Tag Archives: valissa smith

“Gone Girl” – Hope you’re feeling good about your marriage.


149 MINUTES (2 hrs, 29 minutes)
Drama/ Mystery/ Thriller

Nick and Amy fell madly in love and got married. He was a mid-western guy making a living in NYC as a writer for a men’s magazine. She was a New Yorker also a writer.
Their relationship was smart and passionate.

When his mother falls ill, the two move to Missouri to care for her, buy a bar and settle in. They stay even after his mother dies. Their marriage loses some of its passion, so of its romance.

On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears. Their appears to have been a struggle in the home, Amy’s blood is there, but no Amy. Police and the press quickly turn on Nick. Nick continues to claim he didn’t murder his wife. His twin sister believes him until she discovers he has lied. Why does he appear to be so emotionally detached? Where is Amy’s body?

Nick is a somewhat vanilla, a low-key character who is hard to read. At times it felt Ben Affleck was a little too vanilla. Amy (Rosamund Pike) is almost schizophrenic and clearly a great actress which is exactly who Rosamund Pike is. She yanks our chain from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.

The real noticeables in this film are Neil Patrick Harris – former boyfriend, Tyler Perry – defense attorney, Kim Dickens – investigative officer and Carrie Coon – Nick’s twin sister Margo. Wow! Great roles to prove their serious chops especially Neil Patrick Harris.

Before you ever walk into this movie, I would recommend you make sure your marriage is healthy and strong, that you and the sweetheart have no hidden secrets and no reason for revenge. If you and your spouse have trust issues, this is NOT the film to make either of you feel better or more importantly, safer. You’ve heard people say “marriage is work.” This creepy drama, thriller is a perfect example of how the lack of attention to a relationship can cause crazy demons in their head to go nuts. (In fact, there’s a great tool called “Better Marriages” you might want to consider if you’re wanting to turn your OK marriage, into a GREAT marriage.)

This best selling book (which I never read) is a thrilling movie albeit long, though I’m not sure where the cuts would have come. But 2 1/2 hours was difficult to sit through. I’m grateful I have nothing to hide from the hubby nor he from me. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be getting much sleep tonight if our relationship was less than best.  I predict a “Gone Girl” will either create more cuddling or more insomnia. And that’s just one chick’s opinion.

Arruga! = 0 (R for a reason)
Fidget Factor = 1 ( Almost 2.5 hours)
Age Range = 18 and up
Overlall Grade = B

Dolphin Tale 2 – There could be tears.

Dolphin Tale 2
107 minutes = 1 hour 47 minutes

Same cast. Three years later.
Same cast. Three years later.

Winter, a dolphin that lost her tail, loses the mother who adopted her. Living alone in the Clearwater Marine Hospital is not an option for any dolphin. They are very social animals. Will the staff and her caregivers find a companion for her so she can remain at the Marine facility?

Well, we probably know the answer to that. So is there any other reason to spend an hour and 47 minutes watching another Dolphin Tale? I think there is.

If you left the first Dolphin flick feeling educated about marine life, moved by the intelligence of these creatures and maybe even a little inspired by a PG story…then you’ll likely enjoy part 2. It is also based on true events.

Same cast (Harry Connick, Jr., Ashely Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Free, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff) are back together 3 years later along with a special guest star Bethany Hamilton, the remarkable and accomplished surfer who gained national attention after her left arm was bitten off by a tiger shark. And yes, kids do grow up fast! Our young actors who found a beached dolphin in the first film are now finding each other – just a little bit. After all they’re now teens. But don’t worry – there’s nothing inappropriate. And they’re embarking on new experiences they’ve earned from working at the Marine facility.

The film was a little slow at times leaving space in my brain to wonder about the dolphins I was watching… were they real or mechanical? They were real! Winter played – herself. As did the other sea creatures. And apparently she’s quite the ham. Producer Richard Ingber says if Winter isn’t up to performing on any given day of shooting, the crew moves on to something else. As he says, the dolphins come first.  And yes, the pesky pelican is also a ham.

Oscar nominees Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”) co-produce the film with Alcon President of Worldwide Marketing, Richard Ingber, who was responsible for the first film too.

Ingber believes that Winter is a real inspiration for people who may want to give up hope on their own disability or difficulty. He hopes that she provides that push to get over it. Seeing Winter may give them inspiration and hope, and as corny as that may sound for a movie real life could sure use more moments like that. But that’s just one chick’s opinion.
Arruga! = 0
Fidget Factor = 1 (too long)
Age Range = 7 and up ( if you child can’t sit through anything for 1 hour and 47 minutes don’t do take them)
Overall grade = B+