The Hollywood Read ep. 29

With the release of Midsommar, we wonder if adult-oriented summer counter-programming even works anymore, or if the summer drama is another victim of the streaming paradigm shift. We’re also discussing the first trailer for the live-action Mulan remake, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s off-kilter turn as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home. After failing to become an action hero in his own right, Jake G built his career around cinematic weirdoes, and now everything comes full circle as a comic book movie taps him to play a weirdo villain. Join us as we gush over Florence Pugh and follow Jake G’s career path through the weird weeds.

Here’s Kayleigh on Jake G’s wonderful Instagram:

And here is Sarah on Midsommar

Kayleigh twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah twitter: @Cinesnark


Southpaw is a lot of Jake Gyllenhaal’s wasted effort

southpaw-posterThe problem with boxing movies is that there are only two possible stories to tell: 1) A boxer trains hard, overcomes adversity, and wins, or 2) a boxer trains hard, overcomes adversity, and loses. Occasionally you get a boxing movie that throws a little extra juice into the formula, either by supplying a twist (Million Dollar Baby), or by using side plots as co-dependent metaphors—boxing is life and life is boxing!—like in Rocky and The Fighter. But no matter how you tinker with it, boxing movies only ever come in two varieties, win or lose, which means escaping clichés is virtually impossible. It’s the inherent problem of boxing movies, and it’s a problem that Southpaw, written by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), can’t overcome. Also Southpaw is incredibly stupid on a fundamental level. Continue reading “Southpaw is a lot of Jake Gyllenhaal’s wasted effort”

Nightcrawler: A gold medal in the Weirdo Olympics

nightcrawler-posterWhen actors lose a bunch of weight for a role it feels gimmicky, more often than not. It’s such an easy ploy and too often used as a launching pad for an Oscar campaign that it’s become kind of a joke. If Tropic Thunder were made today, the “full retard” speech would undoubtedly include a line about weight loss. So when Jake Gyllenhaal started showing up places looking gaunt, I felt a thread of dismay. Oh no, I thought, not him. He’s not THAT kind of actor. He lost the weight for Nightcrawler, the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy), a movie about a creepy guy, Lou Bloom, who works as a freelance videographer, recording gruesome crash footage and crime stories for the local news. And Gyllenhaal’s physical transformation is an essential part of what is a career-best performance. Continue reading “Nightcrawler: A gold medal in the Weirdo Olympics”