Sunday, February 22, 2015

Self Motivated

Nightcrawler (2014) - Gilroy
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Jake Gyllenhaal shines in his sleaziest role ever, as an ambulance chasing videographer, Louis Bloom who won't stop at anything to get the most vile, violent footage of car wrecks, home invasion, multiple homicides, etc and selling it to the highest bidder. He has no social skills but always doles out scripted, online course-learned speeches when dealing with other people. The thing is, in real life, we all know these kind of individuals. They are not quite right as they have no moral scruples in their actions. There is something missing in their eyes. What's disturbing about Nightcrawler is that Bloom becomes very successful in what he sets out to do. He tampers with crime scenes to get a better angle, gets rid of competitions, blackmails a like minded shock tv station manager, and withhold information from the law to get the next exclusives. He's a total posterboy of 'pulling up your bootstraps' crowd.

It's Hollywood scriptwriter Dan Gilroy(and brother of Tony Gilroy)'s first film. He pulls all the stops with Nightcrawler - shot beautifully by PT Anderson regular Robert Elswit, stars his wife Rene Russo along with Gyllenhaal who also produced and music by seasoned composer, James Newton Howard. The worst of all is the score which doesn't match the film at all and sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm just angry that Nightcrawler won the Best First Film at Indie Spirit Awards over She's Lost Control. Really? This well polished film by Hollywood insider is considered indie? It's pretty disgusting.

Eri Yamamoto Trio at Arthur's Tavern

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Out on a whim, we decided to brave the snow and go to the West Village, and look for a live jazz club. It's been a very long time that we went to see a live jazz since Augie's on 108th Steet closed. We found a small hole in the wall place, Arthur's Tavern, where we saw Eri Yamamoto's trio. The setting couldn't have been more perfect: that acrid smell of old pub- of creaky, dusty wood, liquor and urine all mixed in. Christmas, Easter decorations and balloons from yesteryears still adorned the walls, including big brass "NO DANCING" sign and the sight of falling snow through the front window. Old husky bartendress from Macedonia poured me Knob Creek, instead of Hennessy, realized her mistake and didn't charge me for the drink. The waitress is late because of the snow. She's coming from Jersey, she explained. We got there early, settled in up front, not expecting much. The trio started arriving, also late because of the snowstorm. But they were pleased that there are so many of us showed up.

Eri Yamamoto Trio last night was Eri on the piano, Arthur (didn't get the gentleman's last name) on bass and Ikuo Takeuchi on drums, playing all original composition by Yamamoto. It was exactly what we were looking for in a night like that. And we were glad we finally found a place for live jazz after all those years of yearning.

Yamamoto and company are fine musicians. And her compositions are beautiful. For more of Yamamoto's music and info, please visit