Makin’ Moonshine

Makin’ Moonshine

Fascinated by Fincher
By Ben Kolton

What can one say about a director like David Fincher he has completed six films to date the latest being the master film of suspense Zodiac. Fincher has come a long way from aliens to psychopaths to revolutionaries. His style of direction is one that has put him in a class all by himself. Now in honor of his sixth film Zodiac we look back at this director six films that he has completed.

Alien 3 (1992)
Though it is not the strongest of the Fincher films it is a very well formulated movie with some excellent moments of suspense. The film picks up where the second alien leaves off with Ripley (Sigorney Weaver) in space and she crash lands on another world that is inhabited by prisoners that are trying to change their ways. When she arrives she brings along an unknown visitor with her. What makes this movie interesting that it was shot and written on a day-to-day basis which is a new way of making a film and it is quite a difficult process to do.

Standout Part: Working on such a tight shooting schedule.

Se7evn (1995)
The movie that became a underground success and boasts to have some of the most gruesome and well crafted death scenes in film. Two detectives one on his way out (Morgan Freeman) and one trying to make it in (Brad Pitt) become partners against their will in an attempt to catch a serial killer who is killing people by the seven deadly sins. Not only are the scenes of death astounding but the acting is on par with any movie of ninety five. It has been twelve years since the film has been released and it still has one of the greatest twists and also an excellent introduction of a villain since Orson Welles in The Third Man.

Standout Part: The twist to then end of the film is superb and is on par with Psycho and the Sixth Sense

The Game (1997)
With Seven behind Fincher it seems now he is being offered better scripts and is being offered more distinguished actors to work with. The example of this is his next film starring Oscar winners Michael Douglas and Sean Penn for the psychological thriller about one mans stumbling into madness.Douglas plays a lonely executive who is dreading his birthday because it is the same one his father committed suicide on. When being taken out to lunch by his brother (Penn) gives him an unusual gift of a fun role-playing game. Although the game begins innocently enough soon it develops into something dangerous and out of control. Though Fincher did not have as much success on this film as he did with Seven it does have some very chilling moments to it especially at the very end where your not sure who to trust and what to believe.

Standout Part: Top notch acting and script writing.

Fight Club (1999)
Considered by most critics and by his fan base as his best film and his hugest success financially. Adapted from the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fincher paints a dark portrait of the American way of life and two men trying to rise above it. Edward Norton known only as the narrator is a man stuck in a dead end job with no real promise of happiness until he comes across Tyler Durdan (Brad Pitt). Tyler a completely free spirit and lives his life the way he wants to live it completely contradicting the way Norton lives his life. This movie is so visually pleasing as it is psychologically terrifying. Also it shows It is also the film that marked a landmark performance in a film which is Pitt as the destructive revolutionary Tyler Durdan. Great performances all around.

Standout Part: The ending scene with a closing piece of music makes for the third best scenes in film with music. Having the author like the ending better then his own.

Panic Room (2002)
Even though Fight Club was an immense success for Fincher his next film would not go without some major flaws to it. The old story of someone being in a place that they think is safe but turns out is the most dangerous place in the room. Jodie Foster plays a divorcee who moves into a new apartment with a special room designed to keep people safe incase of emergency. The movie may only be two hours long but it seems to be very slow paced and seems to not have any real sense of ending. There are some good performances but also they are overshadowed by the boring script and dialogue.

Standout Part: The ability to film in such enclosed spaces.

Zodiac (2007)
After five years of not making a full length film Fincher returns to his serial killer stomping grounds but this time he examines the real life killings that took place during the 60’s and 70’s known as the Zodiac killings. The story cuts into many different sections and shows how different people worked on the case and reported it in the papers. The movie is based on Robert Graysmith novel. Gyllenhaal plays the obsessed Graysmith who tracks every move of the case from start to finish. Story two is Inspector David Toschi tracking the case from murder to murder throughout San Francisco. The other story is about the victims of the Zodiac killers. One thing that Fincher does so well with his abilities as a director is his ability to keep with the time that the film is being set in. One of the big ones in this is the style of the clothing and the music. Though the film is about three hours long it has remarkable pacing and shows all the facts. Also even though there is no conclusion because they never caught the killer you don’t feel nearly as disappointed as with the ending of the Black Dahlia that was made up along the way.

Standout Part: The ability to tell a lengthy story and still keep the audience intrigued

So overall despite one not so great film Fincher has proven himself to be a director who is up to the task of making any film that he sets his mind to. Next up for Fincher The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This will be the third teaming with Brad Pitt. The story of an odd romance sparking between a woman of 30 and a man who, at 50, begins aging backwards. Will this little tale of fantasy work for Fincher and ad another gem to his collection we will just have to wait until next year.