Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review - Gone Girl (2014), Game of Thrones Season Wrap-up

Tonight, I had the misfortune of watching Gone Girl.

Don't hate me.  It's not a monster movie, and I'm not a fan of Ben Affleck.  In fact, I'm so not a fan of Ben Affleck that I had to look up the cast of Gone Girl just to make sure that it was actually Ben Affleck in the lead role, and not Matt Damon, or one of those other pasty rich white guys.  Sorry, but they all look alike to me.  And I'm a pasty white guy, so I'm allowed to say that.  No, I happened to flick on my TV, and there it was.  I almost switched it off, and I probably should have, but dammit, I checked the cast list, and it listed Rosamund Pike, and Neil Patrick Harris, both excellent actors.  Being a fan of horror movies, I know that sometimes, a movie can have a great supporting cast, but a horrible lead actor, and still be a halfway decent movie.  So I figured what the hell.  It's two hours of my life that I would have spent watching TV, anyways.  What have I got to lose?

My immortal soul, apparently.  That's right, I am going to hell for watching Gone Girl.  And I don't even believe in hell, so that's how bad it was.

I missed the first 15 minutes or so.  Basically, Gone Girl is the story of a man whose wife goes missing.  Ben Affleck plays the confused husband, and Rosamund Pike plays the missing wife.  Apparently, the wife goes missing in the first 15 minutes, so that's what I missed.  As the story unfolds, we find that the story of the perfect marriage and the kidnapped wife, isn't quite the whole story.  But come on.  How many times have we heard this tale?  Missing wife, abusive husband, missing husband, abusive wife, it's pretty much the Hallmark movie of the... Well, EVERY week.  To be perfectly honest, if it hadn't had a bit of nudity and was unbroken by commercial interruptions, I would have thought Lifetime or Hallmark had actually made it.

So let me sum up how bad this movie was.  First off, Ben Affleck plays the same guy he always plays, some supposedly likable rich asshole.  Look, I don't know Ben Affleck from a stinky homeless guy living in an alleyway, but I don't like him.  I don't like how he looks, I don't like the roles he plays, and I don't like the movies he's appeared in.  Maybe he's the nicest guy that ever walked the Earth, I don't know, but he looks like a schmuck to me.  Maybe that's his Hollywood 'persona,' maybe that's how he garners his movie roles, and maybe that's why he's a highly-paid professional actor and I'm just an out-of-work tech support doofus who reviews crappy movies, but I still don't like him.  Who knows, maybe I'll meet Ben Affleck in a bar one day and we'll become awesome drinking buddies and we'll wake up in the same alleyway, reeking of booze and not remembering the night before, but for now, he's just not my favorite person in the whole world, you know what I am saying?  Yea, I think you do.

Maybe I'm not supposed to like him in this movie, and if that's what he's going for, then he's nailed it.  I liked Rosamund pike as the wife, at least until the movie got rolling.  I don't want to give away any spoilers here, but I didn't like the movie, so I'm not going to recommend you watch it.  Still, I hate to ruin a movie for anyone, so if you absolutely MUST see Gone Girl to see how bad it was, or just to disagree with my opinion and point out how wrong I am, then it's on HBO this month.  So, back to Rosamund Pike.  Mild spoiler alert.  Good actress, but she plays an awesome bitch in this movie.  I guess she pretty much has to, to make Ben Affleck look like the good guy, and damn if she doesn't do an awesome job of it.  That I hated her is a testament to her awesome acting skill, because I don't normally hate her.  The first thing I remember seeing her in was the Doom movie, and being a video game fan, I can't fault her for that, despite the fact the movie didn't do very well commercially.  I thought it was an okay movie, and the other leads involved are now doing very well.  Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson, right?  Yea.

Neil Patrick Harris, I know he's popular on them thar intertoobz, and I've honestly been waiting to see him in something I like. This wasn't it.  I like horror and monster movies, but Gone Girl is the closest thing to a horror movie I've seen him in, and he doesn't play that big a part.  He nails his part, honestly, and the only reason I call Gone Girl a horror movie is because Ben Affleck is in it, but let's move on.

Gone Girl seemed to start out fairly well, I mean, after that whole missed 15 minutes thing.  The story got kind of interesting, and the plot got a bit convoluted and hard to follow.  I like to unravel mysteries (I was a big Rubik's Cube fan when it first came out, until I got bored of it 15 minuets later), and unraveling the mystery of the wife's disappearance was even harder after missing the part of the movie where she actually goes missing.  So, that's why I got hooked.  So I'm trying to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.  Did Ben do it?  Is he as much of an asshole as he looks, or is he just being persecuted because he looks like a dick?  If that was the case, mind you, I'd be willing to cut Ben Affleck some slack.  I try never to judge a book by its cover, and if Ben's being accused of something he didn't do, that sucks, because I've been there.  Many times.  So I even started to identify with Ben Affleck, at least for a few minutes there.  I know, I'm ashamed to admit it, and I'll probably go ritualistically flog myself later on, but for now, there it is.  And then, of course, it all fell apart.

Gone Girl goes to great lengths to set up the game between two opponents, and I'm just going to call them the protagonist and the antagonist, because I don't want to spoil anything.  So here's the protagonist, doing their thing, and there's the antagonist, who does their thing, and it's like an intricate game of chess between the good guy and the bad guy.  Except the problem is, in a game of chess, there's usually a winner and loser, and that's really what this movie needed after spending so much time setting up the battle.  Instead, during the course of the movie, both the good guy and the bad guy win, and both the good guy and the bad guy lose.  Yes, I know that makes absolutely no fucking sense.  And you're absolutely fucking right.  Which is what makes this the absolutely worst fucking movie ever.  There's no ending, and it's two and a half hours long.  Which makes it even worse.  I'm sad in pants for having watched it.  And if you know me, you know my pants are usually quite happy.  So there it is.  Bad movie!  If I had a rolled-up newspaper, I would thwack Gone Girl on the nose for having taken a shit in my slippers.  Yes, that level of bad.

But enough about that crappy movie.  Moving on.

Game of Thrones wrapped up the latest season on HBO last week.  Here are the spoilers, so if you didn't see the end, be warned.  While watching the final episode, I could have sworn I had seen it before, but what had really happened was, I read the book, so long ago that I'd forgotten I'd read it.  So, to sum up.  Cersei gets nabbed by the Church of the Seven for banging her twin brother and fathering a bastard child who's still sitting on the Iron Throne.  Cersei won't admit this (she literally can't, or things would just get so horribly worse), but she does admit to being a slut.  So they make her walk the entire length of King's Landing, naked, while the populace of the city boos and shames her and throws rotten fruit.  Talk about a Walk of Shame!  What I don't get is where the blood came from.  It was rotten fruit, and maybe a little shite.  How was she bleeding by the end of it?  Bah, whatever.  She's now back in the Red keep, or whatever the King's private holding is.

Jon Snow managed to get some of the Wildlings behind the Wall, and met the White Walkers in battle for the first time.  Jon Snow even killed one of them in single combat.  For his bravery, he was stabbed to death by the members of the Night's Watch.  Man.  Remind me never to take the Black.  Methinks their standards might be a tad high.  For killers and rapists, I mean.  Because we all know killers and rapists have high standards.  We can't have wildlings in the ranks!  Sure, the Night's Watch members used to kill, rape and steal, but the wildlings are worse!  They kill, rape and steal, because...  they're.. dirty!  Yea?  I dunno.  I got nothin.  I'm just going with it.  Before he was brutally gutted, Jon Snow sent Sam and his wildling chick away to get him trained as a Maester, so Sam lived.  And he killed a White Walker a few seasons ago, so that's something.  Two White Walkers down, a crapload of wildlings and Night's watch members slaughtered and raised from the dead to join the ranks of cold-hearted zombies.  I got to give the first round to the White Walkers.

Stannis Baratheon sacrificed his only daughter to the lord of Fire, and then his army was slaughtered in battle against the forces of Winterfell.  I can't remember the name of the rape-y jackass who led the forces of the Flayed Man, but I'm not sure how Stannis didn't see this coming.  After the Onion Knight advised him that 20 men had snuck into the camp at night, set fire to the provisions, killed the horses, and caused half their forces to flee, how did he not realize things were going to go badly?  Look, Stannis, buddy...  you had an army.  They had 20 men.  They raped you in the night and left you crying like a little girl.  At that point, you retreat to the wall, take the black, and forget the Game of Thrones, because you've already lost.  At least Jon Snow would have had some allies to watch his back.  Or his front.  Whatever.

On the plus side, Melisandre was abandoned by her lord of fire (though she did unfortunately escape the slaughter), and the Onion knight (I forget his actual name, but you know who I mean, I hope) was sent away from the battle to go talk to jon Snow at the Wall, so he lived.  Stannis, on the other hand, survived the battle, only to be killed by that big honkin knight-chick who was with the Kingslayer when he lost his hand.  Yea, you know who I mean, and it's late and I'm too lazy to look up their names.   Brienne of Tarth, there you go, it just came to me.  I'm not entirely senile yet.  Meanwhile, Theon greyjoy, aka Reek (yea, him I can remember, because they made such a big deal about his name) manages to finally grow his balls back and help Sansa Stark flee Winterfell.  And Arya, well, she crosses another name off her kill list, but pisses off the Many-Faced God's minions while doing so, and goes blind.  Man, that sucks!

Meanwhile, Bronn and the Kingslayer reach an equitable agreement with the master of Dorne (I think that's the country) and leave the place with his daughter, but as they are heading out to sea, the Kingslayer reveals to his daughter that he's really her father.  Turns out, she knows already, and doesn't care, she just loves him and is happy to have him as her dad.  Which is awesome, because then, she dies.  Yea, those Dornish viper she-bitches poisoned her before she left, in a move so expected I have no idea how the actual characters missed it.  I could have been a shoe-shine boy on the docks at the time, and it would have been so obvious, I would have said something, but nope, they totally missed it.  Hell, I think even the fish and the sea gulls saw that one coming.

Tyrion, after drinking his way across the narrow sea, ends up finally meeting Daenarys Targaerean, or whatever the bejeesus her name is.  It's like someone is trying to say her name while having a, and forgive me in advance, Vowel Movement.  Geddit, geddit?  VOWEL MOVEMENT?   BWAHAHAAAAAAA!  Yea, I kill me, too.  So Tyrion meets her, she accepts him as an advisor, which is awesome, because he's like, born to play that part, and it only took the author 5 books of over a thousand pages each to get him there.  Man, talk about a slow build.  Maybe back off a little on the character background, eh?  Sheesh.  Then, they get assaulted by a bunch of idjits in gold masks, Dany (yes, i shortened her name, sue me) hops onto the back of Drogon (her favorite dragon) and flies away, and Tyrion is left to run Mereen's affairs with the help of Varys the Spider while Dany tries to figure out just where the bloody hell Drogon has dumped her.

MAN!  Exciting stuff, innit?  Now we only have to wait another year or two to find out what happens next.  I'm sitting here pissing myself in anticipation, and I've got to wait a whole year?  Yea, what can i say, I have the patience of a gnat, and a bladder to match.

That's all for tonight.  I would have found a nice monster or horror movie to review, but there aren't any.  No, shut up, there just aren't, i looked high and low.  I even searched under my bed, and there's nothing there but frightfully large dust bunnies with glowing red eyes.  Yes, they've been there so long, they've achieved evil sentience.  I don't dust or vacuum as often as I probably should, okay?  Sheesh.  Anyone ever tell you that you're a nag?  Yea, well, you are.

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