Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and writer-director Dan Gilroy — who worked together on the creepy crime thriller “Nightcrawler” — have reunited for a new Netflix Original film, “Velvet Buzzsaw.”
While “Nightcrawler” wasn’t perfect, it was tense and unsettling, filled with eerily beautiful shots of nighttime L.A., plus a career-best performance from Gyllenhaal. It’s hard to believe that the same team was responsible for the much more muddled “Velvet Buzzsaw.”
The film tries to combine art-world satire and horror movie scares, with the story of a mysterious artist who leaves a trove of strangely compelling paintings behind after he dies. Soon, though, everyone involved in promoting or selling these paintings starts dying too.
On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Jon Shieber to try to understand what went wrong here. The movie isn’t particularly funny or scary — instead, we’re stuck with obvious jabs at the hypocrisy of the art world, interrupted by boring, unimaginative death scenes. And while Gyllenhaal is trying something in his portrayal of pompous art critic Morf Vandewalt, the results are head-scratching.
This episode isn’t just one long pan, though. We also offer our (considerably more positive) impressions of the Netflix series “Russian Doll,” which stars Natasha Lyonne (also the show’s co-creator) as a New Yorker who keeps dying and repeating the night of her 36th birthday. And we discuss Super Bowl streaming numbers and new details about Disney’s streaming service.
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