Nightcrawler dead before sunrise

Where does news come from? How is video from a crash that happened at four in the morning end up on the morning news? Chances are night rats called stringers will sell it to the highest buyer, with little to no experience a few of these guys are under loose contract. That’s what Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’ explores, the dirty underbelly of the news media.

Upon first seeing the trailer for the films, it’s a vague thriller taking place on the dirty streets of Los Angeles. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role as seedy Louis Bloom, which brings us the Gyllenhaal we were introduced in ‘Donnie Darko.’ A cold, sociopathic character that makes the viewer feel less than comfortable for the hour and a half you get to know him. Though one doesn’t really get to know Gyllenhaal’s character, the viewer is tossed into this film with little to no back story save for the fact Lou is looking to go straight from a life of stealing chain link fence for scrap. After that the film takes liberties about how journalism and freelancing or stringing works.

Aside from that we see horrible violations of how cops and firefighters work, in one scene Bloom and another Stringer literally get in the face of a patient being worked on and almost anyone who is a first responder know this is something that would never happen. Even the regular consumer of news at home knows most stations wouldn’t show that. Though one can commend Gilroy’s research in how a newsroom works and different jobs performed by the people who make third shift news happen. Other than that severe liberties are taken by the director who also wrote the original screenplay.

The film felt entirely too long for what it was trying to do, and the viewer has time to end up bored while watching it. Few moments are thrilling but other than that the film does fall a little flat without any backstory for Bloom or anyone else in the film. Gilroy does manage to make the viewer hate Bloom and his character with his ability to detach completely from the situation and his belief in going above and beyond is really just selfish.

Rene Russo gives a stunning performance of a struggling news director, who will do anything to save her job and her ratings. Giving the sketchy Bloom a chance to sell his material to her, no matter how he got it. She forgoes all ethics due to her selfish behavior. Her character is strong and a force to be reckoned with in the newsroom.

‘Nightcrawler’ does do a good job of showing a different side to the L.A. most people know and it’s shot in a way that makes you feel too close to Bloom’s character. Even Bloom’s apartment is a reflection of who he is and how cold and detached he is from everyone else around him. Art direction does an amazing job of leaving the audience to feel his detachment from how he dresses and how his apartment even looks, his only care in the world a small plant.

This film is one that could be saved for late night HBO viewing, because spending money on seeing this is a waste of time. The film is dark and seedy, and manages to show whole different side of L.A. and the media but outside of that a lot of left to be desired. It’s an hour and a half of watching Gyllenhaal and his expertly tied man bun. Character writing leaves a lot to be desired, so save it for a night at home with a good drink.

Head down to the Picking Tree with Denver based 1892

“Picking Tree” from 1892 is a bluesy rock track that proves young talent is alive and well. The song is an original concept by the Denver based group that has been causing local waves in their hometown.

The song is raw and showcases talent from all members, but listeners will be transfixed by David Corboy’s voice from the moment he starts to sing. Corboy who also plays bass for the band, sings over a mix of piano, drums and guitar that starts slow and breaks into a catchy rock beat; that blends in and out with Corboy’s singing and playing. Mike Ring provides backing vocals and opens the song on a back drop of drums led by Daryl Cozzi and guitar played by Colin Farnsworth.

The song has a slow start but as it progresses Cozzi ushers in a catchy beat that mixes over Farnsworth’s playing and piano played by Noel Billups. The whole song moves through a bluesy beat that drops into a classic rock sound, no two parts of the song sound absolutely the same but it features a clean progression of rock and blues that allows breaks for Billups’ piano playing to stand out.

While Farnsworth leads with incredibly strong guitar playing that adds to the magical atmosphere of the song, it allows Corboy’s voice to stand out alongside of it. No part of the instrumentation or singing is out of place or overpowers any one member of the band, but the piece comes together as a cohesive sound that proves to ultimately be catchy and will end up stuck in your head.

While, 1892 does have a full length album available titled “Gypsy House”, they can be contacted and followed via Facebook. “Picking Tree” can be found on Youtube along with other songs by the band from the album, as well as a few other singles.

1892 can be found here:

Gone Girl… Takes Audience with It

The idea of knowing someone, takes a horrifically dark turn in novel turned film “Gone Girl.” The original story written by Gillian Flynn has taken life on the silver screen by Academy Award winning director David Fincher, and much like his previous movies the truth is far from what the viewer assumes.

The film takes place in a sleepy Missouri town, where Ben Affleck’s picture perfect life takes a turn for the worse when he returns from his bar to find his wife (played by Rosamund Pike) missing after what looks like a struggle in their living room. From the beginning the viewer easily assumes it’s Affleck who seems to not understand why it’s happening or how. While Pike narrates different entries from her diary painting a picture that seems less than ideal; the film messes with the viewer from the get go.

Pike’s character challenges the traditional female character seen in other films where they are usually victim and are the passive ones. While Affleck unlike other male leads takes both an emotional and psychological beating from not only his missing wife but the whole nation. Pike gives a stunning performance and brings to life a character who would do better in a mental ward than in a quiet neighborhood. While Affleck shows a man who is beaten, tired and just completely at wits end due to psychological abuse.

The whole cast plays as pawns to Pike and Affleck who command the screen in this dysfunctional reality created by Flynn and brought to life by Fincher. The film stars other Hollywood known actors, one being Neil Patrick Harris who falls victim to the twisted life led by Pike and Affleck, as well Saturday Night Live alum Casey Wilson who takes on a more serious albeit ditzy role in this film. While Tyler Perry is serious and commanding as the attorney  hired by Affleck. Kim Dickens plays the no bullshit detective who is trying to solve the mystery of the missing wife, Dickens commands the screen with a serious demeanor who in the end realizes the true motive. While the story centers around Affleck for the first half of the film, you realize there is so much as we get to know Pike’s character in flashbacks painting a dark and complex picture.

The film is dark in story, the cinematography is dull and dim and we never truly see too many dark colors. Many of the colors throughout the film are muted and seem almost sad and somber much like the marriage Pike and Affleck have through the film. Even the home they share is cold and decorated rather plainly, again a reflection of their lives together. Though the film takes place in the summer, it feels cold and lonely and is very much the way our main characters feel respectively. Even the scenes in New York feel cooler and distant than they should, and it is reflected in the somber moments shared by the characters in flashbacks.

The whole film is a psychological roller coaster that not only messes with the characters, but the viewer as well. Though the film is slow moving and can be hard for some to get into, once you’re in you want to know how and why it all happens. The film is a must see for anyone who is a fan of Flynn, as well as anyone who enjoys dark and twisted stories. Flynn’s novel takes on it’s own life and shows us the true darkness of the human mind, and what people are capable of. It proves that the old saying is true “you think you know someone…”