found great financial success with their comparatively meagre budgets, and Cloverfield in 2008 proved that, even on a larger scale, the handycam aesthetic can deliver effective thrills when employed by filmmakers who have a solid understanding of the style. Josh Trank's Chronicle represents an evolution of the found footage genre, taking the character as cameraman conceit to interesting new places, and marking the director as a young talent worth monitoring.

Chronicle differs from predecessors like Cloverfield in the sense that this handycam footage isn't presented as 'found' per se, but rather is a stylistic and narrative choice which puts a refreshingly original spin on a well overdone story: the superhero origin. After encountering a strange, glowing object in a deep underground cave, high schoolers Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discover they have telekinetic powers which allow them to move objects with their mind. Matt considers the powers to be like a muscle, which can be strengthened through training, and after beginning small eventually the trio build superhuman strength and, to their delight, the ability to fly. The special effects betray a small budget at times, but the initial flying sequences are breathlessly entertaining, and the pure joy of the characters makes them more effective than most mega-budget blockbusters. These are meant to be regular kids, and although the story loses focus as the scale grows towards the climax, the early scenes are surprisingly genuine and affecting. But make no mistake, this is an origin story (one which doesn't necessarily beg for a sequel however), and Trank and his co-writer Max Landis (son of John Landis) use the visceral, in-your-face nature of the found footage to breathe life into a genre which has come dangerously close to wearing out its welcome in the past decade.

As is the case with almost all science-fiction, a lot more can be read into Chronicle than what is happening on the surface. Aside from the excitement of fighting and flying about, there is a very real human story at work, with a lot of teenage life's triumphs and tragedies. Trank and Landis clearly poured their own experiences into the film, with the three leads seeming like people from everyone's high school years. Added to this is a nice element of self-reflexivity as Andrew, an unpopular misfit, uses his camera to define himself, and how he sees the world. The old adage about writing what you know seems to ring true in the case of Chronicle, and seeing Andrew learn to move his camera in more dynamic ways thanks to his new found powers is perhaps the tiniest hint of autobiography from Trank. The film is filled with subtle aspects such as this which will probably be missed by most, but thankfully simply taking Chronicle at face value is a rewarding experience, proving that the superhero origin story is not dead, it just needs a good shake up from time to time.

Reviewed by Richard Reilly ([email protected]) 8 / 10

Great New Twist on Superhero Movies

Enjoy trolling? Enjoy watching people get trolled? Here's your movie. Chronicle stumbled into theaters thoroughly undervalued. Although it does have its flaws, it has paved an entirely new route in the worn-out genre of superheroes. Chronicle brings all the major superhero questions into play—Where did our powers come from? How should we use our powers? In the end, however, those questions are irrelevant. This movie is not about three superheroes. It is about three teenage boys who just happen to have super powers.

This movie is quite extraordinary. All three of the main actors are unknowns. When the movie begins, they all promise to me stereotyped high schoolers—the popular one, the outcast, and the stoner. As the movie progresses, those stereotypes become worthless. These actors were up to the challenge. Each main character changes so much that you won't recognize them from beginning to end. Mix this with the unique storyline and this movie has an extremely strong core.

A good deal of this movie is enjoyable simple because it is realistic to life. The bullying is brutal. The type of things that the main characters do with their powers is exactly what I would do. That's the shining point of this movie. It is true to life. It doesn't cover up life or try to smooth it over with simplifications. This movie is beautiful with its honesty. It allows the viewer to laugh hysterically one moment and cringe the next.

The problems are minor but still present. The incredible climax is followed up with a lackluster conclusion. The father's character is rather over-the-top. I can't tell if it was the writing or the acting that made it so. These two facts won't pull you away from enjoying the movie. It's just too bad that such a good movie would end on such a low note.

This movie is worth seeing. Some people will have trouble watching it in theaters because it is a shot from the first person and can be jerky at times. If you are okay with that, I would recommend seeing it in the theatre. I saw this movie with a large audience—which appeared to add to the experience. For the average Joe, this will be an enjoyable movie. For the superhero fan, this could be a cult classic.

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