Gone Girl. Hmmm. The Equalizer. Zowie! Got a character question for you…

Saw GONE GIRL last night. Didn’t care for it. Can’t quite figure out why.

It was well done, but, because I’d read the book, I can’t tell if the surprises were guessable or not. Certainly the film had solid “blows the character’s world apart” act breaks. I don’t know if I cared about the hero all that much. I wanted him to win, but I wasn’t ever convinced that he was ever really in grave danger. I walked out and felt, “Meh.” It never really grabbed me and petered out at the end. The ending was like the book and what was vaguely odd in the book became, in the movie, unsatisfying in the extreme.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

I REALLY REALLY liked THE EQUALIZER. What a wonderfully fun roller coaster ride. I enjoyed every minute. Nary a misstep. He’s a fascinating character and the story works like a Swiss watch. Nice, stately beginning and then the adrenaline kicks in.

And, boy does it ever. If you like shoot ’em ups, this is the movie for you.

Working on the sequel to my book and that still-dark-outside early morning work has generated a question for you.

Can you tell me of a memorable “character steps on the stage for the first time” moments? Like meeting Don Corleone for the first time. Or, when we meet Trapper John in Altman’s M*A*S*H. I’m writing about that crucial moment where we meet the hero for the first time and am looking for marvelous examples.

Thoughts?

Thank you!

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Gone Girl. Hmmm. The Equalizer. Zowie! Got a character question for you…

  1. Clint

    Enjoyed meeting Daniel Dravot (as introduced by Peachy Carnehan) in John Huston’s memorable epic film “The Man Who Would Be King,” based on the story by Rudyard Kipling. A wonderful, lively, and most memorable introduction to a leading character. Couldn’t imagine any two better actors to play those leading roles, yet upon researching the history of the film, a surprisingly long and varied list of actors crops up before one’s eyes. Thank goodness a tenaciously persistent John Huston kept his dream alive to make this now classic film from classic literature.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      I haven’t seen THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING in a long long time… but I do remember that scene! Thank you for the suggestion. Yeah, I think when Huston started, he was looking at, who, Clark Gable?

  2. Going from memory, so I may be wrong. If these are correct, then they really are good. SPOILERS: In THE CONTENDER, Joan Allen and her hubs are going at it, and she has to answer a call from the President; BRIDESMAIDS: Hilarious sex scene with Jon Hamm and Kristin Wiig; BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY: I think this one has slow-motion nostalgic elegiac home-movie footage of an Independence Day parade showing how little boys are conditioned early to be soldiers, as well as, a poignant moment of an old veteran returned in an instant to a battle decades earlier as he recoils from the (silent to us) fireworks.

  3. Federico Fellini’s “Juliet Of The Spirits” has a great introduction of Giulietta Masina’s character. Fellini only shows her from behind or in mirrors, as she preps for her wedding anniversary. She barks orders at servants, tries on multiple outfits, and fires up candles at the dining table. Bathed in shadows, she waits for her husband to come through the door. He flips on the lights and Masina’s finally shown in full view. She’s beaming. He asks why she’s standing in the dark, and her smile disappears. Kind of reminds me of Harrison Ford’s, very cinematic, intro in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      I have never seen JULIET OF THE SPIRITS. A major failing on my part, to be sure. I’ll look at it soon, and thank you. And, YES, the Raider’s intro is superb. We learn a ton about that guy, and are hooked deep.

  4. “Bond. James Bond.” Was there ever anything better?

  5. The introductions of Dr. Watson and especially Rudolph Valentino in THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS.

    Gone Girl was a fun movie as long as you resist the temptation to turn your brain on and ask any of the multiple “Why didn’t …. ?” or “How come … ?” questions.

    • Valentino was a minor character, but a great scene nonetheless, and I’m having trouble remembering Holmes’ (George C Scott) intro. I think he and Watson (Joanne Woodward) introed together. Now I’ll have to go and watch the film again.

  6. Byron

    Meeting Jake, from Training Day!

  7. I think Gone Girl was one of the best screenplays this year, and I’ve read the book and the screenplay, and I was so enchanted with the film, probably because of my deep appreciation for Fincher’s directing skills. But, I’d really like to know what do you think about Interstellar? In my case, it was so bad I felt like crying the entire time.
    P.S. Loved your book!

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      re: Interstellar. Hmm.
      Fun to watch, but mostly on the dumb side. WAY too much silly explaino that made no sense. I liked the big reveal as to what was making the books fall out of the bookcase, but so much of the story was impossible to believe. It was cool, and eye candy in the extreme, but in the end, was too dumb for me.

  8. Nick Salazar

    The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Wandering through a grocery store in the middle of the night wearing a bathrobe and paying for a carton of milk with a check.

    Not the hero, but the opening scene of The Dark Knight where we are introduced to the Joker during the bank heist.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      OH MY YES!!
      This from the script:

      It is late, the supermarket all but deserted. We are tracking in on a fortyish man in Bermuda shorts and sunglasses at the dairy case. He is the Dude. His rumpled look and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.

      Is “casualness” really a word?
      Who cares?!

  9. Kevin Barnes

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Daniel Plainview. We don’t know his name in the opening scenes, but if we did, that alone would speak volumes: Plainview! What we do get is a miner/prospector digging for silver on his own claim. He’s in way over his head, but he has no employees. He’s not going to share profits! And when he breaks his leg after a dynamite blast exposes the bounty, he CRAWLS miles into town from the desert to collect his cash. That’s who this guy is. And all the while, not a word of dialogue is spoken. Best character intro ever.

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