David Fincher’s Gone Girl, and Gillian Flynn’s Understanding of Female Psychopathy: A Review

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The very idea of Gone Girl would already suggest one thing, but the actual film suggests another right from Ben Affleck’s opening narration: “When I think of my wife, I always think of the back of her head. I picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brain, trying to get answers.” In a story that would traditionally place emphasis on the first-person perspective of the husband, who is also a prime suspect in the murder of Amy Elliott-Dunne, you would want to see him being the victim of mass hysteria. But what makes David Fincher’s Gone Girl so amazing is what it manages to create with this very idea, because it tells you what sort of person Nick Dunne is right before we get to the driving focus of the film. From adapting the writing of Gillian Flynn, what Fincher has managed to create is also one of his finest accomplishments, a film that sets your expectations right from the get go and twists them around at moments when you least expect them. But if that already isn’t the material for a great thriller, I wouldn’t even know what is – because for all I know, this film just carries everything that I love most in watching a film by him.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel – Review

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It’s easy enough to recognize the distinctive aesthetic of a Wes Anderson film but where it finds itself at its most delightfully tangible, without a doubt, is in The Grand Budapest Hotel. But even by Wes Anderson’s own standards, the elaborate structure of such a work is nearly impossible to match, for this feels like the sort of film that only Wes Anderson could have made. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most Wes Anderson film that Wes Anderson has ever made, because it’s where each and every one of his most distinctive skills find themselves at their most free. If that alone weren’t enough to amount to what could easily become one of Wes Anderson’s best films, I don’t know what else can – because this may very well be the most Wes Anderson film ever to Wes Anderson.

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The Tribe – Review

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This was something that I wanted to love, because the sort of experiment that it is posing onto viewers was always something that intrigued me. No dialogue is present throughout the course of the film’s running time, and instead all that we receive is visual communication through the form of Ukrainian sign language. The film’s lack of any use of subtitles was yet another factor that intrigued me, but the final result that I got from The Tribe was one that only left a bitter taste in the mouth. It wasn’t a film that speaks for the deaf community that I was watching, but rather a tasteless experiment that prides itself on exploiting what they experience – one that even left me feeling sick to my stomach while we’re at it. I know it isn’t at all what director Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi would have wanted, and that’s a part of what I think makes the bitter effects of it much worse.

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Paddington – Review

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I’m not really sure what I was expecting from Paddington as I first watched it, but it reminded me of something that I wished more family films had carried in this day and age. It carries all the best aspects of any family movie so that kids can enjoy it, but even adults would be left in awe as they watch together with their own children. It’s a film that knows how to invite a new audience to come along the ride, because it’s hard not to be won over by the sweetness of the presence of Paddington Bear himself. Those of you who would come into Paddington only expecting as much as a cute film about a bear coming into England will end up finding something more special, because what that sets oneself up for is a live action/CGI hybrid for the family done right.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Review

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Right after Rise of the Planet of the Apes one already knew that the story would continue, and that’s where Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has come by. And if Rise of the Planet of the Apes only had come by in the same manner that any superhero origin story would have played out by setting up the tone for films yet to come, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes already has found itself more room to create a more distinctive identity. But being as I’ve never particularly been the hugest fan of the original film franchise, it’s nice to see that these new films are able to form an identity of their own for it takes me by surprise how much I enjoy them. These aren’t just mindless, disposable blockbusters that only find themselves living within the moment, these films leave behind an impact that calls out for far more – among many reasons I’m glad these new Planet of the Apes movies are around.

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Godzilla (2014) – Review

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Was hoping to enjoy it more on this go after having been disappointed from a theatrical viewing, but on a revisit my opinion nevertheless remained the same. Gareth Edwards, a director only known at the time for a small scale science fiction film, Monsters, started off Legendary Pictures’s MonsterVerse on a more middling note than anything. Being the first American Godzilla film after the atrocity that is Roland Emmerich’s film, Edwards seems to have a grasp on what made a great monster film as a whole at least by remaining within the spirit of the original Japanese films – and yet it’s still somewhat lacking. As a star for the MonsterVerse it was intriguing to see what would have come out as a result from Godzilla but the most it evokes is that it’s just desperate to start up an entire series of films rather than standing out on its own: which I suppose I can get behind with what more it teases.

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Inherent Vice – Review

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will certainly leave the most common moviegoer baffled with their own experience although given the source material that won’t turn out surprising at all. But it’s hard enough for me trying to describe what Inherent Vice will leave behind just from a single viewing because it almost feels like a hallucination as it moves by. Yet at the same time, we’re caught up inside of a web of lies almost like a Philip Marlowe story. Inherent Vice is a blend of eras and it’s the sort of experiment that only a filmmaker like Paul Thomas Anderson himself could bring to the table in such a manner. But in this indulgence, Paul Thomas Anderson also manages to summarize on the spot what exactly Inherent Vice is about, because of how much we can take in from one go to that point it’s so baffling yet it still keeps us watching. It keeps us watching because it’s absolutely wonderful in that sense, because it’s Paul Thomas Anderson at his craziest, and if that doesn’t signify something good I don’t know what will.

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Guardians of the Galaxy – Review

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I think it would be clear enough that I’m not a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was perhaps a prime factor regarding why my own opinion of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy had turned out more favourable than my general opinion of their output and after having gone without seeing it since its theatrical run, it was nice enough to find that it still remained as strong as it did. With this and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014 has proven itself to be the strongest year for the MCU because their offerings then didn’t end up feeling like they were constricted by the grating formula to which Marvel has been sticking to over all the years, which was really refreshing to have found for films that have carried their name. This freedom was what the MCU had needed after all these years and James Gunn only utilizes it in the best manner.

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The Lego Movie – Review

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On the surface it would be easy to say that The Lego Movie is a horrible concept and yet Phil Lord and Chris Miller manage to make something so much better than what would ever be expected out of it. With The Lego Movie, the duo’s second foray into animation after Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, they take the beloved toy line and somehow manage to tell a story out of it with such ease. For as broad as the limits could ever be, it’s nice to see that the duo make great awareness of such with The Lego Movie and call for greater wonders by bringing them onto the big screen. First they take the improbable with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or 21 Jump Street but something that could have easily come off as a nearly two hour long commercial ultimately becomes even more joyful inside.

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Saint Laurent – Review

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Yves Saint Laurent is a fascinating figure to study when looking into fashion history, yet the thought of a biopic about him running for two and a half hours always seemed like an intimidating one to myself. On one end it could have worked effectively as a psychological case study of what happens to his mind as a result of the newfound influence he had acquired, on another end it could have been an overlong display of pretty colour while offering so little refreshing on Yves Saint Laurent himself. Unfortunately, Bertrand Bonello’s biopic finds itself in the latter, a film whose potential is lost inside of its own bloated length in spire of pretty visuals which never come off as a surprise given its subject. Nevertheless this experience proves itself rewarding to some extent.

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