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Chronicle: found footage sci-fi flick following three guys who become close friends when they inherit telekinetic/psychokinetic superpowers, and how it changes them. The first ~70 minutes are pretty sweet and the story’s built up well; with solid acting and slap-dash characterisation of three teenagers, who are surprisingly smart (and far more believable) when compared to those of other super-power films. You see them slowly discover and develop their strange new powers which is equally entertaining and fascinating – there’s a few good comedy moments. It’s somewhat disappointing that on the home stretch, one character becomes a ridiculous ‘baddie’ figure (at the mention of the phrase Apex Predator) and the ensuing smash-em-up action-fest feels gratuitous, quota-filling and budget-busting. A quick explanation into the cause of the powers – the hole in the ground – would have been nice, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Overall, Chronicle is a good idea, well executed, boasting smart effects, loads of product placement, feels refreshingly all-American, and in the end, it’s both interesting & watchable; making this a surprisingly mature directorial debut for Josh Trank, who I suspect we’ll be seeing much more of…

Score: 6.5/10

Rushmore: follows the ‘love triangle’ between a teacher, pupil and local businessman. While this put Anderson and Schwartzman on the map –  and re-ignited Murray’s career – they’re three guys that haven’t really drifted far from their comfort zone since: still, this is probably the best example of all three on form. The main problem I have with Anderson’s films is that they make weird things like stalking someone or a middle-aged man befriending a teenager seem normal, even cool. Like the rest of his films Rushmore is laden with mixed messages about father figures, retro music, humor, and quirky scenes / shots / dialogue (it’s impossible to describe any of his films without using ‘leftfield’, ‘offbeat’, ‘quirky’ et al). More so than his other features, Rushmore has been embraced by the indie crowd and pop culture – and enjoys a hardcore cult following. Personally, I think it’s good but not great. Pretty much the Napoleon Dynamite of the 90’s; you’ll either love, loathe or just not plain old not get it – I’m still in the later camp after several viewings. If you’re wanting to see any Anderson, Schwartzman or (modern) Murray film, best stick with this.

Score: 7/10