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Jill Parrish comes home from a night shift to discover her sister Molly has been abducted. Jill, who had escaped from a kidnapper a year before, is convinced that the same serial killer has come back for her sister. Afraid that Molly will be dead by sundown, Jill embarks on a heart-pounding chase to find the killer, expose his secrets and save her sister.
For more about Gone and the Gone Blu-ray release, see Gone Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on June 2, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Director: Heitor Dhalia
Writer: Allison Burnett
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley, Daniel Sunjata, Sebastian Stan, Nick Searcy
» See full cast & crew
Gone Blu-ray Review
. . .and already forgotten.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, June 2, 2012
It's not easy living in Oregon, let alone Portland. Take the constant rain—please. (Thanks to Henny Youngman, kind of.) Then there's our portrayal in various mass media, especially lately, where this little burg nestled near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers has become a cause célèbre of sorts, and not necessarily in a good way. Lovers of the IFC series Portlandia are, let's face it, laughing at us Oregonians, not with us, despite the desperate insistence of many of my fellow Portland denizens to the contrary. We also serve as the backdrop for Grimm, a series which exploits the dank, dark and moldy clime of the Pacific Northwest. At least people aren't laughing (intentionally, anyway) at that show. Leverage at least does a nice job of showing off some of the sleeker aspects of the Portland metropolitan region, but only recently has had the courage to actually identify Oregon's biggest city as its actual locale. Our history with films isn't exactly stellar, either, despite the legendary One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest having been filmed here. The Oregonian just did a big feature on another film adaptation of a Ken Kesey novel that was shot here, Sometimes a Great Notion, and about the most memorable thing about the article was the recounting of an anecdote where a drunk and disorderly Paul Newman stumbled into a bar with a chainsaw and cut off the legs of a pool table. Oregon has also provided the admittedly lush scenery for any number of films, including everything from Bend in the River to Paint Your Wagon, but to quote another disheveled comedian, more often than not, Oregon and Portland "don't get no respect" when it comes to film and television. That trend continues unabated in the largely lamentable Gone, one of those one word title high concept thrillers (like Taken, for example) whose title is actually an unwitting commentary on where the quality of the film is (or isn't, as the case may be).
Gone reworks so many hoary clichés, it's pretty easy to sum up the film in just a couple of sentences, because most viewers will be able to fill in the blanks by simply recalling what they've seen in a thousand (a million?) other films of this ilk. Jill (Amanda Seyfried) was kidnapped a year prior to the film's beginning, but managed to escape. However, because she had a history of mental instability, the police never believed that she had been abducted. A year after her abduction, as the film begins Jill's little sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) goes missing, and Jill is convinced it must be at the hands of the same culprit she dealt with previously. Of course, no one believes her, and that, in essence, is the gist of Gone. Anyone who's ever seen a film like this is going to know going in that Jill will eventually find her sister, prove that she's not delusional, and end up dealing with the lunatic bad guy herself.
If there's one perfect example of just how cliché ridden Gone really is, it's a sequence about midway through the film where Jill has managed to track down the real identity of her kidnapper and evident abductor of her sister. She ventures into a dank and seedy downtown hotel (and, yes, there are such things in Portland, believe it or not). She breaks into the guy's room and as the portentous underscore thuds out its ominous low frequency tones, she finds a closed door. Mustering up her courage, she pulls it open, where it creaks mysteriously and then—well, can you guess? Those of you who ventured that a cat jumps out shrieking win the grand prize for being able to predict the supposed "scares" this film has in store.
Gone does manage to create a spooky mood, though in a case of civic pride (and/or defensiveness), it must be granted that a lot of that mood is generated simply because of the cloudly, gloomy environment of Portland, which is well utilized throughout the film. The problem is the entire film is so completely ludicrous from start to finish that no amount of mere "mood" can offset the desire to scream at the screen, "Do something unexpected, for crying out loud!" Even the climax is like a warmed over rehash of The Silence of the Lambs and is further exacerbated by the intentional but maddening decision to let it play out in such darkness that virtually nothing can be made out.
Amanda Seyfried hasn't had an especially auspicious career since her childhood soap opera days and then her appealing turn in the film version of the megamusical Mamma Mia!. She's a charismatic performer and she's obviously easy on the eyes, but she keeps accepting roles in potboilers like Gone and Red Riding Hood which invite ridicule. Perhaps her upcoming roles as Linda Lovelace in Lovelace and Cosette in the highly anticipated film version of Les Misérables will help rehabilitate her image. The two roles certainly couldn't be more disparate and will hopefully help show the young actress' versatility, something that a film like Gone does little to illuminate.
Gone Blu-ray, Video Quality
Gone, like the simultaneously released Man on a Ledge, is one of the first Blu-ray releases from the new merger of Lionsgate and Summit Films. So far the results are very good indeed. Like Man on a Ledge, Gone also boasts an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.40:1. The two transfers are similar in more ways than one, with crisp and appealing imagery which exhibits some very pleasing fine object detail. Gone was filmed with a Red Camera, and so has the somewhat flat aspect of digitally shot features. It's also been excessively filtered at the DI stage, so once again we have a thriller bathed in shades of blue. Contrast is very low at times (again—perhaps a bit more strangely this time—like Man on a Ledge) and there is outright crush in the final showdown scene, due to much of the scene playing out with next to no light.
Gone Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Gone boasts a fairly aggressive lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that has some very nice attention to detail, including some great environmental ambient effects. The opening sequence in Portland's gorgeous Forest Park is a great example, with breeze rustling through the trees (and the surround channels) and the quiet babbling of a nearby brook very capably recreating a lifelike outdoor feeling. The film has the typical jump cuts with attendant LFE effects, which will of course produce a startle effect if nothing else. It's interesting to note that the soundtrack actually becomes more important than it might perhaps have been otherwise in the film's climax, simply because so little can be seen. Dialogue is clear and the pretty standard minor keyed underscore creates a decent amount of tension. Fidelity is excellent throughout the track and dynamic range is also wide and varied.
Gone Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Perhaps indicative of what Summit expects for this title on home video, there are no supplements of any kind on the Blu-ray disc.
Gone Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Come on, film and television creatives! Portland deserves better than this. Here's an idea: a nerdy Portland Blu-ray reviewer finds himself transported to a magical world where films are actually innovative and have something new to offer. No, you're right: it would probably cost too much to make a fantasy of such epic proportions. Of course I joke, but if you manage to sit through Gone without sighing heavily or rolling your eyes at the patent absurdity of it all, you're a better man and/or woman than I am. The only saving grace here is indeed the spooky twilight ambience granted by Oregon's largest city and its surrounding forests. Seyfried fans may want to check this out if they're rabid completists, otherwise Gone really doesn't have a lot to offer, despite this Blu-ray's superior video and audio.
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Gone Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Gone - May 25, 2012
Blu-ray.com and Lionsgate Films are offering three Blu-ray.com members the opportunity to win a copy of director Heitor Dhalia's Gone. One grand prize winner will also receive a mini-poster autographed by actress Amanda Seyfried. The suspense thriller arrives on ...
• Gone Blu-ray - April 10, 2012
In May, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will bring Gone to Blu-ray. This thriller stars Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) as Jill Conway, a troubled young woman who claims to be the only victim to ever escape a diabolical serial killer's clutches. Gone is expected to ...
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