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February 12, 2008

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DVD of the Week – Gone Baby Gone (2007)

by HELEN GEIB

Like a lot of other people, I noticed Casey Affleck for the first time last year. I’d seen a few of the movies he appeared in over the last ten plus years, but those were small roles and he (and by and large the movies) didn’t make an impression. His performances in the lead roles of Gone Baby Gone, released to DVD today, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford made an indelible impression.

Gone Baby Gone is about a small time private investigator, played by Affleck, who must confront a series of moral dilemmas when he is drawn into a complicated child abduction case. It’s a powerful film despite significant structural flaws in the latter half. The film is made with skill and conviction and has an intrinsically heart-wrenching scenario, but more than anything its power derives from Affleck’s intense and intelligent performance.

The DVD has no special features of note. Worth the rental if you missed it in theaters.

Another new movie was released on DVD today that I feel no hesitation in recommending, even though in this case I haven’t seen it. It’s called In the Shadow of the Moon and it’s a documentary about the American space program between 1968 and 1972. The video component consists exclusively of archival film footage and photographs, much of it from NASA, and the narration was created from interviews with all of the surviving astronauts (with the exception of the reclusive Neil Armstrong). I’ve heard only good things about this doc and if you have even a tiny smidgeon of interest in the moon landings, you should rent it now.

New releases this week: Becoming Jane, Into the Wild, Introducing the Dwights, Martian Child, No Reservations, Things We Lost In the Fire, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, We Own the Night


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 15 2008

    I was really impressed by Affleck, too. I agree that the movie had a lot of structural issues, but he was fantastic. I hope he gets noticed a lot more in the future.

  2. Rishi
    Feb 17 2008

    I was not expecting much at all from Gone Baby Gone when I caught it in the theaters a couple months back. Yes, it has its issues, but it’s a good first effort by director Ben Affleck. I’m surprised that Casey gets so much praise but that big brother isn’t even mentioned at the helm!

    I didn’t like In the Shadow of the Moon, but perhaps I realized just this year that I don’t like documentaries.

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