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Is GONE BABY GONE Good Baby Good?!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. That’s the word I’m hearing. I was going to see this one on Thursday, but some family stuff came up, and I’m going to have to try to reschedule in the weeks ahead. Especially since I’ve talked to people I really trust who loved the film, who thought it was a nice announcement by Affleck as a writer/director. Casey Affleck is fantastic in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, and if he’s really good in this one as well, then maybe this is the fall that changes things for him as a leading man. Let’s see what this viewer from London had to say:

Hey AICN Crew, Last night in London I attended one of those marketing screening of Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone; so I thought I'd hit you up with a review. I'll try and keep it as spoiler free as possible. Set in contemporary Boston the story follows 2 PI's (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) who are hired by the aunt of a missing toddler. They're brought in to supplement the official investigation with their local contact, much to the chagrin of the Police Captain (Morgan Freeman) and the detectives on the case (Ed Harris and John Aston). As it turns out there's more to the missing girl then just a snatch and grab (unsurprisingly). Her mother's a drug mule and a general no-goodnik, and it looks like a local drug dealer might have taken the girl to exchange for some missing cash. This is at it's simplest a morality tale. It presents the viewer with some pretty tough questions, that leave you considering which way you'd take if you were in that situation. Overall this film is very good. It's beautifully shot, and Older Affleck uses his locations to the fullest. For a first major directorial venture it's put together well, and doesn't drag. The ending is a great example of a cinematic exhalation of breath (you'll see what I mean) Performance wise, Ed Harris steals the show. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a nod from the little naked golden man for this one. That isn't to say that everyone else is left behind, though younger Affleck doesn't dazzle as the lead, he's convincing, and you genuine feel for him when he has to make some tough decisions. Other names worth checking are Titus Welliver as the little girl's uncle, and Amy Ryan as her coked out mother. My main problems with the movie are minor. It has intermittent narration from Younger Affleck, which didn't sit well with me. It felt disjointed, and because it isn't through the whole film, it doesn't really flow increadibly well. The other problem I had was in one scene the films title is said by a character and I felt it apt that his name is Cheese. I'd say, avoid the trailer if you want to keep this fresh. It gives away a bit too much, not so much that it ruins the final product; but still more than I'd like. If this is an indication of his skills, I'd like to see more from Affleck. He has pace, shots, and construction down. I'd give it 4 big chins out of 5. Please call me djquincyzee
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 2, 2007, 1:07 a.m. CST


    by cobb1138


  • Sept. 2, 2007, 1:44 a.m. CST


    by Kingdaddy

    would die if they were in a room that Rob Zombie's "Halloween" screened... It sucked that much.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 2:08 a.m. CST

    This looks

    by FlyinHawaiian

    to be really good.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 2:12 a.m. CST

    This movie looked good ...

    by ye olde shiza

    When we went and saw "The Simpsons," this, American Gangster, and that weird-ass Tom Cruise film previewed beforehand. Out of the three, the only one that stuck out was the Tom Cruise film, and that's because I had no fuckin' clue what it was supposed to be about ... only that it had Cruise "acting" in it, and yelling about something.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 2:35 a.m. CST

    I have little hope for this movie

    by DonRivella

    Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro books represent one of the finest thriller series out there. Unfortunately the leads in this movie seem extremely poorly cast and somehow I don't trust Affleck to make a movie that is both hard hitting and intelligent. Clearly a case of expect the worst, hope for the best.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Review written by Matt Damon

    by Bobo_Vision


  • Sept. 2, 2007, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Affleck was tha bomb in Phantoms

    by Osmosis Jones

    That one never gets old...

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Its From A Book By Dennis Lehane

    by skoobyx

    As in 'Mystic River' Its pretty good. They're also a series so we might have sequels if that's the sort of thing you're into.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    Jazzed to see this.

    by JonQuixote

    Kinda choked they didn't choose to adapt the books in chronological order. The development of the Kenzie/Gennero relationship is the best part of the series and it seems to me the ending of GONE is stronger if you've been through the other books with them. But I guess that's minor. *** I never would have thought to cast Casey as Kenzie (Ben, on the other hand, seemed perfect. I understand wanting to be taken seriously as a director, but Ben, you'll never find a better role for yourself).

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 1:34 p.m. CST

    I'm No Plant

    by djquincyzee

    Hate to tell you guys, but I'm just a normal guy who liked the film. Have posted on here before. It is actually quiet good.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 3 p.m. CST

    Yes you are

    by Leafy McPlantsalot


  • Sept. 2, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    "Gay Baby Gay"?

    by Colier Rannd

    It's amazing how people will use a word like "gay" as a prejorative but never would use the "n" word. Sad.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 5:34 p.m. CST

    The source novel is really good.

    by Barry Egan

    I usually hate voiceover narration but, as the book is written in first person, I could see why Ben would use it.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Why did he go with this one?

    by McFrye

    I can't understand why Affleck decided to start with the fourth book in the series, nor why he chose his little brother Casey to play Patrick Kenzie. I just cannot see him in that role. They're going to have to build up a lot of background in the relationship between Kenzie and Angie Gennaro in a very short amount of time. It just doesn't sit well with me.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Wow, deleted. Well, I guess I had that coming.

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    I knew insulting joss whedon fans was crossing the line.

  • Sept. 2, 2007, 11:41 p.m. CST

    I will give Affleck a chance a director.

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    At this point, though, I honestly can't imagine going to see another movie with him starring ever again. He's not a terrible actor, but I got so burned out on seeing his face during that brief period when he was in EVERYTHING, and they were trying to push him variously and simultaneously as an action hero, romantic lead, comedy star, etc. I can't remember the last time someone got that overexposed that quickly.

  • Sept. 3, 2007, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Yeah And The Actors Seem Kind Of Young

    by skoobyx

    I can't remember exactly how old the characters are but they're definitely out of their twenties.<p> Hollywood's never exactly been senior friendly but a lot of movies are ruined by overly young/pretty casting choices lately.

  • Sept. 3, 2007, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Dennis Lehane also writes for The Wire

    by rosasaks

    Shutter Island would make a good movie.

  • Sept. 3, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST


    by PumpyMcAss

    If they don't have the shootout at the child molester compound in this movie, I will be depressed as hell. It is the most intense and awesome action scene in any book ever. If they did it shot for shot the way it is written in the book, it would go down in movie shootout history like the end of The Wild Bunch or A Better Tomorrow II. Problem is that it is a two hour movie and I could easily see a screenwriter doing away with the whole child molester compound subplot altogether. They shouldn't, though, because in the book it is absolutely virtu-fucking-oso. Other great book action scenes appear in Charlie Huston's Six Bad Things and George Pelecanos's The Sweet Forever.