Tag Archives: David Fincher

The Set of 400: #103 – My Favorite Smirking Revenge

Today! Because you’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis –

Fight Club (1999)

Directed by David Fincher (x3)

Starring Edward Norton (x3), Brad Pitt (x2), Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, Meat Loaf (x2), Zach Grenier (x3), Bob Stephenson, Holt McCallany, Eion Bailey, Peter Iacangelo, Rachel Singer

My second favorite movie from one of my favorite years – 1999! – and my second favorite David Fincher film, Fight Club wasn’t anything when it first came out. Sure, ’99 was a pretty robust year, but considering what this would become, it’s amazing how virtually overlooked it was that fall. It’s hard to even say this is a cult classic – this is a mainstream classic that just got ground up in the marketing and lost in theaters. Hell, when I first saw it I didn’t know what to make of it. The reviews were good, but the trailers didn’t make a ton of sense. Also, because they had a ton of shirtless Brad Pitt moments, I felt like the initial aim was to get women in the theaters, even though it is decidedly a guy movie, and so the commercials didn’t much convey what the hell was going on in this film either. It grossed all of $37 million – sandwiched between My Favorite Martian and 10 Things I Hate About You in the ’99 ranking, at 54th – got one Oscar nomination for Sound Effects Editing and four nominations from The Stinkers, including Worst Supporting Actress for Carter and Worst Hairstyles Male and Female, because that’s what the Stinkers was.

The Stinkers clearly can’t appreciated funky ‘doos

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The Set of 400: #221 – My Favorite Revenge Tattoo

Today! Because I want you to help me catch a killer of women –

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Directed by David Fincher (x2)

Starring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig (x2), Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard (x2), Robin Wright (x2), Joely Richardson, Geraldine James (x3), Steven Berkoff, Yorick van Wageningen, Goran Visnjic, Elodie Yung, Joel Kinnaman, Julian Sands, Donald Sumpter

I’ll tell you right off – I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, to the point that I never bothered reading the rest of the trilogy. I thought the plotting was interesting, but the writing was kinda dull, and it’s a bit overlong. So my expectations when they were making this movie weren’t super high. I also never watched the original Swedish Noomi Rapace versions – I meant to, as I’ve heard they are solid, but again, didn’t love the book, and then once this movie actually came out, I didn’t want to spoil the (potential, unrealized) sequels.

Rapace does look pretty bad-ass – might be time I finally watched these

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The Set of 400: #278 – My Favorite Dirty Harry Inspiration

Today! Because I am not the Zodiac. And if I were, I certainly wouldn’t tell you –

Zodiac (2007)

Directed by David Fincher

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. (x3), Brian Cox (x2), John Carroll Lynch (x2), Anthony Edwards, Chloe Sevigny, Elias Koteas, Dermot Mulroney, Donal Logue (x2), Philip Baker Hall, Zach Grenier (x2), Adam Goldberg, Charles Fleischer (x2), Paul Schulze, John Getz, June Diane Raphael, Candy Clark, Jimmi Simpson, Clea DuVall

Not so much concerned with unearthing who the killer was (even though it does present a theory), Zodiac primarily follows the lives of San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith and S.F. detective Dave Toschi, and their respective obsessions with the case as it unfolds and in the subsequent years, as the trail runs maddeningly cold. It’s an expansive ’60s/’70s epic in the hands of the premiere murder mystery director of our time (Se7en, Gone Girl) – and one of the sure thing, must-run-out-and-see-whatever-he-does filmmakers – David Fincher.

And it is exhaustive. Covering the source material in great detail, and trying to encapsulate well over a decade in these characters’ lives, the movie naturally was going to be lengthy, but it manages to clip right along, even feeling a bit rushed in parts, pouring out details and recounting theories at a steady clip. But keeping the engine running solidly are the terrific performances of Gyllenhaal and Ruffalo as Graysmith and Toschi, plus a just pre-Iron Man Downey as self-destructive reporter Paul Avery. The Downey comeback was well underway by ’07 – what with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Good Night and Good Luck, and A Scanner Darkly in the preceding years – but Zodiac seemed to cement the fact that he was solidly reliable, and a little over a year later he was superheroing it up at Marvel.

’70s Banner and Stark!

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