Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 1; Pilot.


Probably the best show to ever be cancelled, Deadwood was short lived with only 3 seasons. But those 3 seasons were excellent. My teacher in high school described Deadwood as Shakespeare, but with every third word a swear word. Deadwood is not the show for you if you don’t like profanity or violence. But if you do than you’ll probably love it. Although it’s a slow burn. You have to really listen and pay attention. And be okay with a bit of a slower pace. But if you stick it out, Deadwood becomes a real intellectual treat.

Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant).
Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant).

The show takes place in Deadwood, South Dakota during the 1870s. At this time Deadwood was not legally a part of the United States. So there was no law and no government there. I find it fascinating to explore what happens to a small town with no law to rule it. Who takes charge and what do people gather around and what do they put value in? These kinds of questions span the whole course of the show. Deadwood really is “A hell of a place to your your fortune.” Gold is highly valued in Deadwood’s society which can draw a lot of parallels to our society today. Anything can happen in Deadwood, but there’s still a hierarchy and an unspoken way of living.

Ian McShane gives one of the best performances in television history as Al Swearengen.
Ian McShane gives one of the best performances in television history as Al Swearengen.

It’s hard to pick a favorite character as there are so many interesting ones. Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen are my top 2. Bullock is the more likeable character so he wins by a bit. Although Al can be pretty hilarious, but he’s despicable at the end of the day. Timothy Olyphant is great as Seth Bullock. He communicates so much through just his eyes or a subtle smirk. He’s quiet, yet he’s not a pushover, he’s actually quite quick to anger. The dichotomy of Bullock and Al is incredibly interesting and fun to watch. It isn’t discussed in this episode though, but it becomes the focus of the entire show soon enough. Bullock is basically the law and morality while Al is chaos and immorality. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane are two great actors equally matched and they are a joy to watch. The two don’t meet in this episode though, yet they are still in a bit of a rivalry.
This is a great first episode. It introduces all of the main characters quite well. You get a good feel for them. But there are a lot of them, so it’s a little overwhelming in that sense. Timothy Olyphant shines in the episode’s two key scenes (the very beginning and the scalping debacle), but so too does Ian McShane, infusing the show with humor and chaos. Deadwood is a show that is unlike any other.

Instances of “cocksucker”: 7, “cunt”: 3, “motherfucker”: 1, “pussy”: 3.
• The way the guy hanging at the beginning of the episode says “Fuck you!” I just found it kind of funny. He was a funny guy, too bad he dies right away.
• Timothy Olyphant is gorgeous. I said this multiple times to myself throughout the episode. Seriously! *swoon*
• Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) is hilarious. She somehow manages to survive in a man’s world with her foul mouth. “You ignorant fucking cunts!” Her platonic (I think) love of Wild Bill is palpable.
• Paula Malcomson has a much better role her as Trixie than she does on Ray Donovan. Her relationship with Al is fascinating. Some could chalk it up to Stockholm syndrome, but I think there is more to it than that.
• Al: “Don’t tell me what to do.” Bam! He just says that so calmly and throws Trixie with no remorse. It’s both funny and sad. He’s a real bastard to her. But I guess he also protects her.
• “Did he down it or is he…sipping at it?” hahaha, Al’s contempt for Brom is tangible (I hate Brom too).
• “Should I tell you when I plan to take a shit tomorrow or would that be none of your fucking business?” So many good Al-isms.
• Bill and Bullock form an alliance of sorts.
• Shooting a gun at the ceiling of the Gem seems kind of dumb until Al says “I guess when it starts pissin’ rain in here you know who to blame, huh?”

How to Get Away with Murder: Episode 3; Smile, or Go to Jail.

Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) holding the weekly prize/eventual murder weapon.
Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) holding the weekly prize/eventual murder weapon.

This was a good episode. The best one so far in my opinion. It is due to a combination of 2 things. 1) There was a whole lot less flashing back and forth. It mostly stuck to just one time. Which was good because it gave the show time to breathe and 2) the characters were given time to develop. The students have started to become a little more 3 dimensional. But that doesn’t change the fact that the only likeable one is Conner (Jack Falahee). He is hilarious and adds some much needed humor to the show.
• The second they left the police station three cop cars pull up and arrest Elena for bombing somewhere 20 years before. WTF I had to laugh, it came out of nowhere, like a piano falling from the sky. This show is absurd sometimes.
• “So I guess we have more in common than I thought.” I love how Conner kept bugging Michaela (Aja Naomi King). She deserves to be knocked down a couple pegs.

Is it really that easy to fake being a lawyer and get in to talk to a murder suspect that you in no way actually represent?
Is it really that easy to fake being a lawyer and get in to talk to a murder suspect that you in no way actually represent?

• I can’t decide if Wes is incredibly stupid or if he’s a genius.
• Laurel (Karla Souza) is the character I hate the most on the show. She has constant bitch face and is definitely the dumbest student. I hope she sleeps with Frank and gets it over with already.
• Rebecca is also quite stupid. She keeps screwing herself over. I’m not convinced of her innocence though.
• Did Nate just lie to Annalise about Sam’s alibi? I think that just happened. What is Nate up to?
• The absurdity of Elena and Gabriel immediately running away together. That would not happen in the real world. They would not have left Gabriel go immediately after he gave his testimony. How dumb do they think the audience is?
• The shock of Annalise taking Rebecca’s case. I thought she didn’t care whether someone was innocent or not? I guess like Sam said, she just likes a challenge. It’s a good way to make Annalise likeable and give her a heart.

  • Wow, Viola Davis is fit, beautiful, and stylish. I’m kind of jealous.

Trailer Review: Black Sea


This film stars Jude Law as a submarine captain searching the Black Sea for a sunken submarine filled with gold. Sounds kind of lame. But it actually looks kind of fun. Nothing amazing. Just the sort of movie to totally zone out to.
What I like: Jude Law’s awesome Scottish (?) accent. It sounds pretty good and thick. I think I could sit through this movie just to listen to him. I like the ensemble cast. There are a few guys that look familiar, but I have no idea what their names are.
What I don’t like: The effects aren’t the best. Also I hate that Inception “baaam” sound every trailer uses these days. So unoriginal.
Black Sea isn’t the kind of film I would go to the theater to see. But it is something I would rent if I was really bored one night. I’m actually pretty optimistic that this would be an enjoyable film. Black Sea is out January 2015.

Trailer Review: American Sniper


I adore Bradley Cooper. Clint Eastwood on the other hand… he’s a good actor and a decent director. But after watching Changeling I’m reluctant to watch any of his films. That movie was so incredibly depressing the whole way through. Not a spot of light or hope anywhere. Just all misery. I not sure this film will be any different. This film is a biography of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most lethal sniper in American history. The film also features Sienna Miller (I didn’t even realize she was still acting).
I really dislike this trailer. I can’t remember hating a trailer so much before. I wanted to like it because of Bradley. But I find it so terrible and boring. I hate that all it shows is one brief scene and a few flashbacks. It gives no hint as to what the entire tone of the film is. Unless it’s all about shooting innocent children. Something I definitely do not need to see after Changeling.
There’s a brief shot of Bradley in which it looks like he’s wearing some serious eyeliner. This just baffles me. And there’s no music in this trailer, just a thumping sound like a heartbeat. I find everything about this trailer ineffective and I’m not even sure of Bradley’s accent. There is nothing appealing about this trailer in anyway. I think I’ll have to skip American Sniper, it looks like another boring, depressing Clint Eastwood film. It will be out in January.

My say something nice is I quite like the poster.

Seven (1995)


It’s hard to believe that this film is nearly twenty years old and I only saw it for the first time last year. Granted, I’m only 22 years old. But still. It’s such a good film, I don’t know how I managed so long without seeing it or hardly even hearing about it. I guess it was actually a bit of a blessing though as I managed to go into the film without having any knowledge of what happens in the end. Since last year I’ve watched Seven (or is it Se7en?) 5 times because it is so brilliant and the best David Fincher film I’ve ever seen.

Soul shattering heart break.
Soul shattering heart break.

This is the film that really launched Brad’s dramatic career. This film shows that Brad is more than a pretty face. The boy can act. More than that he can keep up with Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, two of the all-time greats. Detective Mills (Brad) is likeable in a young, innocent, naïve way. Brad is great sauntering around, cocky and asking too many questions. His evolution over the course of the film is believable and organic. You can really see Mills becoming more and more like Somerset (Morgan Freeman) especially by the end of the film. As great as Brad is, you can tell that this is one of his first major roles. He doesn’t have too much practical experience, much like Mills. He isn’t an amazing actor, I think he just happens to have a lot of similarities with Mills. He fits the role, he’s just being more like himself most of the time than acting. At least that’s the impression I got. So Brad is good, but one of the weaker points of the film.

Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt).
Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt).

Morgan Freeman as Detective Somerset is the emotional anchor of the film. He is the real protagonist although he doesn’t have as dramatic an arc as Mills. This is my favorite Morgan Freeman role. Sometimes Morgan just walks into a film and says “I’m God,” takes his cheque, and leaves. He doesn’t have to do much because duh, he’s Morgan Freeman. His voice simply makes things dramatic. But in Seven he really has fully realized this character and seems to have fun playing the part. His acting is a huge part of what makes the final scene so intense. Just the way he looks at that box… I especially love how he says “I’ll be around” at the very end. You can hear the emotion in his voice as he resigns himself to continuing to work in such a cruel world.

Acting doesn't get any better than Kevin Spacey as John Doe.
Acting doesn’t get any better than Kevin Spacey as John Doe.

It’s the combination of Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey that make this film truly amazing. Sometimes the first half or so of the movie kind of drags for me. They don’t know who the killer is and they just keep investigating one killing after another. But once Kevin walks into the police building calling “Detective” suddenly things get incredibly exciting. When you see how well Kevin inhabits the role of John Doe it’s hard to believe he was hired just days before shooting began. I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role. Even the way John dunks his tea bag is riveting! 1995 was truly his year as The Usual Suspects also came out. He is one of the greats, just remarkable in everything that he does. And he brings a kind of dark humor to John Doe as well. But he is just so horrifying, especially as he so casually tells Mills what he did to his wife. John Doe is so calm, it’s eerily magnetic. Kevin as John Doe has had a huge impact on movies that can still be seen today. Part of the Joker as depicted in The Dark Knight is a total rip off of him (as great as Heath Ledger is).

Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Mills (Brad Pitt).
Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Mills (Brad Pitt).

Gwyneth Paltrow is also surprisingly good and pleasant. I’m not a huge fan of hers, I think her off-screen persona has become very alienating. It’s hard to distinguish her from her characters these days, she’s lost some of her believability. But in Seven she is fresh and young and perfect as Mills’s wife, Tracy. She is the true innocent in the film, guilty of no sin that I can see. Her scenes with Mills and Somerset over dinner and again with Somerset in the diner are crucial to the success of the film. Anyone less attractive or kind would have diminished the film and the impact of the final act. But you truly feel sorry for her and her depression and she is also funny. Her loss seems to hurt the audience and Somerset almost as much as it hurts Mills. The ending would mean nothing if the audience did not care for her so much. Gwyn’s performance is powerful in a quiet way.
David Fincher has done truly incredible work with this film. I don’t know if he can ever top it. Everything just comes together to create the perfect image and story. The set design is dark and gritty. You can really understand why Tracy hates living there so much. It’s depressing. The opening credits are also incredible. Creepy. Disturbing. They seem like something John Doe himself put together. I really appreciate the attention to detail, which David is quite famous for. Sometime it can make all the difference and that is definitely true of Seven.
What struck me the most this viewing was the amazing cinematography and directing. I don’t know why I never paid closer attention before. Maybe it’s because I just watched this fascinating video a little while ago:
The shots that David chose and the way things are framed… it elevates the story telling so much. You can see that this is a true master at work. If you had asked me before this viewing what I thought of hand held cameras I would have said “Ugh, I hate them. They’re distracting and sloppy.” But when I watched Seven this time I realized that when used at the right time, a hand held camera can generate a lot of excitement. The audience feels they too are participating in the chase. Part of the John Doe chase utilizes this as well as when Somerset runs to Mills after the box discovery. And speaking of the box. The way it is treated and framed in the shot. It lends it so much weight that it feels like its own character before the audience has any idea what’s inside of it. I also really enjoyed the framing used when John Doe and Mills are talking in the car. It could have been shot quite plainly with just shots of John’s face. But instead we see John reflected in the rear view mirror (Somerset’s view) or through the cage screen (Mills’s view). It makes a simple conversation incredibly interesting and literally puts the audience in the places of Mills and Somerset.
Seven is exceptional film making. I have minor problems with the pacing and Brad’s acting. But as I said, that is minor. David Fincher has delivered the ultimate crime thriller. It has emotion, action, horror, surprises, basically everything a viewer could ask for. I can’t stress enough the emotional impact of Seven. It will haunt you. I still get a thrill out of it after multiple viewings. Seven is a true work of art. 9/10

Trailer Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings


Ridley Scott’s biblical epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings, looks every bit impressive and grandiose. This film is about when Moses (Christian Bale) revolts against Egypt’s Pharaoh, Ramses (Joel Edgerton). It also stars Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver, and Aaron Paul. Ridley’s last two films, The Counselor and Prometheus, were largely underwhelming, so he’s hoping that Exodus is not another flop.

Christian Bale is an amazing actor and if I choose to see this film it will largely be because of him. His acting is great and his eyeliner game here is excellent. Although the way he screams “Yes!” half way through rang a little false to me, but it’s probably out of context. I think Joel Edgerton’s makeup looks a little funny, a lot of times it looks like he’s dressed up for Halloween. But that might just be me, I think his costume is relatively historically accurate. Joel and Sigourney Weaver are the two actors in this that kind of have me squinting my eyes with trepidation. Neither of them looks all that Egyptian to me. There has been some controversy over possible whitewashing in this film. The only non-Caucasian people I see in this trailer are the woman playing Moses’s wife (or whoever she is, I’m not familiar with this story) and of course Ben Kingsley. It would’ve been nice to see a little more diversity. But my problem with Joel and Sigourney isn’t so much their ethnicity as they just don’t look like they fit the roles to me. But it’s hard to judge that just from the trailer.
This trailer is epic in every sense of the word. I love the sweeping shots that showcase Egypt. The sets look expansive and everything is very detailed. The special effects look very well done with the swarm of locusts (I think) and the parting of the Red Sea. And the idea of men ruling as Gods and Ben Kingsley’s voice just makes everything seem so grand. This film is very much in line with Gladiator. But Moses isn’t just one man fighting for revenge, he is fighting to “change the world.” It doesn’t get more epic than that.
I’m itching to see the showdown between Moses and Ramses. “I am a God!” that line and delivery from Joel sounded so dramatic. Although this trailer gives away just a little bit more than I would have liked. I feel like I’ve seen everything except for maybe the last quarter of the film already. It’s a shame, but otherwise the trailer really has swept me away. The score sounds wonderful and epic, the sets, effects, and costumes are great, and Christian Bale looks like he does his typical good job. Exodus: Gods and Kings hits theaters in December.

Trailer Review: Interstellar


This is a review of the third (and hopefully the last) official trailer for Christopher Nolan’s film, Interstellar. Now I’m not a huge Nolan fan. I don’t think he’s an amazing director like the media likes to paint him. I think he’s good, but for me his films seem impersonal. They never really touch me too deeply. And they are almost always way too long. Quantity does not make up for quality. I like The Dark Knight, but its third act is over long. Inception did not blow my mind. It’s good, but I haven’t felt tempted to even give it a second viewing. I will say though that I found The Prestige to be quite gripping and thrilling, by far my favorite Nolan film.
Nolan’s latest film, Interstellar, is about a group of explorers who travel through space trying to find a way to save the doomed human population on Earth. Something like that anyways, as always the plot around Nolan’s film is very vague. Which is good, Nolan never gives too much away and that’s rare in today’s society. Alright, alright, alright Matthew McConaughey is the film’s lead with support from Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, and Casey Affleck (a favorite of mine).
With the first trailer for Interstellar I felt like there was nothing about this film that appealed to me. I’m not into sci-fi or space travel. I don’t like any of the main actors too much and I don’t like Nolan. But wow, something about this trailer has really blown my mind. I feel like I have to see Interstellar now. It’s going to be an event, not just a film, and everyone will be talking about it.
I like the music in this trailer a lot. The score in Nolan’s films is often quite good (some of it in The Dark Knight was irritating though). Strangely enough I think the music is my favorite part of the trailer. It just really draws me into that world and pulls at my heart strings. It is timed very well with the scenes show in the trailer.
Anne Hathaway is a little annoying in this trailer. I don’t know how much of it is her or the character she is playing. Her voice is monotone and her character just seems like a bitch. Nothing likeable there. One of my big problems with Nolan’s films is how he handles women. Most of the women in his films are one dimensional. They’re just background noise or a plot device. And unfortunately the negative depiction of women seems to be continuing here with Anne Hathaway as the bitch and Jessica Chastain as the damsel in distress (since she’s stuck on Earth). I wish for once Nolan would give us a fully-fledged female character. Anyways, Matthew McConaughey seems alright though and I think he’s a good choice for the lead role. He’s likeable, average and simply gives off a good guy vibe.
Interstellar really does look like an interesting movie. The trailer hits all of the right notes. But most of all, the mystery around the film is why I will be seeing it when it hits theaters November 7. It is very rare for there to be a film these days in which the plot hasn’t already been revealed beforehand. Visually too it will be interesting to see what kind of CGI effects are used and a god way to see how far technology has come. And the cinematography looks quite stunning, I wish I were able to see the film in IMAX. Alright, alright, I’ll give Christopher Nolan another chance to impress me and hopefully this time he won’t fail.

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 1, Episode 2; It’s All Her Fault

So I’m still watching this show although it is very uneven. Basically everything Viola Davis does is great and makes the show worth watching. But everything else is quite bad and makes me want to turn the TV off. This show has such a great thing going with Viola, they really don’t need anything else to make it interesting. But instead they’ve added in a bunch of annoying, forgettable students and two different, confusing “Who dunnit?” murder plots.

This scene was just ridiculous.
This scene was just ridiculous.

The show is a little silly and not very believable. This can kind of be excused when Viola is around and things are going well. But at other times the silliness is distracting and laughable for all the wrong reasons. The whole scenario where they reenact the murder of the case they are handling on the blood stained bed just struck me as ridiculous. That would never happen in the real world. And oh, look for any evidence we might have missed while we walk around completely contaminating the crime scene. And Wes is such a naïve character, he’s almost stupid. His Goth Girl neighbor comes up with a completely lame excuse to use his shower and all he does is stand there, totally dumbfounded.

Annalise (Viola Davis) and her husband, Sam (Tom Verica).
Annalise (Viola Davis) and her husband, Sam (Tom Verica).

The one thing I like about the students is how they have to help Annalise build her defense for whatever the week’s case is. The students are willing to do pretty much anything to try to score brownie points and it is quite funny. It kind of reminds me of House a bit. But House was a lot better and the character was likeable. I like Viola as an actress and Annalise is interesting, but she’s very difficult to like.
The jumping back in forth in time thing is so annoying I want to throw the remote at the TV every time. It’s unclear almost all of the time when exactly something is taking place. It just makes me scratch my head. There is just too much going on with this show. Focusing on just one timeline, and maybe foreshadowing events to come, would have been so much better. Less confusing and more engaging.
• “Do you really know who anyone is?” Annalise’s little speech to her class at the beginning of the episode was interesting. It’s a theme that’s prevalent across all kinds of media these days (like Gone Girl).
• Viola Davis’s acting this episode is excellent. That scene where Nate (Billy Brown) breaks up with Annalise was particularly good. We see Annalise’s cold exterior start to crap and she’s shown to not be as invincible as she would like to be.
• Is Bonnie having an affair with Sam?
• The student who thinks Frank has the hots for her, Laurel, is so irritating. She has constant bitch face.
• “Well it’s happened before!” Annalise is starting to lose it a bit. She’s shown to be growing paranoid this episode as she thinks her husband had an affair with a student of his and possibly killed her too. I also loved the scene where she implores Nate to look into it.

Connor (Jack Falahee) the only almost likeable character on the show.
Connor (Jack Falahee) the only almost likeable character on the show.

• “You’re too old to be a twink.” Hahaha, Connor is funny, he’s the only student that I like (but just a little bit).
• Did Annalise kill her husband, Sam, and the kids are covering it up for her? Is that what’s going on in those stupid time jumping scenes?
• Or did Goth Girl (Rebecca) kill Sam? So she and Wes are together in the future?! What the heck is going on with this show?!?!

Gone Girl (2014)


This will be a spoiler review, so don’t read it if you haven’t seen the film or read the book. I recently read the novel by Gillian Flynn this summer and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t been that captivated by a book in a few years. It has an interesting, twisty plot, but it also delves into the complexities of relationships, particularly of marriages/couples. David Fincher is my second favorite director, so when I heard that he would be the one adapting this amazing book I was incredible excited. Gone Girl was my most anticipated film of this fall/winter.
Gone Girl is focused on a missing wife case in which the husband is under suspicion. It sounds like a classic crime case that is on the nightly news quite frequently. But Gone Girl has plenty of twists and turns that set it apart from anything else about half way through the film and the book. I really enjoy the plot, but there are a few things that were faulty about it on screen that the book handles much better (I’ll just say right now, the book is better, but that’s not too surprising). It’s hard for me to review the film without comparing it to the book. For the first 20 minutes of the film I found it hard to settle into. I kept thinking about the major twist to come and just wasn’t immediately drawn into the film’s world.

Ben Affleck (showcasing his cocky grin) as Nick Dunne.
Ben Affleck (showcasing his cocky grin) as Nick Dunne.

I’ll get to the good parts (and there are quite a few of them) before I get into my issues with the film. Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris are both quite good. I don’t think Ben’s part is too hard, he just kind of stands around looking either shocked or like a d-bag (as Star Lord would say). In one or two scenes in which he is in conflict with Rosamund Pick he is quite good and able to stand his ground. But otherwise there isn’t anything really special about his performance. NPH is very good as the creepy Desi Collings. It’s good to see him in a different kind of role and he’s really good at it. Not amazing, but above average. Carrie Coon is good as Nick’s sister, Margo. But I couldn’t help wishing someone like Katherine Moennig had been in the role instead, she would have knocked that role out of the park. Oh well.

Rosamund is definitely amazing from her first penetrating stare to her last.
Rosamund is definitely amazing from her first penetrating stare to her last.

David Fincher has made a star out of quite a few actors now. Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rooney Mara. Now Rosamund Pike can be added to that list. She is far and away the most gripping, terrifying, captivating, enthralling part of Gone Girl. I could probably come up with many more positive adjectives to describe her. From the first moment she stares through the screen at the audience she is breathtaking. Beautiful and just as mysterious as Nick Dunne says she is. I too want to sift through her brains and find out who this girl with the penetrating stare is. And by her last eerie look at the screen I know all too well who Amy is and it terrifies, but also strangely seduces me. Rosamund sells the big twist of the film and is the main reason it works at all. The scene in which she runs away is thrilling, one of the only times in the film I felt a thrill of excitement. That and her bloody, gruesome scene with Desi. Rosamund is a very convincing Amy.
The only fault with Amy, that has absolutely nothing to do with Rosamund, is she is extremely unsympathetic. She’s not overly sympathetic in the novel, but she is more understandable. Here she is painted more as a villain. A psychotic bitch who lost her marbles because her husband cheated on her and shattered her illusory perfect world. I think that there is a little more to Amy and it’s a shame that she is treated like a scorned wife whom audiences have scene time and time again.
Part of the problem for me is the film is too biased towards Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck). But the audience also isn’t inside his head enough. It’s a conundrum. Everything Nick says is taken for fact and a lot of his more unsavory personality traits are overlooked. Other than his fling with a college student he really does seem like your typical cute, funny guy who the world has dealt a bad hand. The book does a much better job of balancing Nick and Amy’s perspectives, which is part of why the novel is so special. I understand the story needed to be streamlined for a 2 ½ hour long movie. But something vital is lost in the transition.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne.
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne.

This can also be said for the critical examination of marriage and relationships in our modern world. In the film, the reason Nick and Amy’s marriage crumbles is kind of quickly brushed aside. The film basically just tells us two things 1) The recession took a toll on the couple. Financial woes are a common cause of arguments, thus Amy and Nick started to disagree and fight. 2) They were pretending to be their ideal selves throughout the first couple of years. Then after a while the masks came off and Nick and Amy didn’t like each other so much. The first point is a very simplistic, quick way of explaining things. Convenient for a film. The second point is part of what I found so interesting about the book and I wish somehow they had explored it more in the film. Even just one extra scene. The whole film is mostly just plot, plot, plot. Which is good because it gives it great momentum. But at the same time it is glossing over the novel’s critique of society and how people fool not only each other, but also themselves. That key point is what made me so excited for the film and it is also what disappoints me the most about it. I hoped David Fincher was going to somehow lay bare this issue and kind of ask the audience to look at what they do to each other, but also how deception hurts each individual self. Something enthralling and shocking, akin to the shattering of Brad Pitt’s world and soul in Seven. But instead all the audience gets is a pretty interesting thriller that can all be chalked up to one crazy bitch and her psychotic, control freak tendencies and the ho hum guy who stays with her. I feel like David Fincher really missed the opportunity to put his mark on this story and to elevate it. He could have done that by tweaking the ending, but instead it sticks close to the book (the book’s one major weakness).
This whole film kind of felt like David Fincher was just phoning it in. He’s great at what he does, but in this case that just isn’t good enough. There are a couple stand out scenes that screamed to me “This is David Fincher at work!” But otherwise his technique here is very subtle. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means Gone Girl is nowhere on par with Fight Club or Seven or even The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(which I love). I will say that although the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is very subtle, it is quite effective and one of the more enjoyable aspects of the film. It’s like a creepy lullaby. Which is spot on for the story.
Wow, I didn’t think I would write quite so much, but this film really hit a nerve with me. It is a good film, but considering the talent associated with it, I think it could have been better. But at least a new star is born in Rosamund Pike 8/10

Trailer Review: The Water Diviner


The Water Diviner is Russell Crowe’s directorial debut and he also stars in the film. It is about an Australian man who travels to Turkey after World War I to locate his three missing sons. Olga Kurylenko (she was the only good part of the atrocious Quantum of Solace) is in the movie as well as Jai Courtney (that guy who looks familiar but I can’t remember why until I IMDB him).
I think Olga is beautiful and has the potential to be a good actress. But she must be unlucky because she cannot catch a break and be in a decent movie. Come on Olga! I’m rooting for you! She’s not going to get her break in this movie because it looks like a dud. The trailer is boring and just seems like your typical Oscar bait, sad drama. And Jai Courtney’s mustache is distracting. At least to me; maybe I just don’t like them.
Worst of all, I think the trailer gives away too much. That shot of Russell sitting beside the two graves, right in the middle. Pretty sure those are his two dead sons, what a stupid thing to give away. Do they think people are so dumb that they will miss that? Or that they will still want to see the movie? I might be wrong about who is in those graves but… I doubt it. It doesn’t matter because I won’t be seeing this film either way. There doesn’t look to be anything original about it.
My say something nice for this trailer is: Russell Crowe looks like he does his typical good acting. If you want to catch this film it will be out around Christmas time.