REVIEW: Gone Girl

gone-girl-DF-01826cc_rgb Gone Girl
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Gillian Flynn (screenplay & novel)
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon and Tyler Perry

There are many, many spoilers in this review.

Amy is missing, yes.  Her blood is at her and her husband’s home along with a shattered glass table and an open front door.  Her porcelain skin, glowing smile and flowing golden hair is plastered desperately on “Missing” billboards and posters by her loved ones.  The media quickly catches Missing White Woman Syndrome and flocks to the scene to revel in and exploit the spectacle.  They want more blood, her husband’s blood, and the police are gradually running out of reasons not to give it to them.

None of them seem willing (or able) to fathom that Amy (Rosamund Pike) would flee on her own free will, let alone her other, more sociopathic impulses. It takes her clumsy, baffled husband Nick (Ben Affleck) a while to realize he’s ensnared in an intricate, sadistic web by his wife.  However, she’s also caught in a different but equally sinister web with everyone else in the movie, one woven by David Fincher and Gillian Flynn.

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REVIEW: Jack Reacher

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Jack Reacher
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay), Lee Child (novel)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and Werner Herzog

Tom Cruise, despite his kooky off-screen shenanigans, is a reliably lively screen presence.  He is a relentlessly physical actor, which is why franchises like Mission: Impossible have become his bread and butter.  With Jack Reacher he attempts, with varying degrees of success, to heighten his on-screen persona into that of a morally vague vigilante.

Reacher is a solid R-rated (or at least it should be) detective story based on a popular series by Lee Child.  Christopher McQuarrie, who adapted the script as well as directed, has some nice action set pieces to work with, but the movie is mostly built around making the star look good.  Action stars like Cruise, like the many cars his character here drives, are fast becoming vintage in the CGI era.  Here he is a blunt, no-nonsense “drifter,” a man who comes to the aid of those who need him and deals out justice how he sees fit.

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