Rapid Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)

GoneBabyGoneposter

“Kids forgive, they don’t judge, they turn the other cheek, and what do they get for it?”
 – Detective Remy Bressant

SYNOPSIS: Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl’s kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. – via IMDB

gone baby gone working

GRADE 7I recall enjoying this movie quite a bit when it came out a few years ago, and then I read the book by Dennis Lehane and I freaking loved that, though it certainly wasn’t an easy read at all. Naturally I stumbled across this movie and thought now would be a good time to watch it again, and let me tell you, it lost a lot of the magic for me. Not because it wasn’t done well or anything, it just missed a lot of the things that made the book so great. Ben Affleck did a damn fine job directing this, and I think he has some real talent as a director. Casey Aflleck was very good here, though not quite what I pictured Patrick Kenzie to be. While I find that Michelle Monaghan is one of the most beautiful women ever, I honestly think she was a terrible Angie. Why? Angie is this sexy, loud, in-your-face, smart-as-a-whip cussing part-Italian with ties to the Boston mob… and Monaghan was just a little too timid, quiet and mousy for me, which really sucked. Also, Bressant and Poole were underplayed, and I felt the story was far too rushed, skipping out completely on the things that actually gave you chills, and didn’t spend time building on anything. For instance, there is the scene in the bar where it was implied that Angie and Patrick were going to get attacked and Angie raped, and that scene carried no power and no weight. I blame the writers for this, because the movie also had a ridiculously short runtime for what it needed to tell, and so a lot was cut out and discarded along the way, which is a pity. Don’t get me wrong, I know this sounds like I hated it, this is just a typical case of the book is better, infinitely so. The film is entertaining, though it certainly falls short, but it is worth a watch, if for nothing else other than seeing Ben Affleck’s impressive skills as a director.

Review: Gone, Baby, Gone – Dennis Lehane

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Kenzie & Gennaro #4

SYNOPSIS: The tough neighborhood of Dorchester is no place for the innocent or the weak. A territory defined by hard heads and even harder luck, its streets are littered with the detritus of broken families, hearts, dreams. Now, one of its youngest is missing. Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro don’t want the case. But after pleas from the child’s aunt, they open an investigation that will ultimately risk everything—their relationship, their sanity, and even their lives—to find a little girl-lost. – via Goodreads

GRADE 8.5Yes, this was a damn fine read. I can totally see how, of all the books in this series (that I have read so far), this one would get the film deal. It was an intense story to boot, with plenty of characters and a very engaging plot. Things just don’t make sense for quite a while, but you are along with Lehane for the ride. Let me tell you, he doesn’t disappoint, either. I am really happy that Angie and Patrick have finally found each other, and that things are going well since they got together in Sacred. However, when the pair finally dip their toes back into the dark side of private investigation work again for the first time since Desiree Stone, the knowledge that things are going to get rough for them is pretty much self-evident. Hunting lost children is a terribly sad thing, and missing and hurt children are always rough to deal with. Lehane tackles the source material in a gritty and no-nonsense manner, and really gets right down to the gory details of what could go wrong. Lehane, while not going into excruciating details about what happened with certain children, also gave us a sliver more than most authors, and it resonates with you and sickens you at once. It speaks of his craft that, even though things are getting insane, you want to read more. The dialogue was sharp and witty, as always, and the sarcasm ran fluid and effectively throughout the book. Some terrific characters were introduced, and some moral issues were raised and dealt with. Bubba Rogowski makes an appearance again which, naturally, thrilled me endlessly – I truly do enjoy his character. Gone, Baby, Gone is a dark read, but oh-so-worth-it when you make it through the entire ordeal. I was disgusted with Helene McCready, little missing Amanda’s mother, because, unfortunately, there really are such useless and irresponsible people in the world, and it sickens me. Children should be cherished, treasured and cared for, not broken when so young. I am having difficulty expressing what it was like to read this book – it was dark, dramatic, incredibly well-written, it had a good pace and fantastic characters and a heavy whack of evil and there was plenty of action and riveting scenes… I just don’t know how to describe it all. It is a whirlwind story with an intriguing plot that draws you in from the very off, demands your attention, and will dominate you. Read it, if you have not. Even as a standalone novel it should work, though I think it will pack far more punch if you know more on the history of the characters. The book definitely sticks with you when all is said and done, and Dennis Lehane is genuinely not afraid of going against the grain. I love that!