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"Gone Baby Gone"
4 stars
Daniel Kelly says... "Some may choose to disagree, but for me, Gillian Flynn’s 2012 bestseller “Gone Girl” isn’t a cinematic text. Filled with interior voices, unreliable narration and characters incessantly explaining themselves, the book is a craftily woven examination of marital disharmony, society’s relationship to gender and the sensationalist depravity of modern media. Flynn’s prose are indebted to high-quality airline fodder, but her articulation of character and theme ascend the norm. “Gone Girl” is a riveting and cleverly assembled work, but again, not one I’d immediately have pegged for film. Nobody is going to argue that David Fincher isn’t a cinematic director. Even his Netflix series “House of Cards” feels too big for laptop monitors or TV sets, bustling with the same rich visual storytelling motifs that govern his more reputable work. With 1995’s “Se7en” Fincher turned a procedural into a morality tale of nightmarish beauty and to an even grander extent, with 2010’s “The Social Network” (clearly his best film) he wove the tabloid-worthy narrative of Facebook’s mischievous inception into a powerful odyssey of brotherhood undone by pride, greed and pitiful insecurity. In “The Social Network” modern Trojan wars erupt through a relationship status, and Helen isn’t a physical beauty, but a small, squared digital image tucked beside the tempting option of requesting her friendship. On paper the story of Mark Zuckerberg isn’t that ripe for movie treatment, but with a skilled visualist and master storyteller at the helm, it became one of 2010’s most satisfactorily epic pictures. This brings us back to “Gone Girl”." (more)
"Arguably darker than serial killer thrillers, but still engrossing."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT FANTASTIC FEST 2014: Film festivals, or the other ways that film lovers cram more movies than their friends watch in a month into a much shorter span of time, can really warp one's perception of a given picture via context. On its own, I might consider "The Treatment" to be a dark, pessimistic movie about especially horrible crimes; after three screenings that plunged me into that sort of dark water without any sort of lifeline, this movie's police procedural approach made it seem much more an exciting thriller." (more)
"The case of the missing mystery."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT FANTASTIC FEST 2014: One of the best sorts of mysteries plunges its detective into a world not his own, such that figuring out how this other culture works is an important part of finding the killer. Some sort of personal growth is nice too. The trouble with "Waste Land" is that it never offers much more than the plunge, and that never with the sort of depth that makes the lack of a compelling mystery or fleshed-out character arc less keenly felt." (more)
"Not trash, but certainly not pleasant."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT FANTASTIC FEST 2014: "Just jerk off when your brother tells you to" isn't quite the first line of "I Am Trash", but it's close and gets the audience's attention. It also turns out to be one of the less horrific moments in this movie about a family of sex offenders. If that description puts you off, you're probably well-served trusting those instincts." (more)

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