Could Chronicle be the big winner this weekend?

Usually the beginning of the year is a dead zone for movies, you open your big blockbusters in the summer and the award winners in the winter.

Nevertheless, Chronicle is getting a pretty good buzz out there, and it could be the first genuine sleeper of the year.

Written by Max Landis, son of Animal House director John Landis, and directed by Josh Trank, both relative newcomers in the biz, Chronicle, which uses the “found footage” format to tell a superhero story, and it’s received very good reviews across the board. 

The L.A. Times review says, “Chronicle is smart about its telekinetic teens,”  The New York Times called the movie “a slick, modestly scaled science-fiction fairy tale with major box office aspirations, Chronicle is the latest big studio release in indie sheep’s clothing,” and Collider writes, “Chronicle manages to be not only a good found-footage  movie, but a good movie period.”

“Found footage” may indeed be fast becoming the hot genre of the moment, first popularized with The Blair Witch Project, although it originated with the grindhouse, ah, classic, Cannibal Holocaust, and it’s also being used in the upcoming comedy Project X, as well as several other upcoming films. (Not to mention if Chronicle’s a success this weekend, they’ll be more announced next week).

Chronicle also has a six degrees of separation with George Lucas in that one of its stars, Michael B. Jordan, is also in Red Tails. Jordan was very excited to do Red Tails because as he told The Daily Beast, “As a black male in Hollywood, you only get so many scripts where you get to portray and glorify our history.”

As for his role in Chronicle, he continued, “We wanted to make it as real as possible. If you’re in high school and you realize you have these abilities, what would you do? How would you react? We wanted to touch base on everything  – the  jokes, the girls, pranking on each other. And then the rest of it, the realistic things that can  happen when you use the powers  to change things in your life.”