Okay…perhaps not SO “live.” But while on vacation in NYC I had to stop off at some of the classy theaters in 42nd St’s Theater district to check out Friday’s new releases for you: The Woman in Black and Chronicle. Doing so found me sitting amidst the masses with soda and popcorn in hand. (I had forgotten that the prices of movie tickets in NYC are about double the price of my usual theater in NM!) So, after paying for “4” movies as it were, here are your 2 mini-movie reviews from New York City!
What so many people dream about comes true for 3 highschoolers- superpowers! Yes, this found-footage film has teenage boys carrying out silly antics, flying around, and fitting in, but it is about so much more than that. Director Josh Trank (born in 1985) delivers in his first full-length motion picture which he both wrote and directed. Chronicle chronicles the story of a very troubled highschooler and 2 friends who happen upon impressive superpowers after being exposed to a mysterious substance.
With a rather believable cast and factor of plausibility, this film dives right into the world of the main character and builds upon the strength of his story which carries the entire film. The superpowers being a very close second to the focus of the film, Chronicle is a story that blends real life with fantasy while adding a high sense of plausibility and possibility.
A few things may detract such as the inconsistent level of special effects, or the “found-footage” filming style (which I actually found quite effective as the camera itself seemed to be a character with its own story to tell), but this film brings a high level of that “hey, it could happen” factor which will keep your attention throughout. Trank keeps his story real with events and mysteries occurring and unraveling. I applaud him for not candy-coating a story that is meant to portray real-life possible events. He doesn’t hold back in this tale and thus the emotions, pain, excitement, adventure, surprise, and bond of the three teenagers is shared with the moviegoer.
Enjoy watching the Chronicle of events.
3.5 out of 5 stars for Chronicle
The Woman in Black
“Darker and scarier than the last Harry Potter.”
Mix together 2001’s The Others, 2010’s Insidious, and another ghost tale movie of your choice and you have this remake of the 1989 version of the bone-chilling dark drama and mystery starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) -minus his magic wand.
That being said, this film is not anything you haven’t seen before, however, it is masterfully shown on the screen in such a manner that draws one in and captures the attention and fear of all who watch. Laden full of “Shock-and-Scare” moments, there were numerous times that screams were heard, popcorn was dropped, soda was spilled, and breaths were lost. (Not by myself though, mind you…I’m never scared in a movie!)
Placed in a time period that lends itself perfectly to the appropriate level of creepy, The Woman in Black shares the story of struggling and depressed single father that must sell an estate believed to be haunted by the locals in the community. Not only does he face losing his job, housing, etc, but he also faces a community wary of visitors and would-be meddlers which complicate his job. Radcliffe’s performance-paramount to this ghost tale- carries this film and shows that Radcliffe does indeed have what it takes to break through the typecast barrier curse that other actors have fallen victim to.
This look and feel from the cinematography adds so much to the power of the unoriginal story. The presentation truly helps an all-too-familiar tale be one of high entertainment and intrigue. With an expected, yet fulfilling, ending, The Woman in Black is a decent thrill ride. Be warned though, you are sure to steer clear of women in black for at LEAST 24 hours after viewing. Haha.
3 out of 5 stars for The Woman in Black
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
(reporting from New York City) -posted from my android phone! 🙂