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View Full Version : Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)



Watashi
11-01-2014, 08:28 AM
http://cf.badassdigest.com/_uploads/images/44057/nightcrawlerheader__span.jpg

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872718/)

Watashi
11-01-2014, 08:33 AM
This was fun. It's a better black comedy on media manipulation than Gone Girl. I don't think it's quite the Network or Ace in the Hole of our times as some critics have crowned it. Gyllenhaal is terrific as advertised and belongs in the pantheon of great cinematic likable sociopaths.

Mal
11-02-2014, 05:41 AM
Jake is everything in this. I gasped multiple times in the theater.

SirNewt
11-03-2014, 02:24 AM
I really dug this. The writing is particularly notable. Lou isn't your ordinary Hollywood sociopath. Gilroy must've written half a self improvement book to come up with some of the aphoristic crap that comes out of his mouth.

eternity
11-04-2014, 07:50 AM
Welcome to the future, brah.

This is The Wolf of Wall Street for freelance journalism. This is everything not to do in a certain career, but surely many will see this and view Lou Bloom as some kind of hero.

Henry Gale
11-11-2014, 09:14 AM
Super engaging, thematically potent, Gyllenhaal is alternately really notably assured or just mesmerizing, Elswit nails the look and beautifully dimensionalizes the city as well as any film (or television) I can recall since at least Collateral (with a decade's worth of significantly advanced digital cinematography, no less).

And yet I feel like it doesn't really escalate into the story its ambitions feel indebted to. It never really seems to turn up to a remarkable, dizzying height of a finale or find itself at a significantly satisfying enough resolution to tie itself up as something as revelatory as the creative intelligence that came before it makes it seem destined to lead to.

I didn't necessarily need to get to the point of, say, Lou directly committing murders himself to document (spoilered even if it isn't a real development since it kinda feels like it wants to head there), but it felt like his journey needed to evolve into something else to really sell his complete point-of-no-return commitment to this direction for his own life and society around him to seal just how poisoning the appeal of what he does was to his followers and supporters.

It's possible that simply ending up at something simply resembling our own scary reality is enough of a final realization for the film to make for us, but I couldn't help but feel like it had further to go, because it certainly gains the clout to along the way. Especially to go towards a riskier and more characteristically haunting way to close.

Morris Schæffer
11-11-2014, 09:56 PM
Thought it was great. I must have said GTA 5 to my brother a few times early on. Then I began to realize that Lou Bloom is like one of those side quest characters in Rockstar games that take you all over the map with the notable distinction that he drives his own slick wheels. I was waiting for a while though for it to pick up some steam, but shit did get taken up quite a few notches after around the 65 minute mark. Got pretty tense at the end even if I thought he turned out to be far too big of an asshole.

amberlita
11-12-2014, 03:16 AM
Welcome to the future, brah.

This is The Wolf of Wall Street for freelance journalism. This is everything not to do in a certain career, but surely many will see this and view Lou Bloom as some kind of hero.

That's because the movie doesn't really indict him for his actions. It's so preoccupied using Lou as a tool to shame the culture of local news broadcasting (and viewers who reward such behavior with high ratings) that it forgets to make him a real person. I get what the movie is trying to do: it wants to scold the news media for crafting an environment in which someone such as Lou is not only able to exist but to thrive. But in using Lou as a blunt object for a greater theme rather than designing a real message through the evolution of his character, the result is that Lou is painted in one dimension. He's an emotionally detached manipulative opportunist - and the movie isn't careful about making sure that we know those traits aren't admirable. The only moral center with which to engage is a spineless secondary character who exists mostly to get rebuked by Lou and whom I think might actually be learning impaired. The audience isn't going to flock to align their sympathies with him. They want to get behind the guy who shows he has all the power in the end when he had none in the beginning.

In a way it reminds me of Natural Born Killers. A movie meant to chastise the media culture winds up glorifying the most despicable of characters.

Morris Schæffer
11-12-2014, 06:30 AM
I'm not sure the movie has to indict Lou for his actions. That's up to the audience more likely. It wasn't black or white for me personally. I wouldn't call him a sympathetic character. He's definitely a creep. Wanting to condemn a character is more intriguing when we're open to the possibility that we're also, if only a little bit, mesmerized by him.

Henry Gale
11-12-2014, 11:16 PM
The one thing that left the biggest question mark with me -- and maybe it plays into the fragmented way the audience might choose to view Lou's sympathies and his "triumphs" -- was James Newton Howard's score.

It definitely feels on point for the first portion of the film, with a variety of nice, throwback-y ambient guitar string melodies paired with the more propulsive, gritty rhythm stuff when action picks up. But then, somewhere along the way, it takes on this weird recurring clarinet theme that sounds like it's from a feel-good TV drama or a mid-'90s Christmas movie.

Again, the disparity could be deliberate, and sometimes it feels like it could almost stem from the polarity of Bloom's conscious view of himself, especially since the first time I remember it appearing was the scene when he sits on the news studio set after his major breakthroughs with the station. It still threw me for a bit of a loop.

number8
11-20-2014, 04:42 AM
Am I the only one who doesn't see this as a news/media/journalism satire at all? It's about 15 years too late, and I think if it really wants to criticize the media it would use a character more invested in it, rather than one we meet willing to go into any business venture he can worm his way into.

The media world seems to be a mere vessel for the character. I found that the satire is mostly in Lou's approach to masculinity and bootstrap capitalism. I was howling at all his mantras and speeches. It's like a cut and paste job of /r/redpill self-help bullshit mixed with Gary Buseyisms.

I really enjoy tricky tightrope acts where a real life archetype is exaggerated only ever so slightly but ends up exposing the full absurdity of those people. Gyllenhaal knocked the act out of the park.

Ezee E
11-26-2014, 09:20 PM
The atmosphere and commitment from Gylenhaal makes this work, but there's a lot going on here that I find hard to believe. Whether it's the ease of getting video to a major TV station in Los Angeles, or the commitment from the partner... It did bother me.

Still enjoyed it for the reasons I listed, but I rolled my eyes at a few of the plot points.

Pop Trash
11-28-2014, 07:56 AM
I don't know about in LA, but having heard lots of stories re: broadcast journalism in another state, I can say some messed up stuff happens that made me not want to work in that field (I do work in video production).

I really liked this, especially after being somewhat disappointed by a lot of the other films I've seen of late. Everything about it clicked for me and I found myself laughing during multiple scenes. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for it to mess up the ending or something, but nope, pretty much right on.

Winston*
11-30-2014, 08:01 AM
As someone who has just this week finished working at an organisation where that kind of aphoristic business speak bullshit is stock and trade, I found this weirdly cathartic. Great movie. Agree with number8's take.

Not sure how anyone could think this is glorifying Lou in any way. The film goes out of its way to make it clear he's a complete psychopath, and its hardly like he's shown living the high life. In Wolf of Wall Street he has drugs, women and yachts. Lou lives in a studio apartment the whole movie, and at the end he has two vans and a couple of teenage interns.

Dead & Messed Up
12-08-2014, 05:31 AM
Yeah, with number8, in that the film's more fun as a poke in the ribs at weekend business seminars and "How to Win Friends" books. Gyllenhall's good (the whole cast does fine work), but for all the film wants to evoke movies like Taxi Driver and Network and American Psycho, it ends up feeling a little gun-shy and at times predictable. It is interesting how the only people we see watching TV are people in the TV business (if there's a world outside the media, we barely see it). I wonder if the filmmakers wanted to take a dig at filmmakers in general (towards the end, some shots are shots of people taking the shots they're pretty much in), but I don't think there's as much there as there is that whole empty corporate-speak. "A friend is a gift you give to yourself."

Dukefrukem
01-24-2015, 05:14 PM
Yeh this was great. Nothing to add that hasn't already been said in the thread.

Qrazy
02-03-2015, 05:30 AM
Highly entertaining.

Dukefrukem
02-06-2015, 04:11 PM
Did anyone think of this movie after some of the recent news of Brian William lying about his experience in Iraq? And I guess now some of his stories about hurricane Katrina are being challenged.

Grouchy
04-01-2015, 12:23 AM
Now that's what I call a fucking movie. It reminded me strongly of Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, and that's not an ordinary compliment to make.

This also marks the first time I've thought of Gyllenhaal as an actual actor.

transmogrifier
07-09-2015, 10:01 AM
Mild nay. In the end, it's all too one-note, starting with a fully formed sociopathic individual and then just escalating his actions for our amusement (with a poorly sketched sidekick to provide a conveniently organized cap on it all). The branch involving Russo and her network is tired and pointless - we don't need more scenes of a hard-headed executive being heartless while a couple of bland side characters look uncomfortable and mutter some things about ethics and morals. It would have been more effective to just sideline the news stations as faceless middlemen and find a connection between Gyllenhaal and the actual news audience who drives the ratings.

That said, it's well-paced, well-shot and Gyllenhaal nails it. It almost works simply as a sociopath finding a genuinely productive outlet for his predilections.

Dead & Messed Up
07-10-2015, 02:32 AM
I think there's a method to him being sociopathic from the start - it makes the film more about how he corrupts the people around him, and how the system rewards him for his bad behavior. Russo's character is the key, since she's all too happy to have this monkey's paw of a human being until the consequences finally kick in. His "discussion" with her in the restaurant is some kind of cringe masterpiece.

Grouchy
07-10-2015, 03:14 AM
I think there's a method to him being sociopathic from the start - it makes the film more about how he corrupts the people around him, and how the system rewards him for his bad behavior. Russo's character is the key, since she's all too happy to have this monkey's paw of a human being until the consequences finally kick in. His "discussion" with her in the restaurant is some kind of cringe masterpiece.
You're right. I think part of the irony of the script is that the character, while superficially self-absorbed and oblivious to normal feelings, sometimes ends up reading other people better than they read themselves. His entire relationship with Russo is fantastic.

transmogrifier
07-10-2015, 06:38 AM
I think there's a method to him being sociopathic from the start - it makes the film more about how he corrupts the people around him, and how the system rewards him for his bad behavior. Russo's character is the key, since she's all too happy to have this monkey's paw of a human being until the consequences finally kick in. His "discussion" with her in the restaurant is some kind of cringe masterpiece.

She came across as pretty corrupt right from the start, so that didn't play for me at all. There is nothing wrong with the general idea of taking an already sociopathic lead and just show how he uses that to his advantage, but the supporting characters provide no interesting counterpoints or reactions or anything. It's just one long series of escalating actions with nothing much else going on worth thinking too hard about.

DavidSeven
07-10-2015, 04:27 PM
I thought this was great. The film is all script and Gyllenhaal, but those two elements are so strong it doesn't matter. Gilroy's narrative structure is as solid as it gets, but it impressively avoids feeling too conventional due to some pretty inventive scenarios and a uniquely intriguing central character. I really enjoyed the interplay between Gyllenhaal and Russo's characters for many reasons, not least of which was its successful flipping of standard gender/age roles. This has to be one of the few sociopath/antihero stories that truly avoids glorification while remaining relentlessly compelling.

As a storytelling exercise, this is pretty top-notch work. Some stronger cinematic elements and a little more emotional variance would've lifted this to even higher places. I do think a stronger counterpoint to Gyllenhaal's character might have made this feel more complete, but that's just a nitpick in the grand scheme. It is rare to see films this thoroughly engaging on a dramatic level these days.