Gone Girl

Not rated yet!
Director
David Fincher
Runtime
2 h 25 min
Release Date
1 October 2014
Genres
Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Overview
With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.
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John Hanlon4
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Gone Girl
    Like his last two features The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, more about director David Fincher’s new movie Gone Girl takes a distinct look at oftentimes unsympathetic characters. Like in those features, more about Fincher...
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  • BOOK REVIEW: Gone Girl
    Gone Girl, cure which has now been adapted into a feature film (arriving in theaters this Friday), this is one of the most exciting and energetic books I’ve ever read. The story opens with a simplistic premise (a man’s wife is kidnapped and he’s the prime suspect) and...
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    (Review Source)
  • Oscar Nominations 2015
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron arrived last night during the championship game and it was even better than the original one. Check it out below. The highly-anticipated sequel arrives in theaters May 1st.. Best motion picture of the year “American...
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    (Review Source)
  • Kenneth Branagh talks Cinderella & Shakespeare
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Want to know who is cleaning up at the 2015 Academy Awards. I’ll be live-tweeting the show @johnhanlon and keeping score of the winners below. All of the winners will be in bold as the night progresses. Best motion picture of the year “American Sniper” “Birdman or...
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The Federalist Staff6
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 'Gone Girl,' We've Been Waiting For You
    ‘Gone Girl,’ We’ve Been Waiting For You The new psychological thriller film ‘Gone Girl’ is not anti-woman. It explores what bad women can do. October 7, 2014 By Rebecca Cusey “Gone Girl” is an exciting, suspenseful thriller that keeps its audience enthralled from opening to credits. Nearly everyone seems to agree on that. But is it misogynistic? Talking heads find consensus harder on that question. In a year of overhyped artsy movies and lackluster blockbusters, “Gone Girl” is just what we’ve been missing. It boasts flawless direction from David Fincher, A-level acting from Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, and a story that just won’t let you go. If you like R-rated psychological thrillers and don’t want the story revealed for you, stop reading now until you’ve seen the film. Seriously, just about any description of this movie—characters and their motivations, presence or absence of legal counsel, maybe even the cat—gives away major plot points. Reader beware: Spoilers below. As the story opens, Amy (Pike) and Nick (Affleck) prepare to celebrate their fifth anniversary. It’s a match born of sophisticated cocktail parties in Manhattan, she a literary trust-fund child, he an aspiring Midwest transplant. Nick had met an Amy who appears to be charming, intelligent, successful, self-deprecating. Her classic beauty and effortless style are just icing on the cake. She’s introspective without being self-absorbed, loving without being precious, rich without being snobby. Nick’s Amy is the sophisticated woman in every luxury car commercial, the ideal guest at every soirée, the ultimate woman who has it all. And then Amy disappears, under suspicious circumstances. The twist of this story is that Amy is not and never has been the woman Nick thought he married. Instead, she’s the kind of megabitch who would meticulously frame her husband for murder and even plan on killing herself just to drive the point home. All the elements of a classic sociopath, in an elegantly clad body. There is no doubt that Gillian Flynn, the author of both the novel and screenplay, turns this idealization of the modern woman on its head. Amy turns herself into, as she bitterly says in a monologue, the “cool girl.” She creates a woman that a guy like Nick would want. But Amy is not cool. She’s just good at faking cool. Cue The Tired Female Victim Trope Even with all this playing with type, perhaps because of it, only those who think of women as nothing more than perpetual victims would think the story is anti-woman. Amy is, in a sick and twisted way, the ideal of feminism. She holds all the power and wields it without mercy. Her money, her intelligence, her independence, all are nothing more than tools toward her goals. She asks no permission, depends on no one. Even her femininity acts as a weapon. She appropriates and exploits the language of victimhood, even the law designed to prevent victimhood, to damage men. The hunted has become the hunter. As it turns out, a fully actualized woman acting at the height of her power can choose to do bad. Individuals know this, and know that some women can’t be trusted, just as some men can’t be. Courts know this, that women sometimes lie about abuse and rape to gain an advantage over their adversary. The only ones who don’t seem to acknowledge that women sometimes lie and cheat are public policy debaters and academics. They insist women are victims. All people are defined by the context of their class and not the content of their character. End of story. Flynn certainly has no qualms about writing female villains: “Some of the most disturbing, sick relationships I’ve witnessed are between long-time friends, and especially mothers and daughters. Innuendo, backspin, false encouragement, punishing withdrawal, sexual jealousy, garden-variety jealousy — watching women go to work on each other is a horrific bit of pageantry that can stretch on for years. Libraries are filled with stories on generations of brutal men, trapped in a cycle of aggression. I wanted to write about the violence of women.” She writes women as fully human, potentially ugly, real people. She might not be an ideal wife, but as a story character, Amy is perfect. Rebecca Cusey is a movie critic based in Washington DC. She is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Society and a voting Tomatomer Critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey. Ben Affleck David Fincher feminism Film films Gillian Flynn Gone Girl Hollywood Movies psychological thriller Rosamund Pike victimhood Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
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  • This Week In Weird Twitter, Volume 85
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Few people realize that wolves and ancient wolf-like dogs aren’t the only canines that once roamed the earth, predating like the bosses they are and seeking out cave paintings depicting the question, “Who’s a good boy?” There was another pack of canines, ones that were early-adopters of the fine art of canine specialization: Welsh Corgis. The breed started with just four small dogs that the wolves and other ancients used to herd the giant otters that provided roughly 73% of their nourishment. Those four, much like the Pevensie children, ended up breaking off and going on some adventures that may or may not have involved centaurs, minotaurs, and other GMO animals. Eventually, the four arrived in Wales and begin growing their numbers, both through recruitment of other small herding dogs with perky ears and the more traditional way of gaining descendants. They were not to live in obscurity, though. No, they would attain their glory, much like the Pevensie children, by saving the king from a pack of murderous Utahraptors, the largest of the raptors but also the raptor with the lamest name. It was a fierce battle, what with the Corgis running around the raptors’ legs and the raptors struggling to reach them with their really short arms, but ultimately the question of “who’s a good boy?” was decided in favor of the furry creatures rather than the feathered ones. From there the dogs went on to hold a place of special prominence in the royal court, although the aforementioned shortness of their limbs prevented them from dominating there as they had in the wild. It offered a sting they could never really get past. him: haha you're the bestme: [whispering] I suck at basketballhim: omg just take the complimentme: [whispering] I can't even do a layup — Juliet Actually (@julietactually) December 14, 2016 Give pets the hottest style this season and make it look like they’ve been battling a swarm of velociraptors. Some people will put ketchup on anything: I think it gives my mother-in-law's chihuahua an agreeably dramatic appearance. — Frank Whitehouse (@WheelTod) January 14, 2017 They’re only extinct if you believe them in your heart to be extinct. Or if things went horribly wrong, again, and you had do bomb the island. Jurassic Park except instead of dinosaurs they have extinct species of pigeons. — The Glad Stork (@TheGladStork) January 19, 2017 His theme music is dope though. Paleontologists discover a prehistoric shark that won't quit talking about himself and grossly overestimates his abilities. Megalomaniacdon — Doktor J (@doktorj) January 26, 2017 I knew hiring this guy as my chief researcher and geneticist was a mistake. Those that can, do.Those that can't, teach.[cut to me assembling my new girlfriend from toilet roll tubes]And then there's him. — Tups (@Tups13) January 14, 2017 Plus it makes the wild animals who creep and crawl in the night work a little harder. I don't sleep naked, bc I'm scared I'll die in my sleep. — Supes (@web_supergirl) January 25, 2017 This was how Michael Crichton first started “Jurassic Park.” Of course I forgive you!! *furiously scribbles in journal* — Salty Mermaid (@Jenn_H_Scott) January 5, 2017 “The raptors are a tad unpredictable.” I wrote about you in my journal — Shellz (@HeyoShellz) January 23, 2017 It was then that the large flock of Compsognathus swarmed on the unsuspecting young man. The boy on the platform in Zagreb offered me a lollipop."Who loves you, baby?" he smiled and walked on. We waved as the train pulled away. — Crazy Myra (@OutOnTheMoors) January 24, 2017 That’s why you keep Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” on repeat all the live long day. Have kids so every day can be like a heavy metal concert. Complete with moshing and incomprehensible screaming. — Mommy Cusses (@mommy_cusses) January 25, 2017 There are fragments of dinosaur eggs here and there. How to tell if your house is haunted Creepy children hanging aroundFootstepsdisembodied voicescold spotsOrbsYou're scared a lot — Böb Bad Hombre Jänke (@Bob_Janke) January 25, 2017 With that sort of attitude you’ll never take over the theme park and command the t-rexes to do your bidding. Have you guys seen my apathy? It's super cute. Oh never mind. I don't care. — SHANtilly Lace (@theshantilly) January 26, 2017 Wrong movie! If I didn't leave everything till the last minute, I wouldn't get to rush around singing the Mission Impossible theme song nearly as much — Cam (@GinAndJif) January 20, 2017 This infuriates the bipedal animals because it isn’t a game, but the essence of their existence. (finger 1/4 inch from your nose)I'm not touching you…I'm not touching you… — Jawbreaker (@sixfootcandy) January 19, 2017 Eventually, Doomasaurus was right, but by then he was alone and destitute having made his proclamation one too many times. Sign: "The End Is Near" Us: Promises, promises — The Untastic Mr Fitz (@UnFitz) January 22, 2017 Depends on if the wolf is one of those fancy hypoallergenic varieties and also if they chew your nose off. *about to fall asleep*Brain: Are people that are allergic to dogs, allergic to wolves? — OG_Ballpit (@Ballpit_Gangsta) January 25, 2017 But are there raptors in that reality? You say insane, I say alternate reality — Pugnado (@LuvPug) January 24, 2017 This sequel to “Gone Girl” looks promising. um my uber driver just told me that if I don't help her rob this mini mart she's gonna drop me off at a cemetery by the beach. wtf — Audrey Porne (@AudreyPorne) January 19, 2017 What about things that were hatched in a laboratory? According to astrology your sign is known for being ridiculous. No matter which month you were born. — Dumb Beezie (@dumbbeezie) January 23, 2017 Sometimes natural selection needs a little push. "How much is that piñata? It's for a kids' party""Sir, that's a beehive""I SAID HOW MUCH?" — Craig Deeley (@craiguito) January 25, 2017 And now for a word from my sponsor. Who is also known as me. Daddy. Can you teach me how to read? Not now son. Daddy has to preach to online strangers about stuff I know nothing about. — Salamingia (@salamingia) January 19, 2017 Yeah, but there’s no reasoning with an angry swarm of predators, awakened after millions of years, and pissed about having genes from a cute little frog inserted in their sequence. If you had allowed me to genuinely earn your disdain, it would have been far more gratifying for both of us. — Kimtopher (@kimtopher22) December 29, 2016 This isn’t a brains kind of operation, to quote Mr. Longbaugh. no serious inquiries, please. — BadFabergé (@ipalatsky) May 25, 2016 That’s what I’m talking about. [receives intellectual praise] I should probably buy myself a lobster. No. Two lobsters. — Unwarranted (@_Aynne_) January 23, 2017 Dammit. Geese were invented in 1922 when some kids threw a bunch of saxophones into the air. — Dominic Caruso (@DominicCaruso1) January 20, 2017 Just make sure you’re ruminating upon geese. I just spent the last 3 weeks hiding in Jared Leto's attic again. — Handsome Baby (@Ilovelamp1979) January 18, 2017 Also think about what you did here. PHYSIO [massaging my knee] I'm going to add some tension now ME: Ok PHYSIO: I really like your legs — Jon (@ArfMeasures) January 24, 2017 It’s also good for angry predators and people hiding in the attic. I always keep a gun under my pillow for emergencies. For instance: if I forgot to turn off the lights, but I'm already lying down — Chimney Spotter (@chimneyspotter) July 1, 2016 Or cats who just don’t speak your language. Do you think a Cat from Istanbul can talk with a Cat from, say, Pasadena? Or is one cat like "I like your eyes" & the other's like "Tuna" — David Acuff (@DavidAcuff) January 24, 2017 Sorry, cat from Istanbul. If you feel like I don't like you it's probably best if you go with your gut — lunaticminge (@majesticminge) January 2, 2017 Jokes on you since we named one of the attractions “Kombucha.” My resolution is to work "kombucha" into a conversation every day until people stop talking to me. — Rachel Noise (@Rachelnoise) January 9, 2017 Yes, you may be on a mission, a dangerous one at that. Don’t use that as an excuse to not look your very best. Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be boys who make fun of fashion trends and wear the same shades for 3 decades — Graceful AF (@graceful_asfuck) January 26, 2017 If Chihuahuas aren’t your thing. My reputation as a great teacher of parkour is a bit undeserved. I just squirt tomato sauce on people and my gang of feral cats give chase. — FᎪᎢ ᏩᎪNᎠᎪᏞF (@sofarrsogud) January 22, 2017 The person in charge of this operation, well, she’s a little different, as you might expect. *turns around in my chair and I'm stroking a whole glazed ham in my lap* I've been expecting you. — Tragic Ally (@TragicAllyHere) January 23, 2017 This isn’t a terrible idea, though. Ringling Brothers closed down because they accidentally used one of those fumigation tents instead of a normal tent and gassed everyone — Mayor P (@punmagnate) January 18, 2017 She has sugar in her pockets. She’s sorry it’s not in packets. This is not my cup of tea has anyone seen my cup of tea — Snowflake Cher (@House_Feminist) January 17, 2017 The raptors smell great, so chalk that up to a win. Used a bath bomb for the first time. Surprise! it didn't work, still here. — L'Boxy L’Roxy (@laboxalaroxa) January 17, 2017 Well, the more excitable dinosaurs could turn on you in one final meta result of bad decisions. You keep saying 'bad decisions' like I'm going to run out. — Miss Muse (@bevandeveire) January 26, 2017 Way ahead of you here. Call me a romantic, but i hope animals will revolt and eat us all. — FRANKENFRECKLE (@gothicaseas) June 16, 2016 Don’t encourage the other employees to eat the shoppers. I lost my job at Home Depot for walking around the store with a piece of banister offering people fresh ground pepper. — Joel (@joeljeffrey) January 5, 2017 She can’t handle the truth. I opened the dishwasher and it's full of clean dishes and I'm scared my wife is going to know that I know. — Simon Holland (@simoncholland) January 21, 2017 It’s a solid plan. Now pass the Fanta. Fuck it. I'm gonna be a juggalo. — Valerie (@ValeeGrrl) January 24, 2017 Think of them as snacks, perhaps distractions, you can fling here and there to thwart the Utahraptors attempting to surround you. Hey, other chicks with longass hair, you ever just find shit in it? Forgotten bobby pins, leaves, tiny rat babies? — taffy bennington (@singwithTaffy) January 24, 2017 It’s evolution happening in real time, enjoy it. Pretty sure a civet got on the treadmill next to me this morning. I didn't look over; I've heard they get confrontational with eye contact. — Mrs. Fitz (@PFitzpa) January 20, 2017 As my uncle used to say, “They’re all good boys, even if they’re girls.” He was a bit of an odd fellow. Thank you for correcting me on the sex of your dog. — Jeff Newton (@yonewt) July 17, 2016 But then one of the -aurs showed back up. Me: None of this is real. Not even you. Furry Blue Centaur: Maybe you should get some rest. — Burning Mom (@MomOnFire) January 16, 2017 Though thwarted in their plans to dominate the court in all the ways they dreamed about, the royal Corgis went on to produce a plethora of offspring. The other members of the royal court did as well, though history doesn’t always treat them as kindly as it does the dogs. The minotaurs and centaurs receded into the woodwork and life became less erratic, particularly with regard for the possibility of attack by vengeful prehistoric reptiles. Such is the circle of life. For as Dr. Ian Malcolm reminds us, “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming.” All descriptions of me eventually include the word “intrigue.” We can't escape our destiny. — Annie Hatfield (@HatfieldAnne) January 24, 2017 ]]>
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  • What Makes For The Best And Worst Movie Trailers Of All Time
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Advertising is an art form, not in the classical sense but rather in the common definition: a craft requiring skill that is worthy of admiration.
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  • In ‘Hostiles,’ Scott Cooper Offers A Grown-Up Western
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Scott Cooper’s ‘Hostiles’ accepts history’s brutal realities rather than substituting political cant. Cooper is what historians used to be: one who doesn’t fashion history to fit a political agenda.
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Plugged In3
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Gone Girl
    DramaMystery/Suspense We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewGone Girl tells the story of a woman, Amy Dunne, who mysteriously goes missing. But it's also the story of how her marriage to Nick Dunne went metaphorically missing years before. The early days of Nick and Amy's union defied the grim warnings about weddings Amy had been given: Marriage is hard work. Marriage means compromise. Marriage will kill your soul. "Not for me and Nick," Amy gushes in her diary on the couple's two-year anniversary. For Nick and Amy, both of whom write for magazines in New York City, life is a never-ending fairy tale full of creativity and carnal connectivity. Until, that is, the recession rips away first Nick's job, then Amy's. Next up: the news that Nick's mother is dying back in (fictional) North Carthage, Missouri, and that they need to move back to care for her. Finally, Amy's parents (authors themselves who used their daughter as a template for a bestselling children's franchise dubbed Amazing Amy when she was a kid) inform her that they're broke and need to raid her sizeable trust fund. It's all a "stress test," Amy writes in her diary, that will reveal what their marriage is really made of. Reveal it does. But not in a good way. Positive ElementsGone Girl can be interpreted as a parable—or maybe more accurately, as a deeply disturbing cautionary tale—about the peril of relating to others as we want them to be instead of understanding them as they are. Amy comes to despise her husband's weaknesses. And he, in turn, despises her attempts to remake him. There's no grace here, no forgiveness. Unconditional love, Amy says, is impossible. And as each of them justifies his or her own self-centered positions, their marriage utterly unravels. None of that is positive. But it is possible to see Nick and Amy's barren interactions as an illustration of how not to treat a spouse. And it's important to note that a lot of Amy's identity issues stem from mistakes her parents made raising her. Growing up as the inspiration for Amazing Amy, Amy comes to deeply resent that the fictional version of her was always a perfect projection of her own obviously flawed personality. "Amazing Amy has always been one step ahead of me," she tells Nick. That's why she so very much loves that Nick initially accepts her, warts and all. But then, slowly, she comes to the horrifying realization that he's actually more interested in "outwardly cool Amy" than who she really is on the inside. Amy eventually reappears, pregnant. And Nick decides to stay with her for the sake of raising that child—the most self-sacrificial choice he ever makes. Nick's twin sister, Margo, is loyal to her brother and is his only ally when he's suspected of murdering his wife. She is also, rightly, frustrated that he hasn't told her the whole truth. Spiritual ContentMargo says Amy likes to play God—"the Old Testament God." We hear references to people praying for Amy's return, including high-powered defense attorney Tanner Bolt, who says, "We prayed to God, and God answered our prayers. Amy Dunne is home." He dubs her return "The Miracle on the Mississippi." We hear Blue Öyster Cult's 1976 hit "Don't Fear the Reaper."Sexual Content Three sex scenes between Amy and Nick involve him giving her oral sex, as well as them having sex on a table at a public library and up against a mirror. We see explicit motions of intercourse, hear sexual sounds and see everything short of full-on nudity. Nick is also shown having sex with the young woman he's having an affair with. Breast nudity is paired with graphic sexual movements. There's more nudity shown as she gets dressed afterwards. A shower scene in which Amy washes a man's blood off briefly shows her breast and torso. She's also shown covered by bubbly water in a bathtub. We see her in clingy negligee. Two scenes give glimpses of full-frontal male nudity. Dialogue references oral sex, sexual body parts, incest, masturbation and strippers. While hiding, Amy has sex with a guy she used to have a relationship with, then concocts a story … Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent Content … about him kidnapping her, tying her up and repeatedly raping her. We see her use a wine bottle (under her nightgown) to simulate believable injuries to support her tale, and she stains her underwear with wine. But none of that comes close to what she does to her unsuspecting conquest while they're having sex: With her graphic sexual movements continuing throughout and even afterwards, she slits his throat, killing him. (Massive quantities of blood pour from his neck onto both of them.) Amy hits herself in the face with a hammer to bolster allegations of abuse. She bites a lover's lip, drawing blood. To fake her own death, she draws a significant amount of her own blood, spills it on the floor, then cleans it up. In an argument, Nick throws Amy to the floor, and she hits her head hard. Another argument finds him slamming her head against a wall. Several references are made to people contemplating suicide. Crude or Profane LanguageFour uses of the c-word. Fifty-plus uses of the f-word and half a dozen s-words. "A--" and "a--hole" are used more than 10 times (combined). The same goes for "b--ch." We hear "p---," "h---," "t-ts" and "p---y." God's name is abused a dozen times, once or twice with "d--n."Drug and Alcohol ContentCharacters drink alcohol (beer, wine, champagne) and smoke cigarettes. Several scenes take place in a bar. We hear references to OxyContin and the fact that North Carthage has a growing drug problem.Other Negative ElementsAmy plots how to retrieve a pregnant woman's urine from a toilet in order to fake a pregnancy test. A man and a woman rob Amy. Margo detests Amy, and tells her brother, "Anyone who would take her is bound to bring her back." Amy spits in another woman's drink. Tanner suggests that big legal cases aren't about what happened, but about how likeable the defendant is. "This case is about what people think about you," he tells Nick. "They need to like you."ConclusionMarriage, as Amy Dunne narrates, can be hard. Gone Girl takes that observation and multiplies it to infinity in a story that spins ever more wildly—and sexually and gruesomely—out of the realm of normalcy and into something more like The Twilight Zone had it been created by the makers of Saw. After all, most of the time a woman meandering through a cold spot in her marriage doesn't fake her own death, seduce a former lover, murder him while having sex, then show up again with a brutally and fully fleshed fictitious story about how she was kidnapped and raped. Director David Fincher, of course, is no stranger to plumbing the depths of the human heart's deepest darkness, having already done so in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Se7en, Zodiac and Fight Club. Gone Girl now takes its place in that gritty, grimy group as a film that unflinchingly unpacks one deeply damaged couple's narcissism and psychoses. The image of marriage we get in this cinematic adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel is truly grim. So grim that Time reviewer Richard Corliss wrote: "In a property with all the killer-thriller tricks—sudden disappearance and violent death, dark motives and cunning misdirection—the true creepiness of Gone Girl is in its portrait of a marriage gone sour, curdled from its emotional and erotic liberation of courtship into a life sentence together, till death do they part. In Gone Girl, marriage is a prison, and each spouse is both jailer and inmate—perhaps even executioner, too." And I'll write that this story is as macabre in its twisted blending of sex and violence as anything I've ever seen. Well, at least since Fincher's last film.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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Tim Markatos3
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Reviewed: Gone Girl (Fincher, 2014; Spoiler-free)
    By this point in his career, no one, I should hope, will argue that David Fincher doesn't know what he's doing. The man whose perverse sensibilities about the unsavory facets of humanity and the world it has built, brutal perfectionism, and knack for tracking down superb collaborators catapulted him into the A-list of auteurs working squarely within the Hollywood system has, indeed, made a movie about all of the above topics. That movie is also, indisputably, his movie; I don't think it's at all presumptuous for me to argue that Gone Girl would have bombed as a film had any other director—and any other director's cohort of editors, composers, cinematographers, and casting agents—been tasked with bringing this bestseller du jour to the big screen. Unfortunately, as much as this may be Fincher's movie, it's also very much Gillian Flynn's story, and therein lies its biggest weaknesses.
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  • A College Education in 50 Films
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Everyone knows me by now as the resident movie expert, so it will come as a surprise to many of you to learn that just four years ago I was a total film philistine. Were it not for the devious Mr. Alan, Sophomore Honors English and Creative Writing teacher, who forcibly transferred me into his second-semester film class to work on a short screenplay I had written for a final, Tim's love affair with cinema would have remained unconsummated to this day.  In my second week at Georgetown, after the dust from New Student Orientation and the start of classes had settled, I decided to start taking advantage of our library's vast DVD reserves to start catching up on all the movies Mr. Alan and others had been insisting I see. I simultaneously started keeping a journal of every film I watched from that day out, and before long I was in the grips of mankind's primal cataloguing urge, searching out films both near and far, old and new to fill my lazy hours. My Georgetown education happened in a number of places, the classroom being only one of them. In honor of the 300 or so films I devoured throughout my collegiate years, I've picked out 50 pivotal films that will forever define my time here. Some of these movies are good, others atrocious; quality is not the primary criterion for selection so much as capacity for creating fond memories. I deliberately limited myself to movies I watched during the academic calendar year, so while vacation hits like Margaret, Mysteries of Lisbon, Rosetta, and Laurence Anyways (to name a few) made their own indelible marks on my impressionable psyche, this is not the space to speak of those. Part of what makes a moviegoing experience memorable for me is the company I share it with; as you'll see with most of these selections, it's the people you freak out with while leaving the theater who make the endeavor worthwhile.
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  • The Tim Markatos Oscars
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Honoring the actual best in movie quality since 2015. Best Picture Boyhood · The Grand Budapest Hotel · Force Majeure · Foxcatcher · Only Lovers Left Alive · Selma · The Tale of the Princess Kaguya · Two Days, One Night · Under the Skin · Whiplash * Best Director * Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel * Damien Chazelle, Whiplash * Xavier Dolan, Mommy * Jonathan Glazer, Under the Skin * Richard Linklater, Boyhood
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Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Gone Girl
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Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Gone Girl, Equalizer, Annabelle, Boxtrolls, Hector & the Search for Happiness, Skeleton Twins, Kelly & Cal
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews Hector and the Search for Happiness“: While this quirky movie starts out well–fun and entertaining–it ends up being a messy, annoying chick flick that tries too hard to be too cute and quirky by half. I enjoyed the first two-thirds of the movie, but it quickly deflates with the protagonist male crying and declaring his love for his chick. Please, make it stop. The story: Hector (Simon Pegg), a quirky English psychiatrist, gets tired of hearing how unhappy his patients are. And he’s kind of bored with his regimented life that is the same day after day. Plus, he’s not sure he’s really in love with his beautiful girlfriend who takes care of his every need. So, he goes on a trip to search the world for the meaning of happiness. He goes to China, Africa, and Los Angeles and encounters a number of adventures and characters, including a Chinese prostitute (that he doesn’t know is one), Tibetan monks, a Spanish mobster in Africa, and Hector’s ex-girlfriend, who is now married with kids. The movie is good until he ends up in Los Angeles. But, again, it tries too hard to be quirky and cutesy. And I generally loathe movies in which men bawl and declare their love in the process. ONE-AND-A-HALF REAGANS ]]>
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The American Conservative Staff3
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • List, List, O List: a Premature 2014 Movie Rundown
    Any attempt on my part to assess the year in film is bound to be inadequate, because there are just too many films I know I ought to see that I haven’t seen yet. Moreover, that list of “oughts” has already been shaped by the reactions of other critics; it’s already too late for the joy of discovery that I felt, say, attending a screening of “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” back in January, before everyone had heralded Ana Lily Amirpour’s Persian vampire noir western as the hot new thing. And anyway, films are largely incomparable across genres. Which was a “better” film, “Boyhood” or “The LEGO Movie?” It’s kind of a silly question – they aren’t trying to do anything remotely comparable. Nonetheless: posts must be blogged. So: let’s start with the critical consensus. The nice folks at Metacritic have compiled a meta-list, combining the views of 137 different critics on what they think are the top ten films of the year, for a meta-list of 20 films. Herewith: 1. “Boyhood.” My feelings about the film tracked very closely with Eve Tushnet’s. I admire the experiment, and I was drawn in deeply during the first hour. But in the last hour I found myself far more interested in the parents than in the titular boy, which to me feels like the film didn’t achieve all that it set out to do. 2. “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” I am a great admirer of Richard Linklater’s work, which is why I was surprised that I didn’t respond to “Boyhood” with raptures. Wes Anderson I am much more ambivalent about. But “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was for me a sheer delight from end to end, and may even have become my favorite Anderson film, because for once I felt his fussiness was fully justified by the film’s subject and setting. Leon Hadar’s thoughts on the film are also very worth reading. 3. “Under the Skin.” I posted my reactions to this creepy Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick here. Its highly original vision has definitely stuck with me. Rent it. 4. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.” I posted my thoughts on “Birdman” here. I think it’s a tour-de-force. 5. “Selma.” A film I have not yet seen, and plan to, though I fear I won’t like it. I don’t tend to like pious movies, regardless of the object of piety, and I fear this will be one. 6. “Whiplash.” I wrote up my thoughts on Damien Chazelle’s film here, and then followed up with additional thoughts here, but I continue to chew on it. “Whiplash” is very worth seeing, but it irritated me, and I wonder whether that reaction says more about me than it does about the film. 7. “Ida.” Near the top of my list of films I need to see. 8. “Gone Girl.” Amazingly, I still haven’t seen this film. I begin to suspect I’m avoiding it, and I’m not entirely sure why. 8. “Inherent Vice.” I’m only falling more in love with P.T. Anderson with time, and am very eager to see his latest. 10. “Nightcrawler.” I find myself away from the pack on this one. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom seemed like he had dropped to earth from Mars in the first frame. What, I wondered, did he do the day before the film began? The month before that? The year before that? I found no really plausible answer to these sorts of questions. Nor did I buy this young man’s sudden transformation from bizarre recluse to a ruthlessly effective manipulator of other people. The film presents itself as a dark satire – I kept thinking it was trying to be a noir-esque, indie-scale “Network” – but I never felt like the satire connected with anything terribly specific. 11. “Mr. Turner.” Another one near the top of my list of films to see. Mike Leigh is a wonderful filmmaker, and I specifically adored his last foray into biopic. 12. “Force Majeure.” I haven’t seen it yet, but hope to do so. 13. “Goodbye to Language.” Haven’t seen it yet, clearly need to – it’s actually somewhat relevant to a script I’ve written. 14. “The Immigrant.” Jeepers, I haven’t seen this one yet either – and this one wasn’t even on my list of want-to-sees. From the description, the film sounds like an Isaac Bashevis Singer novel, which makes me want to see it to see if that’s how it plays on-screen. 14. “Foxcatcher.” I wrote up my thoughts here – definitely an intriguing film, worth seeing for three notable performances. 16. “Only Lovers Left Alive.” I described “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” as a “Jarmusch-esque” vampire flick without having seen Jim Jarmusch’s own vampire flick. I suppose I have to find out which is more Jarmusch-esque: the actual Jarmusch or the homage? In any event, Eve Tushnet’s always-worthwhile thoughts can be found here. 17. “Two Days, One Night.” I am extremely eager to see this film, largely because I read Eve Tushnet’s review. 17. “The LEGO Movie.” My thoughts on this interlocking brick system of a movie can be found here. A much, much better film than it needed  to be. 17. “Snowpiercer.” This extremely stylish and idiosyncratic action-flick-cum-allegory of global inequality was far darker than I had expected. Indeed, inasmuch as it has a clear politics, those politics are almost pure anarchist rage. Far from presenting a brief for revolution, the film paints a deeply bleak and pessimistic picture of the choices before humanity in an age of scarcity driven by ecological impoverishment. 20. “Citizenfour.” Another film I need to see, but that I expect not to be enraptured by as so many have been. So I’ve only seen 9 out of 20 of the films that comprise the aggregated “critics’ picks” list. Not a particularly impressive showing – though I expect to improve upon it substantially over the next month or so. Meanwhile, what’s missing from this meta-list in terms of my personal  faves of the year? And what else am I eager to see that I haven’t gotten to yet? Not necessarily films that I would put on any kind of “Top 10” list, but all worth renting, are: “Frank,” “Listen Up Philip,” (reviewed here), and “The One I Love.” All extremely well-written films, and all films that would work just fine on a small screen. Films about prickly, difficult male artists (a theme of the year), and about the cold war between the sexes. And two doses of Elizabeth Moss to boot. What am I eager to see? Apart from those mentioned above, I’d add “Wild,” “The Babadook,” “The Overnighters,” “Big Eyes,” “Leviathan,” and “A Most Violent Year,” plus (from stuff I missed from earlier in the year) “Gloria,” “Calvary,” “The Dog,” “The Blue Room,” and “Jodorowsky’s Dune.” ]]>
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  • Oscar Predictions (Now Don't Be Grouchy)
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I’m going to start with an overarching statement about this year’s contest: the most important category this year is Best Editing. Why? Because the two most interesting films nominated this year are “Boyhood” and “Birdman,” and both are overwhelmingly editing-dependent films. With “Boyhood,” you have footage compiled over the course of a dozen years, and a story which, presumably, was structured initially to hedge against the possibility that something might happen over the course of time that would necessitate massive changes. What if Patricia Arquette got hit by a bus? What if Ethan Hawke got really fat? What if one or both of the kids grew into lousy actors? What if Richard Linklater went through a messy divorce, and it changed his view of the kind of story he wanted to tell? No chance for re-shoots here; you’ve got to take the footage compiled over this long period, and assemble it into a story that is tonally consistent and narratively compelling. However much one feels that Sandra Adair succeeded in this effort, the challenge itself is honor-worthy. Meanwhile: with “Birdman” you have a story that depends, substantially, on constant, consistent forward motion, on the sense that we are stumbling down a flight of stairs, trying not to trip and fall and break our skulls, but unable to stop to regain our balance. Now add that the entire film is supposed to feel like a single shot. The unqualified success on the technical side was absolutely instrumental in the success of the film as a whole. But there was no margin for error. Both “Boyhood” and “Birdman” deserve nominations for Best Original Screenplay and for various acting slots. But in each case, the real stars of the show were in the editing room. So: my overarching prediction is that the winner of Best Picture will also win Best Editing. Predictions listed in descending order of personal confidence. That confidence is based on very little; it’s not like I’m a Hollywood hairstylist, who might actually know something. BEST PICTURE: “Boyhood” “Birdman” “The Imitation Game” “The Theory of Everything” “Gone Girl” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” “Selma” “American Sniper” “Nightcrawler” “Foxcatcher” Everybody expects “Boyhood,” “Birdman” and “The Imitation Game” to be nominated, and for one of them to win, and I agree with the consensus. Behind them come four films that have obvious Oscar cachet, none of which I really see being snubbed. After that it gets tougher. I think “Nightcrawler” has enough enthusiastic support to get through (though I didn’t love it); that “Foxcatcher” will get a nomination because of the trio of really interesting performances (even though many people didn’t exactly like the film); and that “American Sniper” was directed by Clint Eastwood (and will do great box office). But I could be wildly off – it could turn out that this year we have only six or seven nominees. My understanding is that to get onto the list of nominees you need a certain percentage of voters to place you first or close to it on their ballots. So the more consensus there is at the top in the initial balloting, the shorter the list of nominees will be. And this feels like a year where there could be a lot of consensus at the top. Or perhaps I’m right, and the people who like “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” hated “Nightcrawler” and “Gone Girl” and vice versa, so that we have ten nominees. In which case my list above feels about right to me. BEST DIRECTOR Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” Alejandro González Iñárritu – “Birdman” Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Ava DuVernay, “Selma” Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game” I haven’t seen “The Imitation Game” yet, hence my low level of confidence in that final slot. I’m also aware that “Selma” has not set the world on fire, though I still think it has a constituency solid enough to get nominated. In any event, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a perennial like David Fincher or a young upstart like Damien Chazelle take one of those two slots. BEST ACTOR Michael Keaton – “Birdman” Eddie Redmayne – “Theory of Everything” Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game” Steve Carell – “Foxcatcher” David Oyelowo – “Selma” Again, I haven’t seen three of these films (I only saw “Birdman” and “Foxcatcher”), so take that list with a grain of salt. There are a lot of other plausible contenders. But I think the Academy will want to reward Carell for doing excellent work way outside his usual box, and the Academy frequently likes actors who play historical figures. From the films I have seen that have an actual shot, I’d be very happy for Ralph Fiennes to get a nomination. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal did a fine job in “Nightcrawler” but I have some kind of grudge against that movie so I didn’t put him on the list, though he’s probably got at least as good a shot as Fiennes. BEST ACTRESS Julianne Moore – “Still Alice” Rosamund Pike – “Gone Girl” Reese Witherspoon – “Wild” Amy Adams – “Big Eyes” Jennifer Aniston – “Cake” I haven’t seen and don’t plan to see “Cake,” but people seem very eager to show how pleased they are with Aniston’s stretch. As for the win, everyone is saying Moore has this in the bag. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR J. K. Simmons – “Whiplash” Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood” Ed Norton – “Birdman” Mark Ruffalo – “Foxcatcher” Josh Brolin – “Inherent Vice” I’ll be truly surprised if Simmons doesn’t win this – so many people seem to want him to. Josh Brolin is my wild card pick here; there’s not an obvious contender for the fourth slot. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood” Emma Stone – “Birdman” Keira Knightley – “The Imitation Game” Meryl Streep – “Into the Woods” Jessica Chastain – “A Most Violent Year” Patricia Arquette may have been my favorite thing in “Boyhood” – I hope she wins this. The others I’m all quite uncertain about. I’m basically assuming you have to nominate Meryl Streep and Jessica Chastain if you are presented with a remotely plausible reason to do so. BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – “Birdman” Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Mike Leigh – “Mr. Turner” JC Chandor – “A Most Violent Year” If I’m completely honest, I have to assume that “Nightcrawler” has a better shot than “Mr. Turner” or “A Most Violent Year.” But I did not much like that script, and I have great admiration for both Leigh and Chandor. So I’m voting my heart here rather than my head. BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Graham Moore – “The Imitation Game” Anthony McCarten – “The Theory of Everything” Gillian Flynn – “Gone Girl” Damien Chazelle – “Whiplash” Nick Hornby – “Wild” I’m really hoping I got this one completely right. I think I might have. Not sure going further down the list will be all that meaningful – I’m assuming “Citizenfour” is the most-likely winner in the Best Documentary category, that “The Lego Movie” is the most-likely winner in the Best Animated Feature category, that “Birdman” is the most-likely winner for Cinematography, and that “Force Majeure” is the leader in the Best Foreign Language Film category. But the main category to watch this year is Best Editing. ]]>
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  • Film Criticism's Identity Crisis
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    “How can you not be for more diversity?” a friend recently asked me when I was explaining my opposition to the #OscarsSoWhite movement that exploded over the last two awards-season cycles in response to the lack of minority actors nominated for Academy Awards. Perhaps I am no longer on the side of liberal progress and no longer care about racial representation in film. Or perhaps it’s not an either/or dichotomy. I recognize the value of racial representation and I think that the #Oscarssowhite activism has been counterproductive to that cause. Why? Because the Twitter movement was simply counterfactual. In the 21st century, roughly 12 percent of acting nominees at the Oscars were black and the proportion of African-Americans relative to the rest of the population, according to the decennial census, is also 12.2 percent. If discrimination exists in Hollywood, I agree with African-American director Spike Lee (who received an honorary Oscar last year), who said it happens in casting rooms and at studios and to blame the Oscars is an act of misdirection. #Oscarssowhite slacktivism has largely damaged its credibility, by lacking nuance in its analysis, by going after the wrong targets, and by a lacking appreciation for the progress that has been made. This is an awards body that has helped jumpstart the careers of such minorities as Taraji P. Henson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Terrence Howard, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Demian Bichir, Sophie Okonedo, and Jennifer Hudson by awarding them with honors when box-office receipts and other awards bodies weren’t. If you look at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs) for example, out of all these actors only Jennifer Hudson was nominated. Consider also that Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman have been nominated 12 times by the Oscars and neither has been nominated once by the BAFTAs. Aside from the issue of the #Oscarssowhite activists drifting further and further away from the image of racism they claim exists, there’s also the issue of appearing to not acknowledge the accomplishments they have had. When Selma was nominated for Best Picture without a Best Director nomination for Ava DuVernay, it was enough to spark an outrage—but Selma was never a lock for best director or best actor. Ralph Fiennes was nominated for countless awards for The Grand Budapest Hotel and was widely acknowledged to have hit a high-water mark in an already distinguished career, but there wasn’t a school of advocates to rally around his exclusion with the political firepower of there was for Selma lead David Oyelowo. Similarly, Selma had as much buzz as Nightcrawler or Gone Girl, both of which were left out of the Best Picture fold. If the advocates of Selma felt so stiffed, would they have been willing to trade places with those two films and give up their Best Picture nomination entirely? Does it not appear ungrateful to complain about a Best Director snub when so many excellent films didn’t even get Best Picture? ♦♦♦ This past year resulted in a grand victory for this class of activists as seven actors of color were nominated for the Oscars. Moreover three of the nine nominees for Best Picture (Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Fences) were largely “black stories” and one other (Lion) was a story set in the Third World. But to think that this will get sensible discourse about the state of movies and race back on track is naïve. The strange thing about the new brand of liberal activism is not just that it demands that films pass some liberal test but that it is considerably more picky and arbitrary when it comes to which films pass that muster. In the same year that Selma was championed as “the liberal choice,” the gay biopic The Imitation Game was dismissed as Oscar-bait (a term liberal film critic Mark Harris has rallied against for marginalizing films that are feminine) for being a “white biopic.” Keep in mind that “The Imitation Game” was so effective at depicting the struggle of mathematics pioneer Alan Turing that just two years after its release, the British government posthumously pardoned an entire generation of men and women who had been convicted under the criminalization of homosexual acts. And then there are those like Arab actor Amrou Al-Khadi, who wrote an article in the Independent threatening to quit acting if La La Land won best picture: Moonlight NEEDS to win Best Picture. Not only because it is a cinematic feat that is to La La Land what Frida Kahlo is to paint-by-numbers, but because it sends an urgent message. A message that we’re ready to empathise with any story, no matter how far away they are from us, and how much they defy our systemic misconceptions. Al-Khadi’s view of movie-awards season as an all-important cultural battleground is by no means an isolated one. TV and film criticism is now dominated by writers who view their role as policemen of diversity and expositors of social justice issues.  A recent AV Club episodic review of the TV show Black-ish in which Chris Brown got a guest starring role begins: “Fuck Chris Brown. Fuck. Chris. Brown. I know, we live in a world where Casey Affleck can win an Oscar and Sean Penn can beat Madonna and go on to have an illustrious career, so why shouldn’t Chris Brown be able to guest star in a sitcom as a rapper trying to expand his career with sponsorships? Well, because fuck Chris Brown. Fuck Casey Affleck. Fuck Sean Penn.” Reviewer Ashley Ray-Harris goes on to discuss the burden of a black show not to cast a serial domestic abuser, and it’s an interesting read. It should be noted, however, that nowhere in the text does Ray-Harris ever get around to reviewing the TV show. Fellow A.V. Club reviewer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya’s review of the Documentary Now! parody of Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia includes a take on white First World privilege and her coverage of the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt posits the chipper titular character as a PTSD victim and uses her word space to educate her readership about the coping process for trauma. While readers will respond with differing opinions about just how tenuous Upadhyaya’s connections are to the intent of the source material, it’s relatively clear that at one of the internet’s most trafficked websites for television criticism, using art as a means to preach about social justice is more the rule than the exception. It’s in this cultural climate that routine negative Oscar campaigning has turned into a new form of hit piece that judges a film by its progressive merits. La La Land was particularly vulnerable because it wasn’t a black film that came out in a year when the uproar for black representation was impossible to ignore. Washington Post critic Emily Yahr aptly pointed out that La La Land was getting backlash from all corners as a frontrunner, but it should be noted that some of the hits were intensely political. One of the criticisms was that Ryan Gosling’s character “whitesplained” jazz to Emma Stone, as if it is no longer acceptable for a person of any race to appreciate jazz and make it their life’s ambition to become a great jazz musician. In his Fusion piece “La La Land Might Win an Oscar but it has some Bizarre Racial Politics,” Jack Mirkinson writes: In one scene, he takes Mia to an empty jazz club where, in front of an all-black band, he explains the power of the music to her in mystical and rather torturously written terms. Beyond the male condescension inherent in the scene, the use of a white man as a portal into what is, unambiguously, a black art form lands with an uncomfortable thud. The actual black people playing the music in the scene are not asked to share their thoughts. These kinds of criticisms once again imagine that a filmmaker needs to create their art in such a way to safeguard against racial criticism. And although Mirkinson does an excellent job of portraying the nuance of the situation, being sure to note the film’s strengths alongside its weaknesses, the criticism gets much more severe in Geoff Nelson’s “The Unbearable Whiteness of La La Land,” which makes the absurd argument that the film is an abomination because it treads on “white nostalgia”: La La Land isn’t the escapism America needs right now, it’s a regressive effort at time travel with no sense of shame for America’s many historical sins. Chazelle engages in the most dangerous type of cultural production: to have an audience feel without thinking: If you are wondering what kind of extremely specific pedagogical value Nelson expects Chazelle to imbue in his film, Nelson clarifies: How many in a La La Land audience would be unable to vote, live in their neighborhood, marry their partner, work in their job, attend their school, if Chazelle’s film were successful in landing them in 1940s Los Angeles? Where do LA’s Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, when thousands of white folks organized themselves into street gangs to assault people of color, fit in Chazelle’s reverie? Or what of the historical record of housing discrimination, whereby 80 percent of 1940s Los Angeles real estate was off-limits to buyers or renters of color? When Gosling’s character wishes the public to remember the history of jazz rightly, it’s no wonder so much else must be redacted to suspend disbelief. To Nelson, failure to address these issues, regardless of narrative relevance, is synonymous with guilt, or at the very least “unbearable whiteness” judging by the title of his essay. For a film that never actually takes place in the past, calling it misguided historical fiction is an odd label, though it also opens the question of how restrictive Nelson would be of historical fiction that isn’t specifically about the civil-rights movement. In an essay for Vox last week, critic Jaime Weinman declared what many of us have already known for a while: Film criticism has entered a new era where it is now standard to assess a filmic work by its socio-political implications in addition to its merits. Weinman doesn’t pass judgment so much as state it as simple truth: “Whether it’s superficial or perceptive, today’s pop cultural criticism can’t seem to ignore social issues.” If cultural criticism has really reached a point of no return, it bears remembering that calling on films to be responsible also demands a higher level of responsibility from the critic in turn.   This involves being aware that complaints are really tacit demands. When a critic says “I’m disappointed that this film did X or Y,” they really mean “by the power vested in me as a critic, I demand Hollywood  should make efforts to X and Y.” Statements along these lines that don’t take into account the context and logistics that go into making a film amount to noise at best and propaganda at worst. The call for plurality in films is noble, but we also need to recognize that there are many ethnicities and classes that are underrepresented in a way that isn’t particularly proportional to the current level of critical outrage. Conversely, there are multiple ways to make a progressive or thought-provoking film outside the narrow definitions of right and wrong suggested by the new socially conscious era. Weinman’s excellently researched piece reaches a curious conclusion: And in a strange way, this new turn of criticism, this emphasis on the politics behind art, may be better for a work’s reputation than criticism that ignores politics. … If critics hate your favorite movie enough to call it a menace to society — well, at least they’re taking it seriously. In other words, Weinman argues that all discourse is good in the way that all publicity is good. The problem with this argument is that collective space in the zeitgeist is a zero-sum game when it comes to everyday consumers of art. Talking ad infinitum about the Oscars’ lack of diversity eliminates any chance for any other pertinent issues to claim headline space. The story of Moonlight winning at the Oscars could be so much more than the tired “black film”-beats-“white film” narrative. It’s worth noting that Moonlight director Barry Jenkins cites the 2000 indie film George Washington film as a direct inspiration for his debut film, and he didn’t even know David Gordon Green’s race when he saw it. Would a mutual appreciation of the contributions of both filmmakers be something that flies in today’s climate? I sure hope so.   Orrin Konheim is a freelance journalist and entertainment blogger in the Washington, D.C. and Richmond markets. His work can be found at http://sophomorecritic.blogspot.com. ]]>
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PJ Media Staff4
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Let's Count Down the Top 9 Must-See Films of the Fall
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Disney's Big Hero 6 - Official US Trailer 1', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 9. Big Hero 6 (Nov. 7)Disney’s big animated film of the season is a Japanese animation-influenced tale of a boy and his comically inept friend the inflatable robot who form an adorable team of superheroes and save the world. The combo of humor and action looks reminiscent of The Incredibles. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/9/5/lets-count-down-the-top-9-must-see-films-of-the-fall/ previous Page 1 of 9 next   ]]>
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  • Why We Should Celebrate 'The Revenant'
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture Christian art at its height was the greatest art the world has ever seen. There is no painting greater than Michelangelo's; no music greater than Bach's; no poetry greater than Milton's. (I would argue that Shakespeare was a distinctly Christian writer too, but that's for another time.)Now? Well, let's put it this way. In the early 19th century, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said that Christianity had devolved into nothing more than "banal optimism." If Schopenhauer could see much of what passes for Christian fiction and film today, he would feel well justified in that assessment. It's not that movies like God Is Not Dead, and novels like the Left Behind series are bad exactly. I think of such stuff as Heavenly RomComs, with God in the role of the guy who gets the girl in the end. It's pleasant, reassuring comfort food that leaves Christians feeling good. Nothing wrong with that.But Christian art that challenges and deepens and enriches our sense of our own lives — that does what real art does, what Michelangelo's work and Bach's and Milton's does — that's a lot harder to find. I see more realism and depth and revelation in fine cynical works like the novel A Simple Plan and both the novel and film of Gone Girl than I do in The War Room or Heaven is for Real.That's why those of us who love both God and art should celebrate a movie like The Revenant, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. It presents a harsh, honest view of human life, and yet one that strongly implies, rather than preaches, the presence of the Christian God. It is a vision rather than a sermon: which is what art is meant to be. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2016/01/27/why-we-should-celebrate-the-revenant/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Did Critics Attack The Judge for Its Politics?
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture I always get a bit suspicious when there's a wide disparity between the critical reviews for a movie and the reactions of actual human beings. It quite often means the movie is favorable toward the concept of God or fails in some other way to toe the left-wing line. The critics, along with the outlets for which they work, are biased to the radical left and politics and religion distort their views.At this writing, the new Robert Downey Jr/Robert Duvall drama The Judge has a critical rating of 47% on Rotten Tomatoes but a human rating of 81%. It also gets an excellent A-minus rating from Cinemascore, which gauges audience reaction. It's doing only okay at the box office, but it's up against Gone Girl, a blockbuster sucking up the air in the R-rated room. It may yet do better, and will almost certainly have a good life on DVD, streaming and the rest.I've seen the film and liked it quite a lot. Maybe more of a B-plus than an A-minus. It features a fantastic cast in a solid family-courtroom drama. Both the wonderful Downey and the stupendous Duvall are working smack dab in their wheelhouses and Vincent D'Onofrio quietly turns in a slam-bang performance that nearly blows everyone else off the screen. The love, grief and anger of the central family are especially well imagined and written. One scene in a bathtub is close to classic. And the courtroom stuff works pretty well. If the whole thing fails to rise to the level of greatness (and very, very few films do), I suspect it's because it fails to engage as honestly as it might have with its central theme, which is the balance of justice and mercy. If it had, it would have made some better decisions about its plot and characters toward the end. But that said, it's a good and engrossing movie: over two hours, and entertaining every step of the way.In a quick check of the reviews, I find Rolling Stone dismissed the film as "bilge"; the New York Times called it "a supershouty, macho-weepy… melodrama"; while Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times is honest and considered, praising the pleasures of the movie, especially the acting, while saying the film's "vivid and volatile core is often undercut by a weakness for middle-of-the-road sentiment and a desire to be all things to all people." There's some truth to that. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2014/10/12/did-critics-attack-the-judge-for-politics/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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Armond White1
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • When Heterosexism Attacks
    Armond White Pictured: Ansel Elgort & Kaitlyn Dever in 'Men Women & Children' “I’d like to crack her lovely head.“ Ben Affleck says at the start of Gone Girl—one seriously sexist, female-hating movie. Instead of getting at the frustrations of male/female relations, it’s ugly exploitation of what used to be called social norms. If Gone Girl really is about marriage as its silliest promoters claim, then it shows what a mess heterosexuals have made of marriage—and sexual equality in general. This is the movie crisis of the week: Big-budget sexism sanctioned by Hollywood hype for the latest dismal David Fincher project opens simultaneously with Men, Women & Children, a maudlin comic epic whose restricted—biased—view excludes LGBT experience from its depiction of modern American life. It’s less grotesque than Gone Girl but is similarly offensive. Gays occupy the slimmest, farthest periphery of Jason Reitman’s Men Women & Children. You can glimpse a TV-loving teen referred to as one of the “girls” and a prim high school therapist, both glancingly involved with the main characters—supposedly a cross-section of Texas students and their parents all involved in heterosexual misalliances. It’s not that movies have to have token gay characters but as this film simplifies modern relations to sexual problems, it falls short of the specificity that gave a TV show like Skins a fuller reflection of millennial affections. Men Women & Children (even the title somehow seems segregated) starts cosmic and goes wrong. Narrator Emma Thompson describes the Voyager space probes (both launched in 1977) that were designed to carry evidence of life on Earth into outer space, basing the film’s consideration of personal interaction on technological dependence. But Thompson’s Brit voice also bases the film on a specious viewpoint. Couldn’t an American voice (and not Morgan Freeman’s, maybe RuPaul’s) provide a more authentic approach to this American story? When Reitman’s script (based on the novel by Chad Kultgen) deals with bulimia, adultery, masturbation, divorce, and mistrust, a particular box of contemporary issues seems left unchecked. How physical intimacy is ruined by digital remoteness and internet porn is an issue that also pertains to gay life. It’s what Hollywood needs to include that in order to earn gay viewer confidence—not just for marketable demographic reasons but simply as part of the popular audience. Instead, Reitman’s humane intentions are strictly commercial. Presuming to examine the sexual lives of digital-era Americans, Reitman pimps their problems like an overcalcuated (and over-sentimentalized) TV show. Bella Thorne & Adam Sandler in 2014's 'Blended' Director Chen Kaige dealt with digital alienation in the Chinese film Caught in the Web bone of the best films last year), but Reitman merely updates John Hughes' films like Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful (enjoyable for their time, the Hughes movies seem sexually exclusionary now). This year, the brave exploration of sexual impulse that makes François Ozon’s Young & Beautiful so great derives from gay awareness as well as broadminded insight. Reitman envisions a major statement with Men Women & Children, hoping to expand and deepen the subject of Juno (his biggest hit to date), but his attempt at seriousness is seriously lacking. The best of Reitman’s segments are the pantomime of desperation played by Ansel Elgort and Kaitlyn Dever as they sit by a Maxfield Parrish waterfall in a quarry, but the most moving scenes belong to Adam Sandler. Yes, Sandler, portraying a husband stuck in sexual dysfunction and a failed marriage. Sandler doesn’t confuse his serious intentions. His role here confirms the insight that is overlooked in his own comedies—especially the boldl, insightful modern classics I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Jack & Jill. In Blended, Bella Thorne played Sandler’s butch-looking daughter whose desire for romances forces her to break-out of her father’s gender dictates and her own gender frustration. Imagine the level-headed humor Sandler could have brought to Gone Girl—saving it from gynophobia. Reitman’s troubled teens don’t come close to admitting such sexual ambiguity that Sandler recognizes as part of human life, so Reitman leaves out a major portion of human experience. If Reitman’s intention was to make a millennial version of Robert Altman’s great American panoplies like Nashville and the specifically heterosexual examination Short Cuts, he doesn’t cut it. In Men, Women & Children, Reitman’s Nashville is Podunk. ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Brett Stevens1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Death Metal Zombies (1995)
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)


    Death Metal Zombies
    Horrorscope Productions, 1995. 90 minutes.
    Unrated

    Those of the death metal persuasion tend to value content over surface. This idea emerges from the basic thought of metal: beauty in darkness through structure, social appearance be damned. As such, the death metal audience tends to ignore the differences that millions of dollars of production bring, and focus on the content of a movie.

    Death Metal Zombies is (mostly) such a movie. Its entertainment value matches that of films with much larger budget and media support. However, it is a bit of a mess. Filmed on video cameras in the exburbs of Houston, Texas it features continuity mistakes, sometimes amateurish camera work, and of course non-professional actors, so much so that the directors released an anniversary cut a decade later that halved the film length and re-arranged it to make more sense. This was clearly a project in which people learned their craft, and starts with the almost assuredly marijuana-inspired concept that a cassette tape can contain musical programming to turn people into zombies. However, we have all seen films with far dumber premises that made it out of major studios. Gone Girl, The Expendables, Avengers and Star Trek: Into Darkness come to mind as multimillion dollar tributes to idiocy.

    The basic idea of this film is that people in the dead-end middle class outer suburbs of a flat, humid and boring major city (which was nowhere on the news in 1995) have little to live for except death metal, and they find a way to hook up with a “special” tape from their favorite band, Living Corpse. This tape contains thirteen minutes of sonic programming that transform them into zombies who promptly return to their normal lives and act out the fantasies of death, gore and retribution that do not fit into the modern world. This review focuses on the original film, not the edit, which has its charm in that despite some filmmaking ineptitude and a possibly ill-advised metal-centric plot, it captures the lives of its filmmakers and actors and amplifies that experience to a supernatural level. It works perfectly in a post-modern sense as not the focal point of an evening, but a topic of commentary, where the real movie is more the conjecture about it and experience of criticizing it than what is on the screen.

    The above-average viewer will spend much of this film wondering what exactly is going on. The filmmakers burn through too much tape setting up scenes, and not enough showing action, which makes viewers wonder what to focus on. This is balanced by relatively strong action scenes with creative (and copious but not overblown) gore, quality violence and a genuinely menacing atmosphere. Were I some kind of film critic, I would loathe this because it insults every pretense of that profession, but as a lifelong media hater who finds most movies to be inane, I see this film as less inane although less technically gifted than your average Hollywood flick. In particular, characters are believable, situations are believable, and the plot — once you get past the somewhat handicapped device — moves forward enough to compel an urge to witness its conclusion.

    In addition, there is a death metal angle: Relapse Records allowed use of what looks like its full catalog, so bands as diverse as Incantation, Pyogenesis, Winter, Disembowelment and Brutality play in the background in scenes that are half-MTV and the rest a zombie film designed to be watched through a bong while chatting with friends. The music angle in both plot and background is not meant to be convincing, but enjoyable, and seeing familiar tropes from death metal bands in the characters, as well as having what was probably the only “real” chance death metal had at having videos back in the day is gratifying. There is no way to construe this film as competitive with professional efforts, but the grim fact is that it is arguably less dumb and more compelling than what the big studios dump arrogantly on our numbed brains.

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    (Review Source)

John Podhoretz1
Commentary Magazine



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • A Simple Favor: Momma Drama
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith3
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The 10 worst movie remakes of all time
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    alfred hitchcockben affleckdavid fincherremakesstrangers on a train Still giggling and dazed from the surprise monster box office of “Gone Girl,” Ben Affleck and David Fincher are checking into Hubris House together. The two have decided to join forces again on “Strangers,” a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 thriller “Strangers on a Train.” Hey, it’s only Hitchcock — what could go wrong? With that in mind, let’s look back at the 10 worst Hollywood remakes of all time. 10. ‘The Longest Yard’ (2005) Former “Waterboy” Adam Sandler reimagined himself as a studly quarterback in a hard-to-believe attempt to recapture the spirit of the gritty 1974 original starring Burt Reynolds. Reynolds featured as a mentor figure in Sandler’s version, which was neither funny nor dramatic. 9. ‘The Women’ (2008) Meg Ryan rounded up Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Debra Messing in a witless attempt to recapture the Champagne fizz of the ahead-of-its-time 1939 film, a sharp and groundbreaking work in which only women appeared. 8. ‘Poseidon’ (2006) The original “Poseidon Adventure” quickly came to be dubbed campy, but the 1972 blockbuster’s suspense was palpable, and its characters memorable. The remake featured a dopey cast of stock characters played by Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum and Josh Lucas. 7. ‘Arthur’ (2011) Hard to remember now, but Russell Brand was considered a hot property in Hollywood after he stole the show in 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” For the remake of the 1981 classic that won Dudley Moore an Oscar nomination, Brand went fully infantile and insufferable as more of a spoiled toddler than Moore’s semitortured boy-man. 6. ‘Straw Dogs’ (2011) Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film, a quintessential work from Hollywood’s period of giving artists a wide berth to make movies as dank and low as they pleased, was notorious for its level of violence (which today seems unexceptional). The remake, with James Marsden and Kate Bosworth as the sophisticated young couple who run afoul of local yokels, is so unintentionally snobbish that you’ll be rooting for the psychopaths. 5. ‘The Shaggy Dog’ (2006) Like “Straw Dogs,” this one sent up a loud “woof.” Tim Allen, unbearable even by Tim Allen standards, plays a D.A. who gets turned into a 300-year-old furry beast in an animal-rights-driven plot. 4. ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ (2004) Overblown 1950s comedy-adventures are a film genre that aged especially badly, but that didn’t stop Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan from doing their frantic best to make Victorian slapstick seem contemporary. 3. ‘Swept Away’ (2002) With a 5 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Guy Ritchie’s remake of the saucy 1974 Italian art-house film seemed to announce to the world how annoying it must be to be married to Madonna. The film sank immediately, and the pair never made another film together. 2. ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2001) Tim Burton’s bonkers remake of the 1968 sci-fi film decided it would be cool to ditch the original ending and replace it with a total head-scratcher. Burton himself later disowned this mess, saying, “I tried.” 1. ‘Psycho’ (1998) Gus Van Sant’s virtual shot-by-shot remake of Hitchcock’s 1960 chiller, starring Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche, was a useful lesson in cinematic history: Slavish imitation somehow gets you the worst possible remake. Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleFacebook MessengerWhatsAppEmailCopy ]]>
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  • The Post's critics' top 10 movies of 2014
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    birdmanboyhoodcalvarycaptain americadawn of the planet of the apesinterstellarinto the woodsnightcrawlerselmathe imitation gamethe theory of everythingwhiplash This has been a year when audiences flocked to the likes of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I,’’ “Transformers: Age of Extinction,’’ “Guardians of the Galaxy,’’ “The Fault in Our Stars’’ and “Gone Girl.’’ What did The Post’s film critics prefer? Lou Lumenick and Kyle Smith sat down to hash out their own top picks: Lou: We’ve been working together on the movie beat for nearly 10 years, and we’ve only matched our top choice twice. This year, at least, each of our No. 1 films of the year are somewhere on the other’s list. Kyle: Didn’t you call “Boyhood” a gimmick movie? I thought “Birdman,” which is styled to look like most of the movie is a single take, was the ultimate in artifice for its own sake. In any case: Both made your list! Viva the gimmick! Lou: Well, “Edge of Tomorrow’’ on your list is also a stunt — it’s the first Tom Cruise movie I’ve liked in years, plus it’s got a badass Emily Blunt. I suspect “Boyhood’’ and “Birdman’’ are strongly written and acted enough they would have worked without being stunts. Kyle: “Birdman” is not only one take, it’s one-note. Spare me the showbiz-is-agony woe. But I agree that “Boyhood” would be equally great if different actors played the kid over the years. The scene in which the mom — heartbreakingly good work by Patricia Arquette — cries when she sends her boy off to college might be the best of the year. “I just thought there would be more,” she says. Indelible. Another great parenting film was “Interstellar,” which yielded the profound thought that the reason we’re here is to make memories for our children. Lou: I think the emotional content was too much for some of our colleagues, who were complaining about the “incomprehensible” physics while claiming to understand Jean-Luc Godard’s inscrutable “Goodbye to Language.’’ Another celebration of out-of-the-box thinking — in physics and an unconventional marriage — can be found in “The Theory of Everything,’’ with super performances by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Kyle: A surprisingly uplifting movie considering the hero spends most of it in dire straits. Given two years to live in 1963, Stephen Hawking is still cracking jokes, still enlarging our sense of wonder. Another movie that caught me unawares and made me cry was Rory Kennedy’s “Last Days in Vietnam.” The very word “Vietnam” is synonymous with folly and dishonor, yet this doc shows how, with ingenuity, tenacity and courage, US forces saved thousands of Vietnamese from the barbarians at the gates as Saigon fell in 1975. I would love to see this important, seldom-told story get the full Hollywood treatment. Lou: We’ve got a couple of great movies this year about real-life war heroes who meet unhappy ends. “The Imitation Game’’ has a fantastic Benedict Cumberbatch as closeted genius Alan Turing, who invents the computer to defeat the Nazis, only to end up prosecuted for his homosexuality. And then there’s your favorite, “American Sniper,’’ the first movie I’ve seen with Bradley Cooper where he actually disappears into the character. Kyle: Yes, he embodies the character — physical, taciturn, focused. The film’s director, Clint Eastwood, continues to be a puzzlement. Half the time his military movies amount to Howard Zinn anti-American propaganda, like “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters From Iwo Jima.” And yet “American Sniper” is anything but. It’s a mature, thoughtful, sober work — the capstone to his directorial career, the best military movie since “Black Hawk Down” and a tribute to the warrior class that is the guts of this country. Lou: At the other end of her career, Ava DuVernay arrives as a major filmmaker with “Selma,’’ an epic telling of the ’60s voter rights struggle in Alabama with a terrific David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. politically outmaneuvering Tom Wilkinson’s Lyndon Johnson. The marchers’ confrontation with cops on the bridge is the most powerful scene in a movie this year. Kyle: It reminded me of “Lincoln.” Many long, slow, quiet, dimly lit scenes. Both King and Abe deserved more exciting films. I much preferred the complex mind games in “Calvary” and “Whiplash.” The former is a devastating parable about the issues facing contemporary Catholicism, the latter a thrilling exploration of the pain that may be involved in attaining true mastery of craft. Lou: Hope you mailed your “Calvary’’ review to your No. 1 Catholic fan, Philomena Lee! I do think “Whiplash’’ is well worth seeing for J.K. Simmons’ mesmerizing performance as an abusive music teacher, though I question making him a role model. Another dark character I loved was Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy TV cameraman in “Nightcrawler,’’ debuting director Dan Gilroy’s blackly hilarious mash-up of “Network’’ and “Ace in the Hole.” Kyle: It was amusing, but Billy Wilder was 10 times as caustic. The “serious” movies in general disappointed me this year, but I enjoyed a bunch of summer blockbusters. The new “Apes” movie was smart, eerie and gripping, and the second “Captain America” was nearly the equal of its predecessor — funny banter, sinewy action, well-drawn characters, a pleasingly complicated plot and one of the most ingeniously designed exposition scenes ever — Toby Jones explaining it all as a Nazi ghost speaking through 1970s computers. Lou: To me, “Captain America’’ was an interminable one-joke movie — Robert Redford collecting a paycheck playing a Nazi. Meanwhile, the unlikely collaboration between the Mouse House and Stephen Sondheim has turned out what may well be the best Hollywood musical so far this century — the deeply subversive “Into the Woods,’’ with fantastic singing by Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep. Just don’t bring the kids, PG rating or no. Kyle: Another one about the agonies of parenting. I venerate Sondheim, but the big-screen version is a bust. All I want for Christmas is for somebody to greenlight the “Wicked” movie already. Lou: Don’t hold your breath. I almost forgot to mention Lukas Moodysson’s “We Are the Best,” a delightful comedy-drama about aspiring punk rockers in 1980s Stockholm. Kyle: Time to get on out of here. I have to go convince my 6-year-old that “Big Hero 6” isn’t the greatest movie ever. Lou: And I have to buy a “Frozen’’ doll as a fifth birthday present for my granddaughter — who dismissed “How To Train Your Dragon 2’’ as a “boy movie.’’ Lou Lumenick’s Top 10 1. “The Theory of Everything”2. “Interstellar”3. “Selma”4. “We Are the Best!”5. “The Imitation Game”6. “Birdman”7. “American Sniper”8. “Nightcrawler”9. “Boyhood”10. “Into the Woods” Kyle Smith’s Top 10 1. “American Sniper”2. “Boyhood”3. “Calvary”4. “Whiplash”5. “The Theory of Everything”6. “Edge of Tomorrow”7. “Last Days in Vietnam”8. “Interstellar”9. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”10. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleFacebook MessengerWhatsAppEmailCopy ]]>
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  • Other Movies This Week
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like Jason Reitman’s “Men, Women and Children,” which seemed interesting at first but quickly turned into a trite, thin and insight-free drama — iAmerican Beauty. “Gone Girl” I found entertaining and it’s worth seeing but it has about 50 plot holes in it. It gets stupider the more you think about it. I may write more on this. (And it’s more or less a ripoff of 1945’s “Leave Her to Heaven,” I’m told.)]]>
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    (Review Source)

Hugh Hewitt1
Salem Radio Network



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • What REALLY Matters
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    As the movie concluded my wife and I looked at each other incredulous.   The movie was “Gone Girl.”  I know old news, but hey – we’re old and we watched it off the DVR off of a premium movie channel.  Our incredulity sprang from two things really.  For one we were stunned by how incredibly corrupt all of the main characters in the film were.  There was no redemption in this film – it made a mockery of the very concept of redemption. That’s just ugly.  But the second thing that left our jaws hanging was the power that the movie gave to public perception.  In the end public perception was all that mattered in the film.  The corruption was real, deep and apparently complete, but as long as the public perception was not corrupt it was as if the corruption did not exist, or at least did not matter. I wish I could lay out the case for the points I just made, but the movie had such a convoluted plot that retelling would consume nearly the time viewing the film does – and it is a long movie.  Normally I’d say “watch the film,” but I don’t want anyone blaming me for the sense of filth and discomfort you will feel after doing so. I think the thing my wife and I struggled with the most was the characters knowing and acknowledged willingness to live in a lie.  Both of us have confronted situations in our lives where we had to come to grips with an uncomfortable truth, and where facing it cost us dearly – in friends, money, etc.  We honestly could not understand why anyone would choose to do what these characters did. But then we are both also people that hold Christ most dear.  As I have thought about the film, I could not help but reflect on the words of Christ in Luke 12: Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.  Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops. In the end, there are no secrets.  Public perception does not matter.  God’s perception is all that matters.  God’s perception is complete and sees everything.  God’s perception defines reality, not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or mainstream media.  God’s perception is such that public perception and reality fully and completely merge. I think that is the thing I find most disturbing about the current election cycle.  There is a titanic struggle over the public perception of the candidates.  But reasonable people are forced to ask how well that public perception comports with reality.  Whether you blame the media, the candidates, or the public that consumes media like an addict consumes their addiction, this is another place where our country has deeply departed from its underlying Christian principles. From a practical standpoint, not everyone can meet the candidates, review their records and make a personal and thorough assessment.  Therefore, media is necessary.  But at some point media has warped from a reflection of reality to a shaper of it.  (There are exceptions, of course.) God is the only shaper of reality.  Our attempts to shape it are the ultimate expression of our separation from Him. However this election proceeds and comes out, we that hold God dear need to work as hard as possible to close the gap between public perception and reality.  The alternative is just too ugly to contemplate. ]]>
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    (Review Source)

VJ Morton1
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • NYFF 2014 schedule
    (”Gone Girl” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Hello … HELLO … this microphone still on? As I suspect many of you may know, the last couple of years I haven’t gone to Toronto for my annual world-cinema gorging, as had been my decade-long custom. In partial compensation, I’ve gone instead to the New York and Sundance festivals, which has enabled me to […]
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    (Review Source)

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