Not another list of the last five Marvel movies, but an attempt at creating The Superhero List To End All…
What are you capable of?
Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.
Quite possibly the most honest, believable, dare I say authentic…? superhero origin story I’ve watched.
It’s not even the “found footage” angle that makes it feel believable. It’s the great dialogue, good acting, and characters you can identify with – characters whose reactions to supernatural events seem the most… natural.
Chronicle is a brave movie. It’s not afraid of taking the road less travelled. There were a couple of moments when I genuinely admired the creators for trying something different that could have backfired. It never did.
Lastly, and surprisingly, this movie is not about good and evil. It’s about power and powerlessness. We all grapple with the latter, and most of growing up might be learning to accept things that are outside of our influence. You might think that having superpowers would fix that. It turns out, not really: now you just have two things you can neither understand nor control.
If it's not porn, don't shoot it in first-person.
As inevitable as the setting sun, eventually two of cinema's most recent obsessions--the found footage and superhero genres--were destined to collide, yet no one surely predicted in such a strong manner as Chronicle. Josh Trank's compact, relatively low budget blend of handheld camerawork and the superhero (or should that be villain?) origin story blasts out of nowhere as a remarkably assured piece of work, telling a story that has it's roots in decades of comic-book lore while being entirely original, and managing to utilise the found footage gimmick in order to tell a character story that starts casually and builds to a gripping climax. The simple fact is Trank's film probably shouldn't have been this good.
Let's face it, much…
'Chronicle' is the film that introduced everyone to the brilliant Dane DeHaan and for that I am grateful. All three of the young leads are great here but DeHaan steals the show. He ensures his character Andrew is someone you root for and his corruption brought about by his new found power is easily the strongest element of the film. His journey from innocent and powerless to an almost unstoppable force is superbly realised and acted to deliver a compelling take on what is essentially a superhero origin story.
The script from Max Landis is impressive with on point humour, likeable characters and a fast paced original story. All three of the characters have their traits and quirks that distinguish…
Oh wow, look! A nerd with a camera!
I have a love/hate relationship with "found footage" films, but it's mostly hate. I have loved some of them, for example [REC], but for the most part I can't get past some of the contrivances that are necessary for these kinds of films to exist. Since I can't get past that, there are moments in the film that completely take me out of the experience.
Josh Trank makes his feature film directorial debut with a story he co-wrote with Max Landis. Landis has solo credit for the actual screenplay. He wrote and directed the comedy short The Death and Return of Superman which is a must watch for any fan…
Josh Trank’s feature length debut may be one of the best found footage films of the last decennia, but it doesn’t thank that title for its found footage element as the film easily could have done without it. Our main character Andrew Detmer (played by the outstanding upcoming talent Dane DeHaan) is questioned so many times about why he keeps filming all the time that it is almost as if the movie is putting serious question marks around the practicality of its own foundation. Luckily, this detail doesn’t stand in the way of ‘Chronicle’ its rise and shine as the best counter argument against Marvel and DC produced superhero franchises since, uhm, well since ever! Here we have 84 minutes…
This movie is the pinnacle of the found footage genre for me. It embodies the concept of faux real life documentation as well as any other found footage movie, but unlike most, it actually has a highly compelling story to back it up. It doesn't rely solely on the gimmick of its method of filming like most others and instead is an incredibly engaging science fiction story first and foremost, with a strong core of characters and one of the most intensely devastating climaxes I have ever seen. It is absolutely one of my favourite films.
Realistic Superpower film.
The shy, lonely and outcast teenager Andrew Detmer is bullied and has no friends at high-school and lives with his abusive and alcoholic father Richard Detmer and his terminally ill mother Karen. Andrew buys a camera to film his everyday life. His cousin Matt Garetty drives him to school and invites Andrew to go to a party at night. They meet their schoolmate Steve Montgomery in the party and they overhear a noise and find a hole in a field. They decide to explore the underground and they acquire powers. Soon the trio learns how to control their telekinetic abilities and Andrew becomes the most powerful. But he easily loses his temper and becomes dangerous while Matt tries to control…
I absolutely hate the found footage genre but might I say this is the best of its genre because even though I hate shaky cam chronicle is still got strong performances.
What this film could have been if only they dumped the silly gimmick of having this play out as some kind of found footage movie. There are so many moments where you just do not believe the characters would keep filming, or even some moments where they might, the camera moves in a clearly directed way. This threw me out of the movie so many times I wished it was a straight narrative, it could have been so much better. I felt the decision was interesting at first, but quickly became cheap.
Nevertheless, there's enough character depth to make it somewhat memorable. It all leads to a very satisfying climax which, while derivative of other sci-fi action movies, features some great use of camera footage of various sources that is edited beautifully.
One heck of a cool movie. Sequel, please. I have lots of questions!
Really enjoyable superheroes origin story.
The use of the self-shot footage didn’t work as well as in Cloverfield but was OK.
Overall, it just made me hope my kids wouldn’t grow up to be the weird ones in school, just in case they find a super power rock one day.
- Three Giant Men
- The incredible Paris Incident
- All Superheroes Must Die
- Alter Egos
- Angel Wars: Guardian Force - Episode 1: About…
- Men, Women & Children
- The Bling Ring
- The Poughkeepsie Tapes
- Magic Magic
Films that I find to be (either only a bit or way too) lowly rated on Letterboxd; these are just…
- Celine and Julie Go Boating
- City of Life and Death
- City of God
Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…