February 7th, 2012

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Chronicle

As is often the case after a weekday movie, this write up is all that's standing between me and dreamland. So how do I approach that? I put on a movie (today, Puncture) and play Spider Solitaire, stubbornly refusing to quit until I win one. The whole time I'm doing the math, guesstimating how long my write up is likely to take, figuring how much sleep that translates to. And yet, the game continues as I delude myself that there may be inspiration around the corner.

Anyhoo, today's movie in question was Chronicle, the Cloverfield reminiscent scifi about a couple high school boys who acquire telekinesis (which, btw, would be my superpower of choice, though there is an argument for a potentially better one). I was kinda intrigued that it was getting pretty decent buzz (84% on Rotten Tomatoes?!) but the trailers didnt really show much to it. And we all know it really doesnt take much to drag me to the movies (esp when today's plan included beer beforehand).

The verdict is that there was a lot that I really liked, that I thought worked incredibly well. However, I'll start with my big gripe and then work my way to the good. The plot was pretty minimal, practically non-existant. A good half of the rather short movie was just a lot of "hey, look what I can do". It didn't feel to be building or progressing towards anything, and if the trailer hadn't already suggested where the plot was going, I might have gotten bored with it. The way things concluded (dont worry, not giving details) it felt like an ending was just sorta thrown together because of what was ultimately inevitable, not because it was the logical and reinforced progression of events.

What did work, on the other hand, was the twist on the first person camera thing. Usually the first thought when it comes to first person camera is Blair Witch, which then leads to motion sickness, which then makes most movie goers kinda wary. Buuuut, when you throw in the fact that your camera man has telekinesis, that means that the camera isn't (for the most part) bouncy and shakey. You can have some really cool shots with the camera flying around, catching all of the action without omitting the operator, and most importantly, without making your audience motion sick (esp if they've got a bit of a buzz going, which may or may not have been the case tonight...) And just to add a little extra to this concept, it wasn't just limited to our main man's camera. Any other camera that may have caught footage of the goings on was fair game. Okay, the GF with the vlog was a lil bit of a cheap shot for getting in some additional footage, but I did really like the security cameras and the occasional rando with an iphone.

The other thing I really liked was that for the most part, we were being told the story from the point of view of the unstable crazy one. I feel like the cliche is to follow the hero, thus further alienating the outcast that inevitable snaps and sets to bring on his own personal armageddon (hey this was all in the trailer, I'm not spoiling dammit!). The result is a more sympathetic (and frankly more interesting) look at that character, but it was still one step away from making him a full on anti-hero, something I think worked well and gave the movie a bit of a stand out edge.

I can't think of a concluding paragraph that doesnt sound lame.

Chronicle - \m/ \m/ \m/ \n