DVD Review: 'Gone Baby Gone'
Mostly neglected in theaters, Ben Affleck's solid directing debut gets a second chance on DVD
Despite largely admiring reviews, "Gone Baby Gone" still hits DVD on Tuesday (Feb. 12) in a packaging that makes minimal mention of Ben Affleck and entirely fails to showcase breakout co-star Amy Ryan, an Oscar nominee and winner of countless critical awards. Those who manage to get past the generic exterior will find a thriller that's rich with moral complexity and that captures the flavor of its Boston settings, even if it occasionally strays frustratingly from its literary source material.
DVD Bonus Features
The Good: The commentary track by Ben Affleck and co-writer Aaron Stockard starts off pretty rough, with Affleck sounding like he just rolled out of bed, but as it progresses, the two writers do a superior job of tracing the choices they made in rewriting Lehane. Perhaps because this was his first time directing, Affleck is strikingly candid about the technical mistakes he made, pointing out continuity errors and, in the commentary's best moment, the shot where he can be seen accidentally walking through the back of a shot in an inadvertent Hitchcock-style cameo. The disc also features a number of deleted scenes, including an extended version of the opening that is, to my mind at least, far richer and truer to Lehane than the shorter version Affleck ended up using. Several deleted scenes also flesh out Monaghan's character, one of the major losers in the book-to-screen transition.
The Bad: The DVD's only other offerings are a pair of brief featurettes that mostly just go on and on about the movie's authenticity and Affleck's insistence on Boston-area location work rather than just going to shoot in Vancouver. It isn't bad, just unenlightening. I'd have loved to see a bit more on the interactions between the Affleck brothers and, of course, more footage of Jennifer Garner and Violet Affleck playing on the set.
The Price: $29.99