‘Chronicle’: Is this the Superpower Movie You Want?

This movie looks like it’s going to be out in February. Indie superpower movies have not fared extremely well recently, thinking of Hancock, Push, and Jumper, in comparison to their Marvel and Batman counterparts. Yet they keep coming out, probably because there must be good stories to tell, but they haven’t quite mastered the best way to tell them.

Chronicle looks like another try. Three young guys get some powers, have some fun, and things go too far. It’s not a bad idea, but certainly one we have seen in comics many times. The execution is Cloverfield style, with “found” footage, and we’ll see where it leads.

It’s a pretty good trailer though, and I’m a big fan of Michael B. Jordan. Plus: supervillain?


  1. Yes, yes it is the kind of superpower movie that I want.

  2. I am surprisingly interested in this movie now.

  3. Anything apart from another franchise movie is welcome in my book. Hopefully the producers are learning from the mistakes of the movies you mentioned Josh. Worst case scenario we will get some more evidence of what dosent work. It’s cool to see so much film-experimentation in the superhero genre.

  4. everything except for that sing along in the car in the beginning of the trailer, they looked like a bunch of sorority sisters on spring break.

  5. I had not heard of this before seeing it here. I am very interested!

  6. I almost hate to say it, but I love these types of “found footage” films. I’d not heard of this before now and it looks great. Definitely something they can get right. Who knows? They could even follow up with a bigger budget next time.

  7. Is Hancock really an indie superpower film? I mean…can anything with Will Smith really be indie? Whatever, nitpick.

    I wasn’t really that interested in the movie until the last 45 seconds of the trailer, and then all of the sudden I was very very interested. I’ll probably try to check this out when it’s released.

    • Indie in that it’s related to Marvel, DC or some comic character that’s established. Not the best nomenclature, I’ll grant you.

    • yeah technically speaking George Lucas is the most successful indie filmmaker of all time. Indie has become a genre more than a descriptive term hasn’t it?

    • Are these guys serious? “Indie” is an abbreviated term for “independent”, as in the film wasn’t produced by a major label/studio. You typically find indie films in Paris or at the Sundance Film Festival. They are more commonly identified by their low budgets, since the major studio (moneybags) aren’t backing the funds.

      I would say George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino are probably the most well known. Although, it’s not always the most accurate information, you can refer to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_film), in this case.

      As for Hancock, I would say anything associated with Columbia Pictures is hardly independent. And yes, well-known actors are commonly found in low-budget/indie films, which typically don’t do so well. Many times it’s either part time work, or something of their own design, but they hardly ever make it to the box office.

  8. It depends. All of these characters seem pretty unlikeable from the cruel and selfish ways that they use their power. If it’s like every other horror movie these days where the main characters are partying knuckleheads that spend the entire run time giving us new reasons to hate them then there’s no way that this movie will work. However, the end of the trailer makes me think that the one boy going psycho will drive the others to finally turn themselves around as people and come together as a counter-force for good. If we get the latter this could end up being something special, though I’m still hesitant.

    • I don’t seem them as overly cruel, more prank-ish. I actually don’t think this is such an unrealistic depiction of today’s teens. They prank each other constantly. These guys just have the power to pull bigger, almost magical pranks. But there’s always one who takes the prank too far, so I think that will be the start of the one character’s descent into being a bad guy.

  9. Alright. Ya got me. I’m hooked.

  10. This looks fantastic.

  11. Looks great. Weren’t Push and Jumper based on tween books? Hancock’s first 45ish minutes were awesome..just don’t watch it after that.

  12. Yes, Yes much closer to what teenagers would act like given powers!! I’m liking it.

  13. Hancock was good, but it lost momentum at the end. I’d like to see them make a sequel actually. Just don’t involve Charlize Theron.

  14. Looks good enough to watch. A bit predeictable just from the trailer itself. Who among us did not figure that one of the guys would go rogue?? I’ll try to be optimistic about it and keep an open mind.

  15. Interesting trailer. Hopefully it isn’t a simplified, boring versionof a teen drama. The problem with all the movies referenced is what I think of as their MTV-ness. Fast edits, facile character, tired plot tropes. This is becoming steadily more true of the property based movies as well as Hollywood seems to gave ‘found’ its formula. We are in the ‘milk cow’ phase of the life cycle. Probably near the zenith soon to tip into decreasing returns. In this portion products are standardized and made more accessible to wider markets, this usually results in a great deal of simplifications and reduced barriers to involvement.

  16. Yes, yes it is. Really good effects for an indie film.

  17. Looks like it’ll suffer from the same problem “Hancock” did: interesting/atypical premise, but then try to do “too much” towards the end.

  18. WOW

  19. looks interesting. the three leads look like huge dicks but maybe that’s teh point

  20. It looks like tripe but that’s pretty much how teens would turn into miscreants if given that ability. Get off my lawn with your superpowers!

  21. It really just makes me want to watch more Misfits, but this could still be a cool movie. The found footage thing works for me sometimes. Weird song choice for them to be singing, but whatever. I think it was played more that the one kid was obnoxiously singing it to get a laugh out of the other guys. Could be wrong.

  22. It looks like it has the same problem that nearly every other “found footage” movie has: why the hell are they filming half the scenes? For instance, just in the preview, the scene where all the characters are talking on school bleachers, what, they just set the camera down, all got together into a shot, and had a conversation spelling out their greatest secrets and fears, then picked the camera back up? Or the murder of the truck people? What, no one thought to turn off the camera capturing extremely incriminating evidence? And why would they KEEP filming all the aftermath?? And it will only get worse as the film goes on. Why would they be filming the whole time instead of helping, running, or doing pretty much ANYTHING ELSE other than passively record their friend going full villain?

  23. Personally I thought Super was the best superhero movie I’ve seen in ages – indie or otherwise. There are a number of good non-big company superhero movies out there. Not convinced by the trailer for this though.

    • I wouldn’t call that a superhero movie per se. Since it’s based pretty much 100% in reality. Even the Punisher movies have crap like hitting parkour guys with rockets while they flip in midair. Super has more in common with Falling Down or Cuckoo’s Nest that a superhero movie.

  24. This looks great. Finally a superpower movie featuring something that has been a major part of comic book stories for decades: angsty teenagers!

  25. I met the screenwriter at the SDCC iFanboy party, and he was utterly charming, so there was never any doubt I would see this movie. But now that I have seen the trailer, I am even more excited for it! Badass trailer, cool concept, and a Friday Night Lights star. What more could you ask for? 🙂

  26. I agree with @Kamilo above…these “found footage” movies always leave me wondering, why wouldn’t they eventually shut off the camera? I just don’t buy that they’d keep rolling in certain instances. “Paranormal Activity” kind of works, and “Blair Witch” worked because they at least gave them the conceit that they were filmmakers actively making a film… and “Cloverfield” was okay because it was in real-time… but even in most of those cases, I’m like, “Seriously, drop the camera and RUN.”

    I’m on the fence. But people should always try. So good for them. I’ll check it out.

  27. Hate found footage movies, period. But aside from that….

    What makes this a superhero movie and not a horror movie?
    Why are they considered receiving “superpowers” and not demonic, arcane or supernatural powers?
    Was a comic book the source material so its a superhero movie?

    When does it change from a horror movie to a superhero movie?

    • For the record, Josh never calls it a superhero movie. And from what I can tell, beyond featuring super-human abilities as a plot device, nothing about that trailer cues me to expect a superhero movie (i.e. using those powers to fight crime/evil forces).

  28. If I had those powers, I would totally do that to idiot drivers too. And it makes sense that these kids would want to film their antics for YouTube. It’s not a “superhero” movie though, it seems more like a super villain story.

  29. Anyone else have people at comiccon show them this clip and ask “What are you capable of?”

  30. Hancock did pretty well I thought making ‘ $620 million in theaters worldwide’ on a ‘$150 million’ budget…. the quotes denote my source as being Wikipedia, who never lies to me. Free grains of salt given.

    More to your point, yeah – I am ready. Let me think about it some more – definitely yeah. It looks like the Cloverfield (..ehh) meets Unbreakable (luv’d). Discovery of powers with a close friend that throughout the story evolves to the main villain. It also looks like it starts out with cheesy effects (stuffed bear) to potentially brilliant (swiping the car into the ditch, final Magneto-esque (old not Fassbender) police cars moving.

    And this comes from a curmudgeon who is way past the target demographic. Nice find, this was no where near my radar.

  31. Reminds me of Akria especially the scene where he’s pushing the police cars.

    My interest is peaked though. Looks like it could be good.

  32. Interesting.

    Definitely not the most original film out there but I liked the trailer. Not sure if I’ll give it a theater view but it’s a definitely Netflix ‘Top of the Queue’ type of wait.

  33. I think it looks really cool. Personally I think it could be more interesting if it wasn’t a bunch of kids getting superpowers, but looks good never-the-less

  34. The scenes where there is some sort of battle in the city, just makes me think that THAT is the way season one of Heroes should have ended!!! This looks interesting.

  35. Looks like it could be cool. Perhaps not enough to go see in cinema, but rent when it comes out on DVD for sure.

  36. I’m definitely in, this is exactly the type of super power story i love. I like superheroes, but it’s the realistic ones that really get me hooked.

  37. I can’t stand dick-ish characters, not in the way you’re supposed to dislike them, but in the sense that I can’t sit through them, which is why I struggle getting through The Wire, and why I’ll leave this for the DVD, as it’s a good premise.
    Also, why are there a number of comments saying this is exactly what teenagers would do if they got powers? Sure, this is what some would do, but it’s also what some adults would do. Give teenagers some credit, they’re not all villains in waiting.

  38. Normally I shy away from youtube like movies, but this looks very promising.

  39. It’s been done before in The Surge, nearly identical concept

    • I remember there was a movie like this before. It was almost identical, but it was 4 kids and each time they used their “powers” they became more-and-more out of control (evil). Was that The Surge? Never saw it, but this trailer looked almost the exact same.

    • Is it just me, or does it seem like practically every movie that has been coming out lately has been either a remake or a reimaging of an idea. It would be cool if the remakes were nearly as good as the originals. I was kind of skeptical of the movie for the same reason that someone said above, not because the characters are jerks but because I can’t sit through them, but once I found out that it’s going to be a “found footage” movie I kind of lost interest a little more. I mean if I had superpowers the last thing I would be do is film myself using them. Maybe it’ll be good, but so far it’ll be one of those that I’ll have to hold off until it comes out on DVD and rent.

  40. i FUCKING LOVE this movie.