Friday, 31 October 2014

Nightcrawler - Dir. Dan Gilroy

Any film that features a guy driving around night time Los Angeles is undoubtedly going to be compared to Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive. Hopefully Nightcrawler will break free from those shackles as Dan Gilroy’s film is exhilarating and entertaining in its own right, and nothing at all like Drive.
Jake Gyllenhaal is Lou Bloom: clever, ambitious and a complete sociopath. After stumbling upon a news film crew at a horrific traffic collision, Lou buys a camera and police scanner and prowls the night on the hunt for newsworthy accidents and crimes to film. He’s quite good at it and his footage soon catches the attention of local news director Nina (Rene Russo).

Friday, 3 October 2014

Gone Girl - Dir. David Fincher

After the somewhat unnecessary exercise that was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher has returned with a blistering adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel. Gone Girl is a giddy film about appearance, perception and the personas of everyday life. Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) arrives home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) gone and signs of a struggle in the living room. After the police establish a missing persons case, their attention turns to Nick who isn’t quite reacting as his family or the media expect him to.
Something about Amy’s disappearance doesn’t add up and Fincher quickly establishes a disquieting atmosphere. Right off the bat, the deceptively simple opening titles cycle through images of the Missouri locale but never settle into an identifiable rhythm. Everybody is slightly guarded in these early stages: Nick is wondering why he’s being asked so many questions whilst lead detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) is wondering why Nick’s answers are so skittish and incomplete. Nick’s twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon) knows her brother too well to know that something isn’t quite right.

Night Moves - Dir. Kelly Reichardt

A brilliantly crafted first half gives way to a peculiar second half; Night Moves follows three very different eco-warriors and their attempt to blow up a hydroelectric dam.
Night Moves isn’t really a film about blowing up a dam, nor is it a thriller. It can be thrilling, particularly during the tense sequence where the trio move their homemade bomb into place, but director Kelly Reichardt is more interested in her three characters. In the beginning, Josh is the paranoid control freak, Dena is the idealistic rich kid and Harmon is the confident veteran; Reichardt subtly develops their characteristics through their interactions as they prepare for their mission. These preparations are the mundane tasks that other films might skip over, but Reichardt uses this preparation as context for 
introducing these three very different people.