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Blu-ray Review Gone Girl Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

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Gone Girl Blu-ray Review

Movies that pull a surprising twist on the audience are usually among the hardest films to pull off successfully. All of the pieces must fit precisely for the twist to work, but those that manage it like The Usual Suspects or The Crying Game make for quite memorable moviegoing experiences. The brilliance behind David Fincher’s Gone Girl is that in it, the twist comes not quite halfway through the movie, and afterwards there are so many places where things could go wrong, and yet not only doesn’t it go wrong, but it begins to wind the audience up into even tighter knots with the newly provided information. Discussing movies like Gone Girl is tricky for fear of giving too much away to ruin anyone else’s initial enjoyment who hasn’t yet read the book or seen the film, but be advised that for admirers of intricate plotting in movies and characterizations that plumb far beneath the surface, this is a movie that will keep you talking for awhile.



Studio: Fox

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Other

Rating: R

Run Time: 2 Hr. 49 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy, UltraViolet

digipak in a slipcase

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 01/13/2015

MSRP: $39.99




The Production Rating: 4.5/5

Somewhat dissatisfied writer/bar owner Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home one day in July 2012 to find the living room in disarray and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. Amy, herself a frustrated writer and the subject of a best-selling series of children’s books based on her childhood experiences written by her parents (David Clennon, Lisa Banes), it seems, had kept some secrets from her husband that begin to come to light during the investigation into her possible kidnapping and/or possible murder. But the secrets and lies seem to be present on both sides of this dysfunctional marriage as Nick’s twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon) tries her best to keep his spirits up especially when a dedicated local police detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) eventually uncovers enough troubling evidence to arrest Nick for murder.

Gillian Flynn has adapted her best-selling novel for the screen, and its leaps back and forth in time (for the first hour at least) make for fascinating storytelling as we follow the courtship and marriage of Nick and Amy during the seven years leading up to her disappearance, all intercut with present day (meaning 2012) events as the investigation takes on its own twists and turns punctuated by the ever-increasing media attention as the story goes viral and Nick becomes a pariah as evidence begins to mount against him. Flynn and director David Fincher seem to be taking particular relish in the media feeding frenzy that modern paparazzi journalism can generate symbolized by a noxious current events show featuring braying host Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle who’s made a career out of portraying this special kind of scandal mongering harpy), the program pictured numerous times during the movie and the actual reporter eventually insinuating herself into the plot by film’s end. But Fincher uses his obvious distaste for this piranha-like behavior by making the constant light show of their flash equipment with any movement in the house beautiful in its ugliness, only one of several captivating images he manages during this two-and-a-half hour (which seems more like ninety minutes) extravaganza of deceit and subterfuge. Screen notations constantly keep us abreast of the timeline which we’re viewing, very helpful since the film with its flashbacks covers more than seven years. Many of the themes of movies in the Fincher filmography – from the twisty puzzles of Se7en through the unpleasant and unexpected enigmatic killer in Zodiac through the time shifting differing points of view in The Social Network – seem to have found their apotheosis in Gone Girl making it one of Fincher’s real career high spots.

The film is actually less of a mystery than it is an in-depth character study, and we spend considerable amounts of time delving beneath the polished surfaces of Ben Affleck’s Nick and Rosamund Pike’s Amy finding there individuals darker and more sinister than any of their surface dealings would have ever led us to believe. Their performances are both career best achievements, and their work together in etching the deterioration of a marriage from the giddy sexual highs to a drudgery of responsibility and feigned devotion is simply spellbinding to watch unfold (not to mention each of their solo moments where we are obliged to see busy minds at work and the subsequent seeds of their labor as our jaws drop to the floor). As the detective who never seems quite comfortable with the clues that she uncovers or the way the pieces fit together, Kim Dickens is excellent. No less so is Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s high school boy friend whose concern over her disappearance sends red flags up in the audience’s mind and who figures prominently in the film’s second half in quite unexpected ways. Tyler Perry gets the job done as a brilliant criminal attorney Nick hires when things start to look ominous, and Carrie Coon as Nick’s twin sister has a most believable love/hate relationship going on with her brother. Casey Wilson as Amy’s best neighborhood friend, Patrick Fugit as a local policeman who never believes for a second Nick’s protestations of innocence, and Emily Ratajkowski as a too-close friend of Nick’s all complement the storytelling with fine performances.



Video Rating: 4.5/5  3D Rating: NA

The transfer is framed at its theatrical 2.40:1 aspect ratio and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Sharpness is quite excellent with especially nice detail in faces shown in close-up (the one scene of excruciating violence seems all too real). Color is well managed with believable flesh tones throughout. Black levels aren’t always aces, but are certainly fine with better than average shadow detail. Contrast has been consistently applied to make for a generally involving and alluring image. The movie has been divided into 40 chapters.



Audio Rating: 5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix might not have the bombast of the most recent sci-fi action film, but the soundstage supports multiple split effects which sometimes pan through the fronts and rears and always make things seem immediate (a house alarm going off is tremendously effective). The sometimes nerve-jangling Trent Reznor-Atticus Ross music score gets great spread through the soundfield, and the dialogue which has been meticulously recorded gets mostly placed in the center channel with a few moments of directionalized dialogue adding some much appreciated ambiance.



Special Features Rating: 2/5

Audio Commentary: director David Fincher provides the commentary for the movie. He’s a chatterbox, so expect to enjoy a pretty full assortment of stories about the casting and production of individual scenes making up the whole.

Amazing Amy Tattle Tale: a reprint of one of the children’s books supposedly based on childhood exploits of Amy Dunne.

Digital Copy/Ultraviolet: code sheet enclosed in the case.



Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Gone Girl is a film lover’s dream-come-true: a densely plotted but exhilarating psychological thriller that captures the attention almost from the beginning and holds it amazingly for two-and-a-half hours. The Blu-ray release does full justice to the film both aurally and visually and makes one wish the story could have been extended since the characters and their story are so fascinating and so unusual. Highly recommended!


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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Ronald Epstein

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Matt,


Thank you for the exceptional review.


Yesterday, I had the chance to see this film for the first time on Blu-ray.


My remarks of total elation were posted in the original preorder thread.


Let me just add, again, my kudos to Fox for the way they packaged this product.

The Blu-ray comes in a beautiful cardboard case along with a book. It's now on

Amazon for less than $19, which makes this package a MUST BUY for anyone

that does not yet own it. It's one of the best films of the past year.
 

AlexF

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I'm likely going to buy this version for the book, but I'm disappointed that it's not a typical Fincher-edition.
 

Carlo_M

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Yeah I long for the ultra deluxe editions of Fincher movies, produced I think it was by David Prior, back in the day? No extras other than the commentary. Which is hilarious and informative though. From him busting Affleck's balls for not wanting to wear a Yankees cap (calling him out as unprofessional, I think tongue-in-cheek) to him mentioning his love of the Leica Summolux lenses they used which were so perfect that they had to "add lens flares in there, just to piss people off". Drops a few F-bombs at times, so don't listen to it with volume turned up and the kids around.
 

Mark-P

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Has anyone bothered to read the fake children's book that comes with the movie? I think it's meant to be a gag and definitely wouldn't recommend giving it to your children to read as it teaches a very bad lesson! :lol: Terrific movie, though.
 

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