Its late at night in the city of Los Angeles. Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal has broken into a train yard to try and break off a chain link fence. An officer approaches him and demands to see some ID. Lou keeps his cool and shows it to him and then he attacks the man and kills him. Lou later takes the broken up fence to a scrapyard and sells the fence to the yards owner while trying to negotiate a higher price. He then asks the owner if he is hiring since he can start immediately. He uses his motto, If you want to win the lottery, you gotta have the money to buy a ticket. The owner rebuffs him and says he wont hire a thief. A few cop cars pass Lou on the road. He pulls over to see what theyre investigating. A car is on fire and people are inside. A van of nighcrawlers guys who record violent incidents at night for profit pull up, led by Joe Loder ( Bill Paxton). Lou sees filming while two men pull a women from the vehicle. Lou approaches Loder and asks about the job. Loder says its a flaming asshole of a job. Lou asks him if theyre hiring and Loder says no.Lou steals a bike on the beach the next day and goes to pawn it off. The shop owner will only go as far as 700 but Lou asks for 800 in store credit so he can get a camcorder and a police scanner. Using there, he listens to reports of incidents in the area. He pulls up to multiple crime scenes and is told to leave by the police. He manages to get good graphic footage of a man who was shot to death after a carjacking. The police turn Lou and another nightcrawler away the letter who angrily curses Lou out for ruining his shot. Lou follows the man as he calls his employer and overhears how much the man is set to make off the footage. Lou goes to the Channel 6 news station and meets news director Nina Romina ( Rene Russo). He shows her and another station producer, Frank Kruse ( Kevin Rahm) the footage with good shots of the man dead and paramedics trying to revive him. Lou only makes 250 off the footage, despite trying to go way higher. He once again tries asking for a job or an internship position to no avail. Lou interviews a young man named Rick for an internship position, making it seem like hes heading some big news station. Rick is practically homeless and struggling to find work, he has title experience in this sort of field. Lou simply asks him if he has a phone with GPS and Rick says yes. Lou hires him on the spot and tells him hell get paid 30 a night. Lou makes Rick read off directions to him as they go looking for incidents. Lou drives like a maniac and makes Rick nervous. He accidentally gives him wrong directions and they arrive to the scene of a home fire too late, as paramedics have already wheeled the victim away. Lou is furious with Rick. People are gathered around a shooting in a suburban home. Lou sneaks in through the back and into the kitchen where he rearranges pictures on the fridge to focus on the bullet holes and a shot of the neighbors talking to police. Nina loves the footage but Frank says it looks like Lou broke in. She still uses it. Eventually, Lou and Rick are able to get a lot of new footage of horrifying incidents with headlines like toddler stabbed and drunk mom hits biker which Lou continues to sell to Nina.Lou stands by Nina when two anchors from her station are set to report on one of the incidents that Lou got on camera. He mentions a Mexican restaurant and invites Nina to go with him. Nina declines as she doesnt want to compromises their professional relationship but Lou implies that hell stop giving her good footage if she says no. Loder finds Lou and offers him a spot on his team to deliver them some good footage. Lou turns him down even as Loder persists. However, Lou very firmly rejects him to Loders anger. Nina joins Lou at the Mexican restaurant. He makes it clear he wants more than a professional relationship but she says this is just a courtesy date. He reminds her that the station is the lowest rated station in the area and she needs him just as much as he wants her. Lou and Rick fail to arrive in time for another incident as Loder and his team beat him to the punch, leaving Lou with weak footage of a stabbing in Corona. Nina is pissed at him. Loders coverage hits Channel 2 in all its glory. Lou smashes his bathroom mirror in fury. He goes to Loders house and cuts the breaks on his van. This later leads to Loder crashing the van into a pole. Lou and Rick arrive in time for Lou to film Loder being wheeled away in a gurney, choking on his own blood. A big break comes when Lou and Rick happen upon a shooting and break in at a large mansion. Lou sees two men fleeing the scene. He enters the house and films the dead bodies in each room. One victim is on the ground gasping for breath as Lou walks around him. He delivers the graphic footage to Nina, at which point he makes a demand for 15,000 for the footage and not a cent lower and he also wants the anchors to give him credit as Video Production News and for him to be recognized as a credible news source. He makes it abundantly clear to Nina that hes calling that shots now. The anchors at the station report on the footage while Nina tells them what to say, two detectives, Frontier and Lieberman, arrive at Lous door to question him about the footage and if he saw the two men. He doesnt give a clear description of the men but he tells them that they were driving an SUV. Lou brings Rick to catch the killers and phone the cops. Rick demands a raise if hes going to keep tagging along on these sorts of missions. He meekly asks for 75 a night when Lou states he couldve gone higher. Together, they find the killers and follow them to a restaurant. Lou phones the cops and says one of them has a gun. Two crops arrive and enter the place. Two more show up and the killers begin to shoot at them. The cops shoot the larger killer dead while the other one gets away. Lou and Rick follow them in an intense chase. The cop car is hit by another car. Another cop car cathes up to the killer and they crash. Lou stops the car and goes to get his shot. He tells Rick that the killer is dead. Rick goes to film the killer only to find him alive and with a gun. He shoots Rick three times before crawling out. The killer aims his gun at the cops and is shot dead. Lou films his corpse and then films a dying Rick. Rick says Lou knew the killer was alive and Lou implies that he did this since Rick threatened to compromise this whole operation. Rick dies. Lou brings all of this to Nina, who is enchanted by all the gruesome imagery. Detective Frontier comes to the station and demands to have the footage as it is evidence, but Nina refuses to surrender the tapes. Frontier later interrogates Lou, knowing he withheld information from them since he knew what the killers looked like. Furthermore, he remains unmoved by Ricks death but he sticks by his word without flinching and he is left free to walk, Frank approaches Nina and says the break in at the mansion was really a drug robbery since there were multiple bags of cocaine found in there. He says this is the real story but Nina is focusing on the car chase and accident. Frank tells her she sounds like Lou to which she replies that Lou has inspired them to reach higher. He gets then ready with their tasks and adds that he wont make them do anything he wont do himself. With that, he guides them into the night to snap more footage of what the people really want to see. STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF THE MOVIE For the strength, at the opening of the arresting neo-noir Nighcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaals Lou Bloom seems like a dangerous but also nave and humorously kooky lost soul. Living at the bottom end of contemporary hypercapitalism he subsists on scrap metal collection and the occasional theft and mugging. But despite his circumstances he smoothly imitates the hopeful patter and relentless ambition of those at the top, detailing the features of a bicycle hes just stolen to a pawn shop owner with all the vigor and enthusiasm of an entrepreneur pitching VCs, and asking for an intership at the local scrap-yard as if it were the bottom rung at Google. The often illogical connections between desperation and cheeriness, ambition and failure, struggle and reward are the central tension of Lou as a character and of Nighcrawler as a film. While the commentary on our rich get richer society isnt subtle, Gyllenhaals Lou is so complex, alive and deeply disturbing that its never simply satire either until a final moment that feels like it belongs in a different, less interesting film. The plot kicks off when Lou encounters Bill Paxtons Joe a late night news cameraman. Lou inspired buys a camera and a police scanner becoming the Nighcrawler of the title an exploitative ambulance chaser, eager to get to the scene of every bloody accident and crime first but also an artist on the hunt for great shots. What ensues is a more sophisticated version of the learning to do something montages that end the first acts of many childrens films. It turns out Lou is a born freelancer and he racks up win after win as he builds a career underwritten by real talent. This section of the film is profoundly uplifting, especially for any artist or craftperson who has learned the ropes of a creative process through it also packs in plenty of jabs at the superficiality of blood soaked nightly news journalism. But then Nighcrawler tugs on the book it has baited. Lous growing ambition only enables his amorality and he starts cutting corners and manipulating those around him. The street punk whose go getter patter was faintly amusing becomes an increasingly powerful bully and in the final sections of the film, the Lou weve come to admire crosses every possible boundary for the sake of success. Nighcrawler devolves briefly into a conventional but effective action thriller and its ending fails the complexity that preceded it. But its still a truly extraordinary film, subtly scripted with powerful themes and brought to life through Lynchian cinematography of a banal but threatening Los Angeles. Ultimately, the spotlight belongs to Jake Gyllenhaal who has created a dark antihero as seductive and dangerous as the times we live in. For the weakness, despite Nighcrawlers superhuman powers, he just as susceptile to disease and physical injury as any ordinary human. Also because he is a neyaphem angles blood which heals everyone else, hurts him normally adding to whatever injury he received. Weakness (Low Self- Control) are along with the magnetic lines restriction, Nighcrawler leaves a terrible stench of brimstone after he telesports. Prejudice are Nightcrawler is a mutant and as such he is feared and hated by the world around him. Nightcrawlers appearance resembles a blue furred demon with three fingered hands and feet and a blue tail. His appearance may act as a negative factor with mutant fearing and hated people. PROCESS OF NEGOTIATION INVOLVED The first half of Nightcawler is serviceable. Robert Elswits cinematography looks as good as usual. Jake Gyllenhaal is convincing and gives his usual stellar performance. Dan Gillroys directing seems capable, considering hes known for being a writer and not for being behind the camera. But then theres a point about halfway through this movie where it becomes another beast altogether. This movie rests on the shoulders of Gyllenhaal. No offense to Bradley Cooper or Steve Carell, whose performance were also phenomenal but Gylenhaal seems to be at another level here and probably could and should have been nominated for an Oscar. His mannerisms, speech pattern, eye movements and delivery all coincide to create such a scary and intriguing character. Hes the reason I felt invested for that first half. The story of news stringers who film crime scenes to sell to the highest bidding local news station seemed interesting enough. But I couldnt help but be bored with the potential commentary about local news pushing shock stories and scare tactics rather than reporting important news. Theres plenty of that discussion in Nightcrawler but nothing more than background noise. The meat of the story is Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) and his power trip. As Bloom goes from unemployed criminal to self made businessman, its his negotiating tactics that prove to be the most interesting part of the film. He preys on people at their weakest moments to leverage his business, reputation and ultimately, his power. He slowly builds a world where the always has the upper hand and final say. And if you somehow get leverage on Lou Watch out. It doesnt take long for Lous quickly and brilliant business savvy to work its way against you. The stakes never cease to get higher. Which is why I think this script is solid. Its a feature length movie script. That may sound silly most features have feature length scripts but a good story that is meant for a two hour run time is a rarity anymore at least not in todays TV age of writing. Theres no inkling that Nightcrawler crammed too much plot in and would have worked better as mini series. Maybe a truncated version could have worked as a short script. Maybe a 50 minute one-off. But the addition of Rick and Nina were the perfect counters to Louis personality and made for great drama that escalated just enough to have a satisfying ending. Once Lou starts to risk more by participating in the news stories rather than just documenting them the story takes off. It gets good and real good also. Gyllenhaal is a slow burn. You never know when he will break. The directing and action intensify. It takes a neo noir story and transforms into a devilish thriller that will stand as one of the best of 2014. Y, dXiJ(x(I_TS1EZBmU/xYy5g/GMGeD3Vqq8K)fw9
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