On DVD: Chronicle
Directed by: Josh Trank
Starring: Dane DeHean, Alex Russell, Michael Kelly
Few movies this year have had more buzz than Chronicle. The movie seemed to come out of nowhere and the ads looked a bit flat. Still, the word of mouth was that the film was amazing and the box office replied by bringing in big bucks for this moderately budgeted film. Now the film is on blu-ray and DVD and I finally had the opportunity to give it a look. I was really hoping as I popped the disc in that the hype wouldn’t ruin the film for me by bringing my expectations up so high.
This is a found footage sort of film but only until it becomes inconvenient. In other words the film often strays from staying in the found footage view in favor of dramatic effect or just out of necessity to properly tell the story. Now with that said there are several opportunities where viewing angles become quite dramatic and the move is cleverly written into the story. So, as a completely found footage shot film it’s not perfect but it’s pretty close.
The story follows three friends that discover something that changes their lives forever. It focuses first on Andrew, an abused social outcast who decides to begin filming his life. The story never really reveals why he’s filming which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. In fact you may start asking yourself why he’s filming but you’ll soon not be thinking about that at all. There is a reason that can be assumed but I won’t spoil it here. While at a party the three friends discover something underground, possibly a meteor but again that is an answer left to the imagination. This time that vagary is on purpose and it plays out a few times in the film. The film has a mind and body altering effect on the three teenagers giving them super powers.
The three of them begin simply having fun with their new found abilities and using Andrew’s camera to record everything they do. Soon though their personalities, who they really are as people, begin to affect how they choose to use their abilities. It’s like the old saying “it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.” It’s at this point that the film shows its true intentions and the story really begins to matter, to have some impact. Overall what’s most surprising about Chronicle is just how dark the story is. Andrew isn’t a happy kid and often he has the right to feel how he does. The problem is that kids lash out at everyone and everything around them. The story turn during the second half of the film adds another layer of reality to a film shot in home movie style making the video work feel all the more voyeuristic and a little too intimate.
Chronicle is the best example of an anti-super hero super hero movie since Unbreakable. It was heavily hyped and for once the movie actually deserved every bit of the buzz. The special fx were solid and not overdone and the performances, while a little melodramatic here and there, were good. I sincerely hope we see more of this story in sequels. It’s that good.
We received a pre-release check disc for review so I can’t comment on the quality of the final release.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The only supplement on this disc was a series of camera tests and pre-viz special fx tests. While these were interesting they don’t enhance the overall appreciation of the film very much. Again, we received a check disc so we also can’t comment on packaging.
Chronicle was a surprising film in the best possible way. Only minor flaws mostly having to do with some excessive melodrama tarnish a near perfect film. While I can’t comment on whether the DVD or blu-ray is worth a buy due to simply reviewing a check disc I can say the film is worth seeing for sure.
Overall (Not an Average ) N/A
The Movie 9/10
The Video N/A
The Audio N/A
The Packaging and Bonus Features N/A
Overall (Not an Average) N/A