Film Review: Gone Girl

Film

Gone Girl

David Fincher’s Gone Girl was probably one of my most anticipated films of 2014. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the book. Sadly, I wasn’t able to see Gone Girl in 2014 for fear of seeing some mutated censored version of the film. After seeing the film I’m pretty happy about my decision of avoiding seeing it in the cinemas here in Bahrain, because yes, it most definitely would have been censored!

If it’s at all possible, Gone Girl the film is a more bleak look relationships than the original source material. Well, the central relationship between Nick and Amy at least. Amy was more twisted. More single-minded than she was in the book. I put that down to a brilliant performance from Rosamund Pike. Cold, calculating and with one psychotic goal in mind. To be completely honest I wasn’t expecting much from her. This is all down to my only other memory of her in a film is Die Another Day, which is terrible all over.

A maybe weekly round-up (3)

Life

It’s the evening of August’s summer bank holiday. I’ve had my three-day weekend. Back to work tomorrow to a four-day working week. Summer is nearly over. Usually that’d make me a little bit sad. Summer’s my favourite season. I’m enjoying all the long, hot days. Warm evenings and nights. It’s brilliant. But. The end of August means the beginning of September which means it is mere days until I head to Bahrain. WOO!

So what’s happened in the past week?

So… Ben Affleck is Batman huh?

Film

Ben Affleck is Batman

This morning my daily routine was running a little late. Then I was early. Having previously been fully prepared to grab a pot of yoghurt to eat at my desk, I had a little bit of time for a bowl of Weetabix and glass of orange juice.

Switched on the TV to watch BBC Breakfast, it’s just habit, I know it’s mostly drivel. In between the news about John Lewis employees not being paid over time and something else the presenter announced that there would be two leading men in the next Superman film.

100 movies: Argo

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

ArgoArgo (07/11/12)

A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.

I tip my hat off to you, Ben Affleck. I more than tip my hat off to you. Never have I been so happy to see an actor turn director and do it so damn well. Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo. That is an impressive list. And they just get better and better.

Now, I didn’t really know about the story behind the film, Argo. Shame on me, I know. And watching a film about the events isn’t really filling in the gaps as I’m sure there was a level of artistic licence with the events that took place.

Okay, the film, what about Argo? Bloody amazing. It’s a pretty unbelievable story, but it’s made believable by all of the characters involved and the actors playing them. You really feel for them from the beginning with the rather terrifying scene of the beginning of the hostage situation.

What I thought Argo did beautifully was blend humour and the rather tense situation that’s going on around these people. The moments of comedy complimented the moments where I was gripping onto the armrests of my seat. Especially the last 45 minutes. Wow. It honestly felt like, to me, the situation could go either way. Tense stuff.

The cast make this film for me. Everyone from Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Tate Donovan, Alan Arkin and John Goodman. What a freaking cast list! They were all perfect in their roles, helping make the film feel realistic and down to Earth. Special kudos to Ben Affleck. Not only did he do a brilliant job directing, but he made for a great leading man. Sort of an understated performance. But solid.

Argo is an excellent thriller. One I am itching to see again.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ movies: Getting behind!

120+ Movies of 2011

I think I’m running a bit behind this year if I hope to get to over 120 films for the year! Need to pick up the pace.

A Beautiful MindA Beautiful Mind (01/05/11)

After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn to the nightmarish.

Beautiful film. Really great film. Great performances from everyone and I think Russell Crowe’s best since Gladiator. Jennifer Connelly completely tore me up as John Nash’s world started falling apart. I completely and utterly believed what John Nash was seeing and doing. I didn’t really think that he might be hallucinating. Well, until things started going really crazy.

Loved the James Horner score. Think it’s my favourite score of his since Titanic. It doesn’t sound like a lot of his other scores, most of the time! The biggest problem I have with Avatar and Troy’s scores.

Very touching film that had me in tears!
Rating: 4/5

ExtractExtract (05/05/11)

Joel, the owner of an Extract plant, tries to contend with myriad personal and professional problems, such as his potentially unfaithful wife and employees who want to take advantage of him.

Thanks to my new love of Arrested Development I have a bigger love for Jason Bateman. Seeing his name listed in the credits for this film made me think it’d be worth a watch. Him and Mike Judge of Office Space fame, which was one of my favourite films I’d seen last year.

Extract just bored and irritated me sadly. There were some funny moments. JK Simmons made me laugh as did Bateman. But overall it just felt like a painful film to watch with none of the fun or wackiness that Office Space had.
Rating: 2/5

HannaHanna (06/05/11)

A 16-year-old who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Loved this film. I really like my action-thriller type films. This one had the added benefit of Eric Bana. Even with a slightly unidentifiable accent he was very good in the film. However all the credit in this film goes to Saoirse Ronan. Fantastic young actress who can play a ruthless assassin as well as a very naive young girl who’s never been out in the world. Think the weakest character in the film was probably Cate Blanchett’s Marissa. She just felt a little one-sided to me.

At times the film felt a bit schizophrenic, but in a good way! Flipping from fast paced action thriller to an indie feeling film about a very innocent girl.

Loved the British family played by Olivia Williams and Jason Flemyng. They weren’t caricatures, instead felt like real people. Funny people at that.

The score was awesome! I’m loving this trend of DJs scoring films. There was Daft Punk and Tron, Basement Jaxx and Attack the Block, and now we have The Chemical Brothers and Hanna. Loved some of the pieces they did during the action sequences.

I know there are talks of a sequel. I hope there isn’t one. Well, unless they can top this one!
Rating: 4/5

CatfishCatfish (07/05/11)

In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel’s brother.

A lot of hype surrounding this film and it’s hype I got caught up in. However, it still took me a long time to watch the film. I think the hype ruined it slightly.

I did enjoy the film but I think I was expecting a bit more of an ‘OMG’ twist towards the end. I kept hoping something else was going to happen. Though, after I’d watched the film and thought about the events a bit more, I did see the madness of it all properly.

Ariel really annoyed me throughout the film. I just got more and more annoyed with him. I can’t remember why, but I remember the annoyance!
Rating: 3/5

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (20/05/11)

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

I’m one of those weird people who enjoyed films 2 & 3 in the POTC series. Yes, they were long and convoluted. But they’re fun to watch and get lost in.

I did not get lost in On Stranger Tides. Johnny Depp is still fantastic as Captain Jack Sparrow and new additions Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane were great, but there were some other new additions who weren’t so great. The main plot line of the fountain of youth was a fun bit of adventure. The love story between Philip and Syrena felt a bit pointless and was just in there for extra padding. Neither character had much depth to them and I couldn’t get behind either of them.

There were some good set pieces, but none of them felt like they were as big in scope as any of the ones in the first three films.

I sadly did spend some extra money and see this film in 3D, due to lack of 2D screenings. There were some attempts at some things pointing out into the audience, but for the most part, like Thor, it just wasn’t necessary. Especially during the action and fight scenes where things are moving so quick it makes me feel slightly cross-eyed with 3D glasses on!

Wasn’t impressed with the scoring on this film either. I was looking forward to some good stuff from Hans Zimmer – I’ve loved his previous work with this franchise. But it just didn’t feel like this film had its own theme.

I hope there’s not a fifth film!
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far: