Review: Gone Girl

GoneGirl From the very beginning David Fincher’s latest film provokes the viewer to ponder and constantly guess what comes next. Based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is a mystery thriller with all the right components to make it one of Fincher’s best to date. A dark and stylish film with plenty of twists and turns that never seem to slow down until the credits roll. Gone Girl tells the tale of a Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike). A troubled married couple whose lives are recapped in flashbacks as a way to established how this stylish duo made it to small town America. Nick, the co-owner of a bar wakes to take in the quiet moments of the early morning before beginning his day. In one of the most telling scenes of the film, we get a nice calm before the storm. Once Nick, and the audience, take a nice deep breath they are thrown into the day that changes Nick’s life forever. While checking in on his bar with his co-owner sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), Nick receives a call from his neighbor telling him that his front door is open. He heads home to find his wife, Amy, missing. The police are called and detectives Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) arrive on the scene. The two calmly assess the situation and notice the first bit of oddities around the Dunne household; cracks begin to form.

Inevitably, people start to turn their eye to Nick as the possible culprit to Amy's disappearance. Nick swings back and forth with outbursts and choices that both support and thwart the assumptions of skeptics. Did he do it? Is he innocent? The town, the media, even Nick's closest allies don't know. More importantly, you as the audience doesn't either. Keeping everyone in the dark is the movie's greatest asset. The back and forth is what truly makes this a memorable film.

There is a delicate dance that happens in this movie that is designed to set one’s teeth on edge. Just when you think you have the definitive answers, motivations, and next steps mapped out things shift violently. You may get frustrated with characters and their behavior, you might sigh in relief at revelations, but you will be riveted to the screen. Part of what keeps you glued is the look of the film, dream-like and constantly fluid. Director David Fincher is known for his low light shooting style and it works so well here. Giving the feeling of misunderstanding and setting the tone for a dull Midwestern town, Fincher’s camera style seems absolutely superb. While cinematography choice is a part of what makes this feel genuine in a sea of films largely CGI-ed, the acting is what brings it home. Stellar casting choices of Affleck and Pike sold me immediately. The two play the perfect balance of a couple on the edge of a phoenix-like resurrection or a complete implosion of their marriage. This tap dance on the edge just reinforces the tremendous ‘what’s going to happen’ mentality that is overwhelming in this film. Carrie Coon who plays Nick’s sister works wonderfully as a moral barometer and voice for the audience in many ways. Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit are reminiscent of characters in Fargo; not so simple-minded simple folks. A few surprising and great performances by Neil Patrick-Harris and even Tyler Perry. I don’t want to give away anything in this film, because the best thing you can do is see it as blind as possible. A truly masterful work from David Fincher and everyone involved. An absolute must see!

[easyreview title= "Review of Gone Girl" cat1title="Jay's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="5.0" overall= false]

Review: Moebius

Moebius Directed by Kim Ki-duk, Moebius is the latest South Korean import that fits somewhere between the genres of extreme thriller and extreme horror, or at least it tries to fit there. An uncomfortable film more than anything else, Ki-duk’s dialogue absent 90 minute film shows the emotional damage that can happen to a father and son when a horrendous event happens to them. The film starts out with a physical fight that goes on between a husband and wife over accusations of infidelity. This odd moment is seen by their son who clearly is just emotionally distraught by the entire event. Later that evening the husband goes out and has sex with another woman and both the son and the wife find out. This causes the wife to have what one could only call a psychotic episode and attempts to cut off her husband’s penis. He wakes up to fight her off and successfully keeps himself intact. Unfortunately, the wife in her fit of bizarre rage decides that her son, who she has seen masturbating, deserves this punishment as well. She is successful in her attempt to sever his manhood. Laying on his bed screaming and bleeding profusely, the son is rushed to the hospital by his father while the mother simply walks away. At this point, I was sure this movie was going to go in a certain direction, and I could not have been more incorrect.

There is so much that happens after this point that I hesitate to tell you much more for sake of ruining the “surprise.” There are moments of mutual masturbation that are NOT, I repeat NOT, common to anyone. Director Kim Ki-duk tries desperately to make you scream and squeal while watching these grotesque scenes. I am a true advocate for the suspension of disbelief during film watching, but sometimes things can go a bridge too far. I have never seen a film that was so careless with how humans actually interact. There is more care in the average Hollywood parody movie towards human development and interaction than we see here. Moebius was presented as a movie that will have people running from the theater in horror. This isn’t the case, you may leave halfway through but its likely that you just think the movie is awful, which it is. I’ve seen many worthwhile brutal South Korean films that make me cringe in the way it was intended. However, Moebius, was just so bad that at times I literally said “you have got to fucking kidding me?”

I wish I could say that I don’t want you to see this movie, but I actually really think you should. Why? For the simple reason that this movie should destroy the notion of talking in hyperbolic phrases when reviewing movies in the future. Film criticism requires nuance in language to truly convey meaning in a substantial way. The subtlety of language matters so much in how we describe the things we’ve seen. With all that being said, this is LITERALLY one of the worst movies I have even seen. Abysmal in story telling, a completely nonsensical plot, and a resolution that makes as much sense as standing outside with a metal pole during a lightning storm. The title Moebius implies a neverending loop, but in the end that title is the exact opposite of what happens. I am not sure the director read up on what a moebius strip is but he probably should.

YES THAT SCORE BELOW IS A 0 OUT OF 5!

[easyreview title= "Review of Moebius" cat1title="Nerdpocalypse Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="0.0" overall= false]