Another superb Blu-ray release from director David Fincher
Gone Girl Film Review
It’s a testament to a great movie that, after seeing it, you’re already itching to revisit it; to unravel its many mysteries with successive viewings, each one better informed than the last.David Fincher’s films almost universally hold this quality, and Gone Girl maintains the tradition for the best part of two hours. It’s a shame, then, that it’s two and a half hours long. Almost impossible to pigeon-hole – as with much of Fincher’s work – Gone Girl effortlessly shifts its way through being a slow-burning kidnapping mystery flick set against the backdrop of an acute relationship study, to being a potential murder investigation set within a murky world of lies, deceit and media frenzy. It at once reminds us of sharp old-school thrillers like Presumed Innocent and Disclosure, whilst also paying greater tribute to the works of Hitchcock, and classics like Sleuth – as well as one of my personal Fincher faves, The Game. With an eclectic cast, Fincher elicits some outstanding performances, with the two leads dominating amidst a strong supporting ensemble.He also turns in another trademark slick piece of efficient direction, making the most of every minute of what should have felt like a much longer runtime, but which glides along smoothly with not a wasted frame. Another moody score from the Nine Inch Nails crew perfectly suits the material too. Indeed, it beautifully builds over the first two hours into what promises to be one of Fincher’s best works, using his now-trademark switch-and-bait twists to surprise you repeatedly over the course of the proceedings, developing layers upon layers of uncertainty until you simply don’t know who to trust; what to believe. Ultimately, though, a fitting conclusion proves elusive for this particular tale – perhaps there isn’t one – and the final act unravels much of what has been so meticulously built-up before, leaving a bitter taste on this otherwise perfect meal.
Blu-ray Picture Quality20th Century Fox’s UK Region Free Blu-ray release of Gone Girl, presenting the movie with a glorious 4K-sourced 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition rendition in the film’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen, is every bit as spectacular as its US counterpart and exactly what you’d expect from a new Fincher release.
From Dragon Tattoo to House of Cards, Fincher’s modern works look clinically exquisite and visually perfect.
Detail is oftentimes astounding, with fine object work, skin textures, clothing weaves and background nuances intricately observed throughout. The colour scheme is steeped in Fincher’s now-favoured yellow hues, yet skin tones and most natural colours on offer still manage to remain largely well-represented, and blacks are rich and solid, with no sign whatsoever of crush, and shadow detail exceptional. As demo and reference material goes, if you’re not looking for a blockbuster, then Fincher is a good bet, and this is a prime example, with top tech marks all around.
Blu-ray Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is, unsurprisingly, equally impressive. Although the film is remarkably restrained and downplayed in terms of bigger beats – both in terms of score and effects – it remains finely nuanced throughout, and manages to place you in the middle of a fairly tense ride; making you feel like the walls are collapsing in on you without resorting to thunder and fury.
Despite the understated style of the soundtrack, Gone Girl offers refined precision from start to finish.
Dialogue is obviously a key element, from the press conferences to the snippets of diary/narration which rise above the proceedings; with clear and coherent presentation of each and every word, given dominance over the fronts and centre channels. Effects are almost entirely atmospheric, but bring every setting alive, picking up on every little ambient flourish and disseminating it with clinical precision.
Long-term Fincher music collaborators, Atticus Rose and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, who have delivered fantastic tracks for everything from The Social Network to Dragon Tattoo, produce a much more restrained but no less potent effort here, funnelling their intensity into heightening the tension and frenzy within the piece. With supreme dynamics and prioritization, and understated but effective LFE input, this is another marvel in non-blockbuster perfection.
Blu-ray ExtrasIn terms of extras we get the same as the US release. Basically the only real extra is a strong commentary from Fincher, who relates some nice anecdotes and plenty of technical information, coming across as an affable guy who is something of a perfectionist and Hollywood outcast of sorts. But, also included in the package itself, is a wonderfully little ironic faux children’s story ‘written’ by the characters in the movie, which is a strangely nice little addition that makes up a fair amount for that lack of any other extras beyond the commentary.
Gone Girl Blu-ray VerdictWithout going into discussing the final act, it's impossible to explain the flaws that some might find unforgivable with Gone Girl. But all you really need to know is the fact that the film is directed by David Fincher, and features standout performances, taut storytelling, clinical cinematography and a great soundtrack.
Fincher's films are meticulously crafted objects of pure perfection, at least technically speaking.
This Region Free UK Blu-ray release matches up to the US counterpart right down to the addition of the children's story in book form within the package. Video and audio are reference quality through and through, as you would only expect from a Fincher film, and his commentary makes for a decent extra. Overall fans will already have this on pre-order, and Fincher completists stand amongst them, although there's an argument that the film does reveal some marmite qualities which may warrant an unhesitating rental to see if you're likely to want to revisit it.
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