Due to the lavish thrill of anticipation of the popular heroes of the Marvel universe all gathering on the big screen, the all through regular guys of the Sci-Fi Drama Chronicle, who just happen to find an extraterrestrial artifact without any customs and stuff and discover different abilities afterwards, are probably destined to drown at the box office. Considering that it's a low-budget movie that had only cost $12 million, the money made his money at the box office and s sequel, for which the grand finale of the movie offers much potential, is already in preparation.
In comparison to the genre blockbusters, Chronicle has its focus on the characters, their character backgrounds and how they finally manage to handle their abilities - and not the other way around: in a surprisingly realistic scenario, that fits to the story, the movie perfectly illustrates that supernatural powers don't make the people who a that powers a better person per se and neither does it necessarily lead to a nemesis on his way to world domination. Much more realistic are incidents looks fooling around, accidents that were just supposed to happen under the circumstances or using the abilities for your own good. Very fatal if an outsider without a social life would be one the people with abilities.
The movie cannot avoid stereotypes and clichés all the time but the screenplay can come up with good new ideas most of the times. The characters seem to be real, the handy cam look fits pretty well, too. Especially the finale is terrific because cell phone and surveillance cam shots have been added. At a first glance, the showdown looks kind of over the top but it's also consistent. Long story short, Chronicle is a pretty down-to-earth movie that raises questions. And from the technical POV, it's a good alternative to Marvel, DC, Dark Horse & Co. that should be at least considered by genre fans.
There were differences in the Theatrical Version of Chronicle. In Germany for instance, the uncut Theatrical Version was rated FSK 12, despite its rather sinister atmosphere in the final sequence. The people in the UK on the other hand weren't that lucky. Due to the BBFC 12A rating, some bloody dental work from the distance and the most violent shots of the staking scene in the finale have either been completely removed or shortened. The DVD and BD releases in the UK are uncut.
Quite interesting is the trailer that contains footage which didn't make it in the movie. Sure, that's not uncommon. But in this particular case, the scene in question is a nudity scene of half-naked Ashley Hinshaw. Could be a case of pre-censorship to get the PG-13 Rating in the US. Very soon, the Extended / Director's Cut has been announced for both the US and the UK which seemed to be a confirmation for that theory. As usual these days, the DC is only available on Blu-ray.
Comparing the two versions, it turns out that the DC barely contains content recently removed for censorship reasons. Instead, a little bit of "anything" has been added to the DC: a few more scenes of the guys checking out or fooling around with their new abilities, a deeper relationship between Andrew & Steve and more. Especially Andrew is more present in the DC and the above-mentioned scene with sexy Ashley Hinshaw is also in the DC.
Technically, the Director's Cut isn't better than the Theatrical Version. The upcoming relation between Andrew & Steve makes the incident at the end of the second act more dramatic and some more laughs or the eye-catching scene with Ashley Hinshaw don't make the worse of course. But it's kind of redundant because the DC is neither better nor worse with the new footage.
Bottom line: the DC is a nice gimmick for Blu-ray consumers but there's no reason for DVD consumers to hesitate. Not in this parrticular case. Chronicle is worth it either way.
The Director's Cut is 5 Min. 36 Sec. longer than the Theatrical Version.
11 extended scenes = 5 Min 36 Sec
The boys keep checking out their new abilities with the baseball. Andrew's obviously the one who can handle his best. He's already capable of placing a baseball in Matt's genital area and stuff.
Steve tells Andrew (more or less in return for his prior frankness about his dad) that his parents were having problems as well. They fight regularly and Steve assumes his mother was cheating. He asks Andrew to tell no one.
The restaurant scene is destinctly longer: while Matt is making a spoon fly and stir and the coffee in a mug, he talks about his original dream of becoming a cop. But now, he just wants to do good (a law-abiding citizen probably wonders whether or not that's what a cop regularly does). Andrew maliciously brings up the question whether Matt was aware that smoking weed isn't an option for cops. Then he makes a bit fun of his cousin's "charitable attitude". In return, the cousin lets the spoon drop on Andrew's camera linse on purpose. Steve starts to home in on him and asks if, somewhere between all his philosophical gibber-gabber, he had made the effort to even apply at a college and adds he was just lacking motivation. Then Matt says "And you lack of a dick" to Steve (too explicit for a PG-13). Then they're making some mean jokes of the waitress. At first, Andrew makes the image of Virgin Mary appear in the sirup on his plate and calls for the waitress. The apparently very religious waitress backs off after taking a peek at it. Subsequently, Matt moves the serving cart away from her while she intends to put a couple of plates on it without looking. Of course, the plates hit the ground and get smashed into pieces. The waitress reacts kind of disturbed and the guys are having a blast.
The guys are walking acros a street. It doesn't take long till Matt leaves because it's his mother's birthday. He's playing it the easy way by using his abilities: he just flies away. Andrew & Steve are thinking about what they could do. Andrew suggests to go into town but Steve explains it was rush hour now. Andrew replies that was the interesting part and Steve laughingly agrees.
Steve adds that he admires Andrews "skill" to come up with with all the things they could do with their abilities. Andrew seems kind of embarrassed.
Steve is a bit down when he tells Andrew that his mom was barely home and it wouldn't make any sense at to talk to his dad about it because he was just sitting around all day without saying anything about it.
While Steve is doing some kung-fu stuff at the edge of the rooftop, Andrew asks him if he'd ever been at the "Space Needle". Steve says he'd been there once when he was about 5 and adds it was more of a tourist spot. Andrew says he'd been there as with his dad when he was 7. But in comparison to Steve, he liked it there. Steve is confused and wants to know if Andrew can actually remember. Andrew is positive.
Known from the trailer: Matt points the camera a half-naked Casey who tries to retreat because of that. She throws a stuffed animal at him.
Andrew is at the "crime scene" to shoot from different distances and angles. In the end of the scene, he turns the cam and shoots himself. He's looking in the camera without any facial expression.
Andrew witnesses (and shoots) his dad getting in the car. Then the car leaves.
Andrew gets up and the cops give him hell. They're shooting as much bullets as possible in his direction. Thanks to his abilities, he stops the bullets and the cops finally cease fire. Another shot from a further distance show the bullets hitting the ground.