Really enjoyed this movie. There is a morbid sense to this movie that can get too thick at times but all in all it's perhaps one of the best movies I've seen. I do think it needed more polish and it really falls apart in certain scenes, which is a bummer because 90% of this movie feels so on point.

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Cracks me up when one of the vans at the end drives through the red light immediately after he says the final line. Great movie!

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Apr 8·edited Apr 8Liked by Casey Muratori, Anna Rettberg

Also really enjoy this movie, if I have to point out some minor flaws I do think the LAPD/detective storyline is the weakest part of the movie, and I found the conversation between the news director and the other news person at the end about the triple murder actually being a drug shooting was a bit heavy-handed.

On the topic of how the movie is shot, I really appreciate that as far as I could tell they actually shot most of the night scenes at night. A ton of movies and TV, even huge super expensive productions, tend to shoot day for night for most night scenes, and once you learn how to spot it it kinda ruins a lot of night scenes in movies.

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Apr 7Liked by Anna Rettberg

I agree with everything you said about Jake Gyllenhall’s performance. He’s incredible and you can’t take your eyes off him. But I’m not as sold on the screenplay as you were. I did like it, but it felt more like a B screenplay elevated by an A+ performance.

The movie is so unsubtle that it often felt like a lecture, which kept me from getting fully invested. In the dinner scene, Jake Gyllenhall directly stares into the camera and recites statistics about how the news spends more time on crime than anything else. Half of the reporter’s lines are essentially “Bah, I don’t care about ethics!”The detective stuff felt kind of underwritten, like it was only there to lead up to one of them yelling into the camera about how bad Jake Gyllenhall is. Even the musical dissonance felt over the top to me. My attitude in a lot of scenes went from “Wow, this is unsettling” to “Okay, I get it”.

I also didn’t totally buy the escalation to (essentially) murder. The movie tries to have a Breaking Bad sense of corruption and gradually crossing more lines, but without actually having Jake Gyllenhall change as a character, and it’s kind of an awkward fit. If he’s always been capable of that, why did he start the movie by stealing scrap metal and manhole covers? Why not sell drugs or guns or participate in human trafficking or rob mansions or something that would bring in way more money than selling scrap? I don’t think this is a plot hole or anything. It just felt a bit underdeveloped.

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