Nightcrawler. Third viewing. (First, second.) What a creep. Not sure if it’s coincidence or foresight, but this movie anticipated so many of today’s headline issues – journalism and technology, display over discernment, race, class, economics, sexual misconduct in the workplace, narcissism, freelance desperation, moral compromise. It’s all there. And Bill Paxton is so great. RIP.


Prisoners. The older I get, torture scenes in movies are just more and more unbearable. I fear we still haven’t appreciated Hugh Jackman enough. Nerdy Terrence Howard is a treat! Gyllenhaal’s character is so weird and I love that they don’t delve into it. much He just is.


Enemy. Unexpectedly good soundtrack. The more chamber ensemble feel is a nice change. Even got some bassoon leading the way at times. Two Gyllenhaals contrast in appearance (leather band dress watch vs. link sports watch; chinos vs. denim; blazer vs. leather jacket; Volvo vs. motorcycle) and behavior (hunch vs. swagger). Nice how each man (emotionally) is the one the other’s wife has been missing. Also a good reminder of how objectively difficult it would be to live someone else’s life – from basics like knowing which keys to use to family history, social circle gossip, etc. – and the futility of escapism when we have our own multitudes we should be reconciling. There’s a good car scene here, particularly as it settles down with a truck-mounted camera, which then cranes down and closer to the action. Not sure about the spider imagery. Something about weaving illusions, bread-and-circus distractions from real life (like the strip club).


Nightcrawler. This is at or near the top of my 2014 favorites. Gyllenhaal and Russo are great. A warning about the easy path from consumer to witness to amateur to professional to accomplice. Joblessness, economic precarity makes that transition even easier. Business theories unmoored from real flesh and blood humanity are worthless. Though the context here is metro network news, it also works as an indictment of CNN (et al.) and international affairs. Promote violence to sell more violence. Think globally, act locally. I love the moment during Bloom’s first monologue in the studio, where this laughably sentimental soundtrack eases in, cleverly undermining the creepster ravings. It’s a wink to the audience – “Can you believe this nut?“ Of course not. I think I might see this one again. It’d make a good L.A. nighttime adventure moral compromise double-feature with Collateral.