SPOTLIGHT: Jake Gyllenhaal

His upcoming role in Duncan Jones’ second film Source Code is just around the corner and sounds similar to a few too many movies we have seen before like the recent The Adjustment Bureau. With trust in Jones, who brilliantly crafted 2009’s Moon, the movie may be a big hit for Gyllenhaal following his series of duds like Brothers, Prince of Persia and Love and Other Drugs.

 

Gyllenhaal broke out after his role in October Sky, landing him a role as the iconic Donnie Darko. In his early years he played the mysterious, troubled boy in transition with subtle angst that defined his generation so well. Gyllenhaal has only had one real commercial hit with the doomsday dud The Day After Tomorrow, and instead has found himself success in mid-budget films that allow him to capitalize on his ability to be the desired lead or play on his boyish masculinity like Jarhead, Brokeback Mountain and Zodiac. With only really a decade of acting under his belt, Gyllenhaal has managed to star in a handful of great films.

Donnie Darko– It is easily Gyllenhaal’s most iconic and recognizable role of his career. The cult film was initially slated for direct-to-video before being picked up at the last minute. Even so, the film was a commercial flop until a few years later when it picked up on the DVD market; especially given Gyllenhaal began breaking out with bigger, more mainstream films. Darko is a great, small science fiction film with a twist ending mainstream audiences crave. Gyllenhaal begins all his career staples here, playing the troubled boy dealing with pressures of the world.

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Five movies with great tricks and twists

In honor of April Fools Day, I decided to list five famous and not so famous movies that can confound, twist, and trick you while still being well made and entertaining.  Don’t worry, I won’t give anything away.

Image courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

1.  The Sixth Sense– How could you not include this one?  The most famous thing about this movie is its ending, but the rest was still a great revitalization of the scary thriller when it was released.  Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis, and Toni Collette all give outstanding performances, but it’s the ending of this movie that earns its place in cinema history.

Image courtesy of Oregon Live

2. Tell No One– This excellent French thriller has twists at every turn, leading to one of the most satisfying conclusions in a movie.  This tale of a man who’s thought to be dead wife starts emailing him is a first-class thriller of the highest order.  Writer/director Guillaume Canet knows how to structure a film around an already great screenplay.

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