TV and Movie Reviews - Week 6
The Movie Maestro - Evan Wade!
Starting us off this week is 2014 drama/thriller, Nightcrawler. When petty thief Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbles into a new career as a cameraman, with his camcorder and police scanner, he begins his nocturnal incursions across Los Angeles in search of shocking and gruesome crimes. When he catches the attention of faded news director (Rene Russo) who delights in the chance to elevate her station's ratings, Louis goes to increasingly extreme tactics to get the 'money shot'.
In this off-the-wall suspenseful thriller, Gyllenhaal transforms into a delightfully cheeky, borderline creepy and fascinatingly persuasive character as Louis Bloom. As well as the increasingly tense plot, it's a joy in itself just to watch Gyllenhaal become this wild and unpredictable character. You'll be shaking your head and muttering "don't do it" at times when Bloom stoops to new lows to get the best footage. With Riz Ahmed as his college student 2nd camera unit employee, and the late Bill Paxton as the rival camera man, Nightcrawler is a hidden gem among modern thrillers.
Second pick this week is 2018 comedy/mystery, Game Night. Couple Max & Annie (Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams) host a weekly game night for their close friends. Max's brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) shows up one week with an elaborate murder myster party - complete with fake thugs and federal agents - which begins with Brooks being violently kidnapped. The group of friends reluctantly set out to solve the case, they begin to realise that neither the game or Brooks are what they seem to be and soon find themselves in over their heads.
I saw this film in the cinema one night when there wasn't much else on and was very pleasantly surprised with how original and genuinely funny it was. Bateman and McAdams make a great game-loving couple, obsessed with competition and Chandler plays the older show-off brother very humorously. The unenthusiasm from some of their friends at real violence and crime, which they think is part of the game, that occurs around them is hilarious. My personal favorites of the group are Billy Magnussen and Sharon Horgan who play a miss-matched couple on their first date who don't really get along. With a great cameo from Jesse Plemons (Todd from Breaking Bad) Game Night is a great comedy for when you just want to switch off.
Lastly this week is last year's Amazon Original show, Good Omens. Based on a book co-written by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Prachett and starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, Good Omens follows the story of fussy angel, Aziraphale (Sheen) and loose-living demon, Crowley (Tennant) as they team up together to save the earth from a plot by Heaven and Hell to bring about Armageddon.
This is one of the most creative and quirky shows I've seen in a long time. A charming and stylistic fantasy story with cameos and Monty Python-esque humour scattered across the whole thing. Much like BBC's 2006 The Hogfather film, this 6 part miniseries is bursting with classic colourful Terry Prachet themes, with some darker Neil Gaiman gothic fantasy elements thrown into the mix. Tennant and Sheen are arguably the best part of the show and whenever they're on screen together, their contrast of sweet innocent angel and heartless rock-and-roll demon play off each other fantastically. There's a string of side characters that span a spectrum of fun, creepy, sleazy and cool also. If you haven't watched this show yet, it's definitely worth a binge.
And that brings another week to a close. Once again, have a great weekend and check in again next week for some more! Nightcrawler is currently available on Netflix Game Night and Good Omens are currently both available on Prime Video