You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl's movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews "Gone Girl," a thriller based on Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel as well as "Men, Women and Children," a drama about families trying to navigate relationships and communication in the digital world.
Jan Wahl Movie Reviews: 'Gone Girl' And 'Men, Women and Children'
GONE GIRL (R) 149 min
Because it's getting all the hype, let's begin with Gone Girl. It's based on Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel but I won't give away too much here since a thriller is based on surprise. But in the movie directed by David Fincher, we enter a marriage on the rocks; it was once a fairytale relationship that has now boiled over with resentment and hidden hostility. When one goes missing, the mystery begins. There's broken glass, blood and a puzzle of who is who and what is what. Unfortunately, it doesn't stay thrilling, and it's the first time I've seen the feisty Ben Affleck play it vapid. The real issue is at the center of the film is that we never really see why Rosamund Pike's character is on this journey. More backstory would have helped and the last twenty minutes is especially disappointing. Good satire about the tabloid news business, but we've seen that before both in the movies and in real life!
MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN (R) 119 min
Ever get concerned that text messages, the internet and social media are turning our kids into droids? And what about the rest of us, do we text rather than speak, forget to look at others or just at what is around us? The film uses entertainment and comedy to get at the truth, after all, this is from writer/director Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air,"" Juno," "Thank You for Smoking"). In it, we meet a large, varied group of people whose lives are seen both in and out of their cyberspace. Judy Greer, Jennifer Garner, Dean Norris and Adam Sandler, in a believable dramatic role, star. Plus there's a group of excellent teens. This is a smart, provocative and worthwhile film.
for more features.