A deft mash-up of ‘found footage,’ superhero genres
Dane DeHaan stars in “Chronicle.”
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
2012, Dir. Josh Tank, U.S., PG-13
“Chronicle” is rated PG-13 for violence and
- New films
‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor.
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds.
The plot: As Johnny Blaze hides out out in Eastern Europe, he is
called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human
Genre: Action, fantasy.
‘This Means War’
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine.
The plot: Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one
another after they discover they are dating the same woman.
Genre: Comedy, action.
Director: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin.
Starring: Bill Courtney, O.C. Brown.
The plot: A documentary on an underdog football team who look to
reverse their fortunes.
Rating: Not yet rated.
- Film roundup
★★★ (out of four)
As director Joe Carnahan has noted in recent interviews, Liam
Neeson has established himself as one of the last true “men” in a
Hollywood system choking on an influx of preening sissies trying to
pass themselves off as action stars. But Neeson is a true man’s
man, and his very particular set of skills are put to effective use
in “The Grey,” a borderline-existentialist survival thriller that
pits Neeson and a handful of other plane crash survivors against a
pack of hungry wolves in the Alaskan wilderness. The film has been
billed as an action thrill-ride, but don’t be fooled: Despite the
sudden bursts of violence that pepper the movie, this is largely a
mood piece, tackling the Big Issues of life and death and the
psychological processes people go through when faced with the
prospect of their imminent demise.
“WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN”
The film is essentially an examination of pain (focusing not on
the processes of healing or the pursuit of closure or true
catharsis, but rather the fruitless search for “meaning” in
senseless human tragedy), and as such could have easily fallen into
the usual trappings that often render such projects more
self-important than socially relevant. But Ramsay strikes the
perfect tone throughout the film, alternating between brief
flashback scenes depicting the nightmarish relationship between
mother and son (starting at birth), and “present day” sequences
that show us the mother’s vain attempts to reclaim some sense of
normalcy following the high school massacre for which her son was
“TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY”
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is based on the classic novel of the
same name by John le Carre, which is widely considered to be the
greatest spy story ever told. It is the sophomore directorial
effort of Tomas Alfredson, who gave us the beautifully realized
“Let the Right One In” just a few years ago. It boasts one of the
most impressive casts of any movie last year, including Gary
Oldman, Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones and Tom
Hardy. And it’s a gorgeous film visually, perfectly capturing the
look, feel and all-encompassing paranoia of the Cold War at its
Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012 7:47 am
Quite unexpectedly, the first couple months of 2012 continue to
offer some quality choices for discriminating movie-goers.
Apart from the usual Oscar bait, there are several new releases
that are providing an unusual but welcome reprieve from the
onslaught of idiocy we typically see this time of year: “Haywire,”
“The Grey,” “The Woman in Black” (I haven’t seen it, but the
reviews are favorable) and now “Chronicle,” a fiercely inventive
spin on a couple of the most popular subgenres to emerge in the
Friday, February 10, 2012 7:47 am.