Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm not around today... weird, I know. But I'm out of town and my internet access is not entirely reliable. Well, that and the last time I went out of town for work I ended up consuming way too much alcohol to try to write. So, I'm just tossing this out here.

I saw Chronicle last weekend, and I must say, I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the movie. Stunned. I went home after and checked it out on Boxofficemojo and saw that it's production budget was... are you ready for this?

$12 million.

Huh? That should have gone on Steven Tremp's list of low budget movies he did for Alex J Cavanaugh's blog on Monday. Because that was money very well spent. 

That's a lot of money, but when $200 million is more or less the new standard for a blockbuster, and some films getting way higher then I'm doubly impressed. Hell, I watched some movie a year or so ago and was wowed by it's use of fx for cheap and I found out later it was something like $40 million. That surprised me. 

So, making a movie like this on that kind of budget was incredibly impressive to me. However, passable fx isn't what made me enjoy the movie. I liked it because it was well done all round. I loved the found footage concept. I'm not a horror fan, so I've missed out on that huge slate of that type movie, Cloverfield was my only real frame of reference, and that flick made me feel like I'd just spent the day on a roller coaster. 

This one kept the shaky cam to a minimum and instead made the brilliant decision to have the story's main character more or less be a videographer. Carefully documenting his life as things go crazy. Later, when things get real crazy, we see lots of security cam footage and bystanders phone vids. Again loved how it was all put together. 

And the story was a pretty good one. It's not really a superhero movie, it's just people who can do crazy things.  Giving folks, especially troubled folks, godlike powers is probably not a good idea. This movie shows how a good kid can snap. I kept thinking how awesome it would have been if Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace had been son wonderfully done in the Star Wars prequels.

I'm impressed. I generally don't do movie reviews, but I liked this one a lot. Good, fun, and felt much more real that the subject matter would have suggested. 


boopia said...

I love movies but RARELY see one. SO it is nice to have a good review for guidance.

Have you read or heard of the book Salmon Fishing in the Yemen? I think they are making a movie of it. It is a funny critique of sorts on the Tony Blair administration. But the story is told through NO NARRATIVE. Only memos, emails, letters, etc.

I like it when people think outside the box like that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I still haven't gotten out to see it yet. Good to know the shaky cam is at a minimum. I can only take so much of that.

Grumpy Bulldog, Media Mogul said...

I was surprised when I read Roger Ebert's positive review of this because from the commercials it looked like a low-budget piece of shit akin to "Skyline" or something like that. I'll probably have to rent it on DVD at some point.

Tonja said...

Haven't heard of it - maybe because they had a low budget for marketing too? It sounds good. I hate terrible movies with amazing effects - do we look stupid, like we won't notice the story is terrible if they throw millions into special effects?

Anonymous said...

Low budget films are okay so long as the acting is better than porn. Too often I see a low budget film and the acting is horrid.

I don't need FX to enjoy a movie. I need a good story and convincing characters. But I am addicted to the Underworld movies, so...I'm a hypocrite I guess.

And fish -in tacos- surely you jest! Ew!

Jay Noel said...

It's kinda like if you put Lord of the Flies, Hancock, and X-Men all in a big blender!

Matthew MacNish said...

This is one I really want to see, but I suspect I'll have to take my teenage daughter to Underworld first. She loves those movies!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Chronicle is a good movie. It blatantly stole its plot from Akira, but aside from that, it did the whole low budget thing in a believable way. And did look low budget.

Donna Hole said...

I'm taking my 13 year old son to see this tomorrow. So I appreciate the review.

I've been worried it'd have too much of a teenager flavor for me. But, gotta bond with the kid on his turf :)


Creepy Query Girl said...

wow, I hadn't heard about this one. But then again, I live in france and we don't get all the new releases here and when we do, it's usually months later and dubbed over in french:( But this does sound very well done! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to your post for the origins blogfest!