Nightcrawler (2014) Film Review


Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a young man wandering through life trying to find a satisfying calling when he meets Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) and discovers ‘nightcrawling’ – that is, waiting by a police radio scanner for accidents, shootings or other crimes, getting to the scene and getting as graphic as possible footage to sell to news stations. Before too long, he has an assistant, Rick (Riz Ahmed) and a special relationship with news producer Nina Romina (Rene Russo). He has ambition that drives everything he does, and no interest in any moral questions that may be raised.

I think Louis Bloom could go down in history as one of the creepiest characters ever. Such a psychopath, with that stare and the intense way of speaking. I found this a really hard film to watch because he was so repulsive and it was pretty obvious that he was going to do some awful, awful things. I am really glad I didn’t see this in the cinema – I think it would have disturbed me a lot.

Nightcrawler was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Dan Gilroy), a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Jake Gyllenhaal) and BAFTAs for Best Leading Actor (Jake Gyllenhaal), Best Supporting Actress (Rene Russo), Best Editing and Best Original Screenplay (Dan Gilroy).



Get Shorty vs Get Shorty (1995) Film Review, Book Review

Get Shorty cover

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

Chili Palmer is a loan shark who is not the lowest on the ladder, but has no ambitions to be up top. After a series of events send him to Hollywood, his interest in the movies leads him to Harry Zimm, a producer of horror films who has had some success, but now is financially having some problems. But Chili’s past is not prepared to let go, and he will need to be alert to prevent his own demise.

It’s a fun read, but you need to be alert to keep all the strands in play; to remember who is doing what and why, and to try to predict what will happen next. Most of the characters are pretty flawed, yet it is only the really bad guys that you don’t like. I’ve not read a lot of Elmore Leonard, but after this I will be seeking more out.


Get Shorty (1995) Film Review

This is one of those films that is pretty much the same as the book, almost scene for scene – and it really works. It captures the story beautifully, and with a slick style that suits Chilli Palmer (John Travolta) to a t. With a cast including Rene Russo, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo and James Gandolfini and a script that takes the mickey out of Hollywood all the way, how can you go wrong?



Showtime (2002) Film Review



Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy) wants to be a star. He is an actor who survives through his day job – he’s a cop because he was not coordinated enough to be a waiter. Chase Renzi (Rene Russo) is a television executive who is looking for a new reality show to wow the world. After Sellars botches the drug raid of Detective Mitch Preston (Robert Di Niro), Preston is strong armed into appearing on a police reality television show, Showtime. Preston and Sellars are the typical unlikely buddy cop pairing, attempting to solve the mystery of some new super-guns whilst constantly being followed by cameramen.

There is something about this film that looks as though it should be awful. However, it’s actually extremely funny. Robert Di Niro is doing comedy, but he is playing the grumpy straight man and this works beautifully. Eddie Murphy is, as pretty much always wonderful. The pairing works well, the plot is almost feasible and it’s a surprisingly good film. Definitely worth a trip to the DVD shop. Oh, and William Shatner’s in it.