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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Chronicl'-ing Abuse Of Power

Chronicle gives high school boys and telekinetic powers. You know the end result won't be good.

I'll be honest: this is really the first time I've experienced the "found footage" movie for myself, as I haven't seen The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity. I know, I know. Don't worry, I plan to submit myself to the appropriate authorities for punishment right after this review.

The film begins when a teenager named Andrew starts filming his life in order to document his father's abuse. Soon, he starts bringing the camera with him everywhere, and we get a portrait of his very depressing life: the aforementioned abusive father, the mother who is slowly dying from cancer, his outcast status and bullying at school.

There are a few rays of light though: his cousin, Matt, who invites him out to a rave to help him meet people. There, Matt and his friend Steve persuade Andrew to accompany them to document a strange rock. After their encounter with it, they soon discover that they have developed telekinetic powers.

The three boys soon develop a close bond as they pull the usual pranks that you expect high school boys would pull. However, Andrew soon starts using his abilities for darker purposes, and he soon grows stronger than his friends. At first, he mostly does the wrong thing for sympathetic reasons, but soon he drops all pretenses. What follows is a real-world example of what can happen, when great power falls into the wrong hands. (Really, are there ever any right hands?)

The effects are impressive, and there's a lot of charm in seeing them on a more home video type of look that can actually handle them. The movie also never allows the characters' abilities to overshadow the characters themselves. They are all realistic and believable, and Andrew remains pitiable and sympathetic as he continues to spiral ever downward. Other movies with a lot more resources should take note.

REVIEWER RATING: A-

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James R Hoffa February 29, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the 'reality' or 'stylized' genre, but this does look rather interesting and worth a screening. What really worked for 'The Blair Witch Project' was it's isolated filming location and the surreal pretense of the story. So is 'Chronicle' more of a 'look into the lives and shenanigans of these boys,' or is there a conflict presented that the film works towards eventually resolving?
michaelm February 29, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I for one was over the shaky graining style from the start. It ruined the last of the Borne films, and now the new series The River which is supposed to be filmed by professional film crews in the story line yet none of them can hold the camera still, they have problems focusing, and the cameras cut in and out constantly. I find it all annoying. The Story of Chronicle is getting old as well. Hollywood is bend on telling everyone that all dads are abusive, Yawn, and all boys are reckless and go to raves, all sympathetic boys are also bullied at school and if there is a girl or woman in the story she will be the only character with a bit of common sense and will posses all the leadership skills. Hollywood lets try something original PLEASE!!! It is getting so hard to go to movies or watch TV, everything is so predicable and heavy handed with political or social propaganda.
A Reel Of One's Own February 29, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Well, to me it's both and neither. It seems more to be about how the power the boys acquire changes them, for better and for worse.

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