Directed By: Josh Trank
Written By: Max Landis
Time: 83 min
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Michael B Jordan, and Alex Russell
Plot: Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.
Comments: While the Blair Witch Project helped the whole found footage/faux documentary become the new schtick in film, for me it was the brilliant Cloverfield that made it all popular again. And why not, its a fun and interesting gimmick, especially in this day and age where cell phone footage and youtube videos are everywhere.
When I first saw the Chronicle trailer, I turned to Finn and said yes. I was hooked. I couldn't wait to see it. Filmmakers Josh Trank shows that there can be great films using the whole found footage thing. They don’t have to be relegated to horror films with no character development. It doesnt have to be scare to scare. The special effects aren’t bad at all and I loved how creative they were with the events caught on tape. There were cell phones, CCTV, camcorders and more. And while yes Andrew has this American Beauty like fondness for cameras it works especially when his power grows and the camera opens things up and gives the audience different perspectives.
I like Andrew. Played by Dane DeHaan (I knew him from In Treatment though he looks like a young Dicaprio from his Growing Pains years) you can relate to Andrew even from the opening shot when he is filming his bedroom door waiting for his father to beat the shit out of him. He is the shy loner who gets bullied too much at home and away from home. You root for him to be able to strike back and you also mourn for him.
I think one of the things I really love about this film is the what if. I remember there was a This American Life about superpowers. They asked if given a choice would you choose invisibility or flight? The answers were not selfless. It was always about what you could get away with or do, not about saving the world. And lets face it if you were a teenager who suddenly has amazing telekinetic powers you would do stuff like trying to impress the opposite sex, getting back at bullies, messing with people and having fun. You certainly wouldn't go all Superman or Wonder Woman. I mean what would you do if you could levitate objects, fly and be an overall telekinetic genius when you were 17? Watching the guys grow into their powers and explore their relationships and lives doesn't get old.
In short I loved it. And it definitely will be going on the movie shelves when it comes to DVD later this year.