The January 17, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox and on it was an eerie picture of Rosamund Pike lying flat on her back, being hugged by Ben Affleck. Evidently the photograph was taken by David Fincher, director of Gone Girl. Until that very moment, I’d not heard of the book (and to that point, the movie) but after reading the article I decided I’d read the book. And I did. In one day. I’m not much of a reader, but for me to digest over 500 pages in one calendar day was pretty impressive (if I don’t say so myself). Obviously I was looking forward to the film coming out as I’m a fan of Fincher’s work and he rarely disappoints. F’or Ben Affleck, he was just coming off directing Argo, which took home Best Picture and Rosamund Pike had just starred in Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise. I’ll do my absolute best to avoid any and all spoilers, but be warned – there are some out there.
Nick and Amy Dunne (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike respectively) are a young couple in love. She comes from money – he doesn’t. Amy’s parents were the authors of the Amazing Amy books, starring their daughter in a series of adventures. Amy’s beautiful, polite and well-educated. Nick’s a former writer who has lost his job due to the online media. Both live in Manhattan and both are seemingly happy. However Nick’s mother isn’t doing too well, so after a major decision, the duo pack up and move to Missouri so they can care for Nick’s Mom. And then, on their fifth wedding anniversary, she disappears. Nick calls the police, he’s interviewed and interrogated, but there are only a handful of clues that might lead to where she might be. The small Missouri town is a circus, lawyers are hired and Nick becomes a suspect. But where, oh where, is Amazing Amy?
And that’s really all I can say without totally ruining the film. And I don’t want to do that. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot more going on in the book and movie than what I typed above, but both of the performances by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are sure to get notice. The supporting cast offers up Tyler Perry in an actual acting role as well as Neil Patrick Harris in a delightfully creepy role. As for the film itself, well I really can’t imagine anyone other than David Fincher directing this. He’s got the background, pull and desire to helm a dark film like this and he pulls it off with flying colors. Don’t let the running time scare you away, those 149 minutes fly by and even if you’re not a fan of the ending (I’m not, in the book or the movie), it’s a good ride.
Video: How’s it look?
Finches’ films are dark. There’s no denying that. I actually prefer the muted color palette and the somewhat somber look and feel of his films – don’t ask me why. Granted, there’s not a lot to be all bright and cheery about in Gone Girl, so the 2.40:1 AVC HD image looks positively splendid throughout. Contrast and black levels are rock solid, what little color there is I found to be accurately represented and try as I might, I really couldn’t find a thing wrong with this transfer. The back of the box lists this as a 50GB disc @31 MBS (that’s good, by the way). So if you’re a fan of the look of Fincher’s other films like Fight Club or Se7en – you’ll be right at home here.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Likewise, the DTS HD Master Audio mix is subtle, yet effective. Fincher has wisely once again use Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who both worked on The Social Network and picked up an Academy Award to boot) who give a very understated minimalist mix. Vocals are rich and crisp, yet have a very understated quality. I’ve often noted that Affleck tends to mumble a lot of his lines, so a few times I kind of caught myself saying “What did he just say?” but it’s no fault of the audio mix. There are a few instances of the surrounds offering support, such as tires screeching, but nothing too audacious. All in all it’s a nice, well-balanced and effective mix that viewers will love.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Audio Commentary – The only real supplement of substance is the audio commentary by David Fincher. Admittdely I do enjoy Fincher’s commentary as he approaches things from a variety of angles. In this, he’s a bit on the more tongue-in-cheek side of things which is kind of odd considering the source material. Evidently author Gillian Flynn wasn’t too cooperative with the director and some other issues spring up as well. Still, it’s a good, solid track that’s sure please fans of the film.
Amazing Amy: Tattle Tale – Though the Amazing Amy books were covered a bit more in the novel, we actually get a real, 25 page book entitled Amazing Amy: Tattle Tale. In it Amy has to fess up and tell her parents she broke a vase. The moral being always do the right thing. Considering the film itself, it’s a not-so-subtle jab at our perfect little princess.