Gone Girl

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Vampire Owl :: Which girl is gone?

Vampire Bat :: No, it is the name of the movie.

Vampire Owl :: Really? But you are going to a theatre which almost froze us to death last time.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but it happened only once.

Vampire Owl :: Dude, only a Vampire Penguin can stand such cold. I think they are trying to start a new mortuary freezer at the theatre in collabration with the nearby hospital.

Vampire Bat :: Have you ever been to a mortuary?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, once when I was looking for a zombie to provide assistance to my owlification. Couldn’t find one though. I was freezing to death; no wonder there are no zombies in this part of the world. Even the undead dies in that cold.

Vampire Bat :: But people usually want this cold.

Vampire Owl :: It is already raining outside. Why would they want more cold? See, this is why I should not watch this movie and go back to owlification. Watching a movie here would be like watching Frozen without the visual effects.

Vampire Bat :: Be the Gone Owl then. Best of luck.

[Goes into the multiplex].

What is it about? :: Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home on the day of his fifth anniversary to find his wife missing. The situation does manage to find a lot of media coverage as she is daughter of the parents who wrote a very popular series of books with Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike) at the centre of it, called Amazing Amy. Soon, the media comes to the conclusion as he is the one who is responsible for the same and has murdered his wife, thanks to the revelations of Noelle Hawthorne (Casey Wilson) who says that he was not a good husband and she was pregnant. Nick acts strange and also sounds weird during the investigations making the cops suspect him, and there are also more evidences that point to him. Then there is his sexual relationship with Andie Fitzgerald (Emily Ratajkowski). Finding Amy’s diary and what seems to be the situation of their marriage, it becomes clear that he is in big trouble, despite the sincere efforts of his twin sister Margo Dunne (Carrie Coon) and attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry).

The defence of Gone Girl :: The movie has two sides, and the first half is entirely different from what is to follow in the second, and the PVR intermission is nicely created. The two halves are rather like two parts, with first one being an investigation of the mystery of the disappearance of a man’s wife, and the second being how it has been working for the wife, and how it goes on as everything comes together in the end. I found the second half clearly superior to the first, and there is a lot of truth as well as entertainment in the latter division. The first half’s mystery as well as the second half’s black comedy nicely compliments each other. This is comparable to the movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Enemy and Prisoners with its content. It brings the questions about modern marriage to light and talks about how it has changed in the recent years – the narrative is as good as it can get, and the plot is nicely managed. There is also that power of the performances.

Positives and negatives :: I have heard some people say that the novel is better than the movie, and I do ponder about it, but I don’t think I am going to read the book any time soon. For now, I can say that the movie is excellent. Some people might find the movie’s going forward and backward in time irritating, but I find it nice. It does have a strange twist in the end, and even as it has a certain beauty about it, some viewers might find it ridiculous – yes, some other usual kind of ending could have been the one for normal audience, but we are always equipped to take something different, aren’t we? Then there is the slow start which can take the interest off you, and the extreme length of the movie which has two and half hours taken away from us, making it a total three hours long with those advertisements – too many commercials and trailers, and I was frozen in the theatre by then. Thank God for the intermission we have here, for a long English movie is not what our audience ask for.

Performers of the soul :: Ben Affleck is playing a usual unsuspecting man, and it seems to work for him a lot. There is not much to do there for him to do other than being clueless and making at attempt at being better, but he does that nicely to convince us about his character. It is undoubtedly a good role for him as we wait for him to come back to us as the new Batman. I loved how Rosamund Pike played her amazing Amy, as there is as much mystery about it as well as the awesomeness in the portrayal. There is that moment when she reveals her thoughts, and it is one bloody awesome moment, and there is that thing that he does with the climax, and she is simply perfect right there. Neil Patrick Harris is pretty much wasted in his role which is pretty much a dumb one, and does nothing much. Emily Ratajkowski is there as the most gorgeous person around, nothing more about her character, but she is indeed lovely to watch. I did think that Carrie Coon was very impressive there. Tyler Perry was nice, I liked how he did his job. Lola Kirke and Casey Wilson also do their jobs nicely.

Soul exploration :: Gone Girl is a mixture of many genres, as it has its mystery and twist along with humour and crime investigation. There is romance, but one might not want to see that genre at the centre. The movie takes more of a satirical view on the marriages of the modern age, and during the same, black humour is implemented a lot. It also shows how easy it is for the media to manipulate the public opinion and devastate a man in the most disgusting and ridiculous manner, and that it is indeed easy for the woman to put the blame on the man and frame him for her troubles, because the society will always favour a woman as long as she can keep the mask of being in trouble. There will always be at least one stupid person whom a smart one can manipulate. It gives its viewers one more reason why one shouldn’t cheat in a relationship, and your wife might be a psychopath, but you will never know. Both the protagonists are liars, and there lies the strange beauty in the narrative. May be we can put this one into the psychological thriller genre.

How it finishes :: For one second, I thought that this had released here before it did in the United States, and then on the next second, I realized that this month is not October – the time does fly so quickly, and we are indeed coming to the close of this year’s movie watching adventures in less than two months with Christopher Nolan’s already much critically acclaimed Interstellar so close to getting released. Yes, Gone Girl becomes the movie which made a difference in the closing stages, unlike those other movies which were the more awaited ones. Even as I once again almost got frozen to death in the multiplex theatre, it was worth it. Yes, this is one question that I ponder over – why is it too cold in some theatres? What is the need for the same especially when it rains almost every day here? It is a wastage – they should surely keep it low and save some energy rather than creating the mortuary freezer effect which is rather a punishment.

Release date: 31st October 2014 (India); 3rd October 2014 (USA)
Running time: 149 minutes
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Emily Ratajkowski, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Fugit, Casey Wilson, Missi Pyle, Sela Ward, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Lisa Banes, David Clennon, Scoot McNairy, Boyd Holbrook, Lola Kirke, Cyd Strittmatter, Leonard Kelly-Young

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Percy Jackson II

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In an overwhelming desire to find myself fair about this movie, I have to confess that I watched The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones right after watching this – it was a back-to-back movie adventure separated only by the desire to have lunch and the need to travel from one mall to the other. If you don’t need to know more about it, and the two movies in relation to each other, you are free to skip the first two paragraphs, an offer of escape from comparisons which includes this paragraph. In a simple comparison of no great intellect, our reviewed movie is more of a follower of the Harry Potter pattern, with a world for the demigods away from the original world, with its major base on magic and the individual and collective inner strength and righteousness which they exhibit while facing big powers; but the second movie has more similarities with Twilight, with a female protagonist who is just a boring ordinary girl who is introduced into another world which is hidden among the known human world and is once again caught in a triangular love between herself and two other guys, both belonging to different species.

So the other fantasy movie of the day has a good amount of Constantine, Underworld and surely, the most of dominant of them all, Twilight. To make it look more of a formidable power, it has added the horror elements, and there was demons, vampires and werewolves, the three creatures whom we never thought would come along in herds in the same movie, an absurd improvement on Underworld and Twilight which has surely backfired, despite of the presence of the lovely leading actress who can act incredibly well, Lily Collins who has done a great job. But with a little visual effects, horror and action, the movie runs out of gas. It is there that Percy Jackson scores. The two movies were released on the same day here, along with We’re the Millers, and the advantage would surely go with Sea of Monsters, as it doesn’t come with an “A” certificate unlike the others, and it is in 3D. The theatres seem to have realized the same too, as they have put more shows for the movie, and it is the only English movie in more than one theatres this week.

Even as it is difficult to set aside the great performance of the beautiful Lily Collins, lets leave the absurdity which was the half-baked bad mixture of all the fantasy works ever produced, which was The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and move on to the movie of the week, which is Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Our movie doesn’t deal with forbidden love and has no apples or people with bad tooth unless they are monsters. May be that should be reserved for Twilight copies, and there might be a time when the apples begin to keep the viewers away rather than the doctors. The best thing about Percy Jackson is that it sticks to the basics. It takes the legends from the Greek Mythology, but it maintains a formula which is not at all ambiguous and more true to the core. It doesn’t rely on anything strange or unnecessary to give temporary satisfaction with any teenage fantasy which doesn’t go well with the plot and the flow of the story. It doesn’t try to give pleasure to anyone suffering from the withdrawal symptoms, which is mostly a Twilight withdrawal rather than from the intellectually superior Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter series.

Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) no longer seems to have the popularity that he might have had with him getting back the lightning bolt, saving both the Olympus and the world, and such great stuff which were to become legends. Clarisse La Rue (Leven Rambin) is his constant rival to glory, as she beats him in almost all the competitions. As Luke Castellan (Jake Abel), announces his plans to destroy Mount Olympus by bringing back Kronos from Tartarus and sends a mechanical bull to attack the demi-god camp after poisoning Thalia Grace (Paloma Kwiatkowski) who is the tree which defends the camp with a magic forcefield. Even as Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario) is the one who finds out that the Golden Fleece could heal and restore the tree, Clarisse is sent to retrieve the artefact much to the dismay of Percy, Annabeth and Grover Underwood (Brandon T. Jackson). But the trio decides to follow the team led by Clarisse, and they are joined by Percy’s half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), who is a cyclops. They also have one prophecy and a group of rogue half-bloods supported by a Manticore, and one big cyclops guarding the fleece to deal with.

With no denial of credit to one Lily Collins who had tried in vain to restore order among chaos and absurdity in the other fantasy movie, lets move into our characters. Logan Lerman leads the team as Percy Jackson, a demigod and the son of the God of Ocean, Poseidon. He was there in the 2011 version of The Three Musketeers, and here is he is again, and it surely seems to be a familiar territory for him. It is a honest performance from all angles. Brandon T. Jackson as Grover Underwood makes sure that there is no dull moment in the movie, along with Douglas Smith as Tyson the Cyclops. Most of the funny moments of the movie are from these two, and they are really good, and never inappropriate. Alexandra Daddario plays Annabeth Chase, the demigod daughter of Athena, the Godess of Wisdom, and this is one supporting character that you will remember for a long time, despite of the romantic angle kept away in the movie completely. She does have that look too, of that intensity which is kept in check by the heavenly wisdom. She was that good in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief too, and continues the good work.

Leven Rambin is Clarisse La Rue, the arrogant, hot-tempered daughter of the war God, Ares – always looking for combat, and at at the same time finding Percy a threat to her supremacy. After seeing her in The Hunger Games as the District 1 tribute, and the strong contender Glimmer, there was a certainty, that she was going to be great in such roles, and here she is, leading a group of undead who served her father Ares. As the story progresses, her character turns out to be more dynamic, along with adding to the funny as well as the action elements of the movie. There is the suiting depiction of the contrast between the daughter of this God of War and the Goddess of Wisdom. There is no point where the two are similar, and being the daughter of the great War God, she shares nothing in common with all the others out there, with Paloma Kwiatkowski’s Thalia Grace, of the demigod daughter of Zeus still pending. Jake Abel’s Luke Castellan, the demigod son of Hermes is a continuation of what was there in the first part of the movie. Nathan Fillion’s Hermes is a short, but effective presence which stays throughout the movie.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters has taken over at a time when the book-based fantasy novels are on the decline. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has proved to follow the path of The Host, and clearly stay with Twilight. The Harry Potter series have finished and Lord of the Rings and Narnia are taking a slow path. There is the need for something similar to fill in, and here is Percy Jackson. With its superior and appropriate 3D effects and the well done action sequences supported by the visual imagery, there is no loss of moments spent for watching this movie. There are also the funny lines, but it denies itself a big chance to take some risks, as it follows the conventional path, never to stray away from it. But, there is a huge amount of honesty in this path which is without any ambiguity, and there is absolutely no attempt to complicate things. The whole thing is kept simple, and as the endoskeleton comes from the Greek Mythology and a little bit of the Harry Potter series, this is a bankable movie which most of the critics need to stop overthinking. It is time to have some fun and at the same time, recollect those days of learning the Greek Mythology.

Release date: 7th August 2013 (United States); 30th August 2013 (India)
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Leven Rambin, Brandon T. Jackson, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Jake Abel, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion, Douglas Smith, Anthony Head, Robert Maillet, Derek Mears, Aleks Paunovic, Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown, Mary Birdsong

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.