Gone Girl (2014)

(spoilers ahead, obviously)

Is there anything I can still write about Gone Girl that hasn’t been analyzed, discussed, praised and trashed already? This is certainly one of the most talked about movies in a while and I’m not sure I can really add anything to the dissection of its alleged misogyny, Ben Affleck’s penis, its attitude about marriage, its product placement or what it has in common with Eyes Wide Shut. I think the movie deserves all the buzz as I really, really enjoyed every aspect of it. It cemented my love for David Fincher because it certainly is another astonishingly directed movie that always knows what it’s doing. It’s a great, thought-provoking, surprising movie and I’m not asking for more. Still, though, I want to tackle some of the issues featured in the movie, because one of the reasons it is so good, is that it forces you to think about them.

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Looking for Easy Answers in the Marysville Pilchuck High School Shooting

I’m always fascinated (not in a positive way) by school shootings, not so much because of gun control issues (that’s a given, I guess), but because I can’t help but wonder how terrible living in our culture one must feel to decide to kill others. Especially young people. You can’t explain it away with psychological disorders or video games because it happens too often and the perpetrators are too different to allow simple categorization. All of them have one thing in common (and this includes people who have been doing this decades ago), they live in this society, in this culture. The 14-year-old boy who started shooting in the school cafeteria in Washington on Friday is no different. He is different from other shooters and I wonder if that’s a reason that this shooting is not as publicized in the media as others.

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Poster of a Girl – 2012 Edition: Uma Thurman 2:0, Halle Berry 1:1 [2012 Week]

e7a18-1414164421758In a close battle between an album or movie posters from 2012, posters won. Why? Because posters are slightly more fun, even if it meant browsing through lots of posters from that year (take a look yourself). I don’t write about all of them, obviously, but just a selection of the good, the bad and the most photoshopped.

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21 Jump Street [2012 Week]

e7a18-1414164421758121 twenty_one_jump_street21 Jump Street is the perfect movie for this week to me. It is very popular and successful (not necessarily the same thing), it encapsulates many things I’d consider representative for this year (or our time) and it’s actually quite good. I expected to find it okay, but I really liked it and was surprised by the wit and charm of it (with exceptions). Jonah Hill (who I have a soft spot for because of Wolf of Wall Street) and Channing Tatum (who I didn’t think could act until this movie) are really good in their roles, the writing is good and the movie has many ideas. It’s not deep or anything, but it is entertaining and a little bit more, which must count for something. Some of the jokes are too vulgar (especially in a scene towards the end, which is simply gratuitous and not funny) and Ice Cube is really bad. I mean, really, really bad. But apart from that, this is a very funny movie that makes me want to see the sequel.

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Comics Are for Everyone: 2012 Edition – Occupying Jokers, Transgender Aliens and the Web of Life [2012 Week]

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As I mentioned before, 2012 had a lot of comics in it and I read many of those. So I thought today I spent some time flipping through more than 1,000 issues to see what is noticeable in those comic books. What, you say that’s crazy? Too much? You’re right, actually. I’ll try to focus on which current events were portrayed in some of those comics and also look at some interesting messages regarding humanity. So, the usual.

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The Sessions [2012 Week]

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(real spoilers ahead in the last paragraph)

The Sessions is an exceptional movie not just because of its subject matter but also because of the way it deals with it. The story of Mark O’Brien, who has to live in an iron lung and is paralyzed from his neck down, is treated with the most respect you can imagine, but also with humor. Most importantly, it treats sex as a totally normal thing without embarrassment or ridicule, which I consider one of the greatest achievement of this movie. The story is touching but never goes for drama, the writing is subtle and the acting simply amazing. That John Hawkes is not a name everyone knows still amazes me, as he shines in every role he plays (his role in Me, You and Everyone We Know was revelation to me). Here, he is just perfect and still very different from many other characters he has played. The Sessions is just a very good-natured and effective movie.

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You Belong on the Radio – 2012 Edition [2012 Week]

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Just like last theme week, I decided to look at the popular songs of this year to see what they’re telling us. I’m assuming the songs from two years ago don’t sound so different than the songs nowadays, but I’m still interested to see what we find in those songs. For this I’m using the lists of number one songs and top 10 songs from Germany, the US and UK, which again overlap a lot.

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Battleship [2012 Week]

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(spoilers ahead! – yes, you don’t want to know if the aliens win, do you?)

Battleship. Well, how to start? This is probably one of the most ridiculed movies before it came out and it is basically impossible to take it seriously. It’s a movie version of Battleship, so what could you possibly expect? The story is absurd, the filmmaking is almost irrelevant, there are some moments that could be seen as entertaining, but, come on, no one needed this movie. It’s not the worst; it’s just dumb and unnecessary. Oh, the plot? Aliens attack, battleships fight them back. Liam Neeson is just there for the paycheck, but not for the actual movie. What else do you need to know?

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It’s 2012 Week, You Know? [2012 Week]

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Logo2012It’s 2012 week! Yes, another theme week because while the last week (1980) didn’t go exceptionally well, I see people going back to those articles again and again. Maybe it’s the year and not the theme, but we’ll see about that now. Oh, and because I really like doing these. I randomly picked another year and it turned out to be 2012. First, I wasn’t happy with it since it’s just two years ago and I wrote about four different 2012 films already. I mean, can I really attempt to get an idea of what 2012 meant? I don’t know, but because I reacted so negatively at first, I realized that this is a challenge. And I like challenges. I also wanted to do things a bit differently this time by starting off with a kind of overview first, the basis for the rest of the week. For that intent, I look at what happened in 2012 to see if I can draw any conclusions from it. And to review for myself what I know about this year. As of writing, I neither know what will come up in my movie analysis or other articles nor do I know what this overview will result in. I know which movies I will write about but that’s really it. Too experimental? I hope so! So, let’s all go and celebrate as if it’s only two years ago.

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Inventing the Child – Of Princesses, Pirates and Top Models

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So, it’s time for some children’s books again. Last time I found gender roles, diversity and the lack thereof, animal misrepresentation and much more. Part of my examples today I discovered in a book store in Mannheim and couldn’t help but take some pictures. Let’s take a look!

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