Director: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
NIGHTCRAWLER is a thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling – where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Meet Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) a slightly off, yet motivated individual who earns a living by any means he can, often conning and stealing in order to survive. When by happenstance Louis see’s a brutal accident occur right in front of him and sees the aftermath caught on camera by a photojournalist, he decides to explore the line of work. Using his criminal talents he manages to acquire a police radio and a camcorder and takes to his car in pursuit of catching something big. When Louis happens to catch a graphic close-up of an individual being hauled off he catches his break and manages to sell the video to a local news station. Before long Louis finds that he not only has a talent for photojournalism, but he enjoys it as well and soon he begins making a name for himself as a local nightcrawler in the seedy nighttime world of LA, continually putting himself and his partner(Ahmed) in harm’s way in the continuing search for the best shot.
Written and directed by Dan Gilroy who has previously written a number of scripts spanning from ‘Freejack’ in 1992 up to ‘The Bourne Legacy’ in 2012, Gilroy makes his directorial debut with ‘Nightcrawler’ and he does a truly impressive job at the helm. He delivers an absolutely beautiful and simultaneously grimy look at the LA criminal nightlife and with such a truly remarkable directorial debut, I cannot wait to see just what this incredibly talented individual might bring us next. ’Nightcrawler’ is also greatly complimented by the phenomenal performances, most notably that of Jake Gyllenhaal who is downright mesmerizing and delivers one of his best performances to date. The cast also includes such talented individuals as Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed and more, all of whom additionally deliver impressive performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Nightcrawler’ is a true masterpiece of modern filmmaking, perfectly capturing the seedier elements of the LA criminal nightlife; delving deep into these grimy and unsettling situations while also managing to look absolutely beautiful while doing so. It utilizes rich, vivid colors and provides one gorgeous shot after another while also keeping you on the edge of your seat with an unsettling vibe hovering throughout. This is an absolutely fantastic film and without question one of the best films of 2014 in addition to one of the best performances the incredibly talented Jake Gyllenhaal has delivered yet. ‘Nightcrawler’ is not to be missed and I cannot possibly recommend it highly enough.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Nightcrawler’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks stunning, wonderfully complimenting the rich colors and bright lights so prominently displayed throughout the film, even the frequent dark or fast moving sequences look fantastic and the activity occurring on screen is always easily discernible and never suffers from any noticeable pixilation or noise. Fans and newcomers to the film alike should all be extraordinarily pleased with this phenomenal high definition video presentation.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that sounds as fantastic as the video looks. The films beautiful score is continually amplified throughout all five available channels and it sounds wonderfully crisp and clear. The action-oriented sequences or those ‘on the job’ give the lossless soundtrack a chance to utilize the surround channels nicely and it does not disappoint, flooding the speakers with activity, while also never causing any dialogue occurring at the time to become inaudible. This is a fairly impressive 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes tremendously to the overall experience of the film and it should not disappoint.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Nightcrawler’ doesn’t include a whole lot in the way of bonus content, but it does include a couple of nice, worthwhile extra goodies. Included on the Blu-Ray release is a Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Dan Gilroy, Producer Tony Gilroy and Editor John Gilroy. It also includes a short Featurette titled ‘If It Bleeds, It Leads: Making Nightcrawler’ which features interviews and comments with the cast, crew and more regarding the film’s production and the real life career it was inspired by.
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