Gone Girl (2014) Review

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****SPOILER-FREE REVIEW****

Gone Girl (2014)

Directed by David Fincher

Based on Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Starring:
Ben Affleck
Rosamund Pike
Neil Patrick Harris
Tyler Perry
Carrie Coon
Kim Dickens

Running time: 149 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.

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My Opinion:

Yes, I’ve read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (you can read my review of the book HERE – also spoiler-free). I really will keep this short as it’s a hard movie to discuss without spoilers and, for those who haven’t read the book, I hate the thought of anyone spoiling the story for you. It’s a GREAT story and it’s what I loved the most about the book. I’ll say now that, if you’ve read the book, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the film. If you haven’t read the book, I think you’ll enjoy the film even more as you’ll be getting to watch the story unfold without any knowledge of what’s going to happen next. You’ll be getting to experience the same feeling I had reading the book, which I read very quickly as I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.

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I had my doubts about Ben Affleck being in this as he wasn’t at all what I pictured and seemed a bit too old. Well, you know what? He’s great in this! I was happier with Rosamund Pike being cast as she did fit my picture of the character. She’s absolutely amazing as Amy! I’m very happy with all the performances but especially Affleck, Pike, and Kim Dickens who does a fantastic job playing the main detective. Carrie Coon is also good as Affleck’s twin sister but her character felt a little less explored than in the book where she was one of my favorite characters.

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As far as movie adaptations of books go, I’m happy to say they’ve done an excellent job with this one. As always, things had to be left out to keep the running time down but I don’t think it was anything that hurt the story in any way. You of course aren’t going to get quite as much character development as you will in a book but they came very close to achieving as much as possible, especially with the main and most important characters. I’d have liked to see more of Rosamund Pike as I didn’t feel they captured her character as well as in the book (through no fault of Pike’s, though – again, this will just be down to time restraints).

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Summary:

This movie is very good. I don’t think many people will find it better than Fincher’s Fight Club or Seven but I think it comes fairly close in some ways. I know some people have been a little disappointed with his more recent efforts but I can’t see many people coming out of Gone Girl and saying they didn’t at least enjoy the story and the performances. In a way, I’m jealous of those who get to watch this without having read the book as I never enjoy a film as much if I’ve read the book (especially this sort of genre) as it loses its impact when you know the outcome. I’m very happy with the adaptation, though. Seriously – I have no complaints there and think they’ve done a pretty damn good job achieving all they did in 149 minutes as it’s a very complex story and set of characters. Well done to all involved! I definitely recommend this one and, if you’ve not read the book, I’d almost say to watch the movie first and then read the book to further flesh out the characters. This is probably the first time I’d EVER say to do things in that order! I just think you’ll have a great time with this movie if you go into it knowing as little as possible.

My Rating: 8/10

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A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014) Review

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A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)

Directed by Seth MacFarlane

Starring:
Seth MacFarlane
Charlize Theron
Amanda Seyfried
Neil Patrick Harris
Giovanni Ribisi
Sarah Silverman
Liam Neeson

Running time: 116 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
In 1882 in the town of Old Stump, Arizona, cowardly sheep farmer Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) is dumped by his beloved girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) as a result of his withdrawal from a duel. Meanwhile, infamous outlaw Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson) robs and kills an old prospector for a nugget of gold. He orders one of his men, Louis (Evan Jones), to escort his wife, Anna (Charlize Theron), to Old Stump to lay low while he continues his banditry.

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My Opinion:

Here you go – review number 2 of the 4 movies I watched all in one day at the cinema last week! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (You can read my Edge Of Tomorrow review HERE).

As I said in my review of Neighbors, I don’t like many comedy movies. I’m picky on comedy & don’t find that many movies funny (especially nowadays). However, Neighbors wasn’t TOO bad – it was a bit of a pleasant surprise. And I like a lot of Seth MacFarlane’s stuff. I admit I’ve seen very little of Family Guy (even though I’ve liked what I’ve seen) and I loved Ted – it was very high on my list HERE of favorite 2012 movies. A Million Ways To Die In The West doesn’t live up to Ted and, in fact, I think I liked Neighbors more. But it’s still full of some hilarious stuff & I definitely had a fun time.

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If you like Seth MacFarlane, you’ll definitely like this film as it’s very much his type of humor. There are some intelligent observations, witty one-liners, movie references (one of which is BEYOND awesome and gave the biggest audience reaction by far), but still enough juvenile poop humor & sex jokes to keep a variety of filmgoers happy at least some of the time. Poop humor doesn’t do it for me (sorry, Eric!) but I’m still not about to act all snobby as I admit that all the absolute filth that came out of Sarah Silverman’s mouth in this cracked me the hell up. Complete & utter filth! Hilarious. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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You know – I don’t know why I’m still talking (er… typing). If you like Seth MacFarlane, you’ll like this. If you don’t, you won’t (at least, I think it’s highly unlikely you will). That’s it. I think he’s funny, I actually love Sarah Silverman most of the time (I know she’s not for everyone), Neil Patrick Harris is clearly having loads of fun hamming it up as the bad guy, and I thought Charlize Theron was very very good as the most straight forward & sensible person in this. She actually has really great chemistry with MacFarlane & their scenes together where they just chat about simple things were fun to watch & felt very natural (even though Theron is like A Million Ways Too Hot For MacFarlane – think that was wishful thinking on his part when he (I assume) cast her. Lol). This movie feels like a series of (admittedly funny) jokes that had an overall pretty weak story written around them. It’s no Ted – that one felt much more “together” and was overall a much funnier film. But there were still enough laughs in A Million Ways To Die In The West to keep me smiling throughout.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013) Review

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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013)

Directed by Cody Cameron & Kris Pearn

Starring Voice Actors:
Bill Hader
Anna Faris
James Caan
Andy Samberg
Neil Patrick Harris
Benjamin Bratt
Terry Crews
Will Forte
Kristen Schaal

Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo! Yo Gabba Gabba!)

Studio: Sony Pictures Animation

Running time: 95 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Flint Lockwood’s invention, the FLDSMDFR, has not been destroyed as previously believed and is now creating food/animal hybrids which are attacking those trying to clean up the island. The FLDSMDFR must be stopped before these dangerous foodimals take over the world.

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My Opinion:

I would love to have some of the drugs the filmmakers were on when they made this movie. I mean, the first film was crazy enough but this one is bananimals.

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I’ve sort of seen the first film a couple of times (I slept through most of it the second time). It’s okay. You certainly can’t say the story lacked originality! That’s definitely the case this time around as well. It continues immediately after the end of the previous film (I think. From what I remember). After the FLDSMDFR is destroyed (or so everyone thinks), an inventor (& the CEO of Live Corp) named Chester V arrives to clean up the island with a team of other scientists while Flint and his friends are sent to live in California where Flint takes a job at Live Corp.

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I felt that this section of the film was a little overlong and I was a bit bored. The movie is very slow to begin with. Luckily, Chester V needs Flint to come back to the island after his team of scientists are attacked by cheespiders (You know! Giant cheeseburgers with spidery French fry legs!). Turns out the FLDSMDFR wasn’t actually destroyed and it’s now churning out these crazy food/animal hybrids (foodimals, FYI) that could take over the planet. And Chester V needs Flint’s help to shut his invention down before more foodimals are created! Dun dun DUUUUUNNNN!

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This is where the movie finally picks up and gets much better: When Flint & his friends come back to the island which is filled with all kinds of weird & wonderful foodimals. I was going to try to remember all their funny names for this review but, unfortunately, I’m old and have a terrible memory now. Let’s see…

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I remember the huge “tacodiles”. Tacodile Supreme, actually. Um, Shrimpanzees? Watermelophants? Mosquitoast? And, of course, the “leek in the boat!”. Haha! The pickles that Flint’s father befriends are pretty funny and the family of marshmallows is adorable. But NOTHING is cuter than the little strawberry Flint’s girlfriend names… “Berry”! SO FREAKING ADORABLE! Okay, Berry totally made the whole movie for me. I want to adopt Berry. Berry can come live with me and we’ll watch things like Strawberry Shortcake together.

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Really, I don’t know what else to say about this. It does have some funny moments but it’s all pretty mental. It’s nowhere near the level of the stuff we get from Pixar or Disney. The characters are all likeable enough but I’ve still not fully bought into any of them after two films in the way I did with Pixar characters like Sulley & Mike. It’s a fun enough film to sit through with your kids, though, and I like it more than the first one. Because Berry isn’t in the first one! Your kids will love it and you won’t hate it.

My Rating: 6/10

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