Thank goodness last week’s episode was on the shorter side, …
It is a crime against the film world to label David Fincher’s newest, ‘Gone Girl,’ with only one word or phrase. There are elements of “thriller” here, an essence of “police procedural.” There’s a teaspoon of “black comedy”, a dash of “recession-related social relevance” and a heaping helping of “media satire”
Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, Gone Girl’s literal translation and loyal adaptation acts as the film’s best friend and worst enemy. Some of the best parts of the novel work great on screen, while others are hard to portray. Since the majority of the audience is fully aware of what’s going on, widespread alterations are inevitably taken with caution, no matter how big or small. If too much of the storyline is given away too hastily, the appeal is lost before its midpoint. Unfortunately for director David Fincher, what’s left is a campy shell of a plot extracted from any remnants of wit and mystery.
Sons of Anarchy just broke its own record for erasing any and all good will shortly after amassing it. Episodes two and three of this season are examples of how to properly build up excitement and suspense for the story to come, and here the show ruins all of that hard work in a matter of minutes. Once again, after multiple examples across the history of the show, an entertaining episode filled with well-executed character building and excitement is undermined by the unnecessary and senseless killing of female characters.
Fincher is an expert chemist when it comes to concocting the nastiest tales of cynicism and darkness. Gone Girl may not be the culmination of his efforts to date, but it’s undoubtedly a sinister piece of work. There’s an oppressive air within the film, from its meticulously created soundscape and score (from Fincher alums Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) to its plasticized aesthetic. The cynical attitude is evident from the first frame, as the camera looks at the top of Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) head and Nick (Ben Affleck) says he’d like to “crack [his] wife’s head” to reveal the secrets lying in her labyrinthine brain. From that kickoff, we understand this is not a happy marriage. Maybe Fincher feels no marriages are happy.
A couple of seasons ago, Sons of Anarchy closed an episode with Juice jumping from a tree with a chain noose around his neck. As the SoA logo entered the screen, the sound of the tree branch snapping could be heard, removing the cliffhanger of Juice’s fate. When the curtain shuts on “Poenitentia,” we don’t actually see Tig get killed by Pope’s men. “Poenitentia” feels like a major death episode as it plays, echoing Opie’s prison death through Clay’s scenes (Opie’s death was in the third episode from last season).
While Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter tends to favor the music montage sequence for beginnings and/or ends of episodes, this season six premiere – “Straw,” which may also be the penultimate season premiere for this series, since it is only planned to run through seven seasons – opens with a montage set to Jax’s narration as he reads from a journal entry he is writing for his sons.