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: For Colored Girls

For Colored Girls
Directed by: Tyler Perry
Written by: Tyler Perry (screenplay), Ntozake Shange (play)
Starring: Janet Jackson, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, and Kerry Washington

It was hard watching the latest film from the controversial and wildly successful Tyler Perry without the expectation that at any moment Madea, an old black woman that Perry performs as in drag, would interrupt the tension by bursting through the wall like  Kool-Aid Man.  That character, the subject of backlash from other modern black filmmakers like Spike Lee who say it recalls early stereotypes of blacks on screen, often struts into Perry films with attitude and comedy to break the melodramatic tension.

There is no Madea in For Colored Girls.  In fact, there is very little at all to break apart the tension created by the struggling lives of these 9 African American women, who deal with everything from rape, abortion, and infidelity over the course of the film’s two-plus hours.  Perry’s adaptation is drawn from an award-winning play by Ntozake Shange and is structured around poetic recitations of these horrific events.

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