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At one point in the film a character - I forget who says something along the lines of - The mark of a socio-path is something unable to empathise with someone or situation. Now i've probably got that way off but that's not the point. It was a line that rang true throughout the film, cropping up in my head several times watching this film. 'Gone Girl' is a look on marriage, those closest to us and perception of the media's impact on situations based solely on what's on the surface.
As you may be able to tell I loved this film, not surprising given Fincher's involvement and the interesting subject matter. Based on Gillian Flynn's best-seller it twists and turns without ever changing the story direction a whole lot. It's all about the surface for the first half of the movie my view of 'Nick (Ben Affleck) and his relationship with his wife changed as much as the wind. His lack of emotion and secrets create uncertainty but behind closed doors with his sister he's able to (mostly) open up and shows his true feelings. Fincher's cold(ish) and stylish direction accompanied with the excellent acting adds another layer, a lesser director wouldn't have made the subtle shifts or seemingly non-scenes becomes more than what they are.
Without spoiling anything halfway through it went in a direction I expected but brought it back 30 minutes later with something I didn't expect. Hatred for different characters shifts so much you end up not liking anyone. It's really a triumph of storytelling, in a similar vein with 'Game Of Thrones' - Albeit a lesser degree. Yes, these people aren't particularly nice or who you think they are - but they nothing if not compelling to watch. One of the most interesting aspects for me was the startling and scarily accurate portrayal of the media. The obsession with 'Amy' and Nick's guilt with no proof other than what was on Amy's surface from the point of following 'Nick' is horrible - adding another socio-path to the mix. I could go into more detail but at the risk of ruining some facet for someone I won't - I'll stop here, maybe not much a review but I believe the film speaks for itself.
'Fincher' never fails to dazzle me. Cool stylish and subtle direction, utterly compelling characters and actors and a story that warrants the full run time. 'Gone Girl' can now proudly sit as my 2nd favourite 'Fincher' movie (Zodiac being numero uno). Not just another crime thriller far from it an excellent ride that continently jabs you with new information and changes your perceptions of each person numerous time throughout. Do yourself a favour go and watch this movie and thank me later.
For a while know Iv'e felt detached from British comedies, and British films in general. The praise heaped upon 'Pride' is a little baffling to me and 'The Inbetweeners Movie 2' holds as much interest to me as a bag of the bubonic plague. I feel my detachment of my countries movie industry drifting even further away by the minute. It's all too safe and or predictable. Even though my expectations of this film where pretty low I still held hope. From the creator of 'Outnumbered' a comedy I found out be 'decent' - well for a while at least. That's what I wanted something decent something that could possibly bring me back and be excited for further British comedies. Unfortunately It didn't quite achieve that.
That's not to say It's a bad film, on the contrary I enjoyed quite a bit of it. But it's not entirely what I needed to get me back into the British film industry. 'Doug McLeod' (David Tennant) and 'Abi McLeod' (Rosamund Pike) are going to visit Doug's father 'Gordie' (Billy Connolly) on his birthday amidst going through a divorce. It's the dysfunctional family factor and the 'Outnumbered' style 'kids say funny stuff'. For those that are still in love with the delivery of kids being the comedic focus with their honest responses you will love this. But iv'e become fatigued it may be real and all created on the spot by them, but it's becoming surprisingly predictable. But then again it still created some laughs out of me. I feel part of the fatigue in this films case is the oldest kid 'Lottie' an irritant more than a character for a large chunk of the film. Naturally the films greatest strengths are the kids so it all hinges on that, that and Billy Connelly who is still as funny as he's ever been.
My biggest gripe is the lacklustre story, the intended weight of what's happening doesn't come off at all for me. There's an annoying lack of sadness when 'Gordie' dies from the kids something completely out of place for me. Saying that the subsequent beach scene despite my gripes is still a nice one and is probably the films best part. It's peaks and troths finally come to an end...well towards the end where it takes a nose down into - 'we don't know how to end it territory' - until it brings it back with a final scene.
'What We Did on Our Holiday' is a film for the 'Outnumbered' crowed. That may seem a little marginalising but it feels like a spin-off, the same thing but with a different set of actors. I was also lukewarm on the show and it's the same here, a decent watch that never really gets out more than a few laughs from me. It's attempt at emotional resonance is it's main downfall, it either works or it doesn't and this doesn't. Still there's enough to warrant a watch I feel and for those it's aimed at I'm sure they'll get a kick out of it. I'm afraid I'll just have to chalk it up to - not for me.
"So is it just you or are we waiting for one more?".
It's good to see 'Denzel Washington' back in the driving seat, this time as a mysterious knight, a man rarely scene or heard of. A man who has his past so well hidden that we don't even get to the centre of it. A man who only has justice and right in his eyes. Sound familiar? well It should because this is a plot to many many a action thriller. But it's execution is far from familiar. Based on an older TV show of the same name 'The Equalizer' doesn't offer anything new or particularly different in the story department. But it does offer a clever calculated set of action scenes.
'Robert McCall' (Denzel Washington) is a man of timing and precision, everyday he get up goes to work, goes back home then goes to a diner. Neatly folding a teabag in a serviette he enters the diner gets some hot water for it and reads a book. Everyday. His commitment to the same everyday instantly give the impression off that's he's more than what he seems. We don't see any of it until an encounter with 'Teri' (Chloe Grace-Moretz) and her boss 'Slavi' (David Meunier) awakens his long lost desire to help those in need. That's when the film really starts, it's a basic idea but it's effective in that it creates scenes for McCall's to show his true ability and gain a little insight into his past - however small it is.
The films biggest asset (other than the great performance from 'Denzel') is the dynamic and effortless direction of 'Antoine Fuqua'. His swift use of the camera makes the action sequences come to life. In particular towards the end when 'McCall' becomes 'Batman' in all but name and picks off his targets one by one. An inventive section that will surely be the talking point of this film. As far as story goes it goes in the usual direction - lone man against massive odds but quietly has the ability. Toppling an empire may seem ridiculous but damn if it isn't entertaining.
It doesn't matter so much about the story or the plausibility when the action is this good and this visceral. Denzel's calm and collected approach to each scene with a calculated attention to detail along with the smooth quick direction gives the film the extra spark it needed. 'McCall' is a judge a destroyer of evil and I'll be damned if every-time he's called into it action it isn't fun. Fans of the genre will love this, centring on a brilliant show down with 'Teddy' in a hardware store (admittedly a bad idea after all 'McCall' knows it inside out).
Taking on a book that's been described as a modern day classic is a tall order to begin with. I personally haven't read it so how much it deviates from the source material is irrelevant to me. Thinking about whether or not it would have improved things or even made things worse is a fruitless endeavour. All I can say is what I was given and that's that it was 'ok', 'watchable'. A film that has a good base yet is directed with an unwanted blandness.
'The Giver' is set on an Earth where emotion has been completely suppressed and they only deal in absolutes and in being good, nice and honest. lack of what makes humans humans, everyone goes about as robots with pre-defined purposes. While I may not have read the book I can appreciate what this could have offered. I say could have because the film does little with it's fine premise. It focuses specifically on 'Jonas' (Brenton Thwaites) as he is chosen to be 'The Receiver' a person free from the strict rules of never lying and tasked with receiving vital information from 'The Giver' (Jeff Bridges) to safeguard the future by using the past as guidance. It displays a world where we are nothing more than a hive mind (in essence) all working towards the same goal - things like 'releasing to elsewhere' basically euthanasia but without empathy it has the impact on people as a robot would. When 'Jonas' has his eyes slowly opened by 'The Giver' and stops taking his medication he sees that despite the bad things that happened in the past that emotions are worth it.
The 'sort of' antagonist is 'Chief Elder' (Meryl Streep) a stern women who sees the opposite, emotions cause death, weakness and destruction of the planet. I get the feeling her character is better explained in the book, their no reason given to here iron fisted approach. Unfortunately despite the solid groundwork, the world built seems detached bland uninteresting. I had no desire to care about most these characters, the source materials outlook on the world isn't the cause a utopian conformity can still feel like a living breathing city. It all comes across as sets, there's little sense of things working. I get the feeling the task was took big for the director 'Noyce' has created some solid films but someone who wouldn't be afraid to put the bleakness and how haunting it would be for the audience would have suited the story better.
Even though there is an attempt at making everything feel uneasy and robot like it doesn't. It doesn't have the quality to make the audience feel uneasy, like this is wrong. Instead it's painted as a fairly bland, safe and nice colony. Their are flashes of brilliance here and there but they soon die down and we are left with a meandering nice film. The message may still be intact but it's impact is severely lowered. I suspect fans of the book will be disappointed, it's not bad but there's no commitment, ultimately it comes of as hesitant.
It's not difficult to dislike even despise politicians, often looking out for their sole interests - and sod anyone else. Living in the UK and with the current crop we have the latter of the two description would be more apt. This film based on a book based on a real exclusive club in Oxford known as 'The Bullingdon Club'. The real club has had a number of 'politicians' that are currently running the UK as we speak.
Now you might be thinking what does that have to do with this film? Sure the above comparison but this is just based on so probably far removed from the truth. Well Yes I agree with that but I brought this up because while this may be based on I'm sure this isn't far from the truth. Following specifically two new inductees at Oxford 'Miles' and 'Alistair' as they enter the most exclusive club at the university 'The Riot Club'. While the film managed to make me dislike the sordid bunch of ass-holes its seemingly devoid of story. The fickle start to the film with the creation of the club promises something more than what's delivered.
I guess the idea is to go along with the two new inductees as they and we gain an understanding of the club. But beyond learning exactly what the riot club is about it doesn't go anywhere. We do learn that the club is exclusive and generally for the rich who want to destroy, fuck and generally do anything they can. But when the party begins halfway through the film it becomes a series of scenes of obnoxious youths and their cardboard view of the world. Despite my personal problems with the film it's a film that revels in hating these people, things only amp up. Resulting in 'Miles' becoming the sympathetic figure and 'Alistair' getting lost in the anarchy and in the end bringing the club to its knees. I do have to admit I enjoyed hating these people and in particular 'Alistair's gloriously horrible rant about poor people.
'The Riot Club' is a great ride, despicable people who are in a position of power and can get away with it without anyone knowing. A shot at the current government and it's approach. However its story stops at points and becomes a cluster of ass holes being ass holes thankfully it pull sit back together towards the end. Acted excellently throughout and never boring.