Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nightcrawler

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I would make a joke about the X-man with the same name but it's already been done to death.



Nightcrawler – 5 out of 5

First off, I never even knew that these dudes who call themselves "Nightcrawlers" existed. However, that really doesn’t mean much because I’ve only learned so much about your planet and haven’t allowed myself to learn everything. But don’t worry, soon I will learn all and then my people will come back for me and we will enslave your species and destroy this loathsome planet—I mean, boy, Jake Gyllenhaal was sure awesome in this film!!!

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a tad bit shady but, dammit, the guy is a go-getter. At the scene of a car accident, he witnesses a freelance camera crew film the situation in order to sell to local news stations and he becomes inspired to get into that line of work. What follows is a partly creepy but maddeningly focused young man who is out to grow his new business of freelance camera work, drives to get the best shots possible and to win the heart (or at least get busy) with the morning news director of a local LA station (played by Rene Russo). Along the way, Bloom hires a partner (Riz Ahmed) and starts to cross over the border between an invasive observer for the news and somehow who is creating the news…
"And now to the local theater to record this movie and pirate it online..."

Man, I really wanted to see this in the theater but, as I stated in other reviews, I am a man with not much money. I prefer to live a life where I’m not being hounded by creditors or living in fear that my legs will be broken for outstanding debts, so I make sure all my bills are paid and, at the end of the month, I take what is left and have fun with…but that usually means buying a couple dollar scratch offs and eating donuts in front of the nearest Anytime Fitness. Anyway, I didn’t get to see this in the theaters despite my desire to do so but now that it is here and released on home media, I’ve got to see it in all its glory (and from the comfort of my couch and the comfort of no pants—enjoy that image, bitches!) and, I have to say, this movie is fucking amazing!
That type of face-amazing.

Regardless of the fact that I had to learn of the existence of these people called nightcrawlers from this film, I was enthralled with the story and the sickening drive of the character Louis Bloom. The story, and Bloom’s journey, is a scathing commentary of local news and how the desire to be the best in the local game drives the purveyors of the news to do questionable things and put sensation over substance and knowledge. Rene Russo’s character and how she enables Bloom’s motives and direction made for a story that was captivating and intriguing…and dark as fuck! 
The way she handles the news, she could be Brian Williams director!  How's that for
topical?  This joke won't make sense when someone stumbles upon it in a year.

While the film may take some time to really get going on its thriller tracks, once it gets rolling and Bloom becomes obsessed with creating news rather than capturing it, the film hits a stride that made a movie that was already super interesting and turned it into near addicting. During the film’s climax that centered on Bloom capturing the apprehension of two home invasion criminals, my eyes were glued to the screen, unblinking as my heart pounded from the tension that Jake Gyllenhaal and writer/director Dan Gilroy splashed across the screen. The film’s story builds at such a natural and flowing pace that by the end of the film, with its tension at the highest, I never realized that at the beginning of the film I was chuckling at the eccentricity, and comically creepy, tendencies of Louis Bloom.
"Let me ask you ma'am...Did you, or anyone, have any time for that?"

Jake Gyllenhaal has come a long—A LONG—way in his career. He’s not the same actor that I chuckled at in Bubble Boy in a haze of pot smoke in college. The dude has some acting talent and he just keeps getting better and better as time goes by. Nightcrawler is no exception as he makes Bloom a captivating character that is able to make you laugh with his oddities but, as the story progresses, kinda fear as he starts to detach himself from the crimes he’s filming and obsesses over making sure he’s the best and provides the best shots. The way Gyllenhaal dropped a few pounds and was seen unblinking in every single scene only helped show what the actor will go through in order to really make this character something that sticks out and commands attention. Gyllenhaal unsettled me with Bloom but, at the same time, I couldn’t look away from what he was doing…sorta like those car crashes he was filming.
Ha ha, I'm laughing with you but also pissing myself with fear.

The supporting cast of the film proved to be just as good as Gyllenhaal and helped create the captivating story. Rene Russo is fantastic as the news director and her back-and-forths with Bloom made for some great scenes. Bill Paxton is great as Bloom’s rival in the business and Riz Ahmed, although not as memorable as the rest of the cast, is fairly decent as Bloom’s partner—however, he does prove to be my only minor complaint as his character doesn’t feel as developed enough and isn't in the story as much as he should have been.
I always put the usual Aliens/"Game Over, Man" reference when I have a pic of Paxton
in the blog...so, why stop now?  "Game Over, Man!!!"

Despite doing some writing in the film industry, Nightcrawler marks the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy and, watching it, you would have never known that this was his first time directing a feature film. The camera work and the way he was able to make the night of LA feel like a character all by itself with Louis Bloom slithering through it like a snake tracking its prey and feverishly anticipating its next kill (or crime to film, in this metaphor) was amazing.
Imagine how creepy his sex tapes must be...

Nightcrawler is one of those thrillers that one can easily be labeled a "Must See" and all those other buzz-phrases that critics love. But, in all seriousness, it really is a delightfully eerie and unsettling film that has a lead actor that is terrifying but absolutely fantastic in his performance. So, yes, I will say that Nightcrawler is a Must See and one HELL of a thriller.

2 comments:

  1. Ron, have you heard that Jake Gyllenhaal will star in a boxing movie called Southpaw with Forest Whitaker? Two actors you're huge fans of in a film together? How awesome is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read about it. There's no doubt in my mind, it's going to be awesome!

      Delete

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