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Happy Birthday Jake Gyllenhaal

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Jake Gyllenhaal who is one of my favorite actors turns 34 today. In honor of his birth I have reviewed two of his films, starting with his most recent work.

Nightcrawler

Written and Directed by: Dan Gilroy

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed

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Nightcrawler puts the spotlight on a shameless profession and even bigger spotlight on one of the creepiest characters in film history. Gyllenhaal shines as ruthless sociopath Louis Bloom and his quest to be successful and gain everything he wants. The film has a wonderful slow build up as is interweaves fast car chases, awkward social interactions, and attempts at making you feel sympathetic for Louis. Every time you want to root for the anti-hero, Louis, he does something even more deplorable, turning him into a character you love to hate. This is truly a character study at it’s best and Jake Gyllenhaal completely encapsulates the intriguing and troubled Louis Bloom. It’s an intense film from start to finish keeps you on the edge of you seat pondering what is going to happen next.

9.5/10

Brokeback Mountain

Written by: Larry McMurty

Directed by: Ang Lee

Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway

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The score instantly grabs you in Brokeback Mountain and sets the pace and mood perfectly for this heartbreaking film. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal share an incredible chemistry, every shot you can see their passion and longing for one another along with the shame they feel. Ledger plays the more tortured soul character as Gyllenhaal’s character limps through the motions of the societal acceptable life, waiting to make Brokeback Mountain his everyday reality. The film lends itself to gorgeous scenic shots as they met secretly on the same mountain for a number of years. Brokeback Mountain is subdued but beautiful masterpiece.

10/10

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movie review

Top Five

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Written and Directed by: Chris Rock

Starring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson

Given Rock’s most recent major works have been voicing a cartoon zebra and a sequel to the abysmal Grown Ups, Top Five is a refreshing change of pace that reminds me why I grew up a fan of Chris Rock’s blunt and poignant comedy style. Rock’s writing is honest, relevant, touching, and of course has you laughing at all the right moments. Rosario Dawson plays wonderfully off Rock’s sharp timing and they prove to be an interesting and dynamic pair. The cast of supporting characters furthers the hilarity of the film. Cedric the Entertainer definitely steals the scenes he’s in, but still the best moments are the sweet playful ones between Dawson and Rock. Adding the right amount of heart, thought, and laughs to Top Five shows that Chris Rock has matured as a writer, director actor, and comedian.

9/10

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movie review

FOREIGN FILM FRIDAY

SISTER

Country: Switzerland

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Directed by: Ursula Meier Written by:  Antoine Jaccoud, Ursula Meier,  Gilles Taurand Starrring:  Lea Seydoux, Kacey Mottett Klein, Gillian Anderson Sister is the story of the strained relationship between a brother and his older sister. The story slowly inches along with very bland acting from Simon and Louise. Gillian Anderson, playing a tourist, adds a pleasant touch by giving a deeper understanding to Simon and helps you connect with him more. The script starts to pick up somewhere in the middle of film and gives catalyst to a tearful open ending. While the scenic shots of lingering snow and dusty fields versus the luxurious ski resorts further shows the bleakness in Simon and Louise’s lives. The movie as a whole tries too hard to show the fractured relationship of Simon and Louise, which in turns created a very fractured film.

7.5/10

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