Written By Geoff:
If you haven’t yet heard of ‘Chronicle;’ you probably will soon. I can almost guarantee that.
Thanks to 20th Century Fox, Merwyn and I were lucky enough to attend a preview of 20 minutes of footage of ‘Chronicle,’ with director Josh Trank in person to discuss it. I now – without a doubt – can say that this film will be on your 2012 most anticipated list.‘Chronicle’ is the feature film debut by director Josh Tank. The preview began as Josh walked onto the stage (who flew straight from america for this press meeting in Australia)- he introduced the film and then the trailer played. It was the same trailer that everyone else saw from the internet; but if you haven’t seen it yet: I would like to point out that most of the trailer footage; is only taken from the first third of the film.
The movie seems to take a much more darker approach in the second half – and yes the inevitable ‘Akira’ comparisons are bound to arise – and yes I think it’s safe to say that this film is going is actually going for it (and from the clips; it looks epic!).
After the trailer ended; Josh Tank walked back on stage to talk about the film; It’s origins and how it’s actually a very character focused film. He described it as a cross between ‘Stand By Me’ with elements of the ‘X-Men.’
The trailer doesn’t seem to point out that the movie is actually quite character based. Some inklings were present; but most of the trailer could be read either way. As the first clip began it arose that this film could actually be the real deal (I could be wrong but it impressed me very much). The films main stylistic twist is that it’s done in the style of found footage. And from the clips of what I saw the film does some interesting things with it.
The first clip that was shown featured the three main characters – played by Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan and Alex Russell (from the Australian film ‘Wasted on the Young,’- which is a film you should see also) going to a rave party. They seem to be having fun, well, all of them besides Andrew (played by Dane DeHaan) – who operates the camera most of the time.
Josh Tank describes this characters backstory as being a loser/geek character who eventually uses his powers to act out upon his aggression. There was one particular moment where the character gets attacked; which enforces the fact that he was an outsider – someone not welcome and not popular at all.
The second point that Josh Tank brought up; is that the character videotapes everything. To not only enforce his geeky shy persona, but to also ground the film; as it seems more believable for a character to do this sort of thing.
The rave continues, and a girl comes in and begins talking to Alex Russell’s character. She is holding her own separate camera while doing this. It was unusual for the found footage genre as the conversation switched perspective between cameras (This aspect also featured in later clips).
So, I guess, this film sticks predominantly to Andrew’s camera – but at the same time it switches to other cameras for a better look. I welcome this addition because, the single camera format tends to limit some found footage films – ‘Chronicle’ for example; may be a tad too claustrophobic with a single camera; thus limiting a scale – that Trank achieves with multiple camera sources.
We were next shown a scene, in which the three boys discover a hole and going down it. It reveals a spaceship in it – then the scene ended. So unfortunately no new information on that; but I am definitely intrigued to find out!
Next we were shown a bunch of clips that seemed to be expanded versions of scenes from the beginning of the trailer; for example when they are seem to mucking around in a toy shop; each different practical joke they do (like making the teddy bear scare a child) is slightly longer.
The major inclusion with these clips; is when Michael B.Jordan’s character moves a car. He really strains himself and his nose bleeds – so this means that using their powers can possibly be insanely strenuous on their bodies. It’s an interesting angle.
After all those expanded clips finished, we were shown a new original scene – which we were told takes place after the crash scene. They were all talking about their powers not being just a toy anymore. Andrew refuses this but reluctantly caves. They agree they should be more covert with their powers.
This seemed interesting; but it didn’t prepare me for what what was shown in the next scene: Andrew kneels down and looks at a spider. He uses his powers to slow the spider down to the point in which it can no longer move. He psychically picks the spider up and holds it legs apart. The next part shocked me, and impressed me. All the spiders legs were ripped from it’s body through the use of Andrews telepathy. This started to showcase Andrews dark-side and showed that he has developed personality traits similar to a serial killer.
As this clip finished I turned to Merwyn and he turned to me. We both mouthed “holy fuck” in that we know that this will film will rock our socks off. That act of crazy child serial killer bastardry that was on display really pointed out that this is not only a “Stand By Me” with super powers; but a film that really utilizes the fact that they have super powers: it embraces the concept and utilizes it very well.
The second last clip was pretty cool: It showed the evolution; and the dark places the powers take them to. The clip revealed that Andrew seems to be becoming a super-villian; which is pretty freaking cool.
The scene opens up at night; with Andrew walking towards a gas station. He’s wearing a fireman’s outfit with a gas mask on. Things aren’t looking good. When he walks inside he nags the clerk to open up the register. The clerk says no; so Andrew psychically pushes the clerk back into the wall. He then opens up a knapsack and psychically opens the cash register. He holds the knapsack up and the money floats out of the register and inside it.
Once again; the geek child living inside me giggled with glee. Andrew then walks outside the gas station with his knapsack filled to the brim with money. The clerk takes out a shotgun from under his checkout table (this is shown from a different perspective to Andrews camera – by cutting to the security camera footage of the gas station). Andrew leaves the clerk to take aim at him; then pushes the shotgun out of the clerks arms and then explodes the gas station. The clip ended there.
One interesting thing I realized after this clip ended was that no one was holding the camera and the camera seemed to be floating. So it seems that Andrew at this point is so psychically advanced now; that he can just float the camera to document what he’s doing which is pretty creative.
The last clip showed Alex Russell’s character driving to find Andrew – who seems to have gone mad with power. He drives past a helicopter hurtling out of control and then gets picked up psychically by Andrew. The car floats in front of a tall skyscraper. Andrew seems to floating next to the building. And then with that moment the clip ended and the Q and A began.
I know this article stinks of hyperbole but it was just a preview screening of 20 minutes. It could even be the highlights of what is ultimately a very boring movie…but I really do doubt this; judging from what the director has expressed.
The film preview clips alone have really exceeded my expectations in every-way. I really think this could be the big surprise hit of 2012.
Here’s the trailer:
Article By Geoff.