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.

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Fall Out Boy go Roman in Centuries Video

So what do you after you Save Rock n Roll and appease Elton John? Well if you’re Fall Out Boy you release a new video for your new song. After dropping the ending theme for Disney’s “Big Hero Six” Fall Out Boy comes back with the long awaited video for “Centuries”

The video itself takes place in ancient Rome (or Fall Out Boy’s version at least) where we see all four members tied up and waiting in carts. Dressed clearly as gladiators they are being carted off much like Russell Crowe to face their death in the colosseum so it seems. Prior to this we see them approached by a mysterious man who hands them each small objects.

They go into the area and begin a battle which is very much a reminder of Goliath from the bible, and while the ending shouldn’t be spoiled the viewer can decide that Fall Out Boy wins. But during this we see so much CGI and so many shots of this faux Rome they have created and so little of Fall Out Boy the video is just campy and bad. Fortunately, the song itself is good and can do without a video, which is a far cry from the group that turned Brendan Urie into a vampire and Courtney Love into a badass rebel leader.

The video is strange and doesn’t tie in visuals with the song itself, and nothing about this strange gladiator theme seems to match with what they are singing. Fall Out Boy attempts to take the video to make it into a small mini movie, but it fails to do that. Unlike the Save Rock and Roll videos which created a cohesive piece, this is just a sad attempt to capture that.

While the song is extremely catchy the video itself left a lot to be desired, it was CGI heavy and just all around strange. It felt less like the established Fall Out Boy and more like a newcomer who was given a fairly good budget. The video left a lot to be desired and unlike the hyperlapse version first released, this video was just a departure from the classic band we all know. Once they exit the ring, Fall Out Boy should go back to basics and go back to what they do best, which is no CGI and them causing trouble.

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:
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Fall Out Boy brings a big hero sound to Big Hero 6

After a particularly successful month with the release of “Centuries” Chicago’s Fall Out Boy returns with “Immortals” the first song to come from Disney’s next release “Big Hero 6”.

“Immortals” is a complete departure from “Centuries” and even their last record release. The opening beat of the song is reminiscent of something you’d hear in a club. Something almost like a hip hop beat that drops into a strong vocals led by lead singer Patrick Stump. The song begins a transformation about a minute in and you can hear a distinct Fall Out Boy sound, but it still retains the electronic beat from the beginning.

Stump croons “we can be immortals…” on a backdrop of electronic beats that weave in and out on a rock beat and a prominent bass drum that leads through the whole song. Though due to this electronic beat that runs in and out of the chorus line, unlike many other Fall Out Boy songs you don’t have that feature of the instruments that many fans have become accustomed to. This is a huge departure from the early days of Fall Out Boy and it is a more grown up and edgier sound for the band. Though nonetheless they still retain their image of who they are and the music is still very much Fall Out Boy.

“Immortals” is available on iTunes now for download, though the band has mentioned that if it isn’t it can be found sometime next week. More information about Disney’s “Big Hero 6” can be found on Disney’s website and the movie will be hitting theaters on November 7.

Yellowcard Come Out Swinging with Lift A Sail

After a long year of touring and riding out the wave of their acoustic rerelease of their first album “Ocean Ave.” Florida native and Los Angles based Yellowcard are back with their anticipated fall release “Lift a Sail.” Almost two years after their last full length release “Southern Air” the new album is true to the original Yellowcard sound.

Opening with a stunning violin solo from Sean Mackin, the album begins with a somber sound that explodes into a crescendo of pure Yellowcard. “Transmission Home” opens the record laced with strong vocals and a clean mix of guitar and drums that drops into a beautiful piano and violin which eventually mixes back into vocals and a strong rock beat. Yellowcard brings an explosive sound on this record. Especially after an acoustic release and “Southern Air” which was quieter in nature. “Lift a Sail” is all rock but still very true to who Yellowcard is as a band.

While, “One Bedroom” the first official release from the album has strong acoustic feel while still maintaining an electric rock sound. Mixing acoustic guitar, violin and a steady piano beat laced with an electro beat. Ryan Key’s vocals are the main focus and it lets you appreciate his ability to go from acoustic backing to full electronic sound. The song relies on Key’s strong vocal singing eventually dropping to showcase guitarist Ryan Mendez and Key’s own playing.

The album’s title track “Lift a Sail” is a track with a slow start but one that has a strong guitar melody that transforms into a mix of drums and a complex bass line. The title track may remind many Yellowcard fans of early songs, specifically “You and Me and One Spotlight” from 2007’s “Paper Walls” which begins slow and grows into a mix of drums and complex bass line.

The album is truly a Yellowcard album that showcases the talents of it’s members both individually and together as a band. The band tends to move through different sounds throughout their album. From powerful ballads like “Transmission Home” and “My Mountain” to softer songs like “One Bedroom” and “Madrid” all of which bring together a sound that is distinctly Yellowcard.

A band that has never stuck to one specific type of sound and has the ability to go from electronic instruments to just full acoustic sets. “Lift a Sail” is a great addition to Yellowcard’s ever changing and growing sound. The album is also something that can add fans to the already large fan base with it’s relatable lyrics and amazing instrumentation.

“Lift a Sail” is the first album not to feature original drummer Longieu Parsons III and is the first album released after the band’s departure from Hopeless Records. Though even with these changes the album is all Yellowcard and written truly from the heart; It is absolutely beautiful in sound and talent. “Lift a Sail” is currently available on Amazon and iTunes as well as nationwide retailers. The band is currently out on tour with Memphis May Fire and Emarosa. All information about the record and the tour can be found on Yellowcardrock.com.

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…”