Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
Michael B. Jordan
What's it about
Three teens of disparate social standings become imbued with telekinetic powers by a mysterious object in an underground cavern.
Is it good movie?
I recall seeing the trailer for Chronicle, and thinking it looked really bad. A couple of kids mysteriously get telekinetic powers and drive around town pulling juvenile pranks, until one of them goes rogue. It seemed ho-hum, if not downright stupid. But then I started reading really positive reviews, and hearing similarly positive word of mouth. I never ended up getting a chance to see it in the theater, but Iím glad to report now that the reviews were correct: itís really good.
Andrew, Matt, and Steve are very different types of teenagers. Matt is the more generic of the two, while Andrew and Steve swing towards the negative and positive poles, respectively. When they find an underground cavern in the woods during a party, a bizarre crystalline mass they happen upon inside starts glowing, and they exit the ersatz Platoís Cave with the power to move objects with their minds. After a while of playing Jackass with each other, then expanding to pranking strangers, Andrewís troubles with his alcoholic dad and dying mother cause him to go all Carrie in a big, big way.
Max Landis, of the famous parentage, has written a tight script here, with the action clocking in at a trim 83 minutes. The found footage aspects gets old, as it always does, but the rapport between the characters and the gleeful way in which they use their powers is infectious. First-time feature director Josh Trank has his hands full, dealing with a lot of special effects and a script that goes from frolicking to way goddamned dark in a hurry. Luckily, like the actors, he handles it well. I can easily recommend this one for a viewing.
Video / Audio
Video: This is essentially a screener, so I donít have the picture stats, but it looks crisp and clean. Itís an SFX-heavy production, those FX very rarely look obvious.
Audio: Thereís are two English 5.1 tracks, one Dolby Digital and one Descriptive Audio, as well as Spanish and French Dolby Surround tracks.
Pre-Viz: This is eight-minutes of early computer models of some of the bigger FX sequences. Itís kind of funny how much it looks like a early-90ís PC game. All of the models have dialogue, and one of them shows that the original ending was conceived a bit differently than what was eventually shot.
Camera Test: Like the Pre-Viz models, this is a series of test scenes shot with stand-in actors, to get an idea of how some of the on-set effects would look.
The only other things on the features many are the theatrical trailer, a collection of trailers for other Fox films, and some (sparse) info on the soundtrack.
While the found footage aspect, as well as the pseudo-superhero antics, gets kind of old after a while, the film is short enough and engaging enough to get you past is. The movie is visually appealing, and makes an emotional connection, even if it is slightly overwrought. I definitely recommend this for a viewing, but while not bare bones, the disc isnít exactly overflowing with special features