Knee-jerk review: "Chronicle"

1. The last 15-20 minutes are dynamite. Cloverfield meets Hancock. The Seattle Needle bit is five-star. You'll know it when you see it.
2. The trouble is that it takes so long to get there. You'll know where all of this is going and likely grow impatient waiting for the movie to deliver the goods. The first hour or so - even though the story moves pretty fast with a surprising number of leaps in time - can get very tedious.
3. Michael B. Jordan will always be Vince Howard to us.
4. A lot of people like to criticize this ongoing handheld "found footage" style. We love it. Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project remain two of our very favorite movies and work as well as they do because of that urgent, you-are-there format.
5. Zero strong female characters except for a dying mom and a lame love half-hearted interest that turned into a damsel in need of saving? You can do better, Hollywood.
6. 20th Century Fox leaked a lot of superpower scenes from the movie to generate buzz. It definitely stoked our interest, but it also undermined our attention in the theater when we saw familiar bits. Then again, how else would we expect Fox to market a film with no movie stars?
7. Impossible not to think of the famous Spiderman quote: "With great power comes great responsibility." Don't give superpowers to someone with personality issues.
8. The showtime we picked for this was $4 per-ticket extra for something called AMC's ETX. Call it what you want, AMC. We call it a rip-off. Shouldn't your theaters already have superior sound and projection? Why are you making me pay extra for something we'd been expecting you were already delivering for the last 30 years of our time spent in your theaters? Are you admitting now your business model had previously allowed for substandard quality? Got it. At the very least, make it clear in your Moviefone.com listing which showtimes involve this sort of shakedown. We never liked AMC. Smart companies in the business of entertainment shouldn't create a annoying character like this (apparently this thing is called "Clip"):

"Stay tuned for Monday Night Soccer..."

As much as we love football, growing statistical evidence about the negative impact the sport has on some athletes' brains has given us pause. Would we allow a son to play the game in high school? Probably, but maybe not. As a born-and-bred North Texan with a devotion to the Dallas Cowboys embedded in our DNA, the fact that we would even consider saying "no" perhaps says a lot about the future of football in general and the NFL in particular.

Grantland.com recently took this a step further and tried to imagine how football might wither in the U.S. and become a second-class sport like boxing. On one hand, this is crazy talk. On the other hand, it certainly seems possible.