Gone Girl (Blu-ray Review)

gone girl whysoblu thumbPart mystery-thriller, part sly commentary, Gone Girl finds director David Fincher working hard to bring Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel to life.  The result is a very entertaining feature that is able to straddle the line of darkness thanks to its many twists and turns, strong performances, a great amount of dark humor, and the sort of technical excellence expected from David Fincher and his crew.  This is a modern film imbued with the spirit of pulpy crime novels, resulting in a fine example of what can come out of Hollywood, when a great amount of talent is involved and put to good use.  Now one of 2014’s best films is available on Blu-ray.


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The film is centered on the disappearance of author Amy Elliot-Dunne (a terrific Rosamund Pike).  Maybe she has been kidnapped.  Maybe she has been murdered.  We have no real idea when first coming across the situation.  Amy’s husband, Nick Dunne (a never-better Ben Affleck), seems to be clueless as well, though he certainly acts indifferent about it.  That indifference does not help, as a media circus puts Nick into the spotlight, allowing the country to hate him for possibly committing a crime, despite the lack of a body and all kinds of weird clues pointing in various directions.

At two and a half hours, there is certainly a lot of film here.  Good thing the story is incredibly compelling, as plenty of twists and turns occur on a frequent level and Fincher finds a way to keep things moving quite swiftly.  Editor Kirk Baxter, who won Oscars for his work on Fincher’s last two films (The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), is not only tasked with making the pace work, but does proper justice to framing this film around its key characters and giving audiences just enough, when the time calls for it.  I should state that I have not read the book, but I am aware of its structure, and given how we perceive certain characters, I was completely hooked in, thanks to the way in which we saw them.

Ben Affleck is ideal casting here.  Given that the man has been admired (Oscar winner), hated (Gigli), loved again (another Oscar), and dragged back into scrutiny (for playing Batman of all things), the role of Nick Dunne is a perfect fit.  This is a character that is clearly not to be trusted from the outset, given the way he acts, but how much does that matter?  Could Nick be guilty, could he just be in shock, or is it something else?  There are shades to this persona and Affleck does great work in a subtle part.  Rosamund Pike has interesting shades to play as well, given that she is largely seen via flashbacks and heard through voiceovers.  It is best to leave it there, but with Gone Girl working hard to examine a marriage taken to its extremes, both actors are in top form.

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Casting praise does not stop at the top either.  Gone Girl is full of familiar faces who all fit quite well into this film.  Carrie Coon (from HBO’s The Leftovers) is Margo, Nick’s twin sister, who wants to stick with her brother no matter what, and she functions as a great sounding board and quick-witted character that can feel so effortlessly involved, regardless of importance.  Further adding on to the female cast (and this is a film full of female characters, all with different roles to play, effectively turning the film away from standard genre approaches to gender balance), Kim Dickens nails her role as Detective Rhonda Boney, who has a respect for the case that allows her to never seem ill-equipped to take on the challenge, even if she is ill-informed of certain aspects about it.  Dickens is strong enough here to make it easy for her Detective partner (Patrick Fugit) to add plenty just through his facial expressions, rather than actual dialogue.

Two other key characters have plenty to add as well.  One is Tyler Perry’s defense attorney character, Tanner Bolt.  Some may have a certain perception of Perry, but Gone Girl allows him to show off a level of natural confidence that perfectly fits into the cynical world that this film presents.  The other character is Missi Pyle’s Ellen Abbot, a TV host clearly inspired by Nancy Grace.  While this character is purposefully grating, it also functions as Gone Girl’s way of taking on clear digs at our media-obsessed culture.  Beyond the actual mystery, the film has plenty of fun presenting the news’ perspective of the story in a way that seems plausibly lifted from reality.

The media world easily serves as a way for Gone Girl to function in such an entertaining manner.  It pushes characters to certain limits and has the audience both seeing the inside and outside of a scenario that provides for a mix of frustration and intrigue as to where it all goes.  Really, knowing where this film goes or figuring out certain elements mattered little to me.  Figuring out certain twists along the way, for this film, seems less like an accomplishment and more like a helpful way to do less work, when the film has so much going on, in an effort to get the most out of its many reveals.  A key reveal about an hour into the film certainly takes things to a new level, but even then, there is so much joy to get out of the new dynamics that are presented.

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It is fun to use the word ‘joy’, as Gone Girl really is a lot of fun.  There is dark material here, yes, and whether it is in the language or the imagery, ‘graphic’ is a way to describe the film as well, but it is handled with such maturity and style.  Whether it is in the dialogue (here I should note that Flynn also serves as screenwriter), or the superb visual style of the film (Fincher’s frequent collaborator Jeff Cronenweth handles the film’s cinematography), I was never feeling drained by Gone Girl.  Fincher has created a grim sense of reality before and with great success in a film like Seven, while also playing up the cold and unforgiving sense of the world in a film like ‘Dragon Tattoo’.  With Gone Girl, the attitude, gripping story, and brutally funny nature of it all puts it in the same tonal league as Fight Club or even The Social Network; Fincher films that could be considered ‘a joy’ to watch.

I have gone all this way and I have not even mentioned the tremendous score by the Oscar-winning duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  Teaming up with Fincher for the third time in a row, the complexity of the musical arrangement needed to develop such a distinctive sound for this film, which moves back and forth between relaxing and intense, is perfectly suited to a film that accomplishes so much within the bounds of a pulp novel found in most grocery stores.  That is hardly a dig at the material however, as it is brimming with life, regardless of how dark the subject matter may be, with a lot of strong minded people, both in front of and behind the camera, doing very good work.  I may not feel that Fincher has hit a new peak with Gone Girl, but seeing his superb craft on display in a Hollywood thriller for adults is plenty for me this time around.


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Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Being a David Fincher film, it is of no surprise that Gone Girl looks tremendous on Blu-ray.  Fincher is known for using the latest and greatest, when it comes to his use of digital cameras and thanks to the Red Epic Dragon, this transfer is amazing.  The meticulous amounts of detail that Fincher always strives for is presented clearly throughout, with so many aspects that perfectly reflect how great of a production this was, in terms of developing a world for this film and being able to show audiences that world through the lens of DP Jeff Cronenweth.

Depth: Because of the outstanding clarity, the depth of field here is remarkable, with plenty of dimension to be noticed in the ways we see foreground and background action taking place.

Black Levels: The black levels are deep and inky throughout, which is an aspect plenty familiar to Fincher fans.

Color Reproduction: Given the use of a lot of natural lighting, the look of the digital photography, and the way colors like yellow and blue seem to be the most prevalent, Gone Girl is not necessarily a film that ‘pops’ when it comes to this aspect, but they are certainly represented well in any moment that colors really do stand out, be it certain TV-based scenes or when it comes to seeing something like blood.

Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural and facial textures are always clear.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing.



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Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: With another terrific score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross mixed with the fairly low-key nature of the film as a whole (with some major moments aside), Gone Girl has a monster lossless audio track that is actually very fitting, given the way sound design has been handled.  With that in mind, there is plenty to admire in how this audio track has come together.

Low Frequency Extension: There is a very specific scene to point to in regards to how the LFE channel comes into play.  I will not spoil it for those who have not seen the film yet, but a number of moments, based on the score, play very well in this regard.

Surround Sound Presentation: Given the score and the way a film like this has been so specifically built, thanks to the attention Fincher gives to his films, it is of no surprise that the mix for this film was handled very well, with the score, sound effects, ambient noise, and dialogue all feeling like a wonderful combination of the talents of many working to build a terrific audio track, easily fit for a proper home theater system.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone comes through loud and clear.



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Not necessarily a big a mystery as the one presented in the film, I would imagine award season and Fincher’s own priorities (he is working on an HBO series) have kept us from getting a more robust collection of special features, so I would not be surprised by a double dip in the future.  That said, in the age of Blu-ray, it is a little sad to not have a new Fincher film that is already packed with special features, given how much Fincher likes to pack the home releases of his films with extras.

Features Include:

  • Director Commentary – While there are no other special features in this single-disc edition of the film, David Fincher is a great commentator and Gone Girl has him at his most loose to an extent, as his efforts to talk about the film are more scene-specific than usual, but still very entertaining.
  • Digital Copy of the Film
  • Additionally, the Blu-ray is packaged with a reproduction of an Amazing Amy book, based on the book series created for this story.  Fittingly enough, this Amazing Amy book is titled “Tattle Tale,” which is certainly fun for those who know the film well enough already.  It is housed inside the study Gone Girl cover, along with the little sleeve that holds the Blu-ray disc.  Not much, but certainly a neat addition.


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Gone Girl may be billed as a drama and feature some dark moments, but it is a twisted piece of entertainment, with a lot more going on than just a simple mystery.  The film is incredibly well-produced, features a plethora of strong performances, and does plenty to reward multiple viewings.  Unsurprisingly, the audio and video quality on this Blu-ray disc is amazing.  The commentary track is nice, though the lack of special features may have some fans waiting until the announcement of future plans for the film.  Regardless, Gone Girl is one of the great films from 2014 with plenty going for it in its home format.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

1 Response to “Gone Girl (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    Very awesome review Aaron!
    You leave no doubt on this page that you attacked this review with utmost ferocity and passion.
    Like the film I love this review!
    Looking forward to Amazon delivering this one to my doorstep tonight!