Jake Gyllenhaal

Nightcrawler Movie

Someone will diagnose Louis Bloom soon enough, perhaps earmarking him as a straightforward sociopath, or pointing to certain tendencies that smack of Asperger’s Syndrome, or maybe he’ll even be written off of as someone with daddy issues, or mommy issues, or as someone just needs a hug. It doesn’t matter. Louis Bloom is a monster ripped from the pages of some modern fairy tale and splashed on to the big screen for audiences to forever delight in, even as he disgusts them. He’s an anti-hero for the ages, and the vessel that delivers him is a classic in the making. In Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut Nightcrawler, the screenwriter of such varied fare as The Fall and The Bourne Legacy takes on Los Angeles’ seedy underbelly with a fresh eye and a daring story, setting Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis “Lou” Bloom, a petty thief in need of a new career path. Lou is a lot of things: skinny, underfed, tired, resourceful, a fast talker, a quick study, a con man, a criminal and someone entirely without boundaries. Free of a social filter, Lou moves through the world in a different way than most people, and Gyllenhaal fully inhabits the role, slipping inside Lou seamlessly. It would be entirely terrifying if it weren’t so damn good.

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Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in THE ROVER

Lionsgate was a pioneering label for brooding dramas, compelling imports and insightful nonfiction until it partnered with Tyler Perry, Jigsaw, and a certain YA book series. Miramax was the flagship of envelope-pushing American indies until the Weinsteins became better known for re-cutting films than for supporting filmmakers. Focus Features was the home of young early-aughts visionaries like Sofia Coppola, Michel Gondry and Joe Wright until CEO James Schamus was ousted to “broaden its portfolio.” As indie distributors and studio subsidiaries refocus their efforts towards studio-sized earnings, their previously coherent brand identities as vessels of imaginative filmmaking quickly fade out. Since the indie boom of the ‘90s gave way to the ‘00’s bottom lines, it’s been increasingly difficult and frustrating to rely on name distributors to continually devote their efforts toward risky films. All of which makes it all the more incredible that A24 has made itself into a distributor dedicated to anything but convention – and, at that, has assembled a slate of films defined by a certain amount of risk and subversion. With its 2013 slate – which included Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, Coppola’s The Bling Ring, Sally Potter’s Ginger and Rosa and James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now – A24’s first year was (intentionally or not) focused on films that produced a dark, incisive and more complex vision of youth than can be found elsewhere. But A24’s 2014 films have provided something even more needed in the current cinematic landscape: central performances that openly defy cinematic convention and expectation.

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Jake Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal in ENEMY

Last year’s Prisoners had an atmosphere driven by dread. Still, it was completely accessible and even with a clunky finale still managed to deliver conventional genre thrills. Director Denis Villeneuve‘s followup, Enemy, is a thriller that makes Prisoners light and cheery by comparison, thanks in part to screenwriter Javier Gullón‘s ceaseless desire to ask thought-provoking questions throughout his meaty mystery. Villeneuve’s film is an intense experience. Nothing ever feels right in this loose adaptation of “The Double,” even at the start of the film when we see the protagonist’s harmlessly repetitive lifestyle. Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a reclusive professor whose personal life is almost nonexistent. The most he has going for him is his distant girlfriend (Melanie Laurent). Everything in his life is on repeat until a fellow staff member recommends a local film to him. This is when Adam discovers Anthony St. Claire (Jake Gyllenhaal), an actor who looks exactly like him.

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Enemy

This coming Friday, Jake Gyllenhaal will take to the silver screen in Enemy, from Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve. It’s about a disheveled history professor who sees someone in a movie that looks exactly like him, sending him spiraling down the rabbit hole in search of the truth. Beyond the prestige of a Gyllenhaal/Villeneuve reunion, the film’s also got a killer supporting cast with the likes of Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Isabella Rossellini. It’s usually the kind of mistaken identity story that would be played for comedy, but here it appears to have taken a much darker and brooding turn. I hope this isn’t a guessed spoiler, but it’s giving me a real Orphan Black vibe. In celebration of the release of Enemy, we’d like to give you a little piece of Jake Gyllenhaal. His signature, to be exact. On a poster. We’ll also throw in a copy of the film’s soundtrack. All we ask in return is that you check out something else that may interest you: The Weekly Edition of FSR.

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Jake_Gyllenhaal

Over the course of its development, the boxing drama Southpaw has become just about as much of an underdog as the fighter who serves as its main character. What started out as a sports drama that was supposed to star Eminem and be tied closely to his experiences coming up in the rap world has now slipped through the hands of several studios and lost its original star, but still seems to be fighting to earn the right to go in front of cameras and become a real life feature film. And probably with good reason, because it was put together by a couple of talented people. From the very beginning this film was going to be helmed by Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua, and back when it was in development at DreamWorks it got a script that was penned by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, so clearly there has to be some material here worth salvaging. Despite the project’s pedigree, however, it’s already been dropped by DreamWorks, picked up by MGM, and then eventually put into turnaround there. But with its recent acquisition by the Weinstein Company, it’s looking like there finally might be some new work being done in the casting department that could actually lead to getting this movie made.

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I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to watch Jake Gyllenhaal go through his daily routine. To see him use public transportation and brush his teeth and peruse nondescript work papers. And now, with the first teaser for Denis Villeneuve‘s Enemy, all my dreams have come true. Check it out just after the jump.

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Prisoners 2013

If you’ve seen a recent trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners and bemoaned that it seemed to give the entire plot away – a pair of girls are kidnapped on Thanksgiving, and their terrifically angry and upset dads (played by Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard) capture and imprison man they think is responsible (Paul Dano, mewling it up), intent on beating him until he breaks – that’s a good thing, because the final product is trip into darkness that makes even extreme vigilantism the least shocking element of its twisted story. A thriller that doesn’t so much come with twists as puzzle pieces that cleverly slide into place across the course of its (incredibly engaging) 146-minute runtime, Prisoners is filled with a near-constant sense of tension and dread. Even the most seemingly benign scenes posses a low level of fear, and the final hour is heavy enough to leave audiences shaking (and shaken). The basic plot of Prisoners is indeed the one laid bare in its trailers – two sets of families, celebrating Thanksgiving together, discover that their young daughters have gone missing during the afternoon. Panic sets in quickly, and our various parents (Jackman and Maria Bello as one set, Howard and Viola Davis as another) swiftly assume the roles they will play during the duration of the film. Jake Gyllenhaal joins their fold as Detective Loki, a mysterious local cop who has never left a case unsolved, and one who certainly seems to have walked into a piece of […]

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trailer prisoners

Despite screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski‘s script earning raves all around Hollywood, Prisoners wasn’t exactly fast tracked. If you recall the project’s development, a series of talent were on and off the film, from directors Bryan Singer and Antoine Fuqua to stars Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio. Even Mark Wahlberg was attached at one point, who, from the start, served as a key cheerleader for the project. According to Guzikowski, Wahlberg was one of the script’s biggest and most important fans. “Mark Wahlberg was the first person to champion it.” After that stamp of approval “everything got more and more attention.” Guzikowski wrote Prisoners as a spec script, and without Wahlberg, Prisoners and Guzikowski’s career would not have blossomed the way that it has. “He was totally pivotal in getting the film made. That endorsement helped it get around.” He went to write the modest hit Contraband for Wahlberg. While both features are drastically different, they feature a race against the clock tension. To keep that tempo on high, Guzikowski says, “You have to keep the visual of it all in mind. It has to have a musical sort of pacing. I think the best thrillers have a real rhythm to them.” As for where that rhythm comes from, it’s all about the drama. “That pace is informed by however the characters are feeling. I think that’s they key to making that ticking clock.”

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Hugh Jackman

How far would you go if someone you loved was kidnapped and you thought you knew who did it? How much duct tape is involved? In Prisoners, from director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), a father has to face that question after his little girl and her best friend are taken. Hugh Jackman stars here as the despondent dad, Jake Gyllenhaal plays lawman Detective Loki (an Avengers tie-in?), and the rest of the cast is rounded out by some heavy-hitting names. The trailer gets right into the middle of the moral tangle, but watch it at your own risk because it looks like it gives away a ton:

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trailer prisoners

The National Association of Theater Owners recently made a formal request to studios to shorten theatrical trailers to a maximum two minute run-time. The impetus here is as much to speed up the movie pre-roll time for theater-goers as it is to cut back on possible spoilers or a simple excess of information. It appears Warner Bros. didn’t get the memo before cutting the first trailer for the upcoming thriller Prisoners. Hugh Jackman plays a father whose young daughter goes missing along with a friend, but when the detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to the case is forced to release the main suspect (Paul Dano) for lack of evidence all hell breaks loose in the lives of everyone involved. Terrence Howard, Maria Bello and Viola Davis co-star for director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies). To be clear, the trailer doesn’t appear to give away spoilers, but it does show more of the story than is necessary. Check out the fairly intense trailer for Prisoners below. It’s okay if you press ‘stop’ at the 1:50 mark as you should already be well intrigued and interested by that point.

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johansson-kitchen

What is Casting Couch? It’s the same casting news roundup that it’s always been, but today Cannes started up, so it’s got a little extra juice. Christoph Waltz, Bradley Cooper, Michelle Williams, Joel Edgerton: they’re all in here. Seeing as Jon Favreau made more money than science knew existed with his two installments of the Iron Man franchise, he’s basically the kind of director who now has the power to do anything he wants in the film industry. So it was kind of refreshing to hear that what he wanted to do was make a simple indie movie called Chef about a chef who falls on hard times and tries to make his comeback by opening a food truck. But now Variety has reported that he’s gone and hired Scarlett Johansson to play his love interest in the movie, and suddenly his motivations don’t appear to be all that down to Earth. Johansson is an underrated actress and will probably be fine in the film, but—come on! Try to not let all of that power go to your head, Mr. Favreau. We’re watching.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Today was basically Godzilla day on the Internet. All sorts of news regarding Legendary Pictures’ reboot of the big green guy’s film series broke, and some of it involves casting. THR broke the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was being looked at to star, but one of their writers, Borys Kit, was then quick to point out that his potential involvement in the film is long dead. Variety writer Justin Kroll then jumped in with the news that a few names that are still possibilities for the project are Henry Cavill, Scoot McNairy, and Caleb Landry Jones. All of this news comes with a special thanks to /Film, who compiled all the chatter into a tight little narrative. Even though things between Gordon-Levitt and Godzilla didn’t work out, don’t let that make you think that he’s going to go an entire week without being attached to a high profile project. In more Gordon-Levitt news, Deadline has word that the in-demand actor has just signed on to play a big role in Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Apparently he’s going to be playing Johnny, a role that was meant to go to Johnny Depp at one point, and that is said to be a core character in the overlapping parts of the film’s story lines. This comes at the same time as news that Gordon-Levitt’s possible involvement in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t going to end up happening, which is essential information if you happen to be exhaustively journaling all […]

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James Marsden

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column whose Wizards of Waverly Place fandom is finally coming in handy. That upcoming comedy where Elizabeth Banks tries to juggle being a person with loose morals with being a person with career goals, Walk of Shame, has just added another actor. According to Variety, James Marsden has joined the film. There’s no word on what sort of character he’s going to be playing, and seeing as the film is about a series of adventures that occur as Banks’ character tries to get from the scene of a one night stand to a job interview across town, that leaves a lot of possibilities open. Will Marsden be a romantic foil? Just someone who pops in briefly for a humorous interaction? We don’t know, but since we all saw Death at a Funeral, what we do know is that Marsden can do goofy comedy. Hopefully this one will give him another chance to act silly.

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Han Solo

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting news column that’s been talking way more about a movie based on a racing video game than it imagined it would be. Read on for more information. It’s bound to get pretty annoying following every rumor that pops up about the new Star Wars movie between now and 2015. But, let’s face it, when comments start getting thrown around about Harrison Ford playing Han Solo again, even vague rumors start to get pretty interesting. So, when Inside Movies announced that they have sources claiming that Ford has reversed his famously grumpy position on Star Wars being lame, and that he, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher are now all “upbeat” about more movies getting made, geeks everywhere instantly started salivating like Pavlov’s dogs. Let’s try to not let this Star Wars thing get out of hand—but Harrison Ford might play Han Solo again, y’all!

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There are a few rules for found footage: the sex tape kind will make the rich more famous; historical archives will be repurposed as propaganda following a revolution; the camcorder boom of the ‘80s and ‘90s has been a boon for today’s documentarians; and fiction implementations of the concept are all about providing evidence of how the movie’s main character(s) died. Does the new fictional found footage film End of Watch follow its respective rule?   [Warning: SPOILERS of the ending of End of Watch to come]

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End of Watch Review

In one sense, End of Watch is just another cop movie, something like the sixth written by filmmaker David Ayer. We’ve seen the valor and corruption seeping into your everyday urban police department writ large countless times before. But through its use of first-person found footage and it’s framing of the story from the point of view of LAPD officers Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Zavala (Michael Peña), Ayer’s film (which he also directed) finds a new way into the old formula. The movie offers a front seat portrait of these men as they traverse the fraught, dangerous terrain of South Central Los Angeles. With Taylor toting a camera for a class project” (he’s working towards a law degree), the officers sporting small recorders on their chests and your everyday squad car cameras offering a POV perspective, the movie offers an unvarnished look at these men on the job. We’re present as they respond to a variety of incidents, talk about everything from their families to the future to their love for Red Bull, and develop the sort of deep-rooted camaraderie that only comes from spending so many long, trying nights together.

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David Ayer on Set of End of Watch

Filmmaker David Ayer seems to really love cops. From the dirty ones to the good-natured kind, Ayer continuously explores the men and women who wear a gun and badge, and then sees how they use that power. With Street Kings, Dark Blue, and Training Day, Ayer showed that power can corrupt certain cops. With End of Watch, the writer/director does the opposite of what he’s known for: portraying good, incorruptible men. It’s not often we see cops this well-intentioned on the big screen. Not a single part of End of Watch delves into police corruption. It’s a real love letter to the force which strays away from certain genre conventions, something Ayer attempts to do when he’s writing solely for himself. Here’s what director David Ayer had to say about the large thematic world of law enforcement, the work-for-hire process, and the style of End of Watch:

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End of Watch Trailer

You’ve misjudged David Ayer‘s End of Watch. It’s okay – I did the same thing. Another cop movie from Ayer, you said? Another one set in South Central Los Angeles, you wondered? With the added gimmick of utilizing all manner of handheld footage, dash cams, all that shaky stuff that just doesn’t seem to feel fresh anymore? And starring a bald Jake Gyllenhaal? Pardon me, moviegoers, but what the hell? While we can’t share all of our thoughts on the Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena-starring End of Watch just yet, we can confirm that it’s far better than it sounds, is much more compelling and emotional than even Training Day or Harsh Times, and that it contains (at the very least) one performance absolutely deserving of awards consideration. Perhaps this new trailer for the film will help change your mind on the rough, dirty, and tension-filled joy that is End of Watch. At the very least, you can watch a ton of guns blazing.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? During his photo shoot for the cover of this month’s Details, Jake Gyllenhaal was let loose with a camera, using it to capture the boredom and the tedium that accompanies such a high profile shoot, along with plenty of shots of craft services and people bitching about each other. Oh, Hollywood! The short also plays as a nice companion piece to the single song that makes up its soundtrack – Aaron Embry’s “Moon on a Daylit Sky.” Yes, it’s pretty naval-gazey, but aren’t most photo shoots? What will it cost you? Only 4 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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Albert Hughes’ next project, Motor City, is in a bit of a pickle. You see, Dominic Cooper was all set to star in the movie, playing a recently released prisoner going about the business of tracking down the men who framed him and thus sent him away. There have been some scheduling conflicts, however, and Cooper has now been forced to drop out. So what’s a director to do? In this case, Hughes is solving his problem by looking at an even bigger name to step in and take over. Variety is reporting that Jake Gyllenhaal is currently in negotiations to become Motor City’s new leading man. Gyllenhaal is an actor who hasn’t been working much lately, so there shouldn’t be any further scheduling conflicts if he signs on. Then again, Gyllenhaal hasn’t been working much lately, and clearly that must be his choice, so what’s it going to take to get his name on the dotted line? You have to imagine that Motor City’s producers are pretty intent on getting Gyllenhaal signed, sealed, and delivered, as he’s one of the few people out there who still has enough star power to guarantee a few extra box office dollars on opening night, so whichever way this one goes, we should know the results soon.

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