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.
1. Exclusive: Margot Robbie to Play Harley Quinn in SUICIDE SQUAD
When it comes to news, a lot of the time my colleagues and I find ourselves bringing our own perspective to a story that broke somewhere else. This week we have a couple of exceptions to that general rule with the first being our report that The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Margot Robbie has landed the role of Harley Quinn in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad film. I thought the actress was great in TWOWS and look forward to seeing what she brings to the table in this role. I also won’t argue if costume design decides to throw a red and black leotard into the mix at some point assuming it’s tastefully done, of course.
2. DUMB AND DUMBER TO Interviews and Review
I adored Dumb & Dumber as a kid. In fact, I rewatched it not too long ago and still enjoyed the film. Carrey and Daniels’ Lloyd and Harry were just oblivious enough, had just the right amount of child like ignorance, to be lovable protagonists. In the opening paragraph of Matt’s review he says their mostly innocent stupidity is gone in the sequel which puts the likelihood of me enjoying Dumb and Dumber To in serious jeopardy. In spite of this, I still encourage those interested in the film to check out Christina’s interviews with filmmakers Peter & Bobby Farrelly, Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels, and Kathleen Turner.
3. Universal’s Monster Movie Universe Leaves the Horror Genre
I’ve lamented about how the unprecedented success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has led to Warner Bros. & DC feeling like they have to cobble together something similar just to keep pace. Today I’ll do the same with regards to Universal’s plan to revive their classic monsters in an interconnected Monster Movie Universe. We’ve known about this approach for a while but, to make matters worse, this week we learned that the films won’t be horror but rather action/adventure. Additionally, the studio has essentially put a writer’s room in place to help develop the pictures which falls into the trap of treating films like television that my colleague Adam Chitwood rightfully warned us of a few months back. I’m officially interested in seeing none of these films for the time being.
4. First Teaser Trailer for INSURGENT
The first teaser trailer for Lionsgate/Summit’s Divergent sequel, Insurgent, premiered this past week and is mostly comprised of Shailene Woodley jumping from things in slow motion. If you enjoyed the original then I imagine this is right in your wheelhouse. For me, I’m just glad to see the gifted actress working even if I selfishly wish it was something that played a little more to my own sensibilities.
5. Exclusive: Doctor Doom’s New Origin in THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Here’s the second exception to the general “story breaking” rule I mentioned earlier. In an interview celebrating the Blu-ray/DVD release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Toby Kebbell exclusively revealed to Steve the revised origin story that Josh Trank’s The Fantastic Four gives his Doctor Doom. As someone who has no emotional attachment to the character, the backstory changes make no difference to me. I’m looking forward to Trank’s film if for no other reason than it will hopefully help me further erase Fox’s futile 2005 and 2007 attempts at the franchise from my memory.