I’m scared, Fif. You know why? It’s that rat circus out there. I’m beginning to enjoy it.
What is this, funny week?
Look. Any longer out on that road and I’m one of them, you know? A terminal crazy… only I got a bronze badge to say I’m one of the good guys.
So during the #shelterinplace in the COVID-19 crisis, my sister and I watched a lot of End of the World/Dystopian Future films.
One we both had wanted to watch as people have gone on and on about it, is Mad Max (1979), the original film-yes the one that launched Mel Gibson to action star fame.
So I didn’t like the film. It reminded me of a lot of other films and moved really slow.
The story is that post-apocalyptic Australia is overrun with nomadic motorcycle gangs who pillage, rape, and cause havoc.
from Terminator 2: Judgement Day
This actually wasn’t supposed to be post-apocalyptic but they had a small budget and could only afford rundown buildings.
The only one who stands against the gangs are the police who roam the land and take these guys down. There are only four police.
That’s not good.
Mel Gibson is Max and he takes out one bad rider, arresting gang member Johnny Boy. However, Johnny Boy is acquitted when no one shows up at the trial (he raped someone-they have a hard time facing their abusers, even more so in this world). This makes police officer Goose angry ad he shouts at the gang telling them he will get them.
You should never get the nickname Goose, Gooses tend to die…So you know where this is going. Goose made the gang angry and they sabotage his motorcycle. After Goose dies, Max becomes disheartened at being a police officer and wants to quit (he had before but they convinced him to stay on) and takes a leave of absence. He, his wife, and son are traveling when they run into the gang and his son ends up killed, his wife in a coma.
This makes Max angry, furious, and crazy-thus Mad Max is born. (I really like the play on the word “mad” as it means furious and insane-which he becomes both of). He suits up, steals the souped up police car, and chases down the gang taking them out.
So the most of the movie as I said is slow-the gang is insane, strange, weird, and hard to watch. They are very chaotic-raping, blowing things up, running things over, etc. The movie doesn’t show everything, only some, but alludes to enough, too much-I didn’t like it.
That place – Jamaica Inn. It’s got a bad name. It’s not healthy, that’s why. There’s queer things goes on there.
Alfred Hitchcock, practically everyone knows the King of Suspense.
But while most know the films The Birds; Psycho, Vertigo, etc: a lot of his earlier films are ignored. So while these may not be everyone’s favorite, these are films I love and enjoy.
Jamaica Inn was the last film Alfred Hitchcock made in the U.K., with him moving to the United States after this picture was completed. While it is not considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, most people hate it even going as far to state it as his worst, I like it so I’m going to review it.
So the film is based on the historical fiction novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Marier (the same woman who wrote The Birds and Rebecca). Both she and Alfred Hitchcock were very displeased with the end result. Now why did this movie have so many problems? Charles Laughton.
Now don’t get me wrong. He is a great actor, I mean look at his filmography. However, as he produced this he was able to call a lot of the shots, therefore not allowing Hitchcock to work his usual magic. Laughton changed the character chosen for him, forced Hitchcock to hire Maureen O’Hara, made Hitchcock reveal a twist earlier than planned, etc. It’s hard when someone usurps the director’s power.
But not everyone knows how to wield it.
Anyways, I’m going to review, because I like it.
Now before we get into the review, let’s have a brief history lesson.
This film takes place in the 1820 and involves a ship wrecking gang. Wrecking was a major economy booster and began as early as the 14th century, ending in the 20th century. Certain areas, such as Cromwell where this film takes place, gangs would cause ships to crash into the rocky shoreline, by either creating false lights or putting out the usual ones.
When the ships crashed, the gangs would then salvage the cargo, sell it, and kill the sailors to hide their crimes. It wasn’t until 1870, that rescuing the sailors brought in a reward.
In order to hide these activities, the wreckers would spread stories about ghost, phantoms, or other supernatural beings existing in the area.
Jamaica Inn is also based on a real inn and pub. It was known for its smugglers, pirates, and ghost stories.
So this film starts out with something a bit unusual, a prayer.
“O Lord we pray the–
not that wrecks should happen,
but that if they do happen
Thou wilt guide them–
to the coast of Cornwall,
for the benefit of the
This real prayer for the 19th century shows how prevalent, wrecking/salvaging was.
So the film starts out with the pirates (as they technically are as they are robbing/plundering ships) putting out the lights at Cromwell’s shore during a huge storm, causing them to crash. The crew go out and salvage everything, leaving no sailor alive.
The leader of this group is Joss Merlyn, also owner of Jamaica Inn. He picks the ships, sells the goods, divvies up the profits, and makes sure every man follows his orders. He’s not looking to head for the gallows.
Meanwhile, Mary Yellen is traveling from Ireland to Jamaica Inn.
Mary is played by Maureen O’Hara, in her first big role. She’s heading to Jamaica Inn to be with her Aunt Patience as her parents died and she has no where else to go. She’s heading in a cab, when suddenly it starts moving extremely fast and passes Jamaica Inn.
What’s going on?
She tries to get him to stop, but he refuses to listen. He’s afraid of Jamaica Inn, as he’s heard stories of ghosts, pirates, thieves, and worse. Instead he overshoots it by miles, dropping her off in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.
Geez, how rude. I mean just living a women stranded in the middle of nowhere in the dark?
Luckily, she isn’t too far from the Squire’s house, Sir Humphrey. She decides to head down there for help.
Meanwhile, Sir Humphrey is having a big dinner and fancy party for him and his friends.
Now the Squire loves beautiful things. He’ll spend tons of money on a figurine, a horse, etc. Some of the ladies at the tale are interested in landing him, but they aren’t young or pretty enough for him.
Mary comes in from the cold and demands to see the Squire for help. Sir Humphrey is annoyed/intrigued at the intrusion sand makes a bet the girl will be ugly. However, when he sees her, he is stunned at her beauty.
He then tells her to remove her coat:
I’d be like “heck no!” I’m leaving my clothes on.
But, she agrees, and he says she looks stunning. That over and done with, she asks him for help to the Inn. Sir Humphrey doesn’t want her to go, as the inn is full of ruffians, no place for a pretty, young girl. He would rather she stay with him.
Mary thanks him, but insists on going to the inn to be with her aunt Patience. Sir Humphrey agrees to help, and takes her to the inn.
When they arrive, Joss is creepily staring through the window at Mary.
He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.
She knocks at the door and when he opens it, he sticks a gun in her face.
Mary quickly tells him who she is, and then Joss tries to flirt with her, asking for a kiss.
Mary starts yelling at him and telling him to watch out, her uncle won’t stand for such rude treatment.
The jerk just laughs, and reveals he is her uncle.
Luckily, Patience comes out and stops his attentions for the moment. Mary is shocked when she sees Patience, she used to be so beautiful, but now is a tired, pale, weary, slip of a thing.
What happened to you?
You can tell by her pinched face that she is emotionally and physically abused by her husband.
Patience is happy to see her, but surprised. Apparently, they never received Mary’s letter telling of her parents death. They bring her in, with Joss making poor Patience carry the whole trunk. Mary goes to help, but Joss says no as he would hate to ruin a lady’s beautiful hands.
How could he flirt like that in front of his wife? To her own niece?
Mary has a fiery temper and yells at him. In return he picks up her trunk and throws it up the stairs, proving his strength. A true test of wills.
Don’t mess with me!
Downstairs the crew are laughing and being rowdy, Joss having Patience take Mary into the kitchen so that she won’t find out what’s going on.
When Harry, Joss’ right hand man, hears of a pretty lady, he tries to go see her and put the moves on her.
But Joss tells everyone that Mary is hands off, only for him. I mean to his wife’s niece? What a jerk and mega creep.
Back in the kitchen Mary and Patience are talking. Mary wants Patience to leave Joss, but she won’t. She ran away from him because she loved him, and even though he beats her, she still “loves” him. In reality, she has come to believe she deserves the beating, stuck in that cycle of abuse.
So back with the pirates. A recent addition to the team, Jem Trehearne, has been starting a ruckus with the men.
He believes there is a lot more going on then Joss is saying. He’s been keeping on eye on the merchandise ands how much they’ve received back and it is not adding up right. There is some that is being funneled elsewhere. Jem is also smart enough to realize there is no way Joss could fence these items on his own, there must be someone helping him. But who?
Joss sees how unsettled everyone is, and turns the suspicions back onto the crew; telling the group how easy it could be for one of them to take the product and waylay it, selling it later and keeping the profits. Now we have a witchunt, wtith everyone questioning each other.
He starts questioning how long each has been with him, coming up to Jem who has only been a part of the group for two months. Jem tries to turn it back to Joss and his mystery partner, but all have turned against him.
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
They seize Jem and search his pockets, finding gold. That settles it, he must hang.
Before they can get started, Patience interrupts. She never would do such a thing, except Mary has just told her the Squire, Sir Humphrey, gave her a lift to the inn. She’s worried that him being there, he might have seen something.
He tells Patience to take Mary up to her room to finish dinner, let’s Harry take care of Jem, and then heads upstairs to a locked room.
And in there is the squire.
It turns out that Jem was right all along, there is someone else in charge, the squire.
This was an area of the film Hitchcock strongly disagreed with. He wanted to wait until the very end to do one of his famous reveals, us finding out that the Squire, supposed good guy was the real villain. But Laughton was a big star and he wanted more screen time, and as he was also producing the film, what he said went. It is interesting to see Hitchcock as he is starting out and then later on, when his word was the law. Even when it drove his actress crazy, like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.
Anyways, yes the real criminal mastermind is indeed the Squire, Sir Humphrey.
Don’t let that pompous act fool you. He wines and dines the captains, finding out when ships carrying valuables are coming, sending word to Joss, who then gets the group out there to take care of it. Joss turns the goods over to the Squire, who sells the product taking a hefty cut, and giving the rest to be doled out the crewman. In some ways, this is very similar to Michael Crichton’s book Pirate Latitudes.
So Sir Humphrey is not happy with what he has, he thinks he deserves more.
Joss disagrees, warning him about the unruly crewman who think they are being created. They were lucky that Jem was a perfect scapegoat, but what if next time they men turn on him?
Them in this case
Squire tells him it doesn’t matter, and he better deal with the problem. They need to refocus as a new ship is coming in tomorrow night with lots of valuables.
Eyes on the prize.
Joss tells Sir Humphrey about Mary, and that he will remove her from the equation. Sir Humphrey disagrees, as he wants Mary to stay, that is until he’s had her.
Meanwhile, Jem has been knocked out and tied up. The crew are looking for the right beam to hang him, unknowingly choosing the exact one that lies under Mary’s room.
She overhears them talking about killing Jem, and watches them through a knothole, as they tie him up to the beam. One of the men, Dandy, really likes Jem’s buckles. Instead of waiting to play dice for them, Dandy grabs them and runs off, causing the others to chase him.
With them out of the way, Mary takes her knife and starts sawing through the rope, trying to free Jem. After he drops to the ground, she sneaks out of her room and completes untying him. She wakes him up, and he tries to get her to come with him, but she has to stay for her aunt.
However, they quickly discover Jem is gone. Patience figures out that it is Mary.
and tells her to run. She takes off but soon finds herself about to be caught, when Jem pulls her onto the roof.
How sweet, he couldn’t leave her behind to face everything on her own.
The two take off for the shore, Jem saying he knows a place they’ll be able to hide for a while.
Joss figures out who let Jem out, and sends everyone in teams to find them and kill them. He then goes to see the Squire to warn him.
Back at the squire’s home, we discover that he isn’t as rich as he’s been pretending to be.
I also suspect that he suffers from being bipolar or some other disease. They way he switches so quickly from anger to joyful, there’s something disconnected up there.
It turns out that his Butler is also starting to question what’s going on with the squire, as madness runs in his family.
Joss goes to him worried about what might happen with Jem and Mary, who they will tell. Sir Humphrey tells him to calm down as he is the only justice of the peace in the area. He kicks Joss out and tells him to focus on the ship wrecking.
Eyes on the prize
He continues to yell at Joss, and also tells him to leave Mary alone. That girl is his.
The next day, Mary wakes up in the arms of Jem.
She is suddenly freaked out as the realization of her choices hits her. She betrayed her family to save a man she doesn’t even know, a thief and pirate. She can never return to her Aunt’s home, all family is lost to her, and all she has is a pirate who could be cruel to her or hurt her.
She tries to sneak away, and steal the boat, but wakes Jem up, who is hurt at her not trusting him. I mean after all that you think they would have a bond.
Jem Trehearne: That’s women for you – save your life one minute, frightened of you the next. I guess I’m not a very pretty sight at the moment, but I don’t bite, you know.
While the two are arguing, the boat slips away and they are now stuck in a cave, and high tide will be upon them soon enough.
So now they are stuck. And in this scene we have some of the best banter. Jem is totally trying to make light of the situation. Mary, on the other hand, is angry at herself and the fact that everything is going wrong.
Jem Trehearne: Trust me to land myself with a woman. ‘Course, you did save my life.
Mary Yellen: I hope you make better use of it in the future.
Jem Trehearne: That’s a tall order for a desperate character like me.
Mary Yellen: No doubt.
Jem Trehearne: Smuggler and a cutthroat; that gives it.
Mary Yellen: Very likely.
Jem Trehearne: Do you think there’s any hope for me? Tell me, what all am I to do?
Mary Yellen: Anything you please.
Jem Trehearne: Well, I used to be a sailor. I can go back to sea.
Mary Yellen: I’m not in the least interested.
Jem Trehearne: You must be. Don’t forget you’re responsible for me.
Mary Yellen: I am not.
Jem Trehearne: Oh, yes. If weren’t for you I shouldn’t be here at all. You can’t deny that. When we’re safe in Trulo I’ll place myself entirely in your hands.
Mary Yellen: Oh, please be quiet.
I like Jem. I think he is sweet, funny, and pretty adorable while at the same time being a man of action, and having some honor. I wonder how he got mixed up with thieves?
So while they are talking, they fail to realize that their lost boat has just given away their position. Harry and two other crew members, realize they are in the cave and throw down a rope, inviting them up. They’re trapped. Either they wait in the cave and drown when the high tide comes in. Or they are saved and killed by the pirates.
But Jem won’t give up. He decides to instead have him and Mary swim to shore. They have a better chance of surviving the stormy sea, then staying in the cave where the men will let them drown or hang them.
They make it to shore, and Jem wants to go to town. Mary changes his mind, by pointing out the Squire’s mansion is so much closer.
When they get to the house, they interrupt a dinner with a captain.
The two come in soaked and telling the squire about what’s going on. Mary is sent upstairs to change into dry things, stopping to ask the squire for clemency for Jem, while Jem is regulated in front of the fire as he is not important. Go ahead and freeze to death or catch the flu and die, you’re not important.
But Jem will not be regulated to the side. He insists on speaking to the squire NOW. In fact he has something very important to show Sir Humphrey.
Yep Jem is not really a thief, he’s actual a cop and was just undercover trying to bust a ship wrecking ring. Before Sir Humphrey was just going to get rid of him or lock him up, but know that he is a cop with real officers knowing who he is and where he went. It’s time to change the game.
Mary overhears and runs over to the Inn to warn Patience, and try and get her to leave, but she won’t go. Soon Jem and Sir Humphrey arrive, Sir Humphrey playing along with Jem; as Jem deduces the how, where, and why of the whole situation. He just needs to figure out who the head man is.
He tries to persuade Joss to tell. This man is a tyrant that must be brought to justice!
Jem Trehearne: He [the head of the operation] remains aloof content to hire the scum of the coast to do his murderous work for him, thinking there’s no blood on his hands, but there is.
Jem leaves Joss with Sir Humphrey, as he goes to move the women upstairs. While he is gone Sir Humphrey warns Joss that tonight will have to be the last one, it would be best for both to take a little vacation. Then he hands over his gun.
Now think how much more awesome this scene would have been if this was the first time we realized that the Squire was the man they were working for. Hitchcock relly got gypped there. Oh, well.
So the men have heard Jem, and without Sir Humphrey as back up, the two are quickly captured and tied up.
Joss puts Patience on guard with a gun, while asking Mary along, just in case she had the urge to free Jem again.
Jem puts on a brave face and tries to convince Patience that if she gives up the location of her husband, then it will help him serve less time. Patiene refuses.
Sir Humphrey doesn’t even bother talking, getting out of the unknotted knots Joss tied on him and walking right out. After all, he has a ship to catch.
Jem is embarrassed and angry he could be tricked so easily, but continues to try to get Patience to set him free. But Patience says no, she loves Jem.
Eventually something must have worked on her, as the next scene we see Jem free and out to get help.
Meanwhile Mary is out with the crewman. They put the beacon out and wait, but while all are preoccupied, Mary runs out to fix the beacon. She gets in a fight with one of the men, accidentally breaking the beacon and setting her cape on fire. She hangs that up and saves the ship.
The salvagers are very angry!
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
They grab her and start tearing at her clothes, making threats about what they will do. Joss comes into save her, but gets shot by Harry.
Mary manages to get his body to the inn. There Patience is heartbroken and tries to warn Mary that Joss wasn’t the real leader, there is someone worse, when she is shot!
Sir Humphrey shot her as he didn’t want her warning Mary about him. He then goes and ties her up, giving her a hooded cape to hide it, and takes her with him in his carriage.
So Sir Humprey has completely succumbed to the insanity that runs in his family.
Jem is not too far behind the two, being able to get the regimental captain that was dining with Sir Humphrey earlier to use his troops to stop the men. They round up the ship wreckers and find the bodies of Joss and Patience. They set out to follow Humphrey’s trail.
At the ship, Sir Humphrey throws Mary inside a cabin. Telling her that she may have wanted to marry some normal, man and have a litter of kids, but that’s not what she should have. She should have the finer things with him.
Sir Humphrey: Good thing you have a man of sensibility, who’d rather see you dead first.
Before Sir Humphrey can make good on his threats, the regiment arrives. He tries to take Mary as a hostage, but they are prepared to shoot any part of his body they can. In order to escape he climbs up the sails of the ship, choosing to jump off and commit suicide then be taken alive.
Mary is shaken over everything, with Jem taking her and comforting her.
So was it as amazing as his later work? No. Was it still a good movie? Yes. I thought it was interesting, fun, a tad campy, but still entertaining.
What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am just stating here and now that I will not reveal the end of this movie. It is a great piece of work, with an amazing twist that you must see or read (the book) for yourself. Since it is still out in theaters I do not want to ruin anything for the potential viewer. That being said:
So the book this film is based on came out in 2012 and I was really intrigued by it. I added it to my to-read list and planned on getting around to it. But you readers know how that is.
So yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, that all changed this summer. I told you in a previous post that I journeyed out to Wyoming for an internship. There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, and the other interns and I mostly hung out on the weekends. We talked about what there was to do, which was mostly reading or netflixing. (I don’t have netflix so I Amazon Instant Watch or putlocker things). Anyways, one of the interns, Gwen, hadn’t brought anything with her and was asking about where to purchase books. I had brought my kindle and was fine (until it broke). I told her the library was out as I had found out to get a card I would have to pay $20.
Then I remembered! There was a bookstore in town called “The Newstand“. But shortly after we arrived it went out of business.
Yep. I think the only place left in town you could to get books were the Walgreens or the Walmart. They had two thrift stores in town, one was only clothes, the other furniture. It was very different from anyplace I’d lived before.
Anyways, so one week Gwen starts talking about this book she just bought (I don’t know where. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever asked her.) She told us it was Gone Girl. Immediately I was intrigued as I had really wanted to borrow it. I asked for the book and finished it in one day. It was that good.
The book is a mystery/suspense/horror. The way it is told is really interesting as it goes back and forth between the present and the past. In the present Nick Dunne’s is trying to figure out and cope with his wife Amy’s disappearance. The past is revealed to us through Amy’s journal, as she details the everything prior to her disappearance. It was an interesting book as it has the same unsettling qualities as Catcher in the Rye or Alias Grace. In Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, admits to the reader that he is a liar, leaving one unsure of what in the book is real, and what is a child’s fantasy. Margaret Atwood, author of Alias Grace, does a similar thing in her novel. There are no quotations marks put around the dialogue, leaving the reader very uncertain as to what was said and what was only in the character’s minds. Just like Holden, Grace Marks leaves us wondering if she is really telling the truth?
Gone Girl isn’t exactly written that way, but it does have some similarities. With Nick, he is described as being somewhat of an a***hole (his word not mine) and having a face that makes himself always look as if he is lying. He is too good looking and charming that you don’t want to trust him (the characters joke that his chin causes you to not trust him.) As you read his accounts you start wondering if there is more than he is telling the reader. You feel as if he is hiding something from you, even though it is told in first person. It makes you wonder what is he hiding? What are his secrets?
And then you have Amy. Everything we hear is from what she wrote in a journal. But is it the truth? After all a journal is where you release your emotions. Sometimes you exaggerate or write things down that you would never do, just because it helps destress you. As I mentioned before it is a release. Besides that you don’t write everything down in a journal. After all, that is a lot of work. Most of the time you write down the things that made you upset or happy; never giving the whole picture but a moment. Just a moment. It’s selective in memory. So that begs the question: how much of it can we take as fact? How much is fiction?
So one day I was at the movie theater watching Expendables III. The film finished and I contemplated sneaking in to see another film, but unfortunately the theater I was at was very small (four screens) and the ticket seller and I had had an actual conversation, so he would remember me. Along with that, my “California-ness” showed very strongly as everyone told that I looked very “different” from Wyoming girls.
Yeah I don’t understand it either
So instead I called a cab for a ride home and waited around until it came. As I was waiting, I started watching the screen that showed trailers for upcoming films. I saw one for The Equalizer, but it didn’t really strike me as a “must-see”. After that the trailer for Gone Girl came up.
I didn’t even know that they were turning the book into a film!!! Fantastic!!! Then I saw the cast list. As you know from an earlier post, I love Ben Affleck. I knew he would be a perfect Nick. Rosamund Pike was great as Jane in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and I was interested to see how she would do this role. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a great choice as Amy’s ex, as everything I have ever seen him in he has conquered. The only thing I was unsure about was Tyler Perry. But to be honest, any time I see him not playing Madea, it’s a little strange. Anyways, I became excited for the film and couldn’t wait to see it.
And as I mentioned before it was pretty incredible.
Take note Hollywood
What was great about the film was that they followed the book pretty consistently. There are a few changes, but not enough to make you want to string up the director by his thumbs. On a whole the changes didn’t really hurt the film at all. I thought it was amazing how they handled the flashbacks, narrations, and journal entries. I would definitely read the book along with the movie as it has more detail and little things that can’t transfer over to film. I do give one warning though. If you want to be surprised DO NOT READ THE BOOK. The book has this amazing twist, about halfway through, and a killer end. It was a great shock when you read it, but not so much the second time encountering it on the screen. I mean you already know it, so while the rest of the audience is oohing and ahhing over it, you’re just chilling there thinking, knew it.
So if you truly, truly want to be surprised. I would wait to read the book until after seeing the film.
So I’m just going to do a partial review, as I really, really don’t want to spoil too much for anybody.
It is the day of the Dunne’s five-year anniversary. And Nick is not very happy.
You see life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the Dunnes. Nick is from a little town; North Carthage, Missouri. He went to college and moved to New York, and began writing for a magazine. He met Amy at a party and the two later married…but bliss did not last long. He lost his job due to downsizing as the economy tanked. His father is crazy and in a home where he constantly escapes from. And his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, hearing the news of his mother, he and Amy move back to his hometown much to her displeasure.
Now the relationship was already strained, but after moving to Missouri it becomes much worse. Amy is a New Yorker born and bred and doesn’t do well with places that are not New York.
That particular morning, Nick heads over to the bar that he bought with his twin sister Margot, and the two contemplate what would be a good anniversary present. 5 years is wood, “and there’s nothing good from that.” When Nick heads home, he receives the biggest shock of his life.
His house is a mess and his wife is missing.
He can’t find her and doesn’t know where she might be. He calls the police and later, her parents. They team up and begin commercials, signs, news reports, trying to find Amy. Ben Affleck did an amazing job at this role.
But some people don’t think that he’s quite so innocent. Some suspect he might have killed her. Things become espechially sticky when they discover the broken in area was staged, and a lot of blood was spilled and then cleaned up afterwards. Did he have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? Did he kill her? Is he innocent? If he is innocent, than what happened to her? Where can she be?
We are first introduced to Amy through her journal. Amy is the daughter of authors. Her parents wrote the best-selling series called Amazing Amy. Their main character is perfect and excels at every hobby. Especially things that Amy has failed at. Amy resents the books, but they have made her famous and a major spot in the limelight.
Amy is beautiful, charming, witty, etc. The “perfect” woman.
She writes personality quizzes for magazines for a living. I know some of you out there might think that’s a bit strange, but let’s face it…she has a major trust fund. She meets Nick at a “writer” party one night, and after that the two are hooked. They get married and have a few great years, but things start going downhill once Nick loses his job. He becomes someone that she doesn’t know.
She hates Missouri. Nick thrives, but it makes her feel like she is choking. Then things in the marriage start to get even worse…Or does it? Is Nick really as cruel as Amy paints him? Or are the writings in the journal just the exaggerations of an unhappy, displaced person?
Did Amy leave by her own choice? Or was she taken by force? But most importantly, where is Amy?
The supporting characters are just as great as Affleck and Pike. Carrie Coon is perfect as Margot as she is really able to capture twin sister needling brother, and being supremely protective of him. Kim Dickens is an amazing Detective Rhonda Boney, the homicide officer assigned to the case. She seems all midwestern, laid-back, easygoing, charm; but she has a real brain in her head and is highly observant. Neil Patrick Harris steals scenes, as he plays Desi Collings, Amy’s ex and possible kidnapper. And then we have Tyler Perry, rounding out the cast as Tanner Bolt. I never would have picked him for the part as he is radically different, but he does a great job as being one of those shark lawyers after the big-name cases.
And is has an awesome twist that I will not reveal as you all should definitely watch/read for yourself.
Where is Amy? What Happened to Her? Visit Your Local Theater to Find Out.
So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.
This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!
So I decided I would.
So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.
This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.
So anyways, on to the film.
So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).
He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.
Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.
1) Waldo Lybecker
Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.
“Waldo Lydecker: She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”
But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.
Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.
Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.
Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?
2) Shelby Carpenter
Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?
“Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?
Laura Hunt: Yes.
Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?
Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!
Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?
Laura Hunt: What about next year?
Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?
Laura Hunt: What about dancing?
Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”
The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.
Or is it?
It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?
3) Ann Treadwell
Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.
When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?
As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.
One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?
When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.
But if that’s Laura? Who is…?
Who is the dead body?
They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.
Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura
4) Laura Hunt
So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.
But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!
She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.
Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.
Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!
Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.
“They say that when I die, the case will die. They say it will be like a book I close. But the book, it will never close…”
So this is a film that I have been wanting to see for a really long time and finally was able to. It is on Amazon Instant Watch currently, so I would totally suggest checking it out if you have that.
Check it out
So this film was an amazing thriller. I have to say that I thought I had everything figured out, but in the end I was really thrown by James Patterson.
So the film is based on the book of the same name, and is the first of the Alex Cross detective series.
So the film starts off with Alex Cross, played by the amazing Morgan Freeman, trying to take down a serial rapist and killer. His partner, Tracie, is currently undercover and trying to see if Jim Galloway, the guy they’ve been tailing, is their supposed guy. Everything is running smoothly, until Galloway discovers that Tracie is a cop. He then tries to hurt her, causing her to hit him, the car to spin out of control, and go over the Virginia Falls.
Alex is brokenhearted.
Fast forward a year. Here we have little Megan Rose, a senator’s daughter, who is going to school. It seems to be just an average until…but its not. It is very different as her Charles Lindbergh obsessed computer science teacher, Mr. Soneji, kidnaps her.
The secret service who watches the kids of political parents discover the kidnapping and go looking for her, calling in the FBI.
Meanwhile, Alex Cross is watching news on TV when he receives a phone call. It is the killer!
Yes, just like When a Stranger Calls, the killer is interested in a game of cat and mouse. Soneji wants Alex to get involved in the case so that he can have the fame of not only outsmarting the detective but be widely written about in all the papers. He leaves Megan’s shoe in Alex’s mailbox, prompting him to immediately join the case. There he teams up with Jezzie, Megan’s security detail, to try and track this kidnapper down.
Now I won’t say anymore, because I really do not want to give away the ending, it was so awesome. But I will leave you with reasons why I truly enjoyed this film.
1. Morgan Freeman
Now you’re all probably think, no duh. (Am I right?) And sure it is a no brainer. Morgan Freeman is an absolutely wonderful actor and really connects to you in this role. You feel his pain when he loses his partner, the reluctance to take on a new one, and the drive he has to find this girl, no matter what the cost. He’s lovable, tough, no-nonsense, and the guy you pretty much wish you had backing you up.
2. Megan Rose
Megan is the little girl kidnapped and she’s no push over. This girl is pretty B.A. as she constantly comes up with ways to try and escape to get back to her parents. I love that she is not only super smart, but incredibly persistent stopping at nothing to gain her freedom.
3. Twist Ending
Now the ending is great, it was an amazing twist. It was one of those that when you each the end you see all the little hints that were headed your way and it all makes sense, vis a vis Perfect Stranger.