Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nightcrawler Reviewed!

Glib Reviews Of Recent DVD Releases

- Directed By Dan Gilroy

Everybody talks about how great Jake Gyllenhaal is in this very 70’s vibed flick. They are right to do so, but longtime screenwriter and first time director Dan Gilroy deserves a lot of credit for a tight noir script and masterful direction that make this one of the better LA Noirs in ages. Renee Russo also brings the hot older News lady who has survived on nothing but grim cynically derived urban crime’ stories, with the kind of non cliched femme fatale vibe we are hoping for when we hear the name Renee Russo. 

One of the best shot at night (if it was ‘day for night,’ it does not look it) movies I have seen. The ‘ambulance chasing’ scenes are well choreographed and edited. The whole film has such a creepy vibe, which matches Gyllenhaal’s masterful and very award worthy performance. I doubt he will beat Redmayne’s ‘transformative’ part in the Theory Of Everything, as those kinds of stories dominate awards shows.

Gyllenhaal is channeling a character noir like conducting a symphony of tweaks, creepy dialogue, and passive aggressive slogan filled monologues. Rick Garcia also merits some attention, as does Bill Paxton for their part of the ensemble. Paxton brings the old hand at this game vibe that is needed, while Garcia oozes self loathing and fear as Lewis’ stooge, and obviously doomed navigator.

The screenplay hits all the right notes, eschews the modern obligatory sex scenes that often slow down if not ruin the pace of these kinds of thrillers. There is some deft use of montage that pushes the story forward rather than slowing it down, a rare thing from a Hollywood movie. In my awards vision this film would be nominated for best picture along with it’s star for best actor, and cast for best ensemble.

I can’t really find any flaws to bother knocking this story down. there are some points where Bloom’s ability to creep around crime scenes while cops are there is a bit much, but the story moves so well, these things are part of the suspension of disbelief which hold tight throughout the picture, or at least it did for me. See this movie now!

9.5 handsome creeps who talk you into stuff outta 10

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Review Of Birdman, which is mostly Awesome!

Glib Reviews of Recent DVD Releases

- Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Birdman is easily the most ‘Meta’ movie I have seen in a long time. And, not just because of the obvious Michael Keaton Birdman/Batman thing. Birdman is also a “behind the scenes theatre movie,” the likes of which we maybe haven’t seen since Peter Bogdanvich’s only great movie since the 70’s: Noises Off. The constantly moving camera didn’t for me give that illusion of one ling take; that everyone talks about, it was something I knew going in, and dispensed with right away. 

It’s a gimmick that works, in my opinion, as the camera movement required to pull off that trick, really was more about keeping the story in view, less than saying it’s all one movement, because it’s not. It's several moments, linked together by a faux dolly shot that never ends, until it does on Riggen’s daughter Sam’s face. I saw the Dolly shot POV as ‘Birdman’s POV from frame one. 
Outside and invisible except to Riggen. The only time I lost my glee in following around the story was towards the end, the hospital stuff seemed necessary by the end, but getting there was staccato and and not as easy to flow with as the first two acts of the movie/play.

You kind of have to know how it ends well beforehand I think. I was pulling for a Hardcore logo ending, which isn’t what we got, not to spoil it too much. I am a bit torn on the actual ending, as it invoked how much I liked the theatrical release ending of Brazil, despite it’s tacked onness. 

Oh and I cannot say enough about all the actors in this. Keaton hasn’t been this good since ‘Clean & Sober’ as far as I am concerned. Home run. Well deserved awards season for him. Edward Norton also kills playing a petulant man/boy version of the serious actor who looks a lot like serious actor Edward Norton. Emma Stone also brings the petulance, en large and has real chemistry with both Norton, and Keaton. Naomi watts and Amy Ryan classed up the whole joint, as they masterfully portrayed being en-wived to man/boy actors, with or without secret superpowers. Zach Galifinakis also holds his own with all the talent hopping around onscreen.

I want to re-watch this movie sooner than later, though maybe not before discussing it with people who love/hate/are indifferent to it. 

8.23456 middle aged actors getting locked out of their dressing rooms in nothing 

but their tightey whities.