SOUND OFF

Sound Off: Josh Trank's First Film 'Chronicle' - What Did You Think?

by
February 3, 2012

Chronicle Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Now in theaters everywhere is a movie titled Chronicle, from first-time feature director Josh Trank (hear his story), a found-footage movie about three high school teens in Seattle who get telekinetic superpowers and what happens after that. And boy does it get crazy. Is it as awesome as the concept sounds on paper? Should it have even been a found-footage movie to begin with? How are the three leads: Dane DeHaan as Andrew (the crazy one), Alex Russell as Matt and Michael B. Jordan as Steve? Once you've seen it, post a comment below with your own thoughts on Trank's Chronicle.

To fuel the fire, I love Chronicle, it is such an awesome movie. I really think Josh Trank made something extremely original and refreshing for the genre, as well as a film that's as entertaining as it is fascinating to watch. I love where it goes in the third act, the Akira comparisons are accurate, but how epic it gets and how crazy it gets, was amazing to see. I love how grounded and realistic the story is, from the way they have to wear jackets and gloves while flying, to the way their powers are perceived and how things play out as the story progresses. It does get a bit wonky at the end with all the digital devices as "footage", but other than that, this is one of my favorite movies in a long time (along with The Grey), I really love everything about it.

What did you think of Chronicle? An awesome new found-footage film or a total trainwreck? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

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  • Rv36
    It was a fun as hell movie. I thought the way they approached the found footage idea was different and ineresting. This movie kind of gave you insight on what some of us would do with power. We would show off. I plan to buy this when it comes out and will probably view it many times.
  • CookieMonster
    I loved it!
  • Anonymous
    Chronicle helps champion the "found footage" style of film-making as Landis and Trank deliver a borderline epic comic book-styled story that is exciting, inventive and jut plain fun! It worked because they focused on the human element more than the superpowers. 
  • Dave Parfitt
    Cool to hear everyone is liking it. Got to say the previews weren't doing it for me, but I'll check it out now for sure.
  • Kaneda Dry
    I loved it so much, my excitement blew apart the theater I was in with MIND BULLETS!!!! 😉
    • Weez
       that's telekinesis, kaneda! (is that kaneda dry, or canada dry?)
  • Pilgrim_UK
    If only I could use my powers for good. But I just hate goody two shoes superheroes in lycra.
    • Did you even SEE this movie? You do realize it's about how one of them descends into madness and uses his powers for bad...
      • Pilgrim_UK
        Do you ever recognise Humour? Lighten up bud. 😀 First statement: reads I use my powers for bad Second statement: Irrational hatred. (Joker stylee) Pretty good grasp on the concept of the film.
        • Anonymous
          that's some bad humor harry
          • jr
            very nice reference!!!
        • Cap
           I think you mean sarcasm, not humor
          • Skeetzo
            sarcasm IS humor
  • Sort of amazing. I just wish it was as witty in plot and language as it was in pulling off all the spectacle stuff. It was all there but it felt stale to me. I've seen this story. Not with the antihero exactly going Godzilla on the town but you know what I mean.
    • Felt mediocre and childish to me in terms of acting and acting out. Okay, we have these adolescents. But take The Incredibles for example and how they are polished in all the details that tickles the characters. 
      • msuhu
        So you're saying The Incredibles is better than Chronicle?
        • As so far as maturity goes, yeah, way more thought out.
          • Buttass
            I'll jump into this and say that The Incredibles is better than Chronicle because it is, but that doesn't mean I didn't think Chronicle was a good movie. I loved it. Great to see something original in theaters.
          • Lebowski
            The Incredibles is the best super hero movie ever made, and possibly the best animated film ever made. 
  • Neuromancer
    I wish it was released here already :(. Belgium, releases Twilight New Moon first in the world but you have to wait weeks for the good stuff....
  • peloquin
    Should I go see Chronicle or The Grey tonight? I know Alex gave both glowing reviews so I'm having trouble deciding.
    • ur_babys_daddy
      See both. You deserve to treat yo self!
    •  ^^ Yea what they said - see both! Two of the best films of January, or more honestly, two of the only films in January you actually need to see!
  • ur_babys_daddy
    Really enjoyed the film Nice way to use multiple angles and characters will well-rounded. Reminded me of Akira though towards the end
  • Xerxexx
    I loved it...every second of it. DeHaan was fantastic and I was surprised by Russell and Jordan...they all carried the movie with great ease, the friendships seemed legitimate and the overall effects were amazing especially in the 3rd act. The plot was great and I enjoyed the filming method...the final moment between Andrew and Matt was amazing, Russell was great...and the um...well I won't go any further...it was sharp, long, and fucking huge if you get my meaning...wait this is for people that have seen the movie...so can I spoil? Also it had CJ from Dawn of the Dead. 8/10.
    • "I loved it...every second of it..." and then you give it an 8/10 haha. 😉
      • Xerxexx
        It was too short!
        • CookieMonster
          Yep i wanted more and more!!! Tbh i can't remember when was the last time i had such fun in theatre. And 8/10 is a high note, come on Alex:)
          • Xerxexx
            Very much agree.
      • Alex my man. I've read a number of reviews where you sing the praises of a movie to the point I'm getting embarrassed for your emotional boner, and then turn around and give it a score short of 10. Tisk, tisk. 😮
        • Hahaha I know, I know, I was just joking... Xerx is the man!
          • 😉
          • Xerxexx
            The man? Eh.
          • Xerxexx
            Awesome?
  • Dusty
    Truly was a great film with my 12 yr old and I talking about it all through dinner after the film and the whole drive home. My only issue was the CG in a couple areas, but can overlook that as I think I conditioned myself to look for it going into this picture due to worries of how the 'powers' would be presented. Overall Great Pic... (but liked The Grey better for the commenter earlier that asked)
  • Loved it! 
  • I agree with Robert.  This was a great concept but these kids were annoying.  The main one was just a whiney crybaby.
    • Donza1978
      Well wouldnt you be if u were treated like shit all ur life and ur father didnt want anything to do wif except bring u down and belt u around. Oh and also ur mother is on her death bed. Use ur brain dipshit!
      • Dipshit?  I refuse to take anyone seriously that uses as many abbreviations as you just did.   And if wif is supposed to be with you should probably pick up a book. 
        • Unknown
          It's true though, the acting on every part was phenomenal and wasn't too cheesy. These kids were less than annoying and for your description of Matthew. Come on, really? He was beaten and abused for years and all you look at is was whining. This may be a movie, but this happens in real life, and it's a perfect example of what it can do to people. Make them hurtful, resentful, and bitter. It is his dads fault that he did what he did at the end. If that's all you can say, then you obviously lack in judgmental skills along with horrible sympathetic views. All in all, it was a beautiful movie, wasn't it? I'm going to the west coast to find a magical alien pothole this summer now.
          • You're right.  It was just a movie.
          • and yes.  His dad beat him and blah blah so he would have some anger.  That's not what I'm talking about when I say whiney crybaby shit.  I'm referring to his amazing dialogue such as "do you like me?" and "it's different for you.  you've always had a lot of friends.  I never have".  
        • Unknown
          I meant Andrew, lol, my bad.
    • CookieMonster
       I couldn't disagree more. Acting was superb and believable as much as the story of Andrew. But seeing it requires a bit of sensibility, unfortunately your case being lack thereof
  • CY
    I should have seen The Grey, this one was ok CG & acting sucked besides the main dude.
  • Grunties
    A refreshing take on both the superhero and found footage genres.  While the use of some of the footage recording devices seemed a bit too contrived or convenient, I felt it was easily forgivable in that they kept the overarching story and unfolding events moving along coherently. An enjoyable ride this movie.  I was glad for this, as I am so tired of superhero/comic adaptation movies now days.  I hope a sequel is not proposed for this movie.  That would be very tiresome and predictable.  
  • Puck
    It tells the story comic books have been telling since the '80s, just much much worse. Also, If you're playing with the notion of found footage...then adding a musical piece to several camera angles may not be a good idea.
    • CookieMonster
       huh?
  • Ashleyc
    10/10 !!! Amazing movie! Everything about this movie was mind blowing, the acting, the graphics, the filming, found footage, directing, music, EVERYTHING.
  • Marty
    This movie was highly suggestive in that it gave us a glimpse into what some call the human evolution of consciousness. Our minds hold power that is uinprecedented, and it is well known we utilize very little of its vast potentiality. This film, felt real and i feel that one day, once we break these deep sub concious psychological barriers of what we percieve we can, and cant do, this will all be a reality.
    • Derp
      You're a loony.
    • Max Renn
      Actually, it's now well known that we use most if not all of our brains, just different areas for different tasks.
    • I would use my new found powers to pump a whole in the universe with my giant super wang.
  • JohnQuintin
    Of course the black guy dies first...
    • Max Renn
      Natch.
  • Syfl3030
     It was Cloverfield meets X-Men. This urban teenage Superhero flick shot in Seattle was cool in my book. The only down fall was the sub-par graphics and it was screaming green screen throughout. Overall it wasn't bad but wasn't great. The story could of been more developed in the long run, but the idea was great.
    • Danimal
      I completely agree. I loved the film, but the special effects were pretty terrible in most places, especially the keying on the green screen while they were flying (looked like they didn't even try at all). But overall, it was definitely one of the most entertaining movies i've seen lately. 
      • Xerxexx
        It was filmed for 15 million.
  • Dbamma
    i thought the movie was boring.  Like Cloverfield.  So if you liked Cloverfield,  you'll like this movie.  I guess i'm just too old :(
  • Carrier
    I don't understand why people praise this movie so much.  I watched it, and I went to watch it again with my wife for the 2nd times.  My wife didn't like it because the movie seems cheesy with a typical drop out kids who get super power and have little of common sense to know what to do with it.  Me myself, I try to see the movie as it is.  A good 4/10 as best.
  • Seymour Omnis
    Best movie of the year. And to the guy who said incredibles was better in terms of maturity... LOL. Gave me a good laugh. Acting was phenomenal, and to they guy who said pieces of music, there were none, so he's obviously not seen it. Great story and acting, and I really liked the way they executed the found footage concept. Very original and awesome movie.
  • RFabry
    Unfortunately I think that the "found footage" thing was holding it back from being better than it was. I had a good time watching it, but that was a little issue for me. Also, while the acting wasn't terrible, it could've been better. But I got past that. There seemed to be a lot of useless shots of the main character floating the camera to show him and that sort of thing. I felt like those shots and scenes could have been used to further the story. Overall, a good 5/10. I am pretty interested in what this Trank guy has to offer. 
    • Buttass
      I'd give it a 7 or an 8, personally. Probably an 8. But I absolutely agree that the found footage angle crippled narrative possibilities. It actually took me out of the experience rather than making it feel more real. I think if it had been filmed as a traditional movie with a few scenes from whatsisname's camera it would have been better.
  • Anonymous
    What do I think? I think this is the first time I've seen the term "found footage" and I already hate it. That's what I think...
  • Buzzfunk
    IT blows my mind how little it takes to entertain people these days. Please do not compare movies like the grey to this average should-have-seen-it on dvd crap...
    • Blah blah
      Please. What else has been over done as much as, "let's put a bad ass g uy in a terrible situation and watch him survive?"
  • Pcs_1982
    sweet and short movie the final act was good , no FBI or secret GOVT organisation trying to grab him of his powers to work against some one kinda S**t like that, but plain simple. sometimes simple has gravity to it father beating the son felt real, i could feel it good movie by the way the effects were believble
  • darthwhitey
    I thought both this and The Grey were solid but nothing great. This "found footage" style has been done better before. District 9 comes to mind. In this movie it felt forced that every scene had to be shot on someone's video camera. And someone compared this to The Incredibles? C'mon...really? The Incredibles is a classic, this is in the same league as Cloverfield for me.
    • Buttass
      I completely agree with everything you just said except that The Grey wasn't great. District 9 is a perfect example of a movie that utilized "found footage" to its benefit but didn't let it hold the movie back. I think Trank as a director has great potential but shouldn't have restricted himself by making it found footage. I think Andrew's camera could have been a smaller element of his personality and worked out better.
  • bina
    It was awesome. It's very different than anything I've ever seen. I took my mom to see it, [she's never been to a movie theater in her life, she's such a foreigner haha] and she looooved it too. Like I felt sooooo bad for Andrew. I loved it.  
  • I really cant stand "yo boys" so i really have no interest n this! now if it were "yo kids" getting their butts kicked all day, i might wanna see it. But no to the "yo kids"!
    • 'Yo yo what's up with bad moufing the yo kidz y'all?' I though that was how all street tough g's in da suburbanz hood talked. But the kids didn't really say 'yo' too much.
  • Dane DeHaan was fantastic in this and the other two held their own very nicely.  I see DeHaan jumping to near stardom in the next year (he's in Wettest County and the Derek Cianfrance film). I really enjoyed the film, the characters were well written and realistic, as were their actions.  It was a great origin story as well.  I do agree that a sequel is not necessary, but the way they built the backstory for the character makes me think he's be a pretty awesome superhero (wouldn't be surprised if this spawned some comics).
  • Bec
    Absolutley loved it! Kept me well entertained throughout the whole film, it certainly does the whole 'found footage' style justice. I was really pleased with how the movie focused on the characters instead of some kind of mysterious supernatural presence. It didn't bother going into any detail on where this object came from, what it was, how it gave the characters their abilities or any truth-seeking quest. Which, to me, makes complete sense for this style of movie. It's like that is a completely different story, so there's no need to focus on it. It's refreshing to find a movie filmed in this way which is totally character-based instead of situation-based. I really loved the main character too. As a 'found footage' movie I admit that I wasn't expecting much in terms of acting or for the characters to have much depth - Gah! Stereotyping, I should not do this! - so my expectations concerning actor performance were pretty low. DeHaan totally rose above those expectations. I didn't find him or his character to be cheesy or lame, it just seemed quite truthful. That's not to say the acting in this film was top notch or anything but I think I'm unfairly comparing performances from new faces to that of the masters of deception who have been hanging around our screens for decades. I was just pleasantly surprised by the level of acting by a relatively young cast. Whenever I saw a girl come into the camera's line of view I always thought, "oh great. Now they're going to introduce some dolled-up, shallow eye candy that's going to start some kind of relationship with the main character and ruin everything for me, how predictable". So glad I was wrong and that never happened. There was Matt's romantic interest but that character's part wasn't at all interfering for me. I'm so so glad they kept the cast small and focused the story primarily within the three lead characters. For a first-timer, I think Trank did an outstanding job. I would not have believed it was the first large-scale movie of a newbie director if I hadn't kept reading about it. 'Chronicle' will definitely put a huge step up in his career, if he can show us this is what he's capable of on his first run, imagine what'll come when he's gotten a nice few years of experience. Of course, it's not all Trank behind this rollercoaster of a ride. I salute the writers. I thought the movie flowed so well, it never felt fatigued or dragged out. The build-up was amazing and the characters felt so real. It seemed like a proper representation of what any mischievious but well-meaning person may do if they found themselves with this kind of ability. I think to myself what would I - or people I know - do if we were just given some kind of superhuman power. It's really kids being kids (or more boys being boys since they're not young or innocent) but in a more extreme circumstance. The only thing that bugged me (besides every girl fitting the mould on what a young man idealises females to be) was some of the flying scenes. The characters appeared somewhat awkward in the air and during take-offs. They just lifted from the ground without much anticipation. But a really entertaining movie. Went to see it only because on the adverts the characters reminded me of the everymanHYBRID guys a little (they weren't really like them at all) and I had very low expectations since I knew next to nothing about the film. Because it was more than decent I was very impressed, maybe more than I should have been? During a couple of points in the film I actually teared up slightly at how amazing I found the movie to be and at how much I found myself enjoying it. Definitely getting this when it comes out on DVD and I'm even tempted to watch it in cinemas again. Mind you, I am a sucker for this type of genre and style so I may be more biased towards liking it than someone who doesn't normally tred in this sort of area. Still, it's something I completely recommend, a fantastic start to 2012!
  • I enjoyed it. 
  • I enjoyed the fantasy but I have to keep it real Why did Steve have to die and of course the black dude goes first sound familiar? Also I dont get why someone as popular as Steve was so interested in why nerdy dude feels and wants and needs etc. even more than his damn cousin that just didnt vibe with me. I have to admit I almost walked out when they killed Steve and it was so predictable that he was going to get killed. NOT ORIGINAL in that aspect.
  • I enjoyed the fantasy but I have to keep it real Why did Steve have to die and of course the black dude goes first sound familiar? Also I dont get why someone as popular as Steve was so interested in why nerdy dude feels and wants and needs etc. even more than his damn cousin that just didnt vibe with me. I have to admit I almost walked out when they killed Steve and it was so predictable that he was going to get killed. NOT ORIGINAL in that aspect.
  • what is the green plant like substance or thing under the ground they first come in contact from and get powers from and the one kid said i think its the goverment andrew actually but it just bothered me no description of the substance or even thought threwout the movie to see what they really had happing to them what do you guys think 
    • Bec
      I think maybe because the movie wasn't supposed to be about the object and its influence on people but rather the characters and the decisions they make on what to do with their powers. Remember that the film was supposed to be seen mainly through the lense of Andrew's camera so what we see for the majority of the film will strongly focused on him. The authorities or government or whoever told the main characters not to hang around and so that's exactly what they did. If they decided to stay and tell everyone that they've acquired some sort of power then perhaps we would know what really happened but who knows what would have happened to them. It would have been a whole other movie. I think it just adds to the realism. If I had the same kind of power they did I would certainly be hesitant to tell anyone about it, afraid of what I might get myself into. I just found it nice to see this sort of movie focus just on the characters for once instead of the situation. But that's just me.
  • Lily White
    I know it's old hat at this point and it's impossible to go against the owner of the site when he praises the film so highly, but... as original as it's hailed to be, killing Steve (aka "the black guy") was so... bad, and yes "Curtis Jackson", SO cliched, and predictable, it made me HATE all that followed it. HATE. in all it's flights of fancy and good fun, going there with that... just made everything seem weak. it showed the shortsightedness of the filmmakers and that was just sad to see. (*and while, yes, director Josh Frank did say "I welcome the comparisons..." to AKIRA... I mean, c'mon, the ending IS AKIRA. but whatev. I'm not hating. oh wait. yes I am. (didn't want to... but you shouldn't be afraid to be diverse filmmakers... shouldn't be afraid...)
  • Zad
    Episode II Please
  • Minnesota Nice
    I dread the day they allowed film makers (low $$) to use the ridiculous hand-held cameras and charge full price..high school students make those films..makes people nauseous..I have to make sure I find out during previews that it's this type of movie so I can stay away! This was the type. 
  • Thepeanuts2003
    This movie blew my mind, it was so real, great acting, I would love to see a second one.
  • Jcorb24
    i just wish i new how they got there powers in the first place....... one minute there in a hole with a big glowing crystal then next thing i new there trying there powers by hitting each other in the head with the baseball.... but other than that i loved it

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