The Films of David Fincher Archives - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

David Fincher: The Social Network (2010)

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Am I on again? Good.

Thank you Amanda for taking the reigns on Benjamin Button, a film I keep forgetting I’ve seen until I’m forced to remember the part where Benjamin’s lover is towel bathing him. I’m just glad we were spared the scene of her breast feeding the now-young Benjamin.

But let’s move on to a film that we have covered very thoroughly in this pod cast and touched on briefly by myself in this review blurb. The Social Network may not be the best film in David Fincher’s canon, but it’s a strong second-place contender. I’ll maintain that Zodiac is Fincher at his finest but TSN is streamlined to the core, moving at the kind of brisk pace that he would put to good effect in his remake of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

I’m most interested in, socially, what this movie is accomplishing. The more I think about the subtext of Fight Club the more it seems to be responding to the rising wave of spindly, less testosterone-driven action heroes which started to litter the landscape (a trend I, as well as others, blame Nicolas Cage for starting).  TSN is, itself, a similar response to the way technology has allowed the fringe outsiders to change an entire social structure with the brush of a few keystrokes.


David Fincher: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

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The time has come and I was completely right.I shouldn't have picked this little film project.  Everything I write turns into a theoretic disaster.  I guess I really don't have anything interesting to say about Benjamin Button at all.  Isn't there anyone who knows anything interesting about Benjamin Button?

Amanda: Fine. I’ll do it for you, Andrew, but only because I understand your frustration with the movie and because I have several things to say about it.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has to be the most tepid and disappointing David Fincher movie to date. The story was about a man who aged backwards, directed by the same director who gave us captivating characters like Tyler Durden and Detective David Mills (yes, these characters are both played by Brad Pitt, that’s intentional) and the movie couldn’t bother to make me care beyond a sideshow interest.


David Fincher: Zodiac (2007)

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Here we are to Zodiac, the movie that I think you and I will agree on the most. To sum it up, this movie is great from the direction to the script and the pitch perfect casting of character actors. It also melds two of David Fincher’s favorite themes, obsession and helplessness into one living/breathing entity.

This is the second serial killer thriller that Fincher did and it could not be any more different than Se7en, which I think is a main reason of its failure at the box-office. When Se7en was horrific because of your imagination and all of the implied terrors, Zodiac is terrifying because it shows the crimes. Not only does it show the crimes but also it shows the calm before the storm. I would love to see a horror movie by Fincher because I think it would be the scariest thing ever because these few moments the Zodiac is in the film are incredibly tense.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

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With some hindsight, I know I went into The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with high expectations that would be almost impossible to meet. I was expecting the greatest film ever and if didn’t get it I would be disappointed. I saw the film and it wasn’t the best film ever, it wasn’t even the best film I had seen that week. So I can’t help but be disappointed. Was the film that bad? No, it was very ok. The film was shot and edited beautifully, the actors gave it their all (especially Rooney Mara in the lead) and the story was ok. The film was a solid B, but when you are hoping for and expecting an A+ you can’t help but be let down.

Director David Fincher had done two other serial killer thrillers before in Se7en and Zodiac and both films are masterpieces in their own ways. Both also were very distinct Fincher films.  Dragon Tattoo felt like the first movie he had made since Alien 3 that I felt like he was just a director for hire. Sure the movie looked beautiful and there were many cool touches, but the film felt like a slave to its source material for the movie to ever feel unique or to breathe. The best things about the film were the teaser trailer and the opening credits, two aspects that Fincher could create without worrying about how fans of the book would react.  There is a direct link between the two things and I don’t think it was a coincidence.


David Fincher: Panic Room (2002)

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Ryan:  Panic Room is a film that shows David Fincher is having fun playing with his toys. Here he made a film with countless trick shots, awesome camera angels and a tension filled plot, yet the movie has always felt slight to me. This is the first movie since Alien 3 that did not have the strongest script and it shows in the film. We have gone from films exploring the darkness in men’s souls to a theme park ride type movie that is a contemporary cousin to such classic thrillers as Dial M For Murder or Wait Until Dark. With screenwriter David Koepp (Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park) and star Jodie Foster, Fincher crafted a very entertaining and successful thriller but I almost feel like this type of movie is something that Fincher has moved beyond.

Now after saying that, let me state that I also find this movie immensely watchable because while it might be generic, it is made superbly. Koepp is never going to be considered as one of the greatest screenwriters in the history of cinema but he can make popcorn films pretty well and that is all Panic Room is. If you go into the film expecting Oscar caliber acting or a deep character piece you will be disappointed but when you are in the mood for a tense, fast-paced thriller, Panic Room fits the bill perfectly.