*NEW* THE INTERN REVIEW *NEW*

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Two stellar turns from two charming leads fluff up this easy going cheese-fest.

70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).

“I just know there’s a hole in my life and I need to fill it . . . soon”. We join a frustrated Ben who is desperate to fill this aching void after losing his wife. Travelling the world, learning languages and numerous skills just not cutting it for the big man. Can a senior internship at an online fashion site be the cure?

There was fun to be had with the old v young jibes. De Niro played Ben with aplomb. It was hysterical watching him explain how he used to be in charge of printing and selling the physical phone book. A living fossil to these domineering yuppies. Baffled to see someone around before Google; “What was your major? Do you remember?”.

Anne Hathaway played Jules the passionate workaholic well. Her verbal diarrhoea did go on in parts and her wacky working style was a little much. Watching her cycle awkwardly around the office didn’t quite work for me.

It was a typical Nancy Meyers flick. Lots of talking with a whole lot of cheese on the side. Hathaway and De Niro were brilliant together and had great chemistry. It was easygoing enough watching Jules reluctantly accept the out of style pensioner as her intern.

Refusing to allow his help and giving him dry cleaning and driving duties. BUT it wasn’t long before the workforce soon warmed up to the charming gentleman.

You could feel for Jules as the board showed a lack of confidence in her ability to run the very business she created. We got to watch the strain that it was taking on her and her family. JoJo Kushner was adorable as Jules’ little daughter Paige.

It was highly watchable and Meyer managed to draw enough charm from the talented cast to sift through the clichéd subplots BUT I guess I wanted less dramedy and more drama. The sequence in which Ben and the interns pull off an Ocean Eleven’s heist into Jules’ mum’s household to delete an email was unnecessary, unfunny and too OTT. It didn’t really fit into the film.

I was a little disappointed that Meyer didn’t explore Jules’ relationship with her b*tchy psychologist mother. Reduced to nothing more than awkward phone calls that never surmounted to anything. NOT even a confrontation. Considering Ben had helped improve Jules’ work and personal life, it just seemed like a missed opportunity and could have added some much needed conflict.

There was good chemistry between De Niro and Rene Russo’s office masseuse BUT their little subplot was a little too corny and, apart from a funny masseuse gag, it didn’t really offer much and anyone could have played Russo’s part.

The CEO talks could have been so much more. It was just a weak subplot to get Ben and Jules addressing a bigger problem in her life and there was an interesting development between Jules and her husband (Anders Holm) BUT it wasn’t really tackled enough for me and wrapped up far too quickly.

It’s Complicated was fun BUT it was still able to explore complicated relationships. The Intern was just a little too easygoing and the meandering pace didn’t help matters. Especially when it ended so abruptly and predictably.

There were laughs to be had and the whole debate about the classic gentleman being an artefact in this day and age was interesting enough BUT it just didn’t stand out with all these releases flooding our screens.

The weak supporting characters didn’t offer much else to the mix. Adam Devine (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) and Christina Scherer’s little romance went nowhere.

If you are after some light entertainment with two fantastic leads having fun, then I would heavily recommend. BUT if you’re not, I would swiftly move on.

3/5 (Just!)

NIGHTCRAWLER REVIEW

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Donnie’s really gone Dark-o

Jake Gyllenhaal manages to do his best Patrick Bateman impression and out-Bale Bale in one of his best performances to date.

Dark, demented and very good. If a little predictable.

So what’s it about? When Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Within the opening sequence, we get the essence of Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) as he is caught stealing copper fencing from the train tracks. Flashing that Cheshire cat smile and pleading innocence, you can see the cogs turning. And in the bat of an eye, that smile fades instantly and a monster is unleashed. Cool, calm and collected. Striking when the moment arises.

A true American psycho. A smooth talking charmer with ambitions that he will stop at nothing to achieve.

An impressive and well written debut from Dan Gilroy. Fantastically shot. The cityscape at night was captured brilliantly by the cinematography of Robert Elswit.

Nightcrawler is somewhat of a slow burner as we watch Bloom climb the social ladder for fame and glory.

It starts with our sociopath desperately seeking a job and smooth talking his way into anything. That is until he witnesses a crash. Those flashing lights and ruthless nightcrawlers (Freelance cameramen preying the streets for horrific accidents, murders and crime scenes) creeping out from the urban underworld, craving for a pay check soon sets our protagonist on his path.

Bill Paxton plays the relentless Joe Loder brilliantly and it’s good to see him back in movies. His character dispensing the mantra: “If it bleeds, it leads” unwittingly sets up a competition for carnage.

Gilroy does make some fantastic commentary and satire on the censorship and attitude of the news media. The public’s obsession for blood and trauma constantly pushing them to distort moral and ethical boundaries for fifteen minutes of fame.

The film builds up and up as the madness ascends to crazy and scarily realistic levels. Where Bloom first intervenes small car accidents with a little handheld camera; it soon escalates to breaking into live crime scenes and moving pieces of evidence (and even bodies) to make the perfect shot.

It was great to see Riz Ahmed (Four Lions). He plays the clueless sidekick with aplomb. Oblivious to Bloom’s ambitions and unaware of what lay in store. Some of his encounters with Gylenhaal make for dark but comical viewing.

Rene Russo also stood out as Nina Romina (Awful name. Didn’t realise that until I saw the credits). Questioning the morals behind Bloom’s actions but desperately enabling him for the sake of keeping her job and bringing in the ratings.

SMALL BIT OF TRIVIA: Dan Gilroy is the husband of Rene Russo and brother of Tony Gilroy who is responsible for Michael Clayton and The Bourne franchise.

The chase sequences are intense. Especially in the closing moments as Bloom’s descent into darkness reaches breaking point.

There are suspenseful moments to be had. The sequence in which Bloom and his sidekick are filming the police attempting to apprehend a murder suspect. A scenario the pair set up. I was hooked. Nail biting stuff. Executed perfectly. The tension mounting as you wait for the fireworks to go off.

At times, it did feel like the trailers did show too much of the film. You knew when to expect several of the bigger moments in the film. That’s not to say there aren’t more surprises along the way.

Bloom is intelligent and some of his speeches rival Bateman. But crafty and calculated he may be, they go on far too long. Especially in his dinner date with Nina. We get it. You’re mad. Get on with it.

One major qualm is that with a film like this; there are only ever two outcomes. It seemed to go down the Bad Lieutenant (Cage Lieutenant) route which makes for a surprisingly flat (if typical) and slightly abrupt ending.

Don’t get me wrong. Gyllenhaal is a tour de force and should be commended. The weight loss added to his creepy demeanour and shark toothed grin. Gilroy has written and directed a visceral descent into the dark side of the American dream. Something we haven’t seen for a while. A resurgence? Maybe.

As Lou Bloom says, “If you want the lottery, you have to make the money to buy a ticket”. Well, if you have the money, buy a ticket and go see it.

Certainly worth a watch. And we are live in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

3.5/5 (But this may change)