Having missed the initial theatrical release of Gone Girl I was excited to check out the movie on Blu-ray. Luckily, Fox helped me out with that by sending me a copy of the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Download combo. Yes the holy trinity of home movie ownership. Before I get into the movie let’s actually talk about that because the craze of owning every movie is a passing phase or really it’s passed. People no longer want to own every film possible on DVD or Blu-Ray. Formats change and really digital is the future. But the collector, the person that brandishes their selves with particular gems still looks for films to add to that collection. Digital is nice, but it’s a lot like DVD ownership at its prime, “Why wouldn’t I want to own all the seasons to Everyone Loves Raymond? It’s not like it won’t be in syndication forever!” I imagine that was the thought process behind the boxset craze and much of the DVD craze. I’ll admit that my digital movie collection has a lot of crap. Crap that I will likely never watch again, but there it is… forever stuck in my collection.
My Blu-ray and DVD collection is different. No longer is it filled with every movie I can get, but rather only the movies I want. If you buy me some random film thinking I’ll like it and I don’t… it doesn’t make the shelf. If I’m sent a freebie that turns out to be awful… it doesn’t make the shelf. I’m pointing this out because Gone Girl made my shelf for more than one reason. The second reason (the first I’ll go into after this) is the packaging. Yes if you want to make it on my shelf you need to do something with your packaging. Retooling the movie poster and adding a slipcase is the simplest thing to do and it’s also the lamest.
Gone Girl’s packaging was striking and caught my attention instantly. It doesn’t have the name blasted across the front, rather it’s subtle. At first glance I can picture someone saying, “What’s that?” It also comes with an Amazing Amy book. Since I hadn’t watched the movie yet I had no idea what this was for. After the film was a different story and I came to appreciate this item more even if it was something that I would only visit once.
As for the film… well it’s pretty damn impressive. Is it David Fincher’s greatest work? No, but it showed his versatility as a director. Many of his films are recognizable by their look, but Gone Girl gets away from that. Here Fincher focuses on the story, building it and executing it in a way that works from beginning to end and very importantly… more than once. If you haven’t seen or heard about the book or the film that’s all I’ll say because just saying one word will put you in a different mindset while watching and this is a movie that should be enjoyed without that. The point is, Fincher has grown, but he hasn’t lost the core of what makes him a film maker. Instead he shows that he doesn’t need to bombard you with beautiful images that are often distractions from the story. It’s not his prettiest film, but I think it’s one of his most mature.
Fincher also brings out some incredible performances. In particular, and no I’m not going to pick who you think, Carrie Coon as Margo Dunne. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the performances are pretty damn impressive. Everyone from Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and the Oscar nominated Rosamund Pike. Even more than that the supporting cast elevates the film with every side conversation.
Carrie Coon on the other hand was in this weird area of being a main supporting character. Her role is just a strange hybrid and yet she adds an incredible amount to the character Nick’s story. What I really like about her character was the design. She looked the most natural and it was an important difference because the two most important women in Nick’s life were represented differently. Coon’s character was down to earth, not quite blue collar because fuck a nine to five, but she most importantly represented Nick’s heart and soul.
Pike’s character is really the bad seed and in a way the big city getting a hold of Nick and changing the very thing that made him desirable and different in the first place. By the end of the film he’s a hybrid of the two, but only in the fact that he can pretend to be both convincingly. Nick’s character is influenced by the women in his life.
Is it a film worth watching? Absolutely, in fact the next day I wanted to watch it again. Is it worth owning? Well that’s really up to you, but I would say so. I’m happy to have it on my shelf.
Director: David Fincher Writer: Gillian Flynn Distributor: Fox Price: $39.99 Release Date: 1/13/15