GenreList I: Super-Flicks You Might Have Missed

Welcome to GenreList, your space for genre entertainment! This week, I’m shining light on a few of the superhero films you might have missed between summer blockbusters, starting with:

In the found-footage film Chronicle, three friends develop telekinetic powers after being exposed to an odd, glowing rock. If you can get past the premise, the rest of the film delivers a surprisingly insightful look at teenage friendship, plus an amusingly realistic depiction of what teenage boys would do if they suddenly developed superpowers. One of those rare films where visual effects support the plot rather than dominating it, Chronicle delivers great characters, storyline and visual effects that lead to a climax worthy of any summer blockbuster. One of the most interesting deconstructions of the superhero genre to hit the shelves in years.

One of the lower-profile superhero films in the last five years, Push is a compelling blend of the heist and superhero genres. Succeeding largely on the strength of its visual effects and the non-stop action choreography, Push is fast and fun but doesn’t skimp on story. In fact, one of the most compelling things about the film is its clockwork pacing. Everything that happens on screen is part of a larger plot that only becomes clear at the very end of the film.

It’s easy to dismiss Push as mindless action film, but its world of psychics and secret societies is deep enough to intrigue more skeptical viewers.