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3.8 out of 5 stars
Chronicle
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 June 2012
Not having even seen a trailer for this movie, I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to watch it - what I got was a total surprise - and I really enjoyed it! PLus, I am not going to write a scene by scene review of the movie and analyse the plot - why spoil the viewing for someone else?

Even though the three main characters gain superhero powers this is definite not a superhero movie- which makes a great change, because you can see too many of the "fights against evil" type movie. Imagine three normal teenage guys who develop superhuman powers and what they would use those powers for. The results are very "realistic", human and emotional at times but to say more, would spoil the movie for anyone else.

It is a clever fast paced plot with good special effects, some great dialogue and performances with Dane Dehaan in particular as Andrew, the guy with a dreadful home life who everyone thinks is a loser, really coming across well - you certainly start to feel for him right from the first scene. Although the film is not always an easy one to watch, some of the scenes being quite moving, it does have some funny moments and I laughed out loud several times, my son laughing even more - the supermarket scene in particular was great comedy.

To sum up, it is a great little film with some unexpected surprises along the way, one definitely worth getting the popcorn out for and you will be glued to it.

Extras include: pre-visualisation FX work of two scenes; actors' camera test and the cinema trailer. There is also a digital copy to enable you to watch the movie on ipad, iphone, tablet or android phone (with instructions on how to transfer from pc or mac). NB: We haven't tried the digital copy - nothing compatible to play it on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2014
I guess it was inevitable that the superhero flick would eventually meet the found footage genre and I think they really nailed it with Chronicle.

The set up is brief and pretty effective - three guys at a party find a glowing something or other buried under the ground. They touch it, it appears to give them certain superpowers (obviously) and they each suddenly have telekinesis, flight and more at their disposal. What exactly it is that they they found and how/why it's had this effect on them doesn't seem to overly matter......

Early on one of the characters, Andrew (Dane Dehaan), sets up the conceit that he is now filming himself and his friends/enemies on a regular basis so what follows is his video diary of sorts of the boys playing with their new found traits and seeing how far they can push them. As it turns out, some are prepared to push further than others and the plot spins on from there.

Directed by Josh Trank who apparently will soon be trying his hand at a Star Wars flick, there's plenty of imagination and wit on offer here. There's a clear character progression as things move along and escalate, moving towards a fantastic, city wide smackdown. Most of the film is shot on just a couple of handheld cameras but for the climax the rules are bent as various other cameras are used - bystanders phones, CCTV, police, news stations all capture the action. Bit of a cheat perhaps but it works well enough to get away with it.

Overall, I thought this was a quality piece of work. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2014
Personally I thought this film was great, the idea behind it is frankly genius yet simple: A realistic take on an overused genre - the superhero. This film deals in emotion, camaraderie and coming of age themes in a way that you can truly relate to and believe. The hand-held camera angle is also very cleverly done...it brings added realism and an intimacy to the film that makes you feel closer to; and more understanding of, the characters themselves, rather than just an observer. Overall a very good film I do recommend seeing it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As usual I ventured into this film with the expectation of watching yet another stereotyped "superhuman" film, but within a very short time I was very pleasantly surprised. Casting was spot on and it was easy to get sucked in to the story and feel yourself watching real life through a window. Even when the super-normal things started happening to the main characters, they were still just ordinary people living through extraordinary circumstances.

Throughout the film is the usual thread of real life and of things happening in the background, but it is not there as a filler, but as a necessary explanation. The thread makes the plot much more believable, to the point where you are almost pleading with the lead character not to follow the path he is on.

The camera work was quite acceptable for me, maybe there were a few moments where the continual use of the video camera by some of the characters could be seen as very slightly over the top. But this has to remain a very minor criticism and must not be allowed to detract from the storyline of friendship strained by circumstances and the affect of unnatural power on ordinary people trying to live an ordinary life.

The composition, direction and scriptwriting was well balanced and the CGI, which was particularly well crafted, was used only where and when necessary without being the main focus of the film. With a subtle mix of occasional humour offset by emotional crisis, often particularly poignant, the film scores highly for me and I am sure that I will find myself watching it again in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's been a good few years since any film in the "found footage" genre has actually been vaguely entertaining for me. This film feels very much like it could be the distant cousin of "Cloverfield" (in fact, you could almost imagine the characters living in the same time frame, despite each being the brainchild of different creators and directors). Filmed in more or less the same style of "Cloverfield" (barely any fixed angles, such as films like "Paranormal Activity") with some exhilerating shots and some breathtaking effects.

The story mainly follows the character of Andrew. Andrew is a high school outcast whose life is complicated by being bullied by his peers, being frequently on the end of his father's fists, and feeling helpless as he watches his cancer-ridden mother fading away. Andrew's life begins to quickly change after he starts filming all the events of his day-to-day life, an outlet to his pent up frustration. When Andrew's cousin Matt and friend Steve make a strang discovery in the middle of the woods, Andrew is reluctantly dragged along to take some footage, leading to an even more incredible discovery that will grant the three amazing abilities.

While the abilities are incredible and entertaining initially, things start to become eerily real when Andrew begins to excel in using his found powers. While Andrew seems to have exceptional control of his abilities, Matt and Steve both begin to realise that Andrew cannot balance the power and his underlying emotions leading to events that could devastate them all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2012
Using several cunning plot devices to keep the cameras rolling even when nobody's holding one, Chronicle introduces the found footage genre to a superhero origin story. Only it's not necessarily about 'heroes', more about what normal generally irresponsible and confused teens would do with superpowers if they suddenly had them thrust upon them. In a sequence that's surely riffing on 'how come Superman didn't turn out like this?', our three heroes encounter a spiky glowing buried asteroid rather like the man of steel's arrival ship in the movies, and later realise they can move things with their minds.
Where they take those skills feels very 'real' and very natural. Teasing and challenging each other transforms into using them for pointless idiocy, then kicks, then personal gain, and then only when one of them violently goes too far do they start to consider that maybe they're holding a 'loaded gun' and they need to impose some responsibility.
By that time, their characters and personalities are fully in play, and events have started down a path that's scarily inevitable.
The actors are great. Michael B Jordan gets perhaps the least to do of the lead trio, being given a role as the popular alpha-male kid who happens to be nice despite the popularity.
Alex Russell gets to play the slightly cocky kid who cares about his weaker cousin and is desperate to show the girl he fancies that he's not just another insensitive jock, and he brings a real charm and depth to the role
And playing Andrew, Alex Detmer is a revelation. Looking like a young Leo DiCaprio, he suffers through a horrendous heart-rending home life and an accurately portrayed bullied school life, only to begin to find some solace and hope in the unique abilities their new powers bring.
Excellently, the film is as concerned about psychology as it is about spectacle. It may be stunning (a hell of a game of football is a visual highlight) and packs an amazing climax which surprises given the 'low budget' handheld camera style, but it also stops fleetingly very often to think about why the characters do what they do, and how it affects them. Also, for people made a little nauseous by 'found footage' style filming, fear not: the gimmicks used by the director result in the filming after the first 10 or 20 minutes being far smoother and more fluid than you'll be used to. No nausea here.
Exciting, shocking and dramatic, this is a terrific character drama, as well as an amazing thriller, all wrapped up in one of the best superhero movies of the year.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
When found footage movies first started they involved grainy black and white film footage. But film technology has moved on a lot since then in real life. So thankfully here's a footage movie which realises that and moves with the times. Everything is digital and in colour.

And seen - mostly - via the camera belonging to a teenager called Andrew. High school kid. Friendless. Sick mother. Frustrated father who takes his anger out on his son. Living in a neighbourhood that could be better.

Andrew gets lifts to school from his popular and with it cousin Matt. A school where popular and charismatic kid Steve is running for class president. Andrew buys a camera to record details of his life. And having one comes in handy when Steve finds something strange in a field and needs someone to record what they see.

All this character introduction and background is done pretty quickly but the film hits the ground running and does command the attention from the off. What the three find and record leads to them getting special powers. There is a big jump between the discovery and the dawning of the powers which does seem a little jarring at the time but you do quickly get over that.

They use their powers for fun. And it brings the three very close together. But when the fun stops, will his new abilities change Andrew's life for the better? Or the worse?

It's not found footage as such because everything is seen via footage from recording equipment, and some is security cameras in addition to Andrew's camera. But this - and one clever device storytelling wise - do get past the old problem of the audience never getting to see the character who is doing the recording in a neat manner.

Chronicle isn't just about original ideas in presenting this kind of movie though. It's also not a superhero film. It's a character drama. Considering in a realistic manner what might happen to someone such as Andrew if put in this situation. And as a character drama it is a compelling and memorable watch. Everything that happens comes as a result of character actions. The story develops in a believable manner. And manages to resolve itself pretty neatly also. Acting from the three leads is excellent throughout.

The end does drop hints about possible sequels, but they wouldn't be necessary. Because this is fine as it is. A strong character drama with an original premise and execution. All of which makes it a very memorable watch.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

English audio captioned.

The disc begins with a couple of trailers but you can skip those via the next button on the dvd remote.

It has a digital copy that can be downloaded into other digital media.

Only extras are:

Pre visualisation: computer animated versions of storyboards for two key scenes. This runs for eight minutes in total.

Actors camera test: an early effort from some of the cast at acting out one key scene.

The original cinema trailer for the film.

And a link to a website that gives further details of the film's score and how to get a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The film tells the tale of three high-school teens, 'Andrew'(Dane DeHaan) 'Matt'(Alex Russell) and 'Steve'(Michael B.Jordan)
'Andrew' ( the camcorder owner ) has a pretty difficult home life with his mother seriously ill, and a father who has turned to drink.
The three lads discover a hole in the ground that wasn't previously there, they investigate it, and find a mysterious object at the end of a tunnel leading from the hole they had clambered down.
All three find they have new powers, at first it's fun, they use the powers to confuse the unsuspecting public.
They find they can do many unusual things as the powers grow, however it does lead to tragedy.
The power takes control of 'Andrew' as the tale takes an even darker turn.
Must admit like an earlier reviewer i'm not a great fan of the camcorder style movies, and in truth struggled during the early part of the film, found it slow, however the story does pick up during the second third leading to an interesting yet obvious conclusion.
worth a spin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2014
I remember watching a short trailer of this movie years ago on YouTube. And, after watching it, I immediately wanted to get myself a copy of the DVD. For me, Chronicle really stood out from most of the other superhero movies I've watched up until then (e.g. Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, The Avengers, etc.), because it's a superhero movie without superheroes.

Chronicle focuses on the misadventures of three high-school teenagers (i.e. Andrew, Matt and Steve) who accidentally gain the powers of psychokinesis and levitation upon discovering a mysterious crystal underground. At first, they experiment with their newly-found powers for harmless fun and games. However, they quickly come to terms with the consequences of their powers (e.g. after a car crash accident caused by Andrew) and struggle to find a way to keep them under control. Eventually, things take a turn for the worse when troubled protagonist Andrew is gradually overwhelmed by his personal anxieties (e.g. dying mother, abusive alcoholic father, etc.).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2013
I was supprised at the movie when I had only the trailer to go on it wasn't really like that! It wasn't bad it was awesome it just seemed different. You are watching the movie through the view point of the lead characters video camera, which I always like that kind of style. Three boys discover they now have telekinetic powers and they have to learn how to use them together. It's really sad in parts or at least I thought it was. It's an amazing movie I was already excited to see it but it outdid my expectations! I'm definitely looking to get it on DVD. if you like this check out clover field, I like this move much more and they are both based of different things but its the same kind of action and its viewed through the view point of a video camera!! Digital copies are amazing too which I just realised this dvd features that's always a bonus! :D
I hope this helps :)
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