Tag: Jake Gyllenhaal

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Everest (2015)

Everest 1

“Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitudes of a seven-forty-seven.”

Character actors are what make the movie world go ‘round. Sure, big name leading actors and actresses get all the attention, but it’s the supporting characters that more often than not make a movie interesting. Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and even Jason Clarke might all be leading men, but even in those leading roles, they’re often character parts, Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, Brolin in No Country for Old Men, Clarke in Zero Dark Thirty. So what happens when you fill a cast with great character actors like these, as well as John Hawkes, Emily Watson and Michael Kelly, and make a big budget disaster movie? You get something much better than your average big budget disaster movie. You get Everest.


It’s 1996, and leading exhibitions to the summit of Mount Everest has become big business. Such big business that there are 20 different groups at base camp, getting ready for the ascent. One is lead by New Zealander Rob Hall (Clarke). While his pregnant wife (Keira Knightley with a flawless Kiwi accent as Jan) waits at home, Rob prepares his clients, including Brolin as the brash, cocky Texan Beck Weathers, and Hawkes as the everyman with something to prove, Doug Hansen. As well as adventure writer, Jon Krakauer (Kelly, whose beard seems to smother all the creepiness of his House of Cards character, Doug). Leading his own group is Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal), the laid back, casual yin, to Rob’s conservative, meticulous yang. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Everest (2015)

Everest 1

“Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitudes of a seven-forty-seven.”

Character actors are what make the movie world go ‘round. Sure, big name leading actors and actresses get all the attention, but it’s the supporting characters that more often than not make a movie interesting. Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and even Jason Clarke might all be leading men, but even in those leading roles, they’re often character parts, Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, Brolin in No Country for Old Men, Clarke in Zero Dark Thirty. So what happens when you fill a cast with great character actors like these, as well as John Hawkes, Emily Watson and Michael Kelly, and make a big budget disaster movie? You get something much better than your average big budget disaster movie. You get Everest.


It’s 1996, and leading exhibitions to the summit of Mount Everest has become big business. Such big business that there are 20 different groups at base camp, getting ready for the ascent. One is lead by New Zealander Rob Hall (Clarke). While his pregnant wife (Keira Knightley with a flawless Kiwi accent as Jan) waits at home, Rob prepares his clients, including Brolin as the brash, cocky Texan Beck Weathers, and Hawkes as the everyman with something to prove, Doug Hansen. As well as adventure writer, Jon Krakauer (Kelly, whose beard seems to smother all the creepiness of his House of Cards character, Doug). Leading his own group is Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal), the laid back, casual yin, to Rob’s conservative, meticulous yang. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Southpaw (2015)

southpaw

“You can’t control shit.”

Between 1976 and 1980, the boxing picture was pretty much perfected with Rocky and Raging Bull.  The former telling the quintessential underdog story, while the latter was all about the rise and fall of a tragic figure who was his own worst enemy.  There’s a reason why every single boxing movie of the last 35 years has been compared to those two.  They set a bar that hasn’t been reached since.  But that hasn’t stopped plenty of movies form trying.  The latest being Southpaw.


The current Light Heavyweight champion of the world, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) successfully defends his title for the fourth time.  His victorious press conference is crashed by rival fighter, Miguel Escobar (Miguel Gomez), who thinks he should be the next to get a crack at the title.  When Hope starts to have problems with his eye, his wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams) convinces him to retire a champ, and live the quiet life her and their daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback-Mountain-Gallery-5
“This is a one-shot thing we got goin’ on here.”

In 1980, Ordinary People embarrassingly won the best Picture Oscar over Raging Bull.  A decade later, the Academy trumped that immense shitting of the bed when Dances With Wolves somehow beat Goodfellas.  But it turns out, Martin Scorsese isn’t the only dude to get monumentally screwed by the Oscars.  Because legend has it, that when Jack Nicholson read out the winner for the Best Picture in 2006, the decision was so wrong, there was an audible, communal gasp from the audience.  That was the year that Crash beat Brokeback Mountain.


Taking not quite legal work as sheep herders on the titular mountain, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), go from strangers, to friends, to lovers as they spend months isolated and alone.  But these kinds of guys aren’t the sort to be out and proud.  Cowboys and southerners in the 60s, being gay doesn’t really seem like an option.  So after a season on the mountain, they go their separate ways, repress their feelings and start all American families.  Ennis with girl next door, Alma (Michelle Williams) and Jack with rodeo queen, Lureen (Anne Hathaway). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Prisoners (2013)

prisoners-poster

He’s not a person anymore. No, he stopped being a person when he took our daughters.

I don’t think Jake Gyllenhaal ever had a complete decent into shittyness and rom com world that he needed to be redeemed from.  But after a lot of early critical and box office success, he seemed to be in the wilderness for a while.  In the last few years though, whether by choice or necessity, he’s made a lot of really interesting choices in the roles he’s taken, and his acting bona fides seem more solid than ever.  Recently, last year, he was showered with praise for his creepy as shit turn in Nightcrawler.  But I think the first time I noticed hearing rumblings of this new, indie, alternative Jake Gyllenhaal, was when he made Prisoners.


Keller (Hugh Jackman) and Grace Dover (Maria Bello) are having Thanksgiving dinner with their neighbours Franklin (Terrence Howard) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis).  Their collective four kids go for a walk around the neighbourhood, and when the two youngest girls (one from each family) don’t return, Keller’s teenaged son remembers them playing around a rundown old RV.   With the RV now nowhere to be seen, the police are called and Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes the case.
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MOVIE REVIEW | Nightcrawler (2014)

nightcrawler

“Who am I? I’m a hard worker. I set high goals and I’ve been told that I’m persistent.”

Every few years, some variety of low budget, B-grade, genre fare sneaks through the pretensions of critics, gets around mainstream audiences’ demand for high budget, easily digestible booms, and refuses to be ignored. They’re generally a combination of sensationalist stories and impeccable performances from A-listers taking a pay cut in the indie world. And because they’re lower budget, they usually have gradual releases, playing at a film festival here, released on VOD there. Which means a slow burn. Which means an endless trickle of rave reviews that get harder and harder to ignore. A few years ago it was the crazily overrated Drive, starring Ryan Gosling and his satin jacket. In 2014, it was the much more effective Jake Gyllenhaal in the much effective Nightcrawler.


Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a petty thief, making ends meet by stealing scrap metal and mugging the occasional security guard. But he sees himself as a go getting hard worker. One night, he stumbles across a car accident and witnesses Bill Paxton’s Joe filming graphic footage that later ends up on the morning news. Seeing a job opportunity, Lou buys a police scanner, a camcorder and employs Rick (Riz Ahmed) as his navigator and general whipping boy. Soon, they’re cruising the nocturnal streets of Los Angeles, looking for car accidents, murders, home invasions and other general horror to film and sell to local TV news producer, Nina (Rene Russo). (more…)