Saturday, February 9, 2008

Gone Baby Gone DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Ben Affleck’s Boston-Based Directorial Debut Out on DVD

Adapted from another Boston-based whodunit by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), this intriguing, multi-layered mystery marks the promising directorial debut of Ben Affleck. Ben cast his baby-faced brother Casey in the lead role as private eye Patrick Kenzie opposite doe-eyed Michelle Monaghan as the sidekick/girlfriend, Angie Gennaro.
At the point of departure, we learn that four year-old Amanda McCready (Madeline O’Brien) is missing from the rundown row house she shares on a seedy side of Dorchester with her drug-addicted single-mom, Helene (Amy Ryan). Aware that time is of the essence in any child kidnapping, the little girl’s Aunt Beatrice (Amy Madigan) and Uncle Lionel (Titus Welliver) intervene swiftly on her behalf by hiring local detectives Kenzie and Gennaro, anticipating that witnesses will be more willing to speak to them than to cooperate with the cops.
This unorthodox approach does not sit well with Amanda’s mother, but the narcissistic crackhead is too worried about where her next high is coming from to protest. So, Police Chief Doyle (Morgan Freeman) reluctantly agrees to let them work in tandem with his officers already assigned to handle the search, Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton).
Laced with an abundance of logical red herrings, Gone Baby Gone is a meticulously-twisted thriller guaranteed to keep you on edge and guessing right up to its shocking conclusion. Accolades are in order for Ben Affleck for coaxing an Oscar-nominated performance out of Amy Ryan, along with some stellar work from his sibling Casey and Titus Welliver, as well as from old reliables Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris.
After a string of groan-inducing outings from Daredevil to Gigli to Jersey Girl, it looks like Ben has stepped to the other side of the camera and finally found his true calling.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for pervasive profanity, ethnic and sexual preference slurs, drug use and violence.
Running time: 114 minutes
Studio: Miramax Home Eentertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes with optional commentary, extended ending, audio commentary by director Ben Affleck, “Behind-the-Scenes” and “Casting Gone Baby Gone” featurettes, sneak peeks and more.

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