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Nightcrawler: Thriller That’s Beyond the Real World of LA Crime and Video Journalism

Thu October 30 2014 6:54 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=72325
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Nightcrawler Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Jake Gyllenhaal Movie HD.

Do you have a cell phone? Does it have GPS? Congratulations, you’re hired.

A Hollywood thriller checks out the world of Los Angeles crime and crash journalism. Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a driven, hungry young man who needs a job and discovers by accident (no pun intended) the work of video spotters and the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism.

As in Chicago and cities across America, the Los Angeles character joins the competition of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem. Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of “nightcrawling” or video spotting. The characters must constantly monitor police and fire radio scanners and follow the police siren which translates to a meager income or a possible windfall. Coached by Nina (Rene Russo), who is a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news that summarizes and sensationalizes the overnight mayhem. Lou, awkward at first, eventually excels at the work. The grisly scenes and suspense keep viewer on the edge of their chairs or covering their eyes.

Of course, it’s Hollywood, and there are exaggerations that will have full criticism of those obsessed with accurate detail. The movie is getting mixed reviews — “A” for excitement, but lacking value and resolution.

“Gyllenhaal’s best performance maybe ever, and a fine one by Russo as well.”

— Pete Hammond, Deadline

“The real L.A.P.D. would be leading the whole station away in handcuffs … Despite a worthy premise and a lot of solid work by a memorable cast, Nightcrawler does not hold up convincingly under close scrutiny.”

— Rex Reed, New York Observer

“All the iconic L.A. trappings: Venice Beach, the LAX flight path, oil derricks and palm trees swaying in rhythmic unison, and the fluorescent haze that hangs in the nighttime sky” but “not believable for so much as a second.”

— Scott Foundas, Variety Toronto Film Review

Director Dan Gilroy “loses faith in the audience’s intelligence, but “Nightcrawler is well worth seeing just for Gyllenhaal’s spectacularly creepy performance.”


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