Tag Archives: Chronicle

‘End of Watch,’ and How to Keep the Found-Footage Genre Fresh

The found-footage genre has come a long way since The Blair Witch Project back in 1999, or perhaps I should say since Cannibal Holocaust from 1980. But it was really Blair Witch that kicked off the filmmaking craze and made it accessible for moviegoers. That film, about a trio of film students who head out into the woods to make a documentary about the Blair Witch, arrived with the premise that the students went missing, but their footage was found. Thus, the found-footage genre (as its come to be known) was reinvented for the masses.

Why are you filming yourself?

After attempting to make my own mini-found-footage film while running through The Walking Dead Escape at San Diego Comic-Con, I can confirm that it’s absolutely impossible for someone to run from a witch or any kind of monster and still manage to shoot watchable footage. Your life vs. camera stability? I wonder which you would pick. But hey, this is the film industry we’re talking about — it’s okay to bend the believability rules a bit.

However, it’s not okay to 1) give a character a lame reason to be filming him or herself, or 2) offer absolutely no reason for a character to be filming him or herself. The documentary angle is generally a good play. It works in both Blair Witch and Troll Hunter. On the other hand, the excuse of needing to show people how something is really going down can be absurd. Cloverfield is lucky it’s so enthralling, otherwise I’d seriously be questioning Hud’s judgment. Then again, that concept does work a little better in REC and Quarantine. Something terrible is happening, but the people who are supposed to rush in and save the day are leaving victims to die in a nightmarish apartment building. Something isn’t right and the public has to know.

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Interview: Chronicle’s Alex Russell

Meet Alex Russell. Well, actually there’s a chance you have already met this young actor as he does have a pair of shorts and features on his resume, but his upcoming release, Chronicle, is most certainly of a higher power.

The film begins from Andrew’s (Dane DeHaan) perspective, as he recently decides it’s time to pick up a camera and document his daily life. Russell comes in as Matt, Andrew’s cousin and the guy responsible for keeping Andrew from completely falling off the social ladder. Matt’s not a big fan of Andrew’s new hobby, but the camera comes in handy when Andrew, Matt and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) stumble upon a mysterious hole in the woods during a party and even more so when their little adventure leaves them with incredible superpowers.

Who doesn’t dream of acquiring superpowers? Well, seeing as that’s impossible, the next best thing is to get to play a superhero on the big screen. Sure, the stunts and movie magic were a blast for Russell, but while chatting Chronicle with him, he seems to have appreciated working with such talented and passionate filmmakers more than anything. Check out everything Russell had to say about landing his role, working with director Josh Trank and more in the interview below and be sure to catch Chronicle in theaters this weekend.

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Interview: Chronicle’s Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan has certainly kept busy over the years. He had The Wire back in 2002, then it was on to All My Children for nearly four years after which he moved over to The Assistants and then hit Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. When did this guy have time to make two movies? Jordan had a part in the January 20th release Red Tails and now he’s returning to the big screen yet again in Josh Trank’s Chronicle.

Jordan stars as Steve Montgomery, the quintessential big man on campus. He’s a star athlete, running for class president and is a favorite amongst the ladies. However, one night, Steve winds up adding another skill to his resume – superpowers. When Steve and Matt (Alex Russell) stumble upon a bizarrely deep hole in the woods during a party, they recruit Matt’s cousin Andrew (Dane DeHaan) to bring his camera and film what happens when they go inside – but the bigger deal is what they end up filming after.

As a self-proclaimed comic book nerd, playing a super powered teen is a dream come true for Jordan. Sure it wasn’t easy working within the found footage realm, which required him to be on his toes for particularly long takes, but having the ability to fly and move cars with his mind– or at least seem like he could– made it worth it.

In advance of Chronicle’s February 3rd debut, Jordan took the time to run through the whole procedure from landing the role and working with a rising young cast and crew to manning up for his stunts. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Review: Chronicle

If you got superpowers, what would you do with them? Seriously? I’d like to bet most wouldn’t suit up like Spider-Man and clean the streets of crime. Well, not initially at least. High school-aged or not, most of us would probably partake in the shenanigans the leading trio of Chronicle enjoy. But that’s not to say this novel superhero flick is all fun and games. In fact, it boasts a great deal of depth, intertwining the out-of-this-world action with some very real troubling issues.

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a bit of an outcast and makes himself even more socially awkward by buying a video camera and documenting his entire life. Camera in tow, Andrew tags along with his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) to a big school party out in the middle of nowhere. During a lonesome sulking session, Matt and the big man on campus, Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan), convince Andrew to film this crazy thing they found, a massive hole out in the woods. Then, they opt to take it one step further, going down into the hole and through the passage.

Cut to a new day. Andrew, Matt and Steve are together again, but this time, they’re not just partaking in your average after school activities; they’re throwing baseballs at each other – with their minds. Turns out, whatever happened down in that hole left the boys with superhero-like powers. But this isn’t Peter Parker, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne we’re talking about. These are teenagers and they’re looking to have some fun with their new abilities. However, a few harmless pranks later, they come to realize that there’s a breaking point and if they don’t learn to control their growing powers, they could really hurt someone.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Meryl Streep is Cool But the Briefcases Are Better

Hope you’ve got some time on your hands because we have got a slew of clips to sort through. Funny thing is, even with there being far more clips than trailers and posters this past week, not a single one manages to crack the top three.

However, Haywire certainly put up quite the fight thanks to Gina Carano. The first five minutes of the film popped up on the web showing the former American Gladiator’s got some acting chops, and can put up a fight, too, of course. Surprisingly, the material from Joyful Noise doesn’t look half bad either. Perhaps the Sister Act fan in me is just craving some gospel packed cheesiness.

Man on a Ledge, on the other hand, looses its clips to its seemingly confusing plot. This one was more intriguing when it was just about a man on a ledge; all this backstory is jumbling up what could have been a simple yet profound scenario. But still, Man on a Ledge is in better shape than The Divide this week. Not only does this clip from the film hint at some bad acting, but there’s a line that might have been meant to be darkly humorous that’s a little too twisted for my liking.

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