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Non-Review Review: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler features a tour de force performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal plays Louie (“call me Lou”) Bloom, a wandering and lost soul who stalks late-night Los Angeles in search of a lucrative pay-day. He is just trying to get his foot on the ladder any way that an entrepreneurial young gentleman can – he’s introduced stealing construction supplies and scrap metal so he can sell them on, seguing effortlessly into a well-rehearsed job pitch applying for an unpaid internship.

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Bloom seems like a man who has watched people from a distance for years, almost through a filter. Gyllenhaal injects a haunting eccentricity into the character, his wide eyes and practised stillness almost edging Bloom into the uncanny valley. Though he seems to always know just what to say, there’s something distinctly inhuman about Lou Bloom. He watches people, but from the outside. He has got a pretty passable impersonation of a human being down, but there’s just something missing.

Nightcrawler is a fascinating, harrow and occasional wry look at desperation and ruthlessness – and the heady cocktail they make when blended together.

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Non-Review Review: Broadcast News

Broadcast News feels like it has lost a bit of its bite as the years went on. Originally released fifteen years ago, it undoubtedly seemed like a prophetic commentary on trends in news media, voicing an understandable unease at the line blurring between merely reporting the news and “selling” it to an eager and unquestioning population. Back then, these trends were undeniably present and one could sense a none-too-subtle shift in the approach to news. Unfortunately, it looks like those trends are to stay, and I think that has aged Broadcast News considerably. It doesn’t feel like James L. Brooks’ telling media satire is attacking a coming change so much as it is making one last stand against it. It’s still a very clever, very powerful and very well put together piece of film, but it sadly feels like it’s fighting a battle lost long ago.

That, perhaps, makes Broadcast News the most depressing comedy I’ve seen in quite some time.

They let an Tom, Dick or Harry host the news…

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