Rodnick Chiropractic  Waterford Michigan

THE NIGHTCRAWLER: A Dark Look Into The Machinery Of Publicity

This film has creepy written all over it. It’s got Jake Gyllenhaal in it and he is not his usual friendly self. In fact, this time around he is extremely abnormal and very… well, very creepy. I was excited about this film because I liked the trailer and thought that it ties into the disintegration of the middle class. You know the kind of stuff that really gets this generation pumped up. I am talking about the 1% and the 99% and all the hoopla that goes with it. This goes along with the rallying cry of "There's just not enough good jobs to go around". It’s got the right kind of hook in place to get the audience riled up and on the side of the protagonist. This unemployed thief played by Gyllenhaal is named Lou Bloom and has a personality quirk bigger than Travis Bickle from Scorsese’s, “Taxi  Driver”.

The scenes open up at night and shows our hero trying to steal chain link fence metal so he can resell it. He is unlikeable right from the start and looks like he has been acquiring fashion tips from comedian Neil Hamburger. There is a greasy quality to his hair that unfortunately stays throughout the entire film. Unable to maintain steady work as a thief he decides instead to take on the media by becoming one with it. Armed with a  video camera he buys from a pawn shop he becomes a stringer. That is he shows up at car accident sites, car chases, murder sites and starts to record footage that he later sells to TV stations. This has the American spirit written all over it but like I said…. The guy is creepy.

Bloom begins a strange work relationship with a TV anchor named Nina, (played by Rene Russo) that starts out innocently enough but soon takes a dark turn. Bloom adds pressure to the relationship by pressuring her to get physically sexual with him. We never really see what transpires between the two because the scene jumps to the following morning. There are two scenes here that really were kind of hilarious. One is a set of sprinklers that become active and shoots water all over a lawn. Then the next scene jumps to a large inflatable green blow up balloon guy like the kind you see in a used car parking lot. The arms and head and flopping around uncontrollably by a fan that is shooting up air through it causing it to dance spasmodically. Are we supposed to make a mental leap here that Rene Russo’s character was bouncing around in bed in a fit of orgasmic bliss? The director, Dan Gilroy, is not telling and as an audience member I snickered and thought it was kind of funny.

The rest of the film is just bizarre. Lou Bloom films a crime scene and gets tangled up with real bad guys. From there the movie takes a life and death kind of situation that puts you at the end of your seat. There is a lot of tension here and you wonder where the plot is going to go exactly.  This movie takes  a lot of unexpected twists and it is very entertaining. It’s great to see some originality here on the screen.

Bill Paxton is in all this too but I barely recognized him. He plays a rival as another video stringer company that goes into direct competition with Gyllenhaal. There are some preachy things that transpire when the subject of work ethic comes up that are somewhat laughable. I say that knowing full well that this rhetoric is coming from the mouth of a sociopath. Even though the logic in this film is very twisted and Gyllenhaal is very manipulative there is a solid message here about the media business.

I have to wonder if this was a tongue and cheek response to the world we live in. The ending really ties it all together and Gyllenhaal’s character seems to pontificate about the virtues of solid work ethic, honesty and what it takes to become great at the job of creating media. He is addressing his staff of modern age video journalists and I can’t help but wonder if this is how this new generation see’s itself.

Gyllenhall finds a desperate and eager employee that will work for next to nothing. This is someone for him to mold and manipulate and even do dirty work. This new hire drives recklessly to get from one potential job to another. This is real bare bones entrepreneurial spirit in action. They team is armed with a  used police radio, a muscle car and two video cameras. They are willing to risk life and limb and potentially get themselves killed just to capture a story for the public. This is real dedication but it also borders on madness.

Are they victims lost in the old school of thinking? Are they at the mercy of the old way of doing things? Is it better to be a street hustler and to redefine the rules until you get them to work for your benefit? I had TMZ rattling in my head towards the end of the film and wondered if this was how they started in the media business. Maybe they just butted in where they didn’t belong and then create their own footprint in the world of being self appointed paparazzis’. Who knows.

This film gets the wheels turning. It gets you thinking about the merits of a college education verses getting on the street and creating something from nothing. It got me wondering if there was how the younger generation identifies with the older generation. Do they see themselves as victims? Or is this business of going to college and getting a job a broken business model?

So many questions but I still have a hard time justifying anything Gyllenhaal does on screen because he is just such an oddball character. Even though there are some entertaining things about this movie I was glad to see it end. This doesn’t go as far on the media commentary side of things like the Tarantino movie, “Natural Born Killers” but this movie does belong in the same conversation.


Ted Cantu
Hot Metro Finds
Winter 2014

 

 

 

 

NIGHTCRAWLER FILM | Film Review| Hot Metro Finds | Jake Gyllenhall | detroit entertainment | detroit weekend entertainment | Arts

 

Home :: Movie Reviews :: Riot Fest 2014 :: Queen + Adam Lambert Rock You :: Detroit Rock Scene Goes Retro ::
Remembering Lou Reed :: Echo and the Bunnymen in Detroit :: sitemap ::

©2015 Hot Metro Finds, LLC, All rights reserved

BBQ Nation - Metro Detroit, Michigan
Queen + Adam Lambert - 2014 Tour - Auburn Hills, Michigan
Big Tommys Parthenon Novi, Michigan
Ted Cantu SEO - Metro Detroit Hot Metro Finds

Valentine Vodka - Ferndale Michgian