Yes, Max Landis is related to that Landis. Now get over it.
It really is a double-edged sword growing up with a famous last name, because it may well open doors for you, but it also means people constantly assume that you don't have to do any real work, and that's ridiculous. Max Landis may have grown up with John Landis as a father, and he may have been around film sets since he was a baby, and he may have met many of the people who can hire him socially because of that, but in the end, if the films he writes are going to work, they're going to have to work because of talent, not because of his name.
I wasn't a huge fan of "Deer Woman," the "Masters Of Horror" episode he wrote for his dad, but I liked the ambition and the attitude of it. I thought it had a really strange and novel sensibility, and I'm curious to see what his voice is over the next few movies, starting with "Chronicle," which looks like a sort of found-footage superhero riff. But dark. Maybe real dark.
I like the look of this one. I'm encouraged by the fact that the director, Josh Trank, is a young guy with a lot to prove, and this looks like the sort of film that hungry genre fans make when they finally get the chance, shot through with a real love and knowledge of the genre, but determined to do something new with it as well.
This is the first time I've really paid attention to "Chronicle." I remember the news break when the film was set up, but everything was so close-to-the-vest that I didn't really know what to expect when MTV debuted the trailer earlier today. This is a found-footage movie, apparently, but one that was made by 20th Century Fox, so there's a level of slick here that is pretty impressive in this first early peek at the movie.
I recognize Michael B. Jordan from "Parenthood" and Dane DeHaan from "In Treatment," but I like that these are new faces, people who haven't had their big pop culture moment yet, because it makes it easier to play along with the premise of the movie. I like that there's some of the exhilaration of the Marvel Comics idea of becoming a teen superhero here, but there's also some of the out-of-control-power vibe of "Akira" towards the end.
I'm curious to see how this all plays out, and when it hits theaters on February 3, 2012, I will absolutely be there to see it.