Well, here we are guys, days before most of you get to see Gone Girl and about 2 weeks until I get to see it (no, seriously, fuck my life) we reached the end of my David Fincher Blog Event. Hopefully you guys liked the series and perhaps it even got you in the mood to watch or rewatch some of his movies.
Fincher, a guy who is nicknamed 'the prince of darkness', is for me the most talented director working right now. And hopefully through one of my lists it was also evident that this guy has a great sense of humour, a knowledge that may come quite handy when you realize just how many hilarious things there are in Gone Girl.
But don't worry, it's still dark, creepy and morally repugnant. Fincher you know and love.
With Gone Girl I may be looking at the new champion to this list but right now this is how I'd rank the films directed by Fincher so far:
(and Across the Universe podcast will have a very special podcast episode about Fincher next Wednesday, so make sure you listen to that one!)
9. Alien 3 - 40/100While Fincher has completely detached himself from the movie, there is no denying he still figures as the director of it. While Alien 3, butchered by the studio who were at odds with Fincher every step of the way during the production, is not a good movie, there is still plenty to love in it - there's Weaver being fearless again, awesome design of the creature, Charles Dance in a supporting role and very dark ambiance of hopelessness and isolation.
And you gotta love that after Cameron turned one of the best horror franchises into silly action movie (I don't like Aliens, sue me) with the second film, Fincher single-handedly unmade all that happy ending crap...in opening credits.
8. Panic Room - 65/100I was recently rewatching this one and all its flaws are even more evident now after I've seen newer Fincher's films - while right now he can be truly called the master of directing the movie and someone who really makes all the technology and inventive editing and camerawork work for him, in Panic Room it comes off as silly and insanely distracting. The camera acts like it's on acid and even the fun opening credits don't impress anymore. Add to that the story that is simply not very engaging and ridiculous characters of the robbers and you get a very mediocre movie.
But Jodie Foster is as usual reliable and it's nice that Kristen Stewart haters, who of course bash her without ever checking out any of her great roles in little known films, at least have this one movie outside of Twilight they saw with her in it about which they can go 'well she wasn't bad here'.
7. The Game - 69/100
While The Game is one of those mindfuck movies that doesn't have a script strong and believable enough to support all those twists and turns, it's still very well directed, entertaining movie with several fantastic and unforgettable set pieces.
It's a rollercoaster ride, if that rollercoaster would occasionally threaten to collapse while you were on it, due to poor construction. The story could have been stronger but Deborah Kara Unger plays a one of Fincher's tough and awesome ladies so well and Michael Douglas is great as the lead of the film.
6. Zodiac - 80/100
Gasps all around. Look, it's a good movie. I know many of you place it at the top, but I can't understand you doing that as much as I'm sure many of you can't understand why I have what I have on number 1 of the list. Zodiac is a very well crafted film - it has great structure and despite its chronicle format it's never boring. Well, almost never boring.
It's Jake Gyllenhaal. This guy plays the most boring protagonist of all of Fincher's films and frankly it was just difficult for me to care once he becomes pretty much the sole focus of the movie in the third act. But up until that point it's all very good - there are fantastic supporting roles here - Ruffalo, Downey Jr and Elias Koteas are all wonderful but it's Anthony Edwards' good cop performance and especially John Carroll Lynch's movie stealing turn as the man who we cannot confirm that but he definitely is the Zodiac killer that is the film's most unforgettable aspect.
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 88/100
This film gets tons of hate and ironically it's one of the two that got the most acclaim from Academy. While it's not perfect - Pitt and Blanchett really could put a bit more heart into this one considering how their characters are supposed to be the the heart of the film - the film is a beautiful chronicle of what life is and what makes our lives so beautiful and tragic.
A sorta anti-Forrest Gump, Button lives his extraordinary life somewhere close but never in the centre of historical events. And while his aging in reverse life may be one of a kind, his experiences - those of love, loss, tragedy and adventure - are universal. I never thought a man of such surgical precision as Fincher can make a movie that is this profoundly moving and sentimental, but in a good sense of the word.
4. The Social Network - 93/100
While The Social Network is not the kind of story I usually like - young entitled rich people getting even more entitled and richer - this is perhaps the most exquisitely directed movie I've seen in my entire life. It moves so fast yet so patiently, slithers through events carefully, introduces characters, meditates on their decisions only to suddenly explode with rage and heartbreak. And all of that accompanied by insanely well written lines and groundbreaking score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
With this movie Fincher got a new audience. All those teenagers who now call him his favorite director. All those kids who shared how much they loved the movie about Facebook on the actual Facebook. It's also the first of the intensely clinically, meticulously done movies Fincher has made that opened a whole new chapter in his filmography.
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 94/100While it gets so much unfair criticism and bad rep I loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The first adaptation of the novel, for me, has absolutely nothing on this one. Fincher's version of the tale of two good people surrounded by the hordes of evil in modern world is amazingly well crafted and it features a terrific ensemble, the funniest use of music in any of his films and so far (but not for long) the fiercest heroine of his films.
The film for me is much more of a romance than Benjamin Button was - there is absolutely no chemistry in Fincher's only straight up drama film - but here Craig and Mara are both excellent, creating two wonderful performances and unforgettable characters.
2. Fight Club - 98/100
Fight Club is probably the film with the best plot twist I've seen. I still remember watching it for the first time all those years ago, my jaw dropping to the floor during the big reveal scene. But Fight Club is so much more - it's one of those rare movies that are better than the books they are based on and even more amazingly - one of those very few movies that capture the entire generation. The Social Network did it for those of us growing up in Facebook era, but before that Fincher managed to do that with this one - the frustration, depression and the broken dreams of young adults in the 90's, stuck in rat race, luiving day by day, never really accomplishing what they wanted to.
It's a timeless tale really and Fincher's masterful direction of the movie is what makes it bulletproof to the threat of ever becoming outdated. With insanely quotable lines, frantic, energetic pace and unforgettable performances, Fight Club is one of those movies the overwhelming majority of movie fans simply adores.
1. Se7en - 99/100
Fincher is the only director to have two movies in my top 10 of all time and it's really not a surprise. Se7en for me it's one of those movies you simply have to know when you love films. It's pure classic and one of the most influential movies ever made. Every single cop chases killer thriller released after wouldn't be the same without that movie.
20 years after being made the film still astonishes with the story, performances and even with its surprises as even today the film's shocking ending remains so uniquely dark and uncompromising. It's a masterpiece.
Other posts in David Fincher Blog Event: