These kids aren’t your stereotypical high school students. Aside from their amazingly clear complexions, I buy that these are real kids. The first act of Chronicle sells us solid acting and just enough meaningless drama to make us believe this is indeed high school. It’s one of those “found footage” movies; one of the characters is supposedly shooting the movie on a consumer-grade camcorder. Every once and a while, we get to see different angles from the phone- and blogging-cameras of eye witnesses.
So one night these kids stumble upon a hole in the ground. The hole opens up to a cavern. They enter and find something suggestively extra-terrestrial and leave with nose bleeds. Later they realize they have supernatural powers. If there’s one movie I’d compare Chronicle to, it isn’t a Marvel film. It’s Carrie. Soon the kids are using their telekinetic powers to do exactly what kids would do with those powers: pranks. This involves scaring people at a toy store and moving parked cars.
When they push their powers too far, they get nose bleeds. One of them theorizes that it’s like a muscle: if they use it too much they exhaust it. But it can be exercised, too. The main character finally steps out from behind the camera after exercising his own powers. Since he can levitate objects, including himself, there’s no need for a dedicated cameraman anymore. This kid also gets beaten up by his drunk dad a lot.
He’s not stable. He’s not a cool kid. He’s where the Carrie vibe comes into play. You push someone like that enough, they push back. When they’ve got inhuman powers, they can be a force you don’t want to mess with.
Chronicle isn’t necessarily everything I hope for in a popcorn flick, but it’s entertaining and rarely insults the intelligence. We all know the camcorders and camera phones they have in this movie can’t be of such great quality, but hey, it’s easy to suspend that disbelief because it’s so well-made. We’ve been seeing a lot of these found footage movies lately, but categorizing it as such gives potential viewers the wrong idea. This is a well written movie and they’re not just using the visual device to hide the seams.
Scratch that. Neal Stephenson deserves your money. The proudly geeky writer has moved into video games and he’s fed up with all the gun-centric outings like Call of Duty and Halo. He and his collaborators intend to craft an ultra realistic sword simulator called CLANG. Spoiler: the video following video will crack you up. Keep an eye out for the unexpected cameo, too.
When I saw Tromeo & Juliet years and years ago, I was no stranger to Troma Entertainment even though I wasn’t even old enough to buy cigarettes yet. That one’s probably my favorite of the Lloyd Kaufman films, but Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead is a very close second. For their 40th Anniversary, Troma has released much of its library on YouTube, which is a bit worrisome as Kaufman has stated on numerous occasions that the world’s supposedly longest running independent studio is in financial trouble. When Kaufman announced Hollywood had bought the rights to remake The Toxic Avenger, the fans booed; Kaufman then told them without that single paycheck, Troma would shut down.
No, it’s not the theatrical version, the extended cut, the director’s cut, or even the final cut. It’s not even a fictional narrative. What is it? It’s a promotional film shown at conventions before the movie was released. You can read more about it at Giant Freakin Robot, which describes the featurette as “a fascinating relic with an awful soundtrack.”
Charlize Theron has never seemed so robotic in her entire career. The writers promised they’d fleshed out her character when they learned she was playing the role. Well, if they did, I can’t imagine how one-dimensional the character must have been to begin with. Guy Pierce appears in old-age makeup that looks so phony you don’t accept him as a character, but as an unnecessary special effect. See the video below: