My review for “Gone Girl”

My review for “Gone Girl”

Synopsis: Nick and Amy Dunne’s marriage changes forever when Amy goes missing on the morning of their 5th wedding anniversary.

In the first scene of “Gone Girl”, Nick Dunne(Ben Affleck) is stroking the back of wife Amy’s(Rosamund Pike) head. He says that he wants to crack open her skull ad unspool her brains. He’s wondering about the state of his marriage. He wants to know what she’s thinking. Cute, right? Actually, it’s the opposite of that. It’s downright creepy. So begins the film…

The movie begins on the morning of Nick and Amy’s wedding anniversary. He’d rather spend it with his twin sister Margo(Carrie Coon) than with Amy. We learn almost immediately than the Dunnes don’t have a happy marriage. He’s actually dreading his fifth anniversary with Amy, partly because he didn’t buy a gift. Things take a turn for worse when he returns home and finds out that his wife is missing. From the start, he’s the number-one suspect in her disappearance. First by the police, including Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Gilspin (Patrick Fugit). And soon after by the media. Nick doesn’t exactly behave like a man who’s grieving. As the movie goes on, we learn less-than-savory facts about Nick. He’s been cheating on Amy for the past year-and-a-half. He’s lazy, inconsiderate, unambitious, a liar. The evidence, including Amy’s diary seem to point to Nick’s guilt. Even his twin sister starts to believe he did it. But did he?

Then the story spins right on its head during the second half. Neither Nick or Amy are really good. But which one is barely okay, and which one is evil? The answer may surprise you. Unless you’ve read the book.

A movie like this can’t possibly work without stellar performances. Ben Affleck did a great job playing Nick. You know that he’s done some not-so-good things, but you can’t help but root for him. You know he should be punished for his wrongdoings, but part of you thinks “Go a little easy on him, will you?” However, the true star of “Gone Girl” is Rosamund Pike. Her Amy is one of the most complex and interesting characters since Sharon Stone on “Basic Instinct”. That Oscar nod was well-deserved. The supporting characters were good overall. Neil Patrick Harris’ Desi was spine-chilling creepy. Carrie Coon was excellent and funny as the movie’s voice of reason twin, Margo. I hope to see more of her in the future. And Tyler Perry was great as Nick’s attorney, Tanner Bolt. It was nice to see him in a non-Madea role for a change.

David Fincher is well-known for directing movies about dark, twisted characters and/or subjects. So he’s the perfect person to direct this twisted tale about marriage. Marriage can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the couple. In this case, it’s a very bad thing. It’s based on lies, deception, manipulations and abuse. And yet, you’re dying to see what happens to this messed-up couple. Good work, David.

I liked how they used the media as a character on the top of everything else. It was just as manipulative as the main characters.

This is not a good date movie. But it is an interesting character study, and a horror movie. You’ll either love or hate the ending. But by the end, you’re left with an uneasy feeling. Don’t watch alone.

My review of “Prisoners”

My review of “Prisoners”

Synopsis: Two little girls belonging to 2 different families are kidnapped on Thanksgiving Day. The families are devastated, and are willing to do whatever it takes to bring them back home.

Cast: Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover
Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki
Maria Bello as Grace Dover
Terrence Howard as Franklin Birch
Viola Davis as Nancy Birch
Melissa Leo as Holly Jones
Paul Dano as Alex Jones

I’ve never seen a movie so intense. At least not for a long time. This could’ve easily been a paint-by-numbers type of movie. But thanks to the actors involved, the director and crew, it was anything but.

When the movie begins, it’s Thanksgiving Day. We know from the start that the Dovers are a religious family. They go to the home of best friends, the Birch family, for the Thanksgiving feast. Anna Dover and Joy Birch walk to Anna’s house to look for a whistle. From there, the girls go missing and it takes a huge toll on both families, particularly Keller Dover. Soon there’s a suspect in custody. There is not enough evidence to hold him, so he’s released. Needless to say, this infuriates Dover because he’s convinced that the man kidnapped the girls. Instead of trusting Loki and the police, Dover decides to take matters into his own hands. And it has extremely dire consequences.

All of the performances in “Prisoners” are amazing and Oscar-worthy. But it’s Hugh Jackman (Keller Dover) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Detective Loki) who run the show. Jackman did a brilliant job of portraying the emotions of a person who has lost their child. His descent into madness–being a good man to basically being someone who’s capable of anything–is very believable here. As for Gyllenhaal’s performance, wow! This is some of his best work. We see a man who has to be cool, calm and collected on the outside. But deep down, he wants to find the girls as badly as their families do. We don’t really know much about Detective Loki, but then we don’t really need to. Both Davis and Howard are great at portraying parents who want their kids found, but aren’t as willing to bend the rules as Keller is. I just wish they gave Bello more to do, but her performance was very good.

The whole movie seems to be about morality and gradually losing it. Seeing this happen on film was really unsettling to watch. It’s something you don’t see very often. I think Denis Villenueve did a terrific job with the direction. He put together an amazing, unforgettable movie. I think it was interesting that the weather in the movie was always crappy. I guess it explains the internal state of the characters and the depressing tone of the movie.

This movie is not for everyone. It was very good, but not really made for repeated viewings. See this film, and then watch a comedy afterwards.

If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

girl in the hat

image courtesy Devil Doll image courtesy Devil Doll

Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.

Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…

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Hello world!

Hello, everyone. Be patient with me, this is my very first blog. I’ve always loved to read and watch movies. I must admit I’m very easy to please when it comes to movies and films. But I love them all the same. I created this blog because I want to share my reviews with you. I want to be able to talk about movies and books with you. And also to share bits and pieces of my creative writing as well. Writing is a hobby I’ve had on and off for 14 years. I want to do a good job at both.