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Gone Girl (2014)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 1/13/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/15/2015
I realize that some females and my budding feminist daughter may be offended by this, but, I assure you, no offense is intended. Perhaps it's my Southern upbringing, but I see women as delicate flowers who are drawn mostly to feminine things. They have little interest in things which are gross or gauche. Things like that are for "boys". Given that point-of-view, I found some of Gone Girl to be quite shocking. It didn't shock me personally, but the language and violence made me think, "This came from a book which was popular with women?" If that's the case, then my wife should be much more open to "my" movies than she is. Either way, there is a lot going on in Gone Girl and it's not all for chicks.
As Gone Girl opens, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) leaves his house and goes to the bar which he owns with his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon). Upon returning home, Nick finds the front door open, a table smashed, and his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), missing. Nick calls the police, who arrive in the guise of Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Gilpin (Patrick Fugit). As the investigation begins, Amy's parents (David Clennon & Lisa Banes) come to town to be by Nick's side, and the story makes it onto national television. As the story progresses, we begin to learn more about Nick and Amy's relationship and how their whirlwind romance slowly turned into a troubled marriage. Also, clues begin to arise which not only point to the fact that Amy was murdered, but that Nick is the prime suspect. As Nick works to clear his name, the shocking truth behind's Amy's disappearance is revealed.
Gone Girl is based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay. I haven't read the novel (my wife did and said that the movie follows it pretty closely), but I can say that this is a perfect example of how a strong script can truly boost a movie. The story isn't perfect (more on that in a moment), but it is very nicely structured and contains plenty of twists and turns. At first glance, this could have easily been just another Lifetime Movie in which an abusive marriage takes center stage. I won't divulge any of the film's secrets, but suffice it to say that it goes much further than this. Gone Girl explores the real intimacy of marriage and how both parties can be flawed...and in this story, one is much more flawed than the other.
The material gets a boost from the acting here. I've never understood why Ben Affleck receives the flack that he does, and he's very good as Nick. The role requires someone who can be likeable, yet somewhat smug, and Affleck plays this role to a T. I'm glad that the rest of the world has finally caught up with my liking of Rosamund Pike. She's good as Amy, although I did feel that she was a bit too restrained at times. The movie is jam-packed with familiar faces with Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry really emerging from the crowd. (I refuse to be yet another person who was shocked that Perry was good in this.) Of course, behind the camera is Oscar-nominated Director David Fincher, who has come a long way since the days of Seven and Fight Club. Gone Girl looks great and it moves along very smoothly, but the movie lacks in style to an extent, and if you showed it to me with no credits, I wouldn't guess that it's a Fincher film.
The previews Gone Girl made it look like another run-of-the-mill thriller, but it's much more than that. The multi-layered story offers a good mystery plot combined with a telling look at relationships. The movie makes the bold decision to offer a big twist half-way through, and it was one that I was able to guess. (Sometimes fiction can be a bit too unrealistic and this can be a clue.) Like most Fincher movies, this one runs a bit too long, and a few scenes could have clearly been cut. The film's conclusion is a bit of a challenge, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As noted in the introduction, this is a surprisingly graphic movie, and it's doesn't pull any punches when it comes to...well, punches, as well as blood and nudity. So, you're Mom may want to watching the movie, but I'd think twice before watching it with her.
Gone Girl convinced me that I'm a fool for trusting my spouse on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 30 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look especially good, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is excellent, as we can make out the textures on objects. Likewise, the depth is good, as the actors are clearly separate from the backgrounds. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.5 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects show good separation and alert us to sounds coming from off-screen. The surround sound effects work well during the crowd scenes. A few shocking moments provide some subwoofer action.
The lone extra on the Gone Girl Blu-ray Disc is an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Director David Fincher.
Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long