Out This Week: 'Nightcrawler' is a thriller with a dose of satire

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

DVD/Blu-Ray

Nightcrawler (2014) - Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Papajohn, Marco Rodriguez, Bill Paxton

When Lou Bloom, 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 (IMDb). This film doesn't shy from exploring the seedy side of journalism, and how the 24-hour news cycle craves the content that characters like Bloom can provide. This thriller has a strong dose of satire that is impossible to ignore.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) - Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould

Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. However, he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother and sister - who all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (IMDb). While not as acclaimed as the book it's based on, this film is toned and geared towards the same audience and is a great, clean family film.

Kill the Messenger (2014) - Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winsetad, Rosemarie DeWitt

A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb (IMDb). Renner isn't known for characters with as wide of a range as Gary Webb, but his portrayal as the journalist was very well received. The film had a very small release last October but is poised to do very well on its DVD release.

Video Games

Evolve (PS4, XONE, PC)

This shooter pits four co-op players against an alien monster, which is controlled by a fifth player and can "evolve" by eating smaller creatures and becoming a force to reckon with. The footage from this game looks gorgeous, and the concept is a good twist on a first-person shooter genre plagued by story-driven material that plays second fiddle to its arena-based multiplayer. Early reviews are quite positive, and the community will make or break how well the multiplayer holds up over time.

Monster Hunter 4 (3DS)

Capcom's beast-hunting series sees its second iteration on the Nintendo handheld, this time bringing four-player online co-op mode and a whole new set of monsters to slay. This, along with "Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D," releases alongside the New 3DS, which sports a faster processor and a second joystick. If you're planning on getting a 3DS, look to get the bundle and save some cash.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (3DS)

This is a remake of the 2000 Nintendo 64 game that followed up one of the best games of all time, "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time." Majora's Mask held its own, and was praised for a much darker tone to the Zelda series and its outstanding art direction. Like its predecessor, this game gets a full graphical upgrade for the 3DS and takes advantage of the extra processing power of the New 3DS.

Books

Wrestling for my Life: The Legend, the Reality, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar - Shawn Michaels (176 pages)

WWE superstar Shawn Michaels shares from his heart about the highs and lows of his life inside the WWE (Goodreads.com). These autobiographies from WWE superstars are a blast to read, giving a very human edge to what is often a corny yet entertaining show. You don't usually have to be a wrestling fan to get into their stories, and hearing from "The Heartbreak Kid" give his testimony is worth the short read.

A Spool of Blue Thread - Anne Tyler (368 pages)

Anne Tyler has mastered depicting family dynamics with very humanistic characters. In a way, her families have defined her 50 years as a writer. This novel follows Abby and Red, an aging couple facing the tough decisions of how to look after them as they enter their twilight years.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye - Cynthia Hand (400 pages)

This novel follows Lex as she struggles with moving on after her brother kills himself, and the last words she shared with him that "could have changed everything." Hand follows Lex from a first-person point of view, which advance readers have applauded for bringing intimacy to the ones left behind.