Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gone Girl

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I'll be honest, I was hoping Affleck's character would have turned to Batman for help with this disappearance.




Gone Girl – 5 out of 5

So, my girlfriend and I had a choice of what movie to see this last Saturday because we were both blessed with a few extra dollars in our pockets and a Saturday evening with absolutely no shit to do.  We could have seen Annabelle because it is October and all and October has Halloween and Halloween means scary movies (and speaking of scary movies, my pals at The Robot’s Pajamas are going scary movie crazy over there and it is awesome!  In fact, here’s a little contribution I made about the film Psycho…yep, that was me whoring out my other writings).  However, Annabelle looks ridiculously cheesy and even my horror-obsessed girlfriend doesn’t feel like spending those few extra movie bucks we got on it.  So, we went for the film that is basically a sure thing…Gone Girl.
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"I did not kill my wife!  Do I have to jump out of a sewage pipe on a giant
dam to get you to believe me?"

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home after a morning of errands and introspection to discover that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing.  After calling the cops and the ensuing investigation, it’s starting to look like Amy was killed and that Nick, who was unhappy in their relationship, might have been the one responsible.  A media frenzy begins and Nick is labeled a sadistic wife-killer.  Quickly, Nick enlists the help of famed defense attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) in order to help with his case and clear his name.  However, what they soon discover is the reality is far more unsettling than a simple kidnapping or murder…
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Eh, that's a good one but let's try one where you are smiling.
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Alright, that's good.  Now let's try one where you are duck-facing."
 

Why did I think Gone Girl was going to be a sure thing?  First off, Ben Affleck in the lead playing a man who is accused of killing his wife, a person that he already has a shady past with due to the rocky waves in their once tranquil ocean of love.  However, more so than Affleck in the cast, having David Fincher at the helm and once again using the dark, twisted musical brain of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the soundtrack was what told me that I wasn’t going to be disappointed with the film…and I wasn’t.  In fact, this film left a haunted impact on me (like a lot of Fincher’s work) long after I left the theater.

It may sound strange but one of my favorite things about David Fincher’s films is the use of lighting in them.  The man knows how to use shadows but the way his films often has a mildly harsh yellow tinge to them and gives them a look that reminds me of a watered down alcoholic beverage—as strange as that sounds.  Another thing that gets me about David Fincher’s films is the unblinking look he gives to the stories and when the horrible stuff starts.  He gets you right in there and won’t let you look away.  Then, when you add in the terrifying music from Trent Reznor (seriously, there hasn’t been a better marriage of composer and director), and what follows is something that is incredibly shocking to view.  All this is here in Gone Girl and is one of the biggest reasons the film was incredibly addicted and had me glued to the screen and on the edge of my seat.
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"This investigation is boring.  Wanna take these flashlights into the graveyard and
play flashlight tag?"
 

I haven’t read the novel that Gone Girl was based on but a lot of friends of mine have asked me if it compares to the book and I can honestly say that I have no fucking clue.  However, the author, Gillian Flynn, wrote the screenplay for the film so, I’m guessing that the differences aren’t that major but it’s impossible to do a completely faithful translation because books and movies are different—simple as that.  However, the film’s story is so enthralling and filled with so many twists, turns, and surprises (and not cheap surprises, these are solid, “HOLY FUCK, I did NOT see that coming” twists and evolutions to the story)—well there are so many of these strong elements to the story and the shock of it as it progresses and builds that I am half considering actually taking the time to read the novel.  I only say “half considering” because I pretty much spend all my time reading comic books and novels that are science fiction in nature.
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Who else is imagining the cowl over his face?
 

Finally, one of the best things about this movie is the cast and the absolutely unbelievable performances they put into the film.  First off, I’m an Affleck fan.  Sure, he has done some shitty movies but the guy is a great actor and a very talented director—and, eff you, I’m excited as shit to see him as Batman!  In Gone Girl, Affleck is playing a role that I’ve never seen from him before.  He rode the line of being both a victim and a potential suspect so well and it really had me glued to the story to try and figure out if he really was the film’s bad guy or not.  Fincher made the film a great mystery and the performance from Affleck only supported and assisted with that aspect.  To say he was captivating as Nick and exciting to watch the ordeal is to put it very mildly.
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"So, he said, 'Rectum?  Damn near killed him!' So, anyway, about my missing wife..."
 

Another thing about the cast was how surprised I was by three performers.  First off, I’m not really a fan of Neil Patrick Harris.  In small doses, I find him very amusing but too much of him in a comedy can be overbearing.  I was a little hesitant to see him in this thriller but I am not going to say that I didn’t think he could pull it off.  I was actually curious to see if he could do the heavy dramatic thing—like I said, I don’t hate the guy, I just don’t find him very funny.  I have to say, though, that I was very impressed with NPH’s performance in this one.  His role as a former lover of Amy not only added to the mystery of the story but the performance from Harris was great and fit in perfectly with the tone of the film.  Now that How I Met Your Mother is done, it would be nice to see NPH veer away from comedy and do more darker and dramatic roles.
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Look at him...being all dark and dramatic.
 

I have friends and family members that love Tyler Perry’s comedies but I’ve always found myself venturing away from them because Madea just looked like hack comedy to me.  The trailers never really sold me or convinced me that I would be laughing more than I was groaning but, nevertheless, Tyler Perry interests me because he is, pretty much, now at the point where he can print his own money.  Even though I have no interest in seeing his comedies, I am impressed that he makes bank with them.  So, naturally, I was curious to see how he was in something that wasn’t his or had him in a fat suit.  And, I got to say, the dude has some serious talent.  He was cool, smart, and calculating as the defense attorney Tanner Bolt and has some awesome scenes with Affleck.  Did his performance make me want to add every Madea movie to my Netflix queue?  No, but it open my eyes to the dude’s talent.
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Although...I think I might sell Perry the idea of Madea becoming a defense attorney.
 

Okay, so now this is the big one.  In the past, like in my Jack Reacher review, I stated that I didn’t enjoy the crazy eyed performance of Rosamund Pike.  Without going back to actually peruse the review, I believe I felt she was the weakest aspect of the film.  So, with my past with Pike not being the most positive, I had my reservations about her in Gone Girl.
 
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The look on her face says that Affleck won't stop telling her he's Batman.
 

Oh, how wrong I was.  I bet on the wrong horse with this one, guys.
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I should rephrase that...I'm not trying to call Rosamund Pike a horse.
 

Rosamund Pike was absolutely fucking incredible in this movie.  If she doesn’t win for Best Actress for this role than I will realize that all this is good and beautiful in this world was a giant lie because words are just incapable of adequately describing how amazing she was.  Her role as Amy was not an easy one because DESCRIPTION ELIMINATED BECAUSE OF SPOILERS.  It was difficult because she was required to almost be two people and to be convincing as one is hard enough—I’ve been pretending to be a human for years and people still realize that I’m an alien from another planet.   Pike was chilling, sympathetic, and frightening at various moments in the film and she made an already addicting film even more addicting.  I was hesitant about her because I didn’t enjoy her in the past but I had no idea she could be this awesome. 
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I'm sorry for the bad things I've said about you in the past, Rosamund Pike.
Please don't hurt me.
 

With its attention-stealing mystery, unsettling thriller aspects, spine-chilling music from the guy that wants to fuck us like animals, a great director at the helm, and a cast of stupidly talented actors and a girl who, turns out, is actually an actress god in human skin, Gone Girl proved to be not only a great movie but a movie that left a lasting impact on me.  The film is heavy and slightly horrifying but, in the end, is incredibly put together and insanely engrossing.

2 comments:

  1. Good news Ron, Neil now plays a character on American Horror Story: Freak Show and was really convincing. He did a great job playing a ventriloquist who is a little TOO in love with his puppet.

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    Replies
    1. I just got caught up on that episode and I have to agree. He felt so right in that part. I think he's better at drama than comedy.

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