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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Nightcrawler [Blu-ray]

 

(Dan Gilroy, 2014)

 

  

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Studios

Video: Universal Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:58:05.286

Disc Size: 36,523,375,909 bytes

Feature Size: 33,441,835,008 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 10th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3515 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3515 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Dan Gilroy, Producer Tony Gilroy, and Editor John Gilroy
Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
If It Bleeds, It Leads: Making Nightcrawler (5:16)
Digital Copy of Nightcrawler

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling -- where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story.

 

 

The Film:

An ambitious young crime journalist probes the dark underbelly of L.A. in this cynical urban drama that marks the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy (Real Steal, The Bourne Legacy). Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhall) is a petty thief in search of a payday when he stumbles onto the scene of a grisly car accident, and witnesses seasoned "Nightcrawler" Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) gathering video footage for the local news broadcast. Convinced that this is a career he could excel at, Lou promptly purchases a police scanner and a cheap video camera, and hits the streets. In short order Lou has hired an assistant (Riz Ahmed) to help him navigate the city streets, and started selling footage to local TV producer Nina (Rene Russo), one of Joe's regular buyers. As fast learner with an eye for detail, Lou isn't above manipulating a crime scene in order to get a picture that tells a story. When Lou beats the police to the scenes of a deadly home invasion in an affluent neighborhood, however, his shocking footage catches the attention of two homicide detectives who suspect he's hiding evidence that could be crucial to their investigation. Meanwhile, that footage may be just what Lou needs to enter the big time.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

First and foremost, the film is a showcase for its wiry and wired star, and for the fascinatingly amoral anti-hero he brings to life. In the most perversely charismatic performance of his career, Jake Gyllenhaal slips into the oily skin of Lou Bloom, the living embodiment of self-actualization gone wrong. A petty criminal looking for any golden opportunity he can exploit, Lou talks almost exclusively in pithy nuggets of career advice, the business tips and rules for success he’s absorbed like a sponge over the years. First seen scrounging for scrap metal, he quickly catches wind of a lucrative, extreme growth industry: Zipping around the mean streets of Los Angeles in the wee hours of the night, filming car accidents and bleeding crime victims, and then selling the guerilla footage to the morning news.

Excerpt from AV Club located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Nightcrawler looks as perfect as you might anticipate on Blu-ray from Universal. It has some teal-leaning but I didn't find it too egregious.  The film has predominantly very dark scenes and the dual-layered transfer, with a very high bitrate, handles them all without issues of noise or artifacts of any kind.  The frequent close-ups show strong detail. Colors seem brighter and truer than SD could relate and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. All-in-all the 1080P delivers a strong presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Powerful DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3515 kbps. It gets a workout with Nightcrawler. There are plenty of effects from car chases, gunplay, fires, crashes and more. The original music is by, the iconic, James Newton Howard (2005's King Kong, Batman Begins, The Bourne Legacy, I Am Legend, The Lookout etc.) and the score moves with the ever-changing pace of the film from passive introspection to aggressive drama. The film's background music seems absolutely perfect and sounds crisp with demonstrative range and depth separation. There are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Included is a feature-length commentary with writer/director Dan Gilroy, producer Tony Gilroy, and editor John Gilroy. The three brothers give a great education on details of the production with Dan filling in many details of his screenplay, research and his fraternal-twin John covers editing information. For those impressed by the film, the commentary will be very enlightening. There is a short 'making of' entitled If It Bleeds, It Leads and it runs just over 5-minutes with input from the Gilroy. The Blu-ray disc also includes UltraViolet and a digital copy disc of Nightcrawler.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is quite a strong film from many aspects even beyond the scathing indictment of media and public desire for 'the darker side'. Gyllenhaal (loved him in Enemy, End of Watch and Prisoners) continues to impress with his versatility - one of the best actors of his generation. And another excellent choice of project for him to showcase his blossoming skills. This definitely a film that grows in stature as it is revisited. Dan Gilroy's first directorial feature (known as the writer of The Fall and The Bourne Legacy among other works) The Universal Blu-ray with important commentary is very strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 1st, 2015

  

  

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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