October 31, 2014, - 6:03 pm

Wknd Box Office: Nightcrawler, Before I Go to Sleep, Horns, Men Women & Children

By Debbie Schlussel

They used to give us good thrillers and scary horrors at the movies for Halloween. No longer. There’s only one new movie at theaters today that I recommend. The rest are absolute dreck.



* “Nightcrawler“: I mostly liked this very creepy, true to life movie, which gives us a fantastic inside look at the agenda and lack of ethics in TV news. In this movie, it’s local TV news, but it definitely translates to the national level, including to FOX News, not just the others. My one reservation is that the movie goes out of its way to make the creepy anti-hero of the movie a Jew–his name is “Lou Bloom,” with an obviously Jewish surname (and he is played by a Jew). Was that really necessary? And on top of that, his loyal, decent, honest sidekick., “Rick”–whom he treats like crap, betrays, and sends to his end–is played by Riz Ahmed, a Pakistani Muslim who looks every bit of it (and who has played “wrongfully accused” Muslim terrorists in several movies, including “The Road to Guantanamo”). Hmmm . . .

The story: Jake Gyllenhaal is Bloom, a creepy, greasy, nerdy, low-rent liar and thief who resorts to scrapping and stealing to survive. One night, as he is driving down the freeway, he comes across police rescuing a woman from a burning car on the shoulder of the road. He sees a cameraman shooting footage, and learns that the cameraman finds out about the accidents from listening to a police scanner. So, he pawns a stolen bike in exchange for camera equipment, and thus, his career of “nightcrawling”–trolling for the “if it bleeds, it leads” footage to make a buck.

Bloom meets a desperate news director (a very injectified and Botoxaceous Rene Russo) who seeks out sensational bloody footage. She buys his tape and tells him she is looking for any kind of minority crime against White people–to fit her agenda of showing urban crime infecting the suburbs. She says White people like to feel fear from minorities, and she wants stories to fit that narrative. She doesn’t use the word “White,” but the point is clearly understood. This is probably the only other dishonest part of the movie (aside from the Jewish-Muslim thing gratuitously injected into the flick), and it’s blatantly dishonest at that. In fact, we know that while news directors have an agenda, it is generally the opposite: they like to show big, bad, rich, Whitey afflicting crime on the innocent, oppressed minorities.

Soon, Bloom is staging crime scenes, invading and trespassing throughout crime victims’ homes. He moves magnets and pictures on some victims’ refrigerator to get the most heart-rending footage. Then, he drags a dead body out of a car and onto a certain vantage point on a street before police reach the crime scene. And ultimately, he gets people killed . . . all to create a story, get exclusive, bloody footage of it, and make a buck.

That Bloom has no morals, no ethics, no sense of decency whatsoever, and is willing not only to thwart police investigations into crimes, but to get people killed, isn’t news. We know that people in the media, whether they were CNN’s Peter Arnett, or are FOX News’ Geraldo Rivera and Carl Cameron (who fraudulently reported that Israeli Jewish illegal alien “artists” were behind the 9/11 attacks on FOX News, without challenge from any of the anchors or officials on the network), will do and say anything to be relevant and make bucks. But it’s nice to have a movie–a dark movie with a little comedy mixed in–make the same point and finally admit that, yes, the media has an agenda and doesn’t give us the real news. It makes up fake news. And presents faked and staged footage.

I’m normally NOT a fan of far-leftist Gyllenhaal (or his sister, Maggie, who said America deserved 9/11). But he was good in this movie as a creepy, crazy, ,manipulative, dishonest, immoral huckster with no boundaries. I get the feeling that he was crazy in real life when he made this, as he quickly lost 30 pounds to play the role and appear gaunt. He told reporters that he ran 10-15 miles every day and ate just kale salads (I’m not sure I believe that story, though). And while I heretofore thought Russo looked fabulous for 60 based on her many recent TV appearances promoting this movie, the close-ups of her very puffy, over-injected face on the giant screen were disturbing. She looks like a blowfish, who would pop if a needle came anywhere close. Chick got a lotta work done, and it’s obvious.

Well acted and, overall, an entertaining, engaging movie without a second of boredom. And it makes great points, even if some of those points are made slightly in the reverse of what they should be. Because of the deliberate, gratuitous, sub rosa attempt to make the villain in this movie a Jew–by giving him the name Bloom (and the victim a Muslim)–I downgraded my rating by HALF A REAGAN and give it . . .


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Before I Go To Sleep“: I was very excited to see this, and, man, was it a letdown. Long, slow, boring, and with very little payoff at the end. While only 1.5 hours long, it seems like an eternity. The movie’s billed as a “psychological thriller,” but it is anything but. It’s not thrilling, nor does it mess much with my psyche or yours. Doesn’t make you think much, other than, please, make this end already. What this really is: a chick flick chock full of evil men and one sullen, constantly crying, and angst-filled chick. Um, no thank you.

The story: a dull, sullen, constantly harried and desperately crying Nicole Kidman plays Christine, a British woman who wakes up every morning with no memory of what happened in her life in the last 20 years. She believes she is still a 20-year-old grad student, instead of the 40-year-old that she actually is (but actually, it should be that she’s lost 30 years, with the 47-year-old Kidman looking every day of 53). When she wakes up each morning in the arms of a man (Colin Firth), he tells her he is her husband, Ben, and that she’s lost her memory as a result of a car accident. He also tells her that each day, she learns the same things, but then, when she goes to sleep, her memory is wiped clean and she must start over again the next morning.

Also, every morning, after Ben leaves for work, she is called by a psychiatrist, Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), who tells her to find a camera he’s given her, on which she’s recorded her story and what she’s learned in the previous days. This refreshes part of her memory. But, still, she’s trying to find out more: what happened to her in the accident, what her situation is, what she does for a living, who her old friends were and whee she can find them, all in an attempt to get her life back and recover.

But it’s all a mystery . . . a mystery that, frankly, you won’t care much about, since the same thing is annoyingly repeated over and over again, with little change for the first 3/4ths of the movie. When things finally come to a head, it suddenly becomes the Ray Rice story, with beatings and violence, but it’s not exciting or informative. And at that point, you’re waiting for the payoff of sitting through all the misery and sullenness. And, unfortunately, there is none. The resolution of it all is entirely a letdown, with a dull, cloying, lame ending, full of tears and maudlin music.

Like I said, this is a boring, silly chick flick parading as a psychological thriller. Don’t buy into that cross-dressing, or you’ll get burned.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Horns“: Absolute, utter garbage. I can’t believe I wasted two hours of my life I’ll never get back on this rank fecal material. So silly, so stupid, so unnecessarily violent, snake-filled, and sexually lewd. If this is Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe’s attempt to become a serious or comedic actor (hard to tell if this is trying to be an unfunny comedy or a stupid, failed drama), he failed miserably.

Radcliffe is an American 20-something accused of murdering his lifelong girlfriend to whom he was about to propose. But he says he didn’t do it and is falsely accused. He grows horns on his head and soon has devil-like powers. He’s able to get people to do bad things: he tells two male cops to give each other oral sex and causes them to do it, and causes some fat guy to go fully nude in a bar (a scene I’d prefer never to have seen). He also gets his older brother to take enough illegal drugs (cocaine, pills, and mushrooms) to die. And he is surrounded by snakes that he gets to lunge at and bite people. He apparently does all of this to find the real killer. Whatever. Who cares? I certainly didn’t. Believe me, I’m making this high-quality Gitmo torture material sound far better than it is.

Skip at all cost.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Men, Women & Children“: This is another Gitmo torture material flick. It’s also a rip-off of 2012’s “Disconnect” (read my review), which wasn’t great either, but is a masterpiece compared to this absolute enema. By the way, two words that should instantly warn you off: Adam Sandler. Yup, he’s in this cinematic rot.

The movie is about oversexualized teens and adults who use the internet for sexual deviance. One teen watches so much porn that he’s unable to have sex with a real girl. That girl, a minor, poses in skimpy, revealing outfits her mother buys her on a website her mother set up to accept money from perverts seeking a “private modeling session.” That teen girl, talks about giving oral sex to an older man and the “taste” of his sperm. She is friends with an anorexically skinny girl who was fat, but lost a ton of weight because she doesn’t eat. She did this to become attractive to and lose her virginity to the school football star she’s in love with, who thinks of her as nothing more than a quick conquest. Then, he ignores her, and she faints in the school bathroom as a result of an ectopic pregnancy with his kid. Another girl at the school is in love with a different school football star. He’s quit the team and most of life in order to play online games that take up most of his time and a lot of money. The girl who has a relationship with him has to sneak around in order to see him and talk to him because her mother obsessively tracks her every move online and on cell phones and is overbearing beyond belief. And, finally, there are the parents of the kid addicted to online porn. They aren’t having sex, so each seeks out another person to have sex with online. The husband (Sandler) starts an affair with a hooker. And the wife has an affair with a man she met on a website for cheaters.

Yes, this disgusting, gross, creepy, dysfunctional dungheap is what Hollywood gives us for “entertainment” these days. The movie could double not only for Gitmo torture material, but for Al-Qaeda and ISIS recruiting film, too. YUCK.


Watch the trailer . . .

11 Responses

It is surprising that Halloween has produced do little. As for Nicole, she is a former cupcake that has become a talentless old hag.

Worry on November 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm


kirche61 on November 2, 2014 at 5:54 am

Not real surprised that Nicole Kidman would stoop to some more slop about evil married guys. Maybe she’s lashing out a little at her former men that’ve shared dinners with her rapidly aging red head ness. So much cinema and t.v. with crap men in them, it’s tough to keep track of all of it. So she sleeps around a bit, plays a bit with Lenny Kravitz in her middle age phase to piss off her exes a little and a few movies she makes seem to have too many of those common threads. Like Rebecca Demornay playing mentally unstable women well, it’s probably not a real stretch as many of my friends have agreed after seeing that “Hand that rocks the cradle” movie. Can’t bring myself to watch a Jake G movie anymore than Ali G. Some peoples politics ruins them for other crap like their actual jobs. The sick twisted movies coming out more often isn’t a mistake. The dredges of hollywood are getting more numerous and brazen it seems. After “Hound Dog” I’m even more of a skeptic of human beings.

samurai on November 2, 2014 at 7:57 am

As usual the movies are a waste of time. We haven’t been to movies in many years. We refused to pay to be offended or brainwashed by the people who have taken over Hollywood. We will not support them with our money. Thanks Debbie for the reviews. I feel sorry that you have to sit through this trash.

Sam on November 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm

“Nightcrawler” is the most effective attack on “predatory capitalism” that I’ve seen in years. Secondarily, as Debbie points out, it’s also a satiric critique of local television news’s shallow and corrupt ethics. In this second sense, the film has much in common with “Network” from many years ago, and also “Gone Girl” which came out last month.

Like Debbie, I found “Nightcrawler” completely engrossing from start to finish. Gyllenhaal did a terrific job, I think, of creating a spooky psychopath who uses business “happy talk” along with other fake rationalizations of capitalism to his advantage.

I agree with Debbie that the name “Bloom” was chosen purposefully to make a link between Jews and predatory capitalism. That’s the popular meme among the Occupy crowd.

Dan Gilmore, who wrote and directed this film, earlier wrote and directed “Michael Clayton.” “MC” is a very simplistic, romanticized critique of capitalism also, only it uses hired assassins to make its point rather than the local news industry.

“Nightcrawler” is packed with snarky criticism of unpaid internships (which liberals loathe), phony self-help dribble, greedy exploitation of minorities, and a whole host of other smart power ideas.

Burke on November 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm

On the other hand, the MST3K boys are slamming “Anaconda” on Novemeber 4th, in a repeat, available in theters across the country, if you want to see something funny. I love those guys. I have no financial or personal interest in this.

I hardly go to theaters anymore. I feel sorry for your job, Deb. It seems like Movies are adhering even more strongly to Sturgeon’s Law these days (95% of everything is crap.).

Occam's Tool on November 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm

“Horns”… based on the novel by Joe Hill? I had seen that on bookshelves at bookstores for the last few years, and I had wondered what it was about… but based on this review of the movie and the description of the book from Wikipedia, I’m so glad I didn’t read it!

As for Daniel Radcliffe starring in this movie… I’m no fan of his, never watched any of the Harry Potter movies (except for the first one, only because my family dragged me to see it), but like you said, Debbie, it makes anyone wonder if he’s trying really hard to break the mold from being in “kids’ movies”. If he is, then I wish him the best of luck in that regard.

Actually, in a similar vein… Debbie, I don’t know if you’ve seen it before, but you might like this really good article on Cracked.com, “7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider’s Perspective)” by Mara Wilson (the girl from “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Matilda”). I’ll send you a link.

Craig on November 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Nightcrawler sounds a lot like Donnie Darko meets Cronenberg’s Crash. Always agitate and then agitate some more.
That is the progressive modus operandi.
Yes Donnie Darko had to be a Jew in this one.

japple on November 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Progressives are dedicated to destroying any kind of Jewish identity which could either offend or defend itself especially if those progressives happen to be Jewish themselves.

    japple on November 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm

fyi – the wife and i saw john wick over the weekend… which sucked.

K: You were forewarned. I gave it a bad review. DS

kirche on November 4, 2014 at 10:26 am

Surprisingly, we were two of four people in the small theater this past Saturday night, to see “Nightcrawler”

It is an excellent movie.

Without your review I probably would not have seen this flick.

I thought Jake’s demands on Russo after he submitted his shot footage of the murder scene before the police arrived, asking for $100K and all of the other stuff, including her performance in the sack was very funny.

He played the part of a crazy man very well, but he did not go over the top like a Pacino would have.

Panhandle on November 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

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