Friday, February 3, 2012

Chronicle...of a good movie.

  Let me apologize for the delay in this review, but sometimes life can get in the way.   

 The fad of the moment is Super Hero movies. Some are good, Captain America. Some are bad, Green Lantern. Some are better than expected, X-Men: First Class. Chronicle is pretty good. It can be tough to take characters that are original and be a successful movie. Sci-fi is a turn off for some mainstream movie goers. Chronicle is very science fiction, but it is also very not. Teen angst, economic pressure, and everyday problems are running wild through this one.

  The story features a cast you are probably not familiar with. Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, and Alex Russell are the three leads. Andrew decides from the opening frame to begin filming his life. Hence the name “Chronicle.” I am quickly getting tired of the “fake documentary” style of filmmaking, but I do admit this one works pretty well. Andrew has issues from the minute. He doesn’t fit in at school. He gets bullied, is a loner with an abusive father and terminally ill mother. His only friend is his cousin Matt who seems to come across being his friend out of guilt. He is convinced to a rave with Matt and the future class president Steve. The three stumble on some kind of sink hole and find an alien rock. Yes an alien rock.

  They touch the rock and come out of the hole with telekinesis. The discovery of their powers and their “training,” is straight out of an episode of “jackass,” but again it works. The scenes where they learn to fly are entertaining. Low budget, but it does make you wish you had the same talent. Andrew’s life causes him to become angry and abuse his powers. He starts fitting in, but uncontrollable vomiting before sex causes him to be ridiculed. He painfully takes revenge on the school bully and continues to harm innocent people. Matt then has no choice but to stop him. Andrew is the villain, but his intentions are at times pretty good.

  The critic on my show said that it borrows heavily from “Akira,” he is dead on. It works and to non anime fans, it will go unnoticed. The big battle in downtown Seattle is borrowed from Super Man 2, but again it works. It sometimes can look a bit cheesy but it is still cool to watch. The alien rock isn’t explained and that doesn’t bother me. Nose bleeds and vomiting are not explained either and I was left wishing they were. The movie is left open for a sequel and does end with a lot being left to explain. Josh Trank isn’t exactly a house hold name director and there are a lot of similarities with J.J. Abrams. It does come across like a show that belongs on the CW, but Chronicle does prove that sometimes low-budget can still be fun.

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