Sunday, February 5, 2012

The SteamWorks: Chronicle Review

Hey Gang,

So I know I've been all about reviews lately, and I haven't really updated you on my personal adventures, however I don't see this as a bad thing. Quite honestly, if you're even visiting our site, it's for reviews of movies, games, etc. However for the people who are actually a tiny bit interested in what I do, I apologize and I promise I won't write another review until I update you guys on my life. So let's get to the nitty gritty:


In my opinion, one of the hardest forms of filming a movie is in found footage form (at least, it's hard to pull off a good execution of such a form). While I understand found footage films are meant to be low budget, therefore easing up financial costs that normal movies would have, there's another element to found footage films that has to be absolutely present at all times. These films have to make you believe, such is the nature of them. They need the audience to believe this REALLY happened. That someone on the sidewalk or in a group of haunted friends or in a ship of extraterrestrials REALLY filmed this footage. Now, obviously this type of film can be a hit or miss; it can either be horrifyingly real or strike the audience with, "I think this actually happened last week, when that one pig in Kansas flew..."

Too corny?

I digress... Many bad found footage films are simply bad due to absurd reasons. Paranormal Activity was ok, aside from it being a corny horror, but one of the features that made it so bad was how bad the actors were. They simply didn't know how to act, therefore, they weren't believable (not that acting is easy). In Cloverfield, the execution was done well, however we didn't see much of the monster. There's a difference between failing to make something mysterious and showing bits and pieces of the monster to make the experience real yet also mysterious and thrilling. And Troll Hunter ... don't even get me started. The plot in that movie is simply shit. 
I'd like to inform the people who hate found footage films because of movies such as the listed to not be discouraged to watch Chronicle. Chronicle did a great job of pulling off this style of movie art. They often used different believable filming angles by making characters other than the three main ones film the events as well (for example, one of the main ladies is a blogger and frequently films everyday life, so the movie often used some of her footage to get angles of the main characters). They frequently get different angles of the sky and the ground to discredit the excuse of a string holding up the items the teens lift with their minds. They also do a great job with most of the special effects, from crushing cars to playing cloud football and even bringing a stray stuffed animal to life. The only real problem I had at any point in the mvoie was the back drop at the end; it was kinda crap compared to everything else that had been presented to us. I feel like they could have made it seem a bit more real.

At the bottom line, this film is great. It achieved it's sole purpose; to make me believe this really happened. Now obviously I don't seriously believe this is a true story; what I mean by that is it seemed so real, so legitimate, like I might go home and see that in the news the next day. It also made telekinesis seem so much more achievable. It's made me want to practice the art and see if I can do even just tiny things like rolling pencils or spinning fans (Apparently it's possible; I've been reading up on different techniques on how to do such things; call me crazy, but just tell me who will be jealous when I can roll a pencil across my desk ... by the way, that will be you). I'll be sure to update you on how that goes. It also had a great message of the effects of bullying other people and out-casting them from interacting with others.

Overall, it achieved what I wanted it to, and it was a real pleasure to watch. It makes me wonder if The Grey would have done better or worse had it been filmed in found footage form. By the way, I hope you guys don't feel I'm too soft when I review stuff. Usually my reviews get high scores because I like the things I want to review. I'll have to pull up something awful for my next review... maybe CoD?


Peter, The SteamWorks

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