David Fincher is a really good director who often shoots stories that I don't necessarily like. Fight Club was my favorite and the only true classic as far as I'm concerned. Seven was a good thriller and Alien 3 was okay for what it was. The rest are truly lacking or frustrating.
Alien³ (1992) -- The first movie by David Fincher and the third Alien movie (which we call "Alien Cubed" around these parts). What I like about this one is precisely what most fans of the other movies don't seem to like: the creepy atmosphere, the camera action over the real action, and even the religious imagery. While some complain about things like Newt being killed in the first few seconds, I feel that her character was one of those stupid 80s "obligatory kid" roles anyway and it was good to get her out of the way. Even still, not the greatest Alien movie, but nice, and when it came out in 1992, it seemed like a new kind of direction not only in the Alien saga but in moviemaking. (See James Cameron for the predecessor, Aliens. See Jean-Pierre Jeunet for the sequel, Alien Resurrection.)
Seven (1995) -- One of the few good serial killer stories, a good Fincher mood throughout.
The Game (1997) -- This was interesting enough to watch the first time, since you think that it will eventually make sense, but then when it does make sense, it's just kind of a let down... and it's not worth watching the second time. So, kinda lame.
Fight Club (1999) -- David Fincher's best movie, not to mention Edward Norton's best role. It took a few years before this one caught on with the public; it seemed to take a newer generation (who seem to really dig Chuck Palahniuk). So far, this is the only story David Fincher has directed that is as good as his interesting direction and sense of style (and, in this case, humor). The movie walks a fine line between believing the weird shit it says and making fun of the weird shit it says and teases the audience in a good way in that regard. A treat to watch: visuals galore.
Panic Room (2002) -- Basically what saves this movie is good acting and David Fincher's great direction, cause otherwise it's just an average suspense movie with all the usual stuff: strong yet vulnerable woman, smarty pants yet loving kid, the "loose cannon" burglar, the funny burglar, the good burglar, some sort of backstory that doesn't matter much... In fact, even with Jodie Foster, Forrest Whitaker, and David Fincher's talent, it's pretty much just that. But they make it worth watching if you're in the mood for something half decent.
Zodiac (2007) -- A two-and-a-half movie that adds up to nothing. The movie tries to follow the actual events of the case of the Zodiac killer, but the problem is that the case was never solved. Aha! Then perhaps Fincher wants us to feel the frustration and helplessness that the characters feel in trying to find the killer. He does exactly that, and it sounds like a new idea on paper, but -- unfortunately -- frustration and dissatisfaction isn't something you necessarily want to feel when engaging in a story. Stories are artificial by nature, and this movie would have served itself well to pump in some made-up stuff so that we can feel we've made this trip for a reason. The only reason the movie doesn't completely fail is because, again, Fincher has real talent and is able to make the audience like the movie well enough scene by scene, even if what we're left with is just scattered puzzle pieces.
Copyright (c) May 2001 - Aug 2007 by Rusty Likes Movies