BLU-RAY REVIEW: NIGHTCRAWLER / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: DAN GILROY / SCREENPLAY: DAN GILROY / STARRING: JAKE GYLLENHAAL, RENE RUSSO, BILL PAXTON, RIZ AHMED / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2ND
To put it right out there on front street, Nightcrawler is simply a fantastic film. Dan Gilroy’s seedy tale of Los Angeles insta-journalism is a wonder to behold.
The focus of our attention is on Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a desperate man who is in need of work and who has slightly loose morals. Almost accidentally he finds himself involved in crime journalism as a way to make a living. Before he knows it, Lou starts to make a name for himself in the field of nightcrawling; essentially competing with his peers to be first on the scene of some grisly crimes and accidents, such as fires, shootings, and straight-up murder. As Lou sets out to make himself a quick buck, his tale becomes a darker one and one that throws up many questions on the topic of money-making and recognition getting the better of morals and good taste.
Nightcrawler is a complicated, intriguing beast that can be viewed on multiple different levels. As a piece of social commentary, it’s a great way to explore the demand for sensationalist and scaremongering in the news industry. Ratings are king and some news outlets are simply focussed on drawing in viewing numbers rather than reporting factual events or showing scenes that are in good taste. And as such, Gyllenhaal’s Lou becomes to get involved with the news on a level where he’s not so much reporting on it, more he’s actively participating in it in an effort to make his venture successful and to make a name for himself.
It has to be said, the slimmed-down Jake Gyllenhaal (he lost 30 lbs for the role) is in mesmerising form here, joining his recent turns in the likes of Source Code, End of Watch, Prisoners and Enemy as making you realise that this is an actor who is one of the very best of his generation when given the right material. Additionally, Rene Russo is also in fine form as a TV news veteran who is desperate to bring in ratings in order to keep her job, and her dynamic with Gyllenhaal is a true highlight of an all-round exceptional film.
When it received its cinema release last year, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler received rave reviews, and the film itself is just as good on repeat viewings. Tense, atmospheric, chilling and always engaging, added to by a pulsating, frantic soundtrack, Nightcrawler is a special, often dark, film that strides over a minefield of morals and delivers many a gripping moment that will have you glued to the edge of your seat. Quite simply, Nightcrawler is a film that you must see.
Special Features: TBC
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