Chronicle

High-school outcast, Andrew (Dane DeHaan) begins recording the events in his life via a $500 camcorder when he and cousin, Matt (Alex Russell)  and new friend, Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discover a hidden tomb of sorts that unleashes   mysterious lights upon the trio.  Whatever was unleashed turns these everyday kids into everyday kids with super-telekinetic powers.  Suddenly cheerleaders skirts are blown, a teddy bear terrorizes a kid, a car moves by itself and people begin to die.  Like the similarly themed, THE CRAFT, the most fucked-up of the bunch goes bat-shit crazy and terrorizes Robin Tunney the entire downtown Seattle area.

THE GOOD

A movie about teenagers that’s not based on a teen-romance novel, a spinoff, a sequel, a remake, a prequel or the newly formed, requel opens to a wide release and is actually good?  Hollywood is strange.  There are many pluses with this movie.  The concept- while not entirely original plays with itself enough to evoke fun, terror and sorrow in less than 90 minutes.  The acting is spot on.  Dane DeHaan’s Andrew is a bullied teen, but not a victim.  There’s a mysterious strength behind his eyes that comes to life in the last third of the film.  Alex Russell’s Matt is solid as a relatable kid on the brink of adulthood.  Michael B. Jordan proves he came a long way from ALL MY CHILDREN and becomes the “straight man” of the group and proves his leading man status.  These actors should become household names from their performances.  The story allows enough time for you to get to know the guys before they begin reenacting ZAPPED! for the next generation.  When the action zooms full speed and Andrew goes psycho on the population of Seattle, we understand why and sympathize with him.

THE BAD

Remember back in the day when you would see a movie and it wasn’t filmed with a hand-held camera?  I miss those days.  The biggest flaw of the movie is that it’s shot entirely with handheld cameras.  Cameras- plural.  Because of this were introduced to an utterly useless character who video tapes her ever waking moment for her blog.  I understand there has to be a hot blonde chick in the movie somewhere, but she served no purpose other than to provide an extra set of lenses for the audience.  I get it: we live in a society where everyone is so self-important that they feel their every moment is fodder for entertainment.  This is the age where people become famous for singing on YouTube, or getting into a screaming match with NeNe Leaks or for banging one of the Kardashians.  Everything we do must be recorded!  Unfortunately when we tell stories through the POV of a hand-held camera, we miss the surrounding landscapes that foster a story.  There were a few things missing from the story because of this.  The last third of the film, while jaw-dropping, was also confusing and the hand-held camera was the main culprit as some of the action was hard to tell apart.

THE UGLY

CHRONICLE, while slightly flawed, is a hellava fun ride.  The tone and pace were consistent.  The acting was top-notch and the action, while confusing at times, was ultimately fun.  CHRONICLE passed my expectations and delivered a solid story.  Without giving anything away the story ended where it should have in an optinimistic yet realistic manner.  Despite my bitching and moaning at the beginning of the post in regards to sequels, I’d actually welcome one for this story.

***1/2 out of 4

FOOD PAIRING

My new obsession: HERR’s Ketchup flavored potato chips.  It’s nothing fancy, nothing unique but I can literally inhale an entire bag in one sitting.  I’m trying a new flavor tonight- Horseradish and Cheddar!  Verdict coming soon.

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