NIGHTCRAWLER || October 31st, 2014

ABCsOfDeath2-poster Last year’s “ABCs Of Death” were hit or miss, as most would expect when putting together 26 completely different directors with absolutely different styles. But this advent of horror anthologies is definitely heading the genre into some new territory and showcasing up and coming horror directors in a new and interesting way, so for that, “ABCs of Death 2” will have to be seen. Despite being hit or miss, the fact was, the ones that hit, hit hard, producing some of the best produced shorts I have ever seen. This new anthology looks along the same lines and I cannot wait to jump in.
Horns-poster As a lifelong Stephen King fan, it pains me to know that I have been missing out on his continued legacy in the form of his son, who writes under the name Joe Hill. “Horns” is the first of his horror novels to be adapted into a screenplay and with star power like Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple, there is a level of anticipation that comes along with it. After the townspeople accuse him of murdering his girlfriend, Radcliffe’s character begins to grow horns. With an unspeakable power surrounding him and making the people around him to horrible things, Radcliffe sets out to find the actual murderer. Riding several genres like horror, dark comedy, and erotic thriller, this one looks like a pure winner. Now excuse me while I go get caught up on Joe Hill’s novels.
Nightcrawler-poster Jake Gyllenhaal is perfectly creepy in “Nightcrawler,” the sleeper hit of the year. In it, he plays Louis Bloom, who is determined to find the perfect job. That perfect career ends up being a Los Angeles cameraman capturing grisly footage at night and selling it to the news station in the morning. The more graphic the better. How this profession has not made its way into cinema before this is beyond me. Supporting Gyllenhaal is Bill Paxton as a fellow nightcrawler, Rene Russo as a content manager at a news station, and Riz Ahmed as the small witted assistant to Louis. Whether Gyllenhaal gets any honors for this performance is yet to be seen, but for now this marks one of his best performances yet.

AllYouNeedIsLove-poster What looks to be a very inspirational documentary narrated by Sigourney Weaver, “All You Need Is Love” is about a small school called Good Morning School in Mae Sot, Thailand in an area where many children never receive an education. With plenty of imagery of children playing by an open fire or washing themselves with buckets out of a trough, this is what the poverty commercials strive to be. My biggest hope for this documentary is that it finds the people it needs to, and despite me not being one, I do love seeing different cultures and their ways of life, as well as learning that third world countries are being helped to take steps in a positive direction.
BeforeIGoToSleep-poster Seeing that Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong are all in the same film together is almost enough of a selling point sight unseen. But “Before I Go To Sleep” actually allows a solid playground for these talented actors to perform. The narrative involves Kidman dealing with daily memory loss, as she tries to piece together what actually happened to her the night this terrible cycle began. Was it her husband, played by Colin Firth? Is Mark Strong actually trying to help? Hopefully the twist is much more elaborate. Mixing elements of “Memento” with an intense thriller, with this much star power, it should at least be entertaining.
BloodRansom-poster Anne Curtis is a beautiful young Australian actress starring in her first U.S. film, “Blood Ransom”. In it, she plays a young woman deciding to give herself over to the world of vampires. But when she meets and falls in love with a human, her seven day process of becoming a bloodsucker is turned upside down, with the debate of whether to go through with it or not hinging on her feelings for him and whether they can outrun those after them. Basically “Twilight” in R-Rated form, the only thing really selling me on the film is Anne herself, who looks to have plenty of potential here in the states.
Carver-poster Low budget horror fare at its heart, “Carver” looks like it could have been made in the 90s… and that is not a compliment. As with most low budget productions, the acting dismal, the film quality makes it almost impossible to see, and instead of a hockey mask or something else inventive, the serial killer is literally wearing a pumpkin mask. Sometimes low budget horror can surprise, but the chances of this one doing so are extremely dismal. All you can hope is that it goes past the point of trying to be serious and eventually just embraces how absolutely ridiculous it is.
GoodbyeToLanguage-poster Auteur Jean-Luc Godard presents his latest experimental film entitled “Adieu Au Langage” or “Goodbye To Language”. The thing about experimental films is that no trailer in the world could help to sell it because to the casual viewer it all comes off like nonsense and that is exactly what the trailer for this feels like, complete and utter nonsense. Now, I am sure there is an audience for this type of film and almost assuredly there is a point to be made by the filmmaker, but trying to decipher what that is when all the trailer contains is a naked woman, a dog, and saturated imagery, is absolutely impossible.
TheGreatInvisible-poster Greed. It is one of the most prominent underlying forces in all major decisions made in this country and for some reason, no matter what the potential outcomes, there are always people at the heart of bad decisions that were being greedy. “The Great Invisible” takes a look at the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, with the truth coming out from people that worked on the rig and that were involved in the safeguarding, or lack thereof, of the rig, hopefully this sheds some light on one of the biggest black marks in our countries history. What will it take for us to quit being so dependent on oil? What will it take for our lawmakers to quit being so greedy? Will we have to destroy every last nice thing on this planet before we realize the huge mistakes that we are making? All of this is infuriating.
HitByLightning-poster “Hit By Lightning” is less a feature film and more of a pilot for a television show that is destined to be canceled after a few episodes. But that still does not stop them from going forward. Jon Cryer takes his first step away from “Two and a Half Men”, as leading man, Ricky, who is looking for love through online dating. Just when he is about to give up, he meets Danita (“Iron Man 3” actress Stephanie Szostak). One problem, she is married and she wants Ricky kill her husband. What could possibly go wrong? Enter Ricky’s best friend, Seth (“MADTV” alum Will Sasso) to help carry out the deed. The problem is, none of these performances are even half-inspired and with a recycled plot with been-there, done-that written all over it, it really is a shame this is not a pilot that could just slip away silently.
TheLaughingMask-poster Color me just the slightest bit intrigued as the teaser does a fine job of creating visual interest. First is a slow push out from a doll house. Eventually you catch a glimpse of doll feet, but the further you pull out, the more sinister the scene becomes, as the dolls are tied up and gagged. Next, enters a masked doll with knife that proceeds to stab the tied up dolls, with the puppet master squirting fake blood as he proceeds. Pull out all the way, and the actual serial killer stands, playing with the dolls. Turning around, an actual couple is tied up and gagged and the masked man approaches with a knife. End trailer. “The Laughing Mask” may not be anywhere near the quality of that trailer, but kudos for being creative about your marketing.
MagicalUniverse-poster What interests me most about this documentary, titled “Magical Universe,” is how the couple comes to meet this eccentric artist in Maine and how they became so close. There is something humane and wonderful about this chance meeting and the budding friendship between complete strangers. Al Carbee, the 88-year-old artist, spends most of his time building artwork out of Barbie dolls but keeping in touch with the couple through videos and letters becomes quite the work of art in and of itself. Unfortunately, Al does not seem to be completely sound of mind and it is hard for me to not be distracted by that fact.
Missionary-poster Borrowing from the fatal attraction genre, “Missionary” takes an interesting approach, what happens when a young door-to-door Mormon stumbles upon a lonely housewife. Similar to the upcoming thriller starring Jennifer Lopez entitled “The Boy Next Door” where, in a night of weakness, she sleeps with the young man and he becomes obsessed, the same happens in this story, except the young man just happens to be a religious fanatic on top of being a creepy dude. Beyond all this, however, remains the stereotypical fatal attraction storylines including the threats to the now-present husband, the possibly kidnapped child, and the eventual unwinding of everything. On the fence about giving this a shot, I do however applaud the ingenuity within the genre.
Penance-poster For starters, I am intrigued by all the positive words towards Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa whose only previous work I recognize is “Pulse,” the non-American version naturally. Now, he sees the release of “Penance,” which is actually a mini-series and not a feature film, which has a run-time of over four hours. When four little girls witness the death of their fifth friend by the hands of a strange man, the mother of the dead girl lays a curse on the children. Over a decade later, the young women are dealing with their penance for not remembering the face of the man and the mother returns for a mysterious reason. Were this a regular feature film, I would be on the fence about giving it a chance, but since it is a mini-series, I will likely pass. But I look forward to the day that an American horror director takes the story under his/her own adaptation.
PointAndShoot-poster 26-year-old Matt VanDyke went from playing video games on his couch in Baltimore to taking a motorcycle adventure across the Middle East, where eventually he ended up in Libya fighting in a revolution against dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In “Point And Shoot,” a documentary that chronicles his trek and involvement in the revolution, there is something to be said for first hand accounts of major events captured on footage for the general public to consume and with the film making the first round of cuts for the Academy Awards and being written and directed by two-time nominee Marshall Curry, it would be baffling if this film was not one of the five nominated in January.
PrivatePeaceful-poster Starring the late Richard Griffiiths of “Harry Potter” fame, “Private Peaceful” tells the story of two competitive brothers that end up enlisting in the Army after falling in love with the same girl. Taking place during World War I, specifically during the battle of Flanders, there is a PBS style quality to the film that does not make it scream a modest budget. With none of the actors, including Griffiths, commanding much screen presence, the entire film feels a bit stale, with the war element being more of a backdrop than an actual set piece.
RevengeOfTheMekons-poster2 Thirty, going on forty, years together as a band, the British punk, country, folk, rock band called the Mekons is still making music and still has a following. Chronicling their start and getting general audiences up to speed with their involvement in the music industry, these are down-to-Earth people just looking to have a good time and who do not know much else but their music. Also visiting with fans and catching live music of the band, this documentary is probably a dream come true not just for the members of the band but for those that grew up with them. Sadly, I did not, and although I respect that they have been around forever, they are simply not my type of musical interests.
ShowrunnersArtOfRunningTVShow-poster One would have almost predicted that with the rise of television series popularity, a documentary about showrunners was just around the corner. Now it is a reality with “Showunners: The Art Of Running A TV Show” with behind the scenes interviews about the process of being a showrunner and the immense it takes on a person with men and women that have become celebrities in their own right for being apart of the best shows on television. The documentary features interviews with J.J. Abrams (“Alias”, “Lost”), Kurt Sutter (“Sons Of Anarchy”), Damon Lindelof (“Lost”), and Joss Whedon (“Firefly”, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”).


  • ABCs Of Death 2
  • Horns
  • Nightcrawler


  • Before I Go To Sleep



  • Point And Shoot
  • Showrunners: The Art Of Running A TV Show


  • Blood Ransom


  • All You Need Is Love
  • Carver
  • Goodbye To Language
  • The Great Invisible
  • Hit By Lightning
  • The Laughing Mask
  • Magical Universe
  • Missionary
  • Penance
  • Private Peaceful
  • Revenge Of The Mekons



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