Nightcrawler

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Nightcrawler is currently sitting pretty high, at 8.4 on IMDB and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Whether you like it or not might depend on just how cynical you are about local news. The movie reminds me somewhat of an update on the classic Network, one of my all time favorites. In this story, TV news is partial truth and which part of the truth you see depends on what the show runner thinks will generate viewer interest, urban paranoia and convince them to check out the news tomorrow. Into this quagmire comes Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a low life scavenger who stumbles into the “profession” of Nightcrawlers, free lance news videographers who stalk police and crime scenes, looking for lurid close-ups that can be sold to TV news broadcasters.

Bloom is a twisted SOB, played with chilling strangeness by Gyllenhaal. He has a strange, monotone voice, a guy who knows how to manipulate people, knows exactly what he needs to say in order to get what he wants, but also a guy who has absolutely no moral bottom line and no empathy for anybody; a classic sociopath. When he arrives early to several crime scenes, he sells the video to Nina Romina (Rene Russo), a news show producer, who is nearly as value-free as Bloom, but even more desperate for sleazy news stories. This TV trash takes an even darker turn when Bloom and his naive employee manage to catch detailed shots of a triple homicide in a rich LA neighborhood before the police arrive. The footage comes to the interest of not just the TV news, but also the Los Angeles police. What they don’t know it that Bloom has additional footage that allows him to identify the perpetrators. Bloom chases down the killers and finds himself in the middle of a deadly series of events.

We all want to think that in a just universe, scum like Louis Bloom get their comeuppance, but since it is not always a just universe, things can turn out differently. When this movie was over, I thought part of it was missing. It seemed to beg for an extra 45 minutes, though probably not a Nightcrawler II. I looked for more resolution, some reason to think that TV news is not really that bad and that people like Louis don’t really exist, but the script isn’t that merciful. I don’t watch much TV news so I don’t know if it really is as degraded as in this movie, but there’s enough that rings true to make this movie really arouse one’s moral outrage. Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing in this role, full of nervous energy and self-interest, a misfit who will do anything to get ahead. Rene Russo is also quite good, on the one hand nearly as valueless as Louis, but also blinded by the ambition to bring higher ratings to her last placed news broadcast. I hope that news broadcasters and their cast of sycophants are not really the bottom feeders portrayed in this movie, but it’s hard to deny that, like in Network (I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!!!), nearly 40 years ago, this movie doesn’t make us feel well informed or morally centered. I’m not quite sure about a 91%, but this is definitely an interesting movie.







I was disappointed to be honest. It wasn't bad though Gyllenhaal and Riz both did great jobs though. (Watch ill manors if you haven't already)






Nightcrawler is the story of a man named Louis Bloom who is looking for a job. One night while driving he discovers a job that could be perfect for him. It involves people finding accidents and crime scenes and getting to the scene before or just as the police get there. Filming the aftermath, they sell the footage to news stations. Louis proves that he’s willing to do just about anything in his new job and begins to do well. At least for a while..

Now that I’ve talked about story I’d like to move on to acting. First of all, Jake Gyllenhall is nothing short of astounding. Every single moment he is on screen you can’t take your eyes off of him. He is mesmerizing. Jake Gyllenhall embodies Louis Bloom in this movie, he IS the character and it’s amazing to see. I cannot stress enough how amazing Jake Gyllenhall is in this movie. There are reasons that I think he is so great in this film. For one, when he looks at someone in the film, he analyzes them and seems like he is sizing them up, going over the numbers in his head as his character would do. Gyllenhall has a great number of monologues and every single one is delivered perfectly. If nothing else, see this film for Gyllenhall’s performance. You will not be disappointed.

Rene Russo is also in this movie and she was very good in this too. She and Gyllenhall have great scenes together and you can really feel the tension in the room when they’re together.

Bill Paxton is decent in this movie, even though he doesn’t get much screen time. Paxton’s acting was fine, but I had a bit of a problem with his character. At times, he felt a bit too much like a mean jock from a high school drama. He had lines like “Think about it brah.” and stuff like that and I found it hard to take him or his character seriously when he was on screen because of lines like these.

Robert Elswit, the director of photography for There Will Be Blood and most of P.T.A’s films was the director of photography for Nightcrawler, and of course the camera work was great. The dark lighting really helped keep the sinister and ominous mood of the film. The camerawork was definitely a plus.

I sort of had a problem with the music in the film. I felt that it was a bit too peppy and happy for the film. Especially when it was playing during dark disturbing scenes, it just felt too out of place and created some strange mood swings and tonal shifts.

One last problem I had with it was that it dragged just a little bit at the beginning, but once you really get into it you’ll find yourself leaning forward in your seat in anticipation.

I really liked Nightcrawler, it has a lot of the things I like. A great central character and great acting, great camerawork, great writing (for the most part) and a truly involving story that kept me literally on the edge of my seat. Also, this is one of the darkest movies I’ve seen in a while at the theater other than Gone Girl. And I LOVE dark movies, so it’s safe to say that I LOVED Nightcrawler. I would highly recommend it, especially to Gyllenhall fans.

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Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chants out between two worlds:
Fire walk with me.



Nightcrawler is one of the year's best films. It's dark and terrifying with stellar performances. I hope it gets some award recognition, but it might go the way of Drive.



Funny.

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This new 'Nightcrawler' film gets the comics all wrong
By Joshua Rivera
Entertainment Weekly
Nov 4, 2014 at 2:30PM



It’s kind of fun to compare the X-Men film franchise to its original source material. Remarkably enough, in just fourteen years, the movie universe has managed to become as convoluted and confusing as fifty years of comic books—even if the two are quite different, story-wise. The big, important stuff is in place—kind of like the way a stick figure looks like a person as long as you don’t forget where limbs are supposed to go. Everything else is played pretty fast and loose. And that’s fine! Adaptations shouldn’t be slavish recreations.

But boy, did they mess up this Nightcrawler movie.

Nightcrawler joined the X-Men movie-verse in X2: X-Men United. As played by Alan Cumming, the character is easily one of the best parts of what’s probably the best X-Men movie. So, of course, they never brought him back.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that Nightcrawler was playing in cinemas. A real movie about the greatest X-Man of the bunch! It had to happen sooner or later. Reboots and spinoffs are all the rage now—and studio execs are probably starting to realize that they can’t keep Hugh Jackman frozen in a tube forever, only to be trotted out for more X-Men movies. It’s probably in their best interest to follow the advice of Wu-Tang Financial and diversify their bonds, or something.

Although it’s a shame that they had to replace Alan Cumming, Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be getting rave reviews for his performance—which is a really exciting thing to hear, since acting under pounds of blue makeup and fur can’t be easy. I mean, he’s not alone in this—the X-Men are really fond of blue hair and blue makeup. Like, weirdly fond. Just ask Rebecca Romijn, Kelsey Grammar, Nicholas Hoult, or Jennifer Lawrence—fine actors, all of them, but none have stirred up Oscar talk for the times they blue themselves. Gyllenhaal must be next-level good here. Nightcrawler was going to break the mold. The first prestige superhero movie.



And it got everything astonishingly wrong.

First of all, it’s set in Los Angeles. Which is fine, I guess—I’m a hip comic book liberal, down with “re-imagining” and artistic liberty and stuff. But then Jake Gyllenhaal shows up, and the “artistic liberties” just start piling up. He’s not German, Catholic, or even particularly charming. And his name is wrong! He’s not “Lou Bloom,” he’s Kurt Wagner! Did they even read the comic?

“Actually, that’s all right,” I thought. I could be patient. I know that it’s important to trust filmmakers and not to overreact too rashly. Maybe “Lou Bloom” is an alias. Maybe Nightcrawler is on the run, the last living mutant, forced to sell stolen scraps to junkyards to make a living before he discovers that freelance crime video news is something he’s ideally suited for (given that he can teleport and stuff).

Then again, maybe the filmmakers don’t actually care about comic books? I kept waiting for “Lou Bloom” to become blue and furry. He doesn’t become blue and furry. At least, not in the literal sense. I watched more closely, to see if the filmmakers were going for a more abstract version of the character—maybe he was depressed, and the other kind of furry? No luck.

Same with his powers. “Lou Bloom” never teleports once. I mean, I guess I can understand this—a superhero movie where none of the superheroes use their powers is probably the sort of thing the Academy would go nuts over. But he doesn’t even walk into a door, then walk out of another door that’s far away, like a Scooby-Doo villain or something. That would’ve been a neat, arty way of implying teleportation. Nope; Lou Bloom sticks to strictly conventional modes of travel in this film. How disappointing.

All this doesn’t even account for the film’s biggest offense: “Lou Bloom” is a huge jerk. That’s not Nightcrawler! He’s the nicest guy. Like, that’s the whole point—looks like a demon, acts like a saint (Not his official catchphrase, but not too shabby all things considered). I mean, props to Jake Gyllenhaal for playing such a great creep, but shouldn’t he know better? This is the guy who worked hard to give us a faithful portrayal of The Prince from Prince of Persia! Not a good look, Bro.

So should comic book fans see Nightcrawler? That depends. Although it’s unfortunate that Mr. Gyllenhaal has no idea that he’s supposed to be a superhero, that’s more the fault of his director and screenwriter. It’s weird, though—watching the movie, it’s almost like these issues were intentional. I’m not sure why they even bothered calling their movie Nightcrawler? News Creep would be a better title. That way you wouldn’t confuse anybody.

It’s kind of like watching a really well-made Superman movie where they forget he has freeze breath, never call him Superman, make him the cause of endless horrific destruction, then have him straight up kill a dude.

Wait.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/11/04/nightcrawler-movie-xmen-comics/
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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra





But seriously, folks, Nightcrawler is excellent. Taxi Driver meets Network. Jake Gyllenhaal is mesmerizing, incredibly effective, it builds logically, by character, and with plenty of tension. Damn good stuff. Incredibly impressive as a directorial debut. Robert Elswit's cinematography is wonderful. He already has an Oscar (for There Will Be Blood), and while not as stylized as Michael Mann's Los Angeles (Heat, Collateral) this mostly nighttime journey around the city of angels is top notch stuff.

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It's not Taxi Driver. I'm sick of the Taxi Driver comparisons. At least the ones that claim Jake's character, Louis Bloom, is a lot like Travis Bickle. They are not. Travis Bickle is actually a nice guy, far from the evil menace that Louis Bloom is.

Also, I wouldn't call Jake Gyllenhaal "mesmerizing" in this movie. In other movies, yes, but not this one. "Mesmerizing" is just not the word. But I get what you mean.



Thanks.. great point of view



I thought Lou Bloom came off more like Norman Bates or Patrick Bateman. Heck the final shot from the CCTV in the police station kinda looked like the final shot of Bates in Psycho. In addition Bloom was VERY intelligent while Bickle was grunt smart. Bickle was a man Scorsese said was one part Saint but also part Charles Manson. Bloom is pure cold and emotionless sociopath. Only no where near as violent as Bateman or Bickle.

Still a fantastic movie, but I think Bloom is more comparable to a few other movie sociopaths.





But seriously, folks, Nightcrawler is excellent. Taxi Driver meets Network. Jake Gyllenhaal is mesmerizing, incredibly effective, it builds logically, by character, and with plenty of tension. Damn good stuff. Incredibly impressive as a directorial debut. Robert Elswit's cinematography is wonderful. He already has an Oscar (for There Will Be Blood), and while not as stylized as Michael Mann's Los Angeles (Heat, Collateral) this mostly nighttime journey around the city of angels is top notch stuff.

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I can clearly see the Taxi Driver analogy, but I don't see the intelligence of Network
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I thought Lou Bloom came off more like Norman Bates or Patrick Bateman. Heck the final shot from the CCTV in the police station kinda looked like the final shot of Bates in Psycho. In addition Bloom was VERY intelligent while Bickle was grunt smart. Bickle was a man Scorsese said was one part Saint but also part Charles Manson. Bloom is pure cold and emotionless sociopath. Only no where near as violent as Bateman or Bickle.

Still a fantastic movie, but I think Bloom is more comparable to a few other movie sociopaths.
Annie Wilkes from Misery comes to mind. Yes, they're two different kinds of people, but their intentions are both very sadistic. They care only about their own well being, not anyone else's.

Bloom's violence was worse than Bickle's. Bickle was trying to take down corruption. Bloom IS corruption. Bloom did everything to better his image. I think, for example,

WARNING: "Nightcrawler" spoilers below
that what he did to Bill Paxton and even Riz Ahmed were violent acts. These were two completely innocent people and he f**ked with them. Bloom cares about nobody but himself. The ending to Nightcrawler is sad because his whole news production team is going to wind up being victims of him. That's how I see it. He is a monster who tricks people and gets people to follow him and he's smart enough to know how to get away with it.



Annie Wilkes from Misery comes to mind. Yes, they're two different kinds of people, but their intentions are both very sadistic. They care only about their own well being, not anyone else's.

Bloom's violence was worse than Bickle's. Bickle was trying to take down corruption. Bloom IS corruption. Bloom did everything to better his image. I think, for example,

WARNING: "Nightcrawler" spoilers below
that what he did to Bill Paxton and even Riz Ahmed were violent acts. These were two completely innocent people and he f**ked with them. Bloom cares about nobody but himself. The ending to Nightcrawler is sad because his whole news production team is going to wind up being victims of him. That's how I see it. He is a monster who tricks people and gets people to follow him and he's smart enough to know how to get away with it.
Yeah he was a sadistic ****



I just watched the film at the theater and definitely enjoyed it. I wouldn't call the film brilliant, because it's not especially a film that offers any new ideas or criticisms, but it is a very well made film and it does present its themes in a very clever way. It tells about the marriage between a sociopath and the sensational news industry. We see how the work "on the battlefield" gets more immoral and insane, while the profits of the TV station get bigger.

The film is not particularly nuanced, but it gets the point across very well and in an extremely focused manner.

It's not Taxi Driver. I'm sick of the Taxi Driver comparisons. At least the ones that claim Jake's character, Louis Bloom, is a lot like Travis Bickle. They are not. Travis Bickle is actually a nice guy, far from the evil menace that Louis Bloom is.
I agree. I don't really get the Taxi Driver comparisons either. I think they still come from the first impressions of the trailer. Both movies don't really have that much in common, in my opinion.

The two main characters don't really have anything similar to them (as you said) and Taxi Driver has a much "softer" and atmospheric style than Nightcrawler, which is more driven by action and is relying more on a logical climax of immorality due to necessity, because of the untamed system.

Taxi Driver tells a whole different story about a mentally wounded man who gradually (which wasn't really the case in Nightcrawler as Gyllenhaal's character is already insane and evil from the beginning) gets fed up with the corruption and filth on the street and ultimately searches for extreme ways to cope with it.

They do both drive a car at night for a large amount of time in the film, though.

I can clearly see the Taxi Driver analogy, but I don't see the intelligence of Network
The message is pretty much identical to the one in Network, which is why so many people are comparing both films.

I still prefer Network though (which is one of my favorite films of all time), because it's a much richer movie overall. The insanely brilliant dialogues and speeches, the subplots, the twists, the more extreme and absurd nature of the whole film and of course the fact that Network is one of the first films that ever put the finger on the TV news industry in such a sharp and satirical way makes it a much grander movie and spectacle than Nightcrawler.

My final rating for Nightcrawler would be
+. It's a really well executed film and doesn't really have any glaring flaws. It grabbed me and kept me entertained during the whole ride, but at the same time it didn't go to very unusually brilliant places either.

It's a darkly comic thriller with a brain, which is always a joy to watch.
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Cobpyth's Movie Log ~ 2019



Network dealt with the subject of TV news and did it in a smarter and more satirical way, while Nightcrawler is darker and more visceral. While I think Nightcrawler is an excellent movie, Network is brilliant.



Taxi Driver tells a whole different story about a mentally wounded man who gradually (which wasn't really the case in Nightcrawler as Gyllenhaal's character is already insane and evil from the beginning) gets fed up with the corruption and filth on the street and ultimately searches for extreme ways to cope with it.

They do both drive a car at night for a large amount of time in the film, though.
Right. They're not similar movies at all. It's like comparing Airplane! with... I don't know. That Jodie Foster thing, Flightplan, which I didn't see (but might now that I notice Peter Sarsgaard is in it).

I haven't seen Network, so I can't say anything there.

Originally Posted by Cobpyth
My final rating for Nightcrawler would be
+. It's a really well executed film and doesn't really have any glaring flaws. It grabbed me and kept me entertained during the whole ride, but at the same time it didn't go to very unusually brilliant places either.
Even I think all the praise for Nightcrawler is a bit overrated. I think there's a "coolness" about the film that's attracting people. You're right in that it doesn't really go to brilliant places. I also think that Gyllenhaal's character, Louis Bloom, is such an a$$hole to the point that it lessens the movie. I dare say he might have even been wrong for the part. I say this as a Gyllenhaal fanatic because there's something about his natural charm that is just missing in this movie, I felt. And he does not seem very appealing physically as this character. Gyllenhaal is good at playing the good guy. By playing the bad guy here, I feel like he's purposely trying to stretch himself to do something different, at the sake of losing his natural charm. It's like if McDonald's changed their menu to become a pizza parlor. It ain't right.