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Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

February 7, 2012

I get to hang out with a rodent!

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Kim Hollis: Chronicle, the found footage superpower film, opened to $22 million and had glowing reviews along the way. Which surprises you more, the positive word-of-mouth or the excellent buzz?

Matthew Huntley: I saw the film and it's definitely solid, so neither the positive word-of-mouth nor excellent buzz come as huge surprises. Quite simply, the movie offers a fresh take on a ubiquitous (and immensely popular) genre, and while I think some viewers are going to get carried away with it (one commenter on IMDb already said it was the best superhero movie after The Dark Knight), I think it has the power to start a new trend: the combining of realistic, grounded characters with fantastical ideas. Fox must be ecstatic for a few reasons: 1) The production budget was only $12 million; 2) The target audience is males, aged 13 to 30, so it's likely to sell well on DVD and Blu-ray; 3) There's easily room for a sequel. It's rare, but there's nothing but positive news surrounding this one.




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Bruce Hall: I have heard someone, somewhere, describe just about every superhero flick made since 2008 as "the best one since The Dark Knight". This includes decent movies like X Men: First Class, mediocre potboilers like Kick-Ass, and intolerable buckets of dog vomit like Captain America. I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. In this case, the positive word-of-mouth behind Chronicle doesn't surprise me. The marketing campaign was intriguing and whenever I've seen the trailer show up at the theater, the place grew quiet and everyone got focused. It would seem the finished product lived up to the hype, and Fox is being rewarded for it. I can't think of anything negative to say about this either, except maybe how mildly surprising it is for a truly interesting trailer to be followed by an equally engaging movie.

Brett Beach: I'll have to go with positive word-of-mouth, as buzz is always too nebulous for me to form any sort of opinion on. My question is whether the uniformly positive critical reaction help get more people out to see this who weren't among the opening weekend preferred demo of teen males? This was marketed in a original manner (loved the human piloted mini-planes flown over NYC last week), and proves once again how an articulated even slightly original idea can trump stars and $100 million of special effects. This strikes me as one of the more unexpectedy entertaining and novel origin stories since... Unbreakable?

Edwin Davies: I'm genuinely surprised by the buzz, not because of how positive it was, but because of how suddenly it appeared. I hadn't heard one word about this film until maybe two weeks ago, yet by the middle of last week it seemed to be the only film anyone was talking about. The buzz went from silent to deafening faster than any recent film I can think of. With Cloverfield or Paranormal Activity there was a build up, but this really seems to have come out of nowhere.

That the final product is apparently really good is also pretty heartening, if only because The Wire/Friday Night Lights fan side of me is just thrilled to see Michael B. Jordan as one of the stars of a hugely successful film. So it's a good film, people are embracing it, and it's made double its budget in four days. This is about as big an all-round win as you can find.


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