PIFFF Day 1: Three Promising Debuts in TIME LAPSE, HOUSEBOUND, and NIGHTCRAWLER

by     Posted 3 days ago

time-lapse-review

The first day of the Paris International Fantastic Film Festival kicked off with a cult classic and three first-time feature films that are a promising debut for their respective directors: Time Lapse, Housebound and Nightcrawler kept the audience on the edge of their seats, while Wes Craven‘s A Nightmare on Elm Street, programmed in the Retro category, still manages to scare us witless for 90 minutes some 30 years after its release.

Hit the jump for my reviews.

The Paris International Fantastic Film Festival 2014 Kicks Off with Takashi Miike’s THE MOLE SONG: UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI

by     Posted 3 days ago

the-mole-song-undercover-agent-reiji-slice

In a theater near the famous Opéra Garnier, the 4th annual Paris International Fantastic Film Festival opened Tuesday night with a screening of the Japanese yakuza film, The Mole Song: Undercover Agent ReijiTakashi Miike‘s psychedelic cinematic feast announced the many hues of this year’s selection – and in a rather explosive manner.

Miike has turned a classic infiltration plot into a top gear Technicolor action flick that borders on parody.  Reiji Kikukawa is basically a failed cop.  Maybe because he’s still a virgin.  Or simply because he’s not cut out for catching criminals.  He’s fired yet undergoes some bizarre tests to become a mole — an undercover agent.  After one of these tests where he rides naked on the hood of a car he is dropped off in the most dangerous Japanese yakuza clan, or Mafia.  No one in the force believes he’ll make it out alive, yet despite his clumsiness and lack of skills, he finds his niche … or is it luck?  And the result is a visual hyperbole.  Hit the jump for more.

TOP 5: Margot Robbie in SUICIDE SQUAD, DUMB AND DUMBER TO, Universal’s Monster Universe, INSURGENT Trailer, Doctor Doom’s New Origin in THE FANTASTIC FOUR

by     Posted 8 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

I want to make this as clear as possible: if you’ve yet to check out writer/director Dan Gilroy‘s thriller Nightcrawler, you need to as quickly as you can. In his directorial debut, the veteran writer has not only crafted one of the best films of the year but also one of the most captivating protagonists in recent memory with Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Louis Bloom. The film centers on Bloom, a sociopathic thief who learns he can make a living shooting video of horrific events and selling said video to a local television news station managed by industry veteran Nina Romina (in an excellent turn by Rene Russo). As Bloom hones his craft, his price goes up and the stakes build in direct proportion. Nightcrawler should be lauded for its absolute evisceration of the local television news industry and its astute look at an economy so barren that it leaves room for this type of work to seem like an honest way to make a buck. That said, Gyllenhaal’s performance is the centerpiece and will be what Gilroy’s debut is ultimately remembered for. And rightfully so. It’s a career defining role that the actor owns from beginning to end.

Recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features Margot Robbie landing the role of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, interviews for and Matt’s review of Dumb and Dumber To, a few updates from Universal’s “Monster Movie Universe”, the first teaser trailer for Insurgent, and the revised origin of Toby Kebbell‘s Doctor Doom in Josh Trank‘s upcoming The Fantastic Four. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

THE COLLISION: Episode 110 – Explaining Oscar Prognostication; NIGHTCRAWLER

by     Posted 20 days ago

collision-podcast-slice

This week on The Collision, we break down the specifics of Oscar prognostication to explain how films that haven’t been released can still be in the race, where the 2014 awards race currently stands, growing and declining buzz on particular films, Mark Harris’ recent “X and Y” Oscar article, and more.  We also discuss Dan Gilroy‘s excellent new film, Nightcrawler.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Marvel Phase Three and Facing off Against Warner Bros./DC”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Rene Russo Talks NIGHTCRAWLER, If Her Character is a Victim or Villain, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 20 days ago

Rene-Russo-Nightcrawler-interview

Now playing in theaters is Nightcrawler, the stunning feature debut from writer/director Dan Gilroy.  The film centers on Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) an ambitious and morally malformed young man looking to find his fortune. When Bloom stumbles onto the world of “nightcrawlers”, film crews who capture footage of violent tragedies and sell it to the highest bidder, he finally finds his calling.  As Nina Romina, the ethically bankrupt news director who buys Bloom’s footage, Rene Russo turns in a career-best performance in a role written specifically for her. Desperate, sexy, and jaded, Nina is a devotee of the “if it bleeds, it leads” philosophy, always looking for the bottom line among the blood and guts.

I recently sat down for an exclusive video interview with Rene Russo.  She talked about her reaction when she first read the script, finding the character of Nina, playing the dynamic between Lou and Nina, whether she sees her character as a villain or victim, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Box Office: NIGHTCRAWLER and OUIJA in Dead Heat on Tame Halloween Weekend

by     Posted 21 days ago

nightcrawler-jake-gyllenhaal-slice-1

With Halloween behind it, the weekend box office got back to the business of being… boring.  Or maybe it’s just saving it’s strength for next week – when Interstellar and Big Hero 6 kick off the year’s final quarter?  Open Road’s Nightcrawler managed to take first place – but only by the slimmest of margins.  After coming in second behind horror holdover Ouija on Halloween, it looked like the Nightcrawler would take first place with $13 million this weekend: a win for a low-budget movie that had been tracking in the $11 million range.  In the end, the original projections were correct and the box office wound up with two underwhelming estimates in a near-tie at the top.  Nightcrawler and Ouija are so close, in fact, that that the horror pic could easily come out on top after actual box office totals are released on Monday.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Nightcrawler $10,909,000 $10.9
2.  Ouija $10,900,000 $34.9
3.  Fury $9,100,000 $60.4
4.  Gone Girl $8,800,000 $136.6
5.  The Book of Life $8,300,000 $40.5
6.  John Wick $8,050,000 $27.5
7.  St. Vincent $7,752,000 $19.5
8.  Alexander and… $6,485,000 $53.6
9.  The Judge $3,400,000 $39.5
10.  Dracula Untold $2,946,000 $52.8

 

Full story after the jump.

TOP 5: NIGHTCRAWLER, Marvel Phase 3 News, First Look at TERMINATOR: GENISYS, STARRY EYES Trailer, My Favorite Halloween Movie

by     Posted 22 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

After months of anticipation dating back to Matt’s Sundance review, I finally had the opportunity to check out The Babadook this week and it didn’t disappoint. Writer/director Jennifer Kent‘s film doesn’t just deliver consistent scares. It’s as moving and emotionally taxing as anything I’ve seen from the genre in years. Anchored by terrific lead performances from Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman, the pic is a grueling look at fear, resentment, and a single mother’s inability to cope with the constant presence of the two. From a horror perspective, The Babadook is extremely effective throughout as Kent delivers suspense, tension, and terror with deftness I wouldn’t expect from someone making their feature debut. Thematically, the film separates itself from the pack in the way it challenges viewers to acknowledge a piece of the human condition that is best kept latent, but exists nonetheless. Make no mistake, this is a scary film. Still yet, I would recommend The Babadook even to those who typically shy away from the genre due to the unique way it tells a touching story of a mother and son learning to live with loss.

My weekly recommendation out of the way, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of Nightcrawler, a ton of Phase 3 news from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first look at Terminator: Genisys, a trailer for the horror film Starry Eyes, and write-ups for some of the staff’s favorite Halloween movies. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Friday Box Office: OUIJA Pulls Off Halloween Win Over NIGHTCRAWLER

by     Posted 22 days ago

ouija-poster-slice

When Halloween falls on a Friday you can bet the box office will be pretty underwhelming.  With all major studios avoiding the date, Open Road Films’ Nightcrawler was expected to take first place by default.  The R-rated drama earned an estimated $3.2 million yesterday, including $515,000 from Thursday p.m. previews.  That puts it on track for about $13 million – and first place – this weekend, but it wasn’t enough to overcome horror-holdover Ouija on Halloween.  Last weekend’s number one film trailed Fury and John Wick all last week but returned to first place yesterday with an estimated $3.5 million from 2,899 locations.  That’s down 58% from its first Friday – an astonishingly good hold for most horror movies, let alone one that both critics and audiences have savaged.

Full story after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 22 days ago

oscars-best-actor-2014-steve-carell

Every year in the awards race, it seems like the Best Actor field is the most crowded category.  That is certainly the case with this current crop of contenders, as there is no shortage of formidable talents vying for one of the five Best Actor Oscar slots.  While it’s still a tad early to start talking about possible winners, there’s plenty to discuss with regards to chances of being nominated.  The contenders range from well-respected underdogs to recent winners, and yes, spoiler alert, many of them are playing real people.  After the jump, I take a look at the Best Actor race at a glance in this edition of Oscar Beat.

NIGHTCRAWLER Review

by     Posted 23 days ago

nightcrawler-review

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  Nightcrawler opens today.]

Local TV news is sociopathic. If I came up to you and began our conversation talking about the horrible deaths of total strangers that had no larger implication than seizing on your deep-seated fears about city living, you would think I’m not only insane, but predatory. And you would be right. Dan Gilroy’s chilling, pulse-pounding Nightcrawler manifests the essence of local news and puts it inside a protagonist where a soul should be. Anchored by Jake Gyllenhaal giving the best performance of the year thus far, Gilroy’s film is a scathing and decadently amoral portrait of ice-cold calculation and ruthless ambition speeding through the dark streets of Los Angeles.

Jake Gyllenhaal Talks NIGHTCRAWLER, the Reaction to His Character, How Working as a Producer Changed His Acting Approach, EVEREST, SOUTHPAW, and More

by     Posted 24 days ago

Jake-Gyllenhaal-Nightcrawler-interview

In theaters this weekend is Nightcrawler, the stunning feature debut from writer/director Dan Gilroy.  The film centers on Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) an ambitious and morally malformed young man looking to find his fortune.  When Bloom stumbles onto the world of “nightcrawlers”, film crews who capture footage of violent tragedies and sell them to the highest bidder, he finally finds his calling.  While Gyllenhaal has always stood tall among his peers as a brave and capable actor, his work in Nightcrawler sets a new standard. Bloom is chilling, charming, and the perfect representation of what happens when the American Dream turns nightmarish.

I recently sat down with Gyllenhaal for an exclusive video interview.  He talked about how people have reacted the complicated character of Lou Bloom, how working as producer changed his approach as an actor, if he wants to move into directing, and what’s coming up in 2015 like Everest, Southpaw, and Demolition.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE COLLISION: Episode 109 – Marvel Phase Three and Facing off against Warner Bros./DC Comics

by     Posted 25 days ago

collision-podcast-slice

This week on The Collision, we talk about the massive announcement regarding Marvel Phase Three.  We look at what the plan implies, what was left behind (poor Ant-Man), how enthusiasm for the future makes us forget the present (Avengers: Age of Ultron looked like an afterthought after the Phase Three announcement and that movie hasn’t even come out yet), the inevitable clash with Warner Bros./DC, marketing to fans, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“World War II Films and Fury“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Writer-Director Dan Gilroy Talks NIGHTCRAWLER, Deleted Scenes, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Weight Loss, Tim Burton’s SUPERMAN LIVES, and More

by     Posted 25 days ago

dan-gilroy-nightcrawler-interview

One of my favorite movies of 2014 is opening this weekend: writer-director Dan Gilroy’s debut feature, Nightcrawler.  In the film, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a guy desperate to score a job.  While on the hunt, Lou stumbles across a “nightcrawler,” someone who captures footage of fires, murders and all sorts of chaos to sell to new stations and Lou comes to the conclusion that the gig is perfect for him.  While I’ve seen Gyllenhaal deliver some great performances End of Watch, Prisoners, Zodiac and Brokeback Mountain, his work in Nightcrawler takes him to the next level.  It’s easily one of my favorite performances of the year and absolutely worth a full price ticket to see this weekend when the film opens.  For more on the film, read Matt’s glowing review or watch the red band trailer.

During my exclusive video interview with Dan Gilroy he talked about casting Gyllenhaal, the actor’s weight loss, the positive reaction from critics, deleted scenes, the experience of making his directorial debut, where the idea came from, unproduced scripts, writing Superman Lives for Tim BurtonStan Lee’s The Annihilator, future projects and more.  Hit the jump to watch what he had to say.

NIGHTCRAWLER Red Band Trailer Packed with Critic Quotes and Hilariously Crude Behavior

by     Posted 30 days ago

nightcrawler-jake-gyllenhaal-slice

Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler isn’t even a comedy, but this clever new red trailer had me laughing more than any other promo I’ve seen in a while.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom, a guy desperate to score a job.  While on the hunt, Lou stumbles across a “nightcrawler,” someone who captures footage of fires, murders and all sorts of chaos to sell to new stations and Lou comes to the conclusion that the gig is perfect for him.

Nightcrawler is due in theaters on October 31st and in honor of the release, Open Road Films just unveiled a brand new trailer for the movie.  As this is likely one of the last promos we’ll get, naturally, this Nightcrawler red band trailer is loaded with critic quotes.  They’re all glowing, but not in the way one might expect.  This is a see it to believe it kind of piece so hit the jump to check it out and click here to give Matt’s Nightcrawler review a read.

Jake Gyllenhaal Pitches to Rene Russo in New NIGHTCRAWLER Clip, Plus New Images

by     Posted 45 days ago

nightcrawler-clip-images

Open Road Films has released a new Nightcrawler clip from director Dan Gilroy’s upcoming psychological thriller, which was one of the best films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.  Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a sociopath who plunges into the depths of filming gruesome footage for local news, and begins pushing the limits between covering the news and making it.  The film has shades of Network and Taxi Driver, and you’ll get a little taste of the former in this new clip that finds Bloom pitching himself to a late night network news producer played by Rene Russo.  Their relationship in the film develops in delicious fashion, and I can’t wait to see the movie again when it opens on Halloween.

Hit the jump to check out the new Nightcrawler clip as well as some new images, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton, and Kevin RahmNightcrawler opens in theaters on October 31st.

Click Here