As a child, in varying degrees, we often reach a place in life where we ponder what it would be like to have superpowers. Or daydream about the possibility of being superhuman and able to withstand anything life throws our way. Would we throw out the rulebook and live our lives without fear of repercussions? Would we use our abilities for goodwill and to aid in helping our fellow man? Perhaps we would we selectively use it, subtly and without provocation?
Three teenage boys ponder these thoughts in Chronicle, an intriguing and notable feature film debut from director and co-screenwriter Josh Trank. Set in my stomping grounds of Seattle (but mostly shot in Seattle’s photogenic doppelganger of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), we initially find Chronicle opening up as another entry in the exhausted found footage genre of science-fiction and horror story filmmaking. To my surprise, Trank and lead screenwriter Max Landis find ways to overcome those trappings and deliver a unique and compelling story that transcends its initial stifling premise.
And so it begins. Daniel Radcliffe’s move away from Harry Potter, and his first leading role in a post-Potter world comes in the form of The Woman In Black, a well-intentioned and impressively mounted amusement park ride of scares and tension. The subject matter is decidedly grim and will serve as tonally unpleasant to some viewers, but The Woman In Black is a film which takes great delight in reinventing the tired old jump scares that have ruined many a suspenseful horror film and coasts by on a solid performance by Radcliffe and strong supporting performances from Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds among others.
Believe it or not, Transformers: Dark of the Moon has an Oscar campaign going just like The Artist or The Help does. The Autobots aren’t just gunning for Decepticons (shudder), they’re gunning for Oscars too (double shudder). Here’s the story from Deadline on the campaign afoot:
Although studios are furiously spending big campaign bucks on new TV spots to try to bring home the Best Picture Oscar for the likes of The Descendants, The Artist, Hugo, The Help, Moneyball and others, there hasn’t been a big broad pitch and TV ad spend to influence less visible below-the-line crafts categories. Until now.