I hate to do this. I am such a huge movie lover that I try to never scrutinize films, even if I don’t like them that much. I appreciate and respect all the hard work, talent, and courage that is put into filmmaking. However, I created this blog as an outlet for my thoughts about films and the film industry. Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler and Evan Goldberg/Seth Rogen’s The Interview are two films that I saw and was less than impressed, especially with the latter film.
Despite all controversy that went on with the Sony hackings, The Interview still managed to find an audience and gave Digital VOD more of a reason to stick around as a prime location for movie watching. James Franco and Seth Rogen are fantastic comedic actors, I loved their work in Pineapple Express. But, their talents in this film were completely wasted in this un-funny movie. It just was NOT funny. All the gay jokes, Franco’s weird facial expressions, the pointless finger mutilations were all contrived and a waste of my time. This script could have been smart and witty if it didn’t try so damn hard to be funny and relevant. People that liked this movie use the excuse: “Oh it’s suppose to be dumb, it’s not trying to win any awards.” Yeah no shit! This movie was clearly made without the intentions of getting awards buzz, as most films like this are. But that is not a good enough reason for this to be a bad comedy film! The same production team behind The Interview was the same one behind Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors, a fantastic studio comedy that proved to be funny, wild, smart AND had no intentions of getting any awards recognition (although I would love to see Rose Byrne’s inspired work get some Supporting Actress love). If you want to see dumb comedy done right see Neighbors not The Interview.
Okay so Gilroy’s Nightcrawler wasn’t bad. It was actually a pretty solid debut for writer/director Dan Gilroy, he painted a pretty distinctive and scary portrait of L.A. and its inhabitants who are desperate to make a living for themselves by any means possible. I anticipate Gilroy’s future work but this film was good not great. It’s getting strong reviews (76 on MetaCritic) and is becoming the surprise indie film to make it into awards season. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an expertly creepy performance here as the main character and I think he’s the only one in Nightcrawler that deserves all the accolades. But come on! There’s so many better independent films that came out this year! The character of Nina Romina in Nightcrawler is a TV-news veteran and she was written and acted WAY over the top, almost to the point of caricature. It is a bad performance and yet Renee Russo who plays her just received a BAFTA (Britain’s equivalence of the Academy Awards) nomination for Best Supporting Actress and won a Supporting Actress trophy from the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards. Really? Over Mia Wasikowska’s outstanding turn in Only Lovers Left Alive? There’s politics that play a major role in these issues that I’m having, especially with the fact that Nightcrawler did pretty well at the box-office; people have actually seen it. But, we’ve seen this material before or at least I have. There was nothing that new or original about this movie that made me go crazy like most critics did. David Lynch could do this material in his sleep and make it priceless. I don’t want to degrade Dan Gilroy’s talents as a filmmaker because I do think he’s talented. The problem is that this film shouldn’t be getting this much attention compared to the 30 better indie films that I’ve seen in 2014.
The Interview– 5/10
Nightcrawler- 6.5/10; Still recommending it, ON DVD AND DEMAND SOON
Neighbors– 8.5/10; WATCH ON DVD AND DEMAND