- May 9, 2003
Gone makes an appearance on Blu-ray this week in a bare-bones release that shows off some pretty Oregon locations and not much else. Fans of Amanda Seyfried may be hard-pressed to find much to enjoy here, as her normal charm is subsumed by a dour story that has her playing a single note for most of the movie. The Blu-ray offers good picture and sound, but the movie on display doesn’t have much to offer.
Studio: Summit/Lakeshore/Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
Length: 1 hr 35 mins
Genre: Action Thriller/Abduction
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
BD Resolution and Codec: 1080p, AVC (@ an average 30 mbps)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.5 mbps), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Film Rating: PG-13 (Violence and Terror, Sexual Material, Brief Language, Drug References)
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan, Wes Bentley and Michael Pare
Written by: Allison Burnett
Directed by: Heitor Dhalia
Film Rating: 1 ½/5
Gone is yet another woman-in-danger abduction thriller, this time featuring Amanda Seyfried in the lead role of Jill. The movie starts off showing Jill walking around an Oregon park and then marking off the area on a map. We don’t get much explanation of this for the next 20 minutes, other than the odd flashback to something bad happening to Jill. And then Jill comes home to find her sister has gone missing – and with very little evidence to support her idea, she jumps to the conclusion that this is an abduction. For the next hour of the movie, the viewer watches Jill take every implausible leap of logic while the Portland police stand by in what looks like helpless shock. The movie is filled with creepy moments that happen pretty much any time Jill talks to any other character – either because that character is potentially an attacker/abductor or because the movie wants us to think this is the case. After about 347 red herrings, the movie inevitably comes to its conclusion, ending on a note that’s even more bizarre than what we’ve just seen. I’ll get into the strangeness of the plot in the spoiler paragraph next up, but for the short version, I’ll just say that it makes very little sense. The performances throughout are pretty flat, although Michael Pare does his best in the gruff police lieutenant role to try to make things sound urgent. And the Portland locations certainly look very green and beautiful.
SPOILERS HERE: Let’s see if we can figure out where it is that Gone goes off the rails. It could be the drawn-out opening, where the viewer has to wonder what’s really going on with these characters and why they’re acting in such a skittish manner. We quickly get the idea that something bad happened to Jill, but the glimpses are too quick to really get much of an idea. We definitely get the idea that she doesn’t trust people – particularly during a night scene where she makes a point of crossing the street when a guy in a hoodie walks her way, and during a fight class where she decides to beat the daylights out of her fight partner. We can sense tension between her and her sister without really knowing the reason why. And then the sister disappears and suddenly Jill swings into full-on avenging angel mode, running down to the police department (WITH A LOADED GUN!) and demanding that they investigate what is not likely to be anything other than her sister staying out all night. The hunky new detective in the department asks the obvious question, which allows the primary guy to go on for several minutes of exposition about how Jill said she was abducted two years prior, how she has a history of mental illness and how they had to have her committed after the abduction. And then somebody brings up in conversation that Jill’s sister is an alcoholic and might have gone on a bender. (At this point, the viewer may be considering a bender of their own…) The next 45 minutes of the movie consists of Jill chasing down leads of who might have taken her sister, even after the police have told her to stay out of it. So she’s chasing people down in her car and threatening them with her gun. When the police corner her in a hardware store, she breaks out of the store by shooting a lock and then somehow eludes an exhaustive manhunt by pulling her hood over her head.
MORE SPOILERS: The fun continues as she proceeds to break into people’s apartments and vehicles to get more information and occasionally clobber the people who ask her what she’s doing. And when she finally tracks down her target, there’s the expected fight scene and the revelation of the guy’s face. (I was convinced that this was the new detective character for a minute) At which point, the movie decides to have Jill not only shoot the guy but (BIG SPOILER HERE) commit cold blooded murder and nearly start a forest fire in the process. This presumably is supposed to be the Cobra moment of the movie, where Amanda Seyfried channels the 1980s Sylvester Stallone and mutters “You have the right to remain silent” before dropping the match. And to then add insult to injury, the movie then has Jill toss her gun and arrive home to the waiting police and her sister (who has confirmed she was abducted), where instead of showing them the creepy photos she found or taking them to the bad guy, she says it was all in her head! If there is anyone who can explain the logic of this kind of storytelling, I’m open to hearing it. At a certain point, I just threw up my hands.
Gone has been released on Blu-ray as of this week. The Blu-ray contains high definition picture and audio of the movie, along with some basic BD-Live connectivity.
VIDEO QUALITY 4/5
Gone is presented in a 1080p AVC 2.40:1 picture transfer that shows off strong black levels for the many night scenes and gives a lush green look to the Oregon forest exteriors.
AUDIO QUALITY 3 ½/5
Gone is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that does what you’d expect for a thriller motif. The subwoofer is used almost any time a creepy person comes by, to amp up the tension. The expected cattle prods get used to goose the audience, and the creepy score tinkles through the surrounds. A Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is also included on the disc.
SPECIAL FEATURES 0/5
The Blu-ray presentation of Gone comes with a bit of BD-Live connectivity as its only special feature. Code word: Thriller
BD-Live – Some basic BD-Live connectivity is included, allowing the viewer access to Summit Entertainment previews online.
The movie is subtitled in English and Spanish. The usual chapter and pop-up menus are present.
IN THE END...
Gone is probably an apt description for the audience once they realize the sheer lack of content here. There just isn’t much of a movie to follow, and even fans of Amanda Seyfried may find themselves either looking at their watches or wondering what the heck is going on. The Blu-ray captures the movie in the best possible picture and sound, but the underlying content is the problem. Viewers looking for a strong thriller are encouraged to find better material.
May 31, 2012.
Equipment now in use in this Home Theater:
Panasonic 65” VT30 Plasma 3D HDTV – set at “THX” picture mode
Denon AVR-3311Cl Receiver
Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player
PS3 Player (used for calculation of bitrates for picture and sound)
5 Mirage Speakers (Front Left/Center/Right, Surround Back Left/Right)
2 Sony Speakers (Surround Left/Right – middle of room)
Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofers