Screened Out – Southpaw

By : Stephen Miller
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Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, 50 Cent, Miguel Gomez, Oona Laurence

Once again, Jake Gyllenhaal transforms both physically and mentally – this time as a championship boxer. Director Antione Fuqua (Training Day) finds many fascinating shots both in and out of the ring. Yet, Southpaw doesn’t really bring any new moves to the canvas. Remove the swear words and rap music, and this film could’ve been shot in 1945, 1965 – any time really.

We tend to like stories with traditional arcs; it’s especially comforting to know the outcome when the blood is flying and people are taking a constant pounding. Yet, there are definitely some new punches Southpaw could’ve thrown into the mix.

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Screened Out – Nightcrawler

By : Stephen Miller
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Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed

Nightcrawler was originally released on Halloween night, very befitting the creepy character it focuses on. However, the film’s first run didn’t get the attention it really deserved. This week, Nightcrawler slinked back into theater, hoping to garner some more attention for Gyllenhaal’s slimy performance. We’re now in the midst of award season, and – though rereleasing might seem like a crass move – his performance is honestly worth another look.

Nightcrawler is a slim little drama about self-employed people who listen to police scanners and rush to accidents, crimes, and other gory tragedies. They film this awful stuff, and then they sell to the news, specifically, the highest bidder.

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Screened Out: Prisoners

By : Stephen Miller
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Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo

On average, audiences pay nine bucks just for a ticket to a flick. No matter how good some aspects are, I cannot imagine the average moviegoer being overjoyed with something this long, this labyrinthine, this tortured.

I also cannot, in good conscience, call Prisoners a bad film – just a painful, troubling one, with some small flaws.

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