Feb 19, 2009


Is the news media run by assholes? Does the media have the ability to mold public opinion? Does the media outright lie or withhold horrible crimes that may benefit them? Does the media think that the general public is a bunch of morons that barely know how to wipe their own asses? Obviously, I would have to say “yes” to all these questions. Naturally, Hollywood has produced a few films criticizing and satirizing the media. Hollywood hack Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers comes to mind. Funny, I thought that Stone was a disinformation guy with some type of agenda. Anyways, the Ecuadorian film Cronicas is the first film to appropriately address the conspiring clowns that run the media.

In Cronicas, John Leguizamo plays an arrogant video journalist who is attempting find a child murdering and raping serial killer form Ecuador. I have never been a fan of Leguizamo but always felt he was good at playing asshole midgets. He seems to be a natural method actor of sorts. Of course, Leguizamo’s role in Cronicas as a self-serving news journalist is perfect for him. He also works with another man and woman who also happen to be a couple. Being the prick that he is, Leguizamo’s character is screwing the woman in the news crew making it very obvious to her real partner.

Leguizamo saves the life of the ambiguous serial killer in Cronicas. An obese man attempts to set the killer on fire for killing his son (the killer accidentally killed him with his car). Soon afterward, Leguizamo’s character starts a sort of mutual beneficial relationship with the killer. The killer is attempting to get out of jail before he is murdered and Leguizamo is attempting to get his best news story yet. It is obvious that Leguizamo’s character only cares about his career and WISHING he was suave. The revealing of Leguizamo’s true self is what makes Cronicas a good commentary on those that make a career on bringing us “breaking stories.”

Cronicas does have its fair share of flaws. I guess it wouldn’t be considered a “flaw” that Cronicas is one of the most aesthetically repelling films that I have ever seen. I thought the America’s inner cities were some of the biggest manmade waste piles in the world. That was until I saw the jungle and swamp “villages” of Ecuador. I guess the ugliness of the settings of Cronicas goes great with a film about a child serial killer. Still, there is only so much ugliness that I can take. Aside from the visuals of Cronicas, the film also seemed a little unevenly paced. Before you know it, the film is over before you feel it reaches its full “thrilling” potential.

Cronicas is certainly a film I am glad I saw but most likely will never watch again. It is also a film that proves that John Leguizamo is talented but also an annoying little turd. It is about time someone made a film criticizing the ethics of the media while being somewhat subtle about it. Cronicas is able to combine “social commentary” and “psychological thriller” for an interesting hybrid. I just wish I didn’t feel a little sick from all the ugliness after watching it.

-Ty E


Phantom of Pulp said...

Interesting review.

Is this about Pedro Lopez, the Monster of the Andes?

Ecuador was his favored hunting ground.

It sounds like it's taken the same approach as 'Zee-Oui', a film I like a lot, but is handicapped by a stupid subplot involving a reporter.

I'd like to see an 'epic' about Lopez with the focus entirely on him.

I share your view on Leguizamo.

Keith said...

I'm not a big fan of Leguizamo myself. He's been good in some movies I've seen, but it's usually playing a creep. He sounds like a real creep here. This does sound like an interesting premise. I doubt there are many journalists with ethics out there. They only care about getting the story and getting ratings. They will do whatever it takes for that. They salivate over sensationalized stories like a bunch of rabid dogs.