Horrible Bosses 2 (2014): Dale, Kurt and Nick decide to start their own business but things don't go as planned because of a slick investor, prompting the trio to pull off a harebrained and misguided kidnapping scheme.
Is this movie the exact same as the first one? Yes. Does it matter? No.
Ok so I loved the first Horrible Bosses. I thought the chemistry of Sudeikis, Bateman, and Day was fantastic, and Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Anniston, and Colin Ferrell were great as the big mean bosses. And Jamie Foxx was screen-hogging like nothing else and it was hilarious. I thought there was great symbolism and appeal for the working class American in it. After all, who doesn't have or has never had at one point one of those three bosses? I know I have, and I am 22. We all have had to take orders from someone who is either illogically strict, a crackhead, or overly sexual. And it made the first Horrible Bosses great. Sadly, the main theme of the bosses is gone here and replaced by Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine screwing over our three "beloved" characters. However, the chemistry between Sudeikis, Bateman, and Day is back and better than ever. While it is basically the exact same plot as the first one, fans of the original Horrible Bosses, such as myself, will feel right at home seeing those three get into their antics on screen. So, let's dive into it shall we?
The acting is....well, decent at best. Christoph Waltz unfortunately has very little to do here. I was hoping to see a comedic side to this great actor that we had never seen before, but sadly it's just the same Waltz we've seen before which makes him rather out of place honestly. That said, Chris Pine though. Easily the best acted role in the film, Chris Pine has an absolute blast as Rex, the kidnapped son of Waltz, creating a surprisingly well-developed character throughout the 108 minute film. And remember when I said Jamie Foxx screen-hogged the crap out of the first one? Well, he's back, and he takes screen-hogging to a whole new level in Horrible Bosses 2. Fortunately this is a very good thing as the big scene involving his character MF Jones is probably the best scene of the whole movie. Of course it also is the best scene of the whole movie because of the chemistry between Sudeikis, Bateman, and Day. Seriously. I want more movies with these three as the leads. It doesn't have to be another Horrible Bosses movie, Hollywood. Just....anything. Let's do the whole Three Stooges thing again with these three as the Stooges. Ready? BREAK. Put these three in more movies PLEASE. Anniston and Spacey also have smaller roles here and are still excellent, (I still love me some Kevin Spacey) and there's a random cameo from Keegan-Michael Key (it's literally in the first minute of the film so no spoiler) but it doesn't go anywhere. Sadly the Key of Key and Peele is only in this movie for us to go hey! It's Key! And what about Non-Stop though? That's about it in the acting department. Oh! Breaking Bad fans will recognize Jonathan Banks but to say he's underutilized is a tremendous understatement. Oh well.
So how is the story? Ha! Story. There is none. The plot they create here is ridiculous and totally illogical. Those who disliked or missed out on the first Horrible Bosses will not enjoy themselves here because of this and none of the three main characters are really all that likable. After all, the whole "plot" is them going and doing something despicable, after all. To take from Charlie Day's playbook....Horrible Bosses is like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Those who love the show can't help but love the main characters but if an outsider came in halfway through the show and watched it they would most likely be like wait, what? Why do you like this? These characters are despicable. That's Horrible Bosses 2. There's really nothing else to talk about. There is no directing. There is no script, as it is very obvious that most of the movie is improv'd. About the only other thing worth mentioning is that there were a few cool montages in here from an editing standpoint. So the editing was excellent. And they largely recycled the same songs from the first one again here. Which I don't have a problem with cause they are good songs, but again....it adds to that theme of if you liked the first one....
To say it again, at the end of the day, guys, it comes down to this. If you liked the first one and want more of the same, go see Horrible Bosses 2. If you missed the first one please dear God please see it first. This is not 22 Jump Street. There is no breaking of the fourth wall winking at the audience about how we, the movie-makers, know this is the exact same as the first one. (Nick Offerman's entire reason for being in 22 Jump Street) There is no standout joke in Horrible Bosses 2 that will bring in new fans. It's a big silly comedy with a lot of plot holes and poor direction from Sean Anders and company. However, since I liked the first one, it made me laugh. And at the end of the day for a comedy that's all that matters. So it receives a solid good from me. As long as a movie makes me laugh it doesn't matter. Boom. Marker drop.
The Verdict: More of the same. Here, let's do the exact same thing we did in the first one again without ever acknowledging that that's what we're doing. Sound like a plan? Ok. Break! Horrible Bosses 2.
The Recommendation: If you liked the first one, go see it. If you thought the original was ok, then stay away. If you haven't seen either, then seriously. Go watch Horrible Bosses. I think it's hilarious and so might you.
The Verdict: If you like the first one? 7/10. If you hated the first one? Probably a 2/10. So we'll average it out and get to a 4.5/10. So the final verdict for Horrible Bosses 2 is a 4.5/10 Slightly Below Average
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014): When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.
Gotta love two part finales....
Well...I really don't know what to say here. It's tough, because on one side you have part 1 of a two part finale, and the first part of those things is always the setup and two is always where all hell breaks loose. See Harry Potter. See the atrocity that is The Hobbit. It always happens. However Mockingjay Part 1 does a surprisingly great job of making the setup feel like its own thing. It does help that at least some of the major plot points that are brought up in this movie are resolved by the end of it. Not all of them, obviously, but some. Some pretty big ones even. It felt more like a TV show than a part 1 of a two part finale. There are very few long extended conversations between characters that really slow down the pace of the film and add some unnecessary fluff like there are in the second Hobbit movie or in Harry Potter part 1. However at the same time it is very hard to overlook the fact that this movie really is not necessary at the end of the day. It is so hard for me to get past cash-grabbing movies. But, of all the obvious cash-grabs, this just might be the best one. So here we go!
First off, acting. It's cool to see Jennifer Lawrence back in the role that got her going, and to see her once again being a straight-up female badass is awesome. Can I just have a moment to talk about Katniss? Katniss is one of the best written heroes I have ever seen. She doesn't have a "Boy who lived" sort of persona, or something else that makes her born to be the hero. I think how Katniss reacts to being the leader of this revolution is exactly how most of us would react if we were thrown into that role. We don't want it, but there it is. And we have to take it. I think that aspect of humility within Katniss is why personally I think she is the best hero out there in young adult fiction, and why I personally identify with her more than any other hero in the young adult genre. Anyway. I digress. While Lawrence is fantastic as the lead, the rest of the cast is also phenomenal, all reprising their roles exceptionally. Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci both have a blast with their roles again. The addition of actresses Julianne Moore and Natalie Dormer (from Game of Thrones) were also great decisions on the part of director Francis Lawrence. Their talent does nothing but add to Mockingjay Part 1. I fully expect Moore to have a huge role in part 2 as well. Also, Philip Seymour Hoffman. God I'm gonna miss that man. I wish I could learn more about his character, as I feel like these movies have not explained his role in this whole thing as well as they could have. Plus it's Philip Seymour Hoffman. I'd give just about anything for him to play Katniss over Jennifer Lawrence. Even though that wouldn't make any sense at all, my counter to that lack of logic is the fact that Philip Seymour Hoffman is a badass. That's it. Man I'm tired...anyway....oh! Freaking Donald Sutherland is awesome as President Snow. His chilling performance of the character is one I'll remember for a while, as I have with the other two movies before this one. A legendary actor if there ever was one. Now, writing. The writer of this movie has written mostly political movies and documentaries in his career, and it really shows here. Without the games to serve as the focal point of the movie, Mockingjay Part 1 instead spends a significant amount of time focusing on the politics of this world it lives in. And it is really fascinating to see just how similar the rebellion is to the capital in both their advertising tactics and even their overall message. I haven't read the books, so I don't know what's going to happen, but I expect this to be a major point of part 2 as well. The most important thing part 1 can do is set up part 2, and I can't wait for Mockingjay Part 2! Gosh am I even making sense right now? Oh ya, also, the first 2 acts of this movie are really intense, as the fluff they add to make the movie 123 minutes long is some really interesting fluff.
That said, the movie does slow down a bit in the third act. GOD D*MNIT ANOTHER THIRD ACT F*CKUP. There are a few scenes that aren't really necessary and are clearly added for fluff, and even the big set piece of the film in the third act is extended longer than it should be for the sake of making the movie 2 hours long. But still, I was on the edge of my seat while the set piece was taking place. The movie (mostly) did have me on the edge of my seat all throughout, even if at certain times (like the end of the big set piece) I asked myself, "where the last 10 minutes really necessary?" Oh well. These two part finales are here to say, so it's about time I just lay back and accept it. But really, there are only a few negatives here. The third act is not as good as the first two, but nowhere near to the point of the third act train wrecks that are Interstellar and Fury. Additionally, I do think Philip Seymour Hoffman's character could've benefited from a bit more backstory. Seriously. Finally, there was a lot of humor in this movie, which is definitely a good thing, but some of it was not timed very well, and as a result the room was laughing at some of the most serious points of the film. When all the sudden a joke comes soaring in at a high point of tension, that may not be a good thing. Man I'm tired....look, I know everyone in the world is going to see this, so my words are likely falling on deft ears. Especially when I agree with everyone in the world here. Go see it! While it is still unnecessary, it is the best of all the unnecessary part ones of two part finale movies that I've seen. I can only hope Divergent's two-part finale is as good as this....
PS-go listen to the soundtrack. Lorde's Yellow Flicker Beat is freaking awesome.
The Critique: While a cash-grab, Mockingjay Part 1 does its best to make itself a great standalone addition to The Hunger Games franchise.
The Recommendation: If you have never watched a Hunger Games movie, DO NOT START WITH THIS ONE. You will be lost. Star with Catching Fire. It is still the best movie of the series, and it appeals to everyone. However, you absolutely should watch Catching Fire then go see this. And everyone else should see this too. This is a great movie.
Rewatchability: Moderately High
The Verdict: 8/10 Great
By Peter Kosanovich
Big Hero 6 (2014): The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
So, about two years ago Disney released super basic concept art and animation for this movie called Big Hero 6. They didn't release any story details, plot lines, characters, nothing; just gorgeous cityscape animation! Finally, two years later, the movie does not disappoint! For the past few years Disney has really managed to up their game with films like Tangled, Frozen, and Wreck-It Ralph following a huge lul through the early 2000s.
Okay, let's start with the basics. Big Hero 6 is a Disney development of a Marvel comic series, but with their own Disney flare thrown in for good measure. Right away we meet Hiro Hamaido, a scrawny, 14 year old robotics prodigy who spends his time hustling gangsters in illegal robot battles. That is, until his older brother, Tadashi, convinces him to enroll at San Fransokyo Tech (your simple, genius level, robotics university) by submitting an entry into a showcase for consideration of entrance at the university. During the showcase a fire occurs and Tadashi is killed (not a spoiler, it's in all the trailers). Weeks later a masked villain appears using Hiro's invention from the showcase as a weapon. Hiro, with the help of Tadashi's friends from the San Fransokyo Tech, use their robotics expertise to become superheroes and stop this villain and for Hiro to take revenge against him.
Now, from all of the trailers, you are sure to have seen Baymax, the cuddly white marshmellow. Baymax is actually Tadashi's last creation, a medical robot whose programming prevents him from shutting down until the patient states they are satisfied with their care. Baymax's main purpose is to care for Hiro and his mental health following Tadashi's death.
This movie was pretty much amazing. The animation is flawless, absolutely beautiful. The story, while an adaptation, was creative, and managed to be both hilarious and incredibly touching. Following Tadashi's death you can't help but tear up, it's just so sad. Tadashi is that cool, smart older brother that everyone wishes they had, but he was also Hiro's only friend and connection to the outside world. And even though you know it's coming, it still shocks you and creates all the feels. At the same time, you have completely unique characters that both make fun of stereotypes, but also go against them and establish legitimate character and not caricatures.
Critique: Disney does not fail in this one. Ever since the release of Tangled, they have come roaring back to the forefront of quality animated movies, and Big Hero 6 might just be the best one yet!
Recommendation: I highly recommend this film to anyone and everyone. It's appropriate for younger children, but totally has enough humor to keeps adults laughing. The animation is gorgeous and you won't be able to look away! AKA: Go see it now!
Rewatchability: The highest! It pretty much has all the feels. Big Hero 6 can give you any and all emotions you might want to feel in a single day. Sad, happy, exhilarating, adventurous, clever, humorous, etc.
Rating: 10/10 Perfect
Dumb and Dumber To (2014): 20 years since their first adventure, Harry finds out he has a daughter who was adopted. Lloyd and Harry try to find Harry's adopted daughter.
Was this movie really necessary? No. Is it still enjoyable? Um.....slightly.
Dumb and Dumber is one of the quintessential 90s comedies out there. While the original has garnered a massive cult following, the truth is the movie has not aged very well at all. To me personally the idea of slapstick comedy is a pretty outdated one. So, while usually I go into movies as unbiased as possible, I was very worried that this movie was going to be terrible due to how outdated its premise and ideas are. So, with that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. There was still a fair amount of slapstick in this movie, and while most of it was a miss for me, with a lot of "ughhhh this isn't funny" moments, the movie also had its fair share of hilarious moments. And while some were mentioned in the trailer (the phone gag was still pretty funny) there were quite a few that weren't. I also must compliment the movie for doing a great job of keeping the best parts of itself under wraps and not unveiling them in the trailers. I'm sure that is the biggest question many are asking about this movie: are the funniest gags in the trailers? The answer is no. Not all of them at least. That's good! YAY! So, let's dive into it shall we?
Can we take a minute to talk about Jeff Daniels? This man deserves credit where credit is due. Fun fact: the man's paycheck was only around $50k for the original, which was about 140 times less than Jim Carrey's $7 million. Don't get me wrong: Jim Carrey is a funny guy, but to see Jeff Daniels play dramatic roles in movies like Good Night, and Good Luck., Looper, and the lead in The Newsroom and nail them as well as he does, and then come around and nail his role in Dumb and Dumber To.... that's talent. That is serious talent. The man really deserves more credit than he's getting. And it starts HERE! Raising awareness, people! Jeff Daniels is an awesome actor! Got it? Ok. Moving on. Jim Carrey is awesome in here too, however, the rest of the cast gets kind of overlooked. The only people even of note are Rob Riggie and Laurie Holden. The girl, Rachel Melvin, is borderline awful, and sadly just serves as some unnecessary eye candy. Seriously. The bikini gag with her was stupid and was only in the movie for one reason. I hate it when movies do that....also, I honestly think Rob Riggie is vastly overrated. I think he benefits from a good writing team on his characters because to me his delivery is rather poor. He's like a discount Jason Segel! Ya! We'll go with that. Sorry not sorry if you like him, but seriously. His performances in 21 and 22 Jump Street I were poor at best, however the writing of his character made it alright, and the same holds true here: poor performance, good writing. Actually his character was arguably the most well-written character of the entire film who also had one of the funniest moments of the entire film too. But it was in no way thanks to his performance of the character. Oh the sighs, man...
At 110 minutes long, the movie was definitely too long. The directors, the Farrelly brothers, could've really benefited from cutting out about 20 minutes somewhere between the second and third acts of this movie, or at least 20 minutes worth of gags that weren't funny. That's the thing with this movie: it's a wildly mixed bag. And depending on what kind of humor you enjoy, you'll be rolling on the floor laughing at certain points, and just sitting there shaking your head at other points. As for the story, it's surprisingly decent. There are actually spoilers in Dumb and Dumber To. Which is weird! But there are, and some of these potential spoilers are also some of the funniest points of the movie. However, there really isn't anything else that this movie has to offer. There's no real reason to see it on the big screen unless you are a huge Dumb and Dumber fan. The fans of the franchise will not be disappointed with the movie, but there are definitely better comedies out there from this year. Save your money and Netflix this one. Or watch the movie you didn't watch between Big Hero 6 and Interstellar from last week.You'll probably have a much better time.
The Critique: A wildly mixed bag. Fans of the movie will not be disappointed, however this movie will likely not bring any new fans to the franchise. Also, why does this movie exist at all again? $$$$$$$$$$
The Recommendation: All Dumb and Dumber fans should line up to see this, however everyone else? Just wait and Netflix it. You'll feel better.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 5.5/10 Slightly Above Average
Oscar Talk: Hahaha I made a funny! LOOK MOM LOOK AT HOW FUNNY I AM. I should get hired as a comedy writer in Hollywood. You listening Hollywood? Ok! I'm available anytime guys!
Interstellar (2014): A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
You f*cked it up.....
Without a doubt the most anticipated film of the year, Interstellar is the latest from visionary film director Christopher Nolan. While his last work, The Dark Knight Rises, received a lot of criticism, I actually still quite enjoy it as a mindless popcorn flick. My first watch of his previous work, Inception, was one of my best first watches ever, and that movie still is one of my favorites. And then there's The Dark Knight, which I think is one of the best movies of the 2000s. I'm still upset that that movie wasn't even nominated for Best Picture.... aaaaaand then there's this. I've noticed a trend in the post-Dark Knight Nolan films: when deciding between making commercial films or art films, Nolan has increasingly been choosing the former. This shows glaringly in the third act of this 169 minute film, as the train wreck that occurs in the final hour of the film can be only categorized as disastrous. I am prepared for the rage, but seriously, give the movie some time and sit on it and analyze it, and you'll agree with me.
So first off, the pluses. This movie is incredible to watch. The cinematography can be categorized as some of the best I have ever seen. Hotye Van Hoytema is one of the best cinematographers in the industry right now, as his spectacular wide shots combined with Nolan's 70 mm IMAX cameras are worth the price of admission alone. Seriously. Since you are going to go see the movie regardless of what I say and just agree with me eventually, go and see this movie on the largest screen that you can possibly see it in. This movie really makes me wish that the only theater here in Harrisonburg had an IMAX theater. Next up the score. The score! This is absolutely one of the best scores ever written by Hans Zimmer, and my finally lead to his first Oscar win. The themes in this movie are as memorable as anything I've ever heard, and some that I am absolutely going to listen to again and again. Also the sound and visual effects are both awesome. I definitely see Oscar nominations for these in the future and quite possibly wins for both. However, the interpretation and visualization of space is still far better in Gravity than Interstellar. This is a result of what I was saying before: when faced with the decision of making a commercial film or making an art film, Nolan will pick the former. Gravity is an art film. There is a lot of time in it focusing on the veils and blankness of space. Interstellar is a commercial film. It does not take the time to focus on these elements. I'll explain further soon. Anyway, the last positive thing to say is that the acting is amazing. Anne Hathaway is the star, and Matthew McConaughey puts in another fantastic performance (the days of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Fool's Gold are looooong gone, everyone) and Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Cain, and David Gyasi all put in very very strong performances as a fantastic supporting cast. Honestly this might be the best supporting cast of the year thus far. The groundwork was laid in the first two acts for a masterpiece. For the movie that would define Nolan's distinguished career. The movie that would be labeled by many as the greatest sci-fi movie ever made. The emotions were real. The struggle of humanity was real. The drive in McConaughey to see his kids again was powerful and emotional. The movie was brilliant. And then Nolan f*cked it up.
So, about the third act. If I'm feeling up for it, I'll write a spoiler review at some point because it should be done, however here is a spoiler-free rant about it. Hey guys, wanna sound intelligent when you take your date to see Interstellar? The movie was co-written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan. And by co-written it means fun fact! the movie was actually two separate stories crammed into one. You don't really have to be paying attention to know when the first story ends and the second begins, but I'll give you a hint: it happens right around the point where the second planet is explored. All of the sudden, out of nowhere, the movie turns on a dime. The movie forgoes the powerful emotional story about seeing your children again and the weight of venturing near black holes and the idea of time that was established in the first two acts and instead turns into a very generic sci-fi action movie, where Nolan randomly decides to spend a lot of time pounding us with the theme of the faults of man. We then proceed to have a "space doesn't instantly kill you" type of moment like we did in Guardians of the Galaxy (that was my least favorite moment in that otherwise fantastic movie) because nowadays in commercial movies we cannot have any of the major characters die. Lo and behold we kill a main character in a commercial movie nowadays! The movie just gets worse after this point, as the movie essentially says f*ck physics and logic in the final hour so we can have suspense! Because commercial movies need suspense! I wouldn't mind this if the whole movie was like this, but after physics plays such a huge role in the first two acts, for the movie to essentially turn it around on a dime is criminal. Hey let's randomly throw in love at the last second and then make it the overarching theme of the movie, because commercial movies need relationships! Nah, forget the kids. Let's talk about love. Again, this is my growing problem with Nolan and his films: when faced with the choice of making a commercial movie or an art movie, he follows the commercial route. Nolan is like Imagine Dragons. He is very much in the mainstream, yet everyone who is a major fan thinks that means they are "cultured" and like art, or indie rock. Imagine Dragons is not indie rock, everyone. It's mainstream rock. Christopher Nolan makes commercial films. Don't you dare try to say after the third act of Interstellar that Nolan makes earth-shattering art films. Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity is still the masterpiece. It's still best film in recent memory for the sci-fi genre. And it's still an art film. Now is there anything wrong with being a commercial filmmaker? NO. No there is not. I like Christopher Nolan just as much as I like Imagine Dragons. Hell mentioning them made me start playing their new singles while writing this review. However, we have to accept Nolan and Imagine Dragons for what they are. Nolan is a commercial filmmaker. End of discussion. Which is a huge disappointment because this movie is hyped as the movie of the decade. It is not. It is nothing more than an above average sci-fi movie that would've been so much better had it been an hour shorter and just ended on the second planet. This is the year of horrible third acts, everyone. Just a damn shame that Interstellar had to join the group.
The Critique: an above average sci-fi movie. Fantastic visuals, but a disastrous third act prevents it from taking its place at the top of the sci-fi genre.
The Recommendation: I'd still recommend this as a must-see. Just greatly temper your expectations.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 6/10 Above Average
Oscar Talk: I foresee double digit nominations for Interstellar, however wins are another story. Picture, Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, Visual Effects, and Original Score will all likely see Interstellar in their categories. Also, calling it right now: Hans Zimmer finally wins the Oscar for Best Original Score this year.
Nightcrawler (2014): When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Huh. How to describe what I just watched.....well, Nightcrawler is a truly spectacular thriller. Jake Gyllenhall is at his best, putting in arguably the best performance of his entire distinguished career as Lou Bloom, a slightly off-kilter cameraman who makes his living off of filming late night stories for the morning news. Nightcrawler is a character study of this man. As the movie progresses, Bloom's character is slowly unveiled and you begin to see the man he really is. Despite having very little backstory to his character if any, this character is phenomenally developed over the course of the movie's 117 minute runtime. Gyllenhall's performance is without a doubt on the same level as Rosamund Pike's performance in Gone Girl, and the fact that we've had two Oscar worthy performances from both male and female leads in what's really just the first month of the Oscar season awesome. This is setting up what could be one of the better Oscar seasons of recent memory. But that's getting off topic. Anyway, let's dive into shall we?
First off, the movie is beautifully shot. Ya, took that in a direction you weren't expecting huh? But really. The cinematography of the movie was outstanding. Most of it is shot at night, and it was shot in a way that totally engrossed you into the movie to the point that I had a weird sensory experience exiting the theater after realizing that it was the middle of the day. That is entirely thanks to the cinematography from Robert Elswit. Next up, the story. At this point, I've seen a lot of movies. 99 times out of 100, I can kind of guess where a movie is going. That's not a quirk against movies it's just most are somewhat predictable. The good guy usually wins! It's just a question of how he wins that makes a movie fun. However Nightcrawler is that 100th movie. I had no idea where this movie was going, leading to a first watch experience I have not had since watching District 9 for the first time. I was legitimately shocked by several of the events throughout the movie and I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish wondering where this was going to go at every point. FINALLY from start to finish! YAY! I've been yelling at third acts so much this year it's nice to see the complete product for a change. And yes, finally, the acting was incredible. Not just Gyllenhall's Oscar-worthy performance, but also the performances of Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed as the primary supporting characters. Even Bill Paxton has a great performance in here, albeit a short one. Russo was spectacular as the executive producer of the newsroom Gyllenhall sends his footage to, putting in one of the better performances of her distinguished career. However it's Gyllenhall who steals the show. (obviously or I wouldn't be talking about it so much) Gyllenhall's performance is chilling. He completely immerses himself into the role right down to a very creepy accent that would be classified as unnecessary but adds so much to the character. Definitely one of the best performances I've seen in recent memory. I would legitimately recommend this movie on his performance alone.
I don't have that many complaints in the movie short of one: the entire story is incredibly unethical, and the fact that there is only one quick scene where the newsroom releasing the footage caught by Gyllenhaal's character questions the ethics of where the footage came from drove me CRAZY. I mean really guys? We are just going to be (mostly) ok with showing the footage he captures? Not to mention how incredibly graphic some of the footage is so there's no way any newsroom would ever allow anything as brutal and gruesome as this to be released on their show, let alone a local TV morning show. While this kind of reduces the credibility of something like this actually happening, when you just look at the film as a character study of how far one individual is willing to go to get what he wants, you will see something great. Just...don't go into it expecting a Gone Girl level of realism attached to the situation. I blame The Newsroom for making me look at the movie like I did....
In short, this film absolutely has the makings of a cult classic. It has not done well at the box office thus far, but anyone who sees it will definitely want to see it again and again. What's with Gyllenhall and starring in cult classics....?
The Critique: One of the better films of the year thus far, Nightcrawler is a riveting character piece with an incredible performance from its lead.
The Recommendation: PLEASE. GO SEE THIS MOVIE. PLEASE.
The Verdict: 9/10 Awesome
Oscar Talk: I really hope the lack of sales at the box office does not lead to Gyllenhall getting overlooked for Best Actor. Cause that needs to happen. Also don't be surprised to see a nod to cinematography too.
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