In honor of his Oscar nomination, here are some forgotten David Fincher films
Posted by: Nathan Swank
TRIFECTA #21: ALIEN 3 + THE GAME + ZODIAC
David Fincher is on top of the world with the very successful THE SOCIAL NETWORK cleaning up every award possible this year. In honor of his current height of fame, I thought it would be nice to take a look at some of his lesser-known work. The trick here is all of his work is pretty well known and usually is pretty successful at the box office. SEVEN, PANIC ROOM (which has already been honored in Trifecta #19) and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON have all rightfully done very well. I’m sure his upcoming remake of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO will also be received positively. Technically FIGHT CLUB did not do all that well at the theater (1999 was a stiff year for competition), however as time has progressed it has proven itself very successful as one of the best films of all times. It has gone beyond just a cult favorite and has put a permanent mark in film history influencing a generation. So that will not be on the list, but mostly because “you do not talk about Fight Club.” As I said, the three films listed are Fincher’s less profitable and more forgotten films among a very impressive body of work.
ALIEN 3 – Granted the ALIEN franchise is pretty well known, however who directed them is not. What is great about all the ALIEN films is that they are so different in style from one another and that’s due greatly to four very different talented directors all who have proven their ability over time. For his first feature film, David Fincher helmed ALIEN 3 and while it is not as good as the first two (sequels rarely are), it definitely is fun and creative in its own right. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley crash lands on an imprisoned planet full of male criminals. They all must work together to destroy the alien before it eats the face off all of them. With no weapons the crew must find creative means using themselves as bait running through the halls like a maze in order to trap the creature.
THE GAME – For some reason bored and disinterested in the somewhat complex mystery, I was not the biggest supporter of the film when it first came out. I get frustrated when things have to follow exactly as planned in scenarios that pose a lot of “what ifs” but I now look at it as a fun clever original idea. Michael Douglas, a wealthy lonely banker, is given a very unusual birthday gift from his troublesome brother played by Sean Penn. The gift is entertainment as a living interactive game from a strange company called Consumer Recreation Service (CRS). Through a series of bad events, “the game” appears to get off track and becomes life threatening in this suspense thriller.
ZODIAC – Among a resume of excellent movies, ZODIAC is not only one of my favorites from Mr. Fincher but also from the last decade and it is the lowest grossing. I’m still confused why it did so poorly in the box office and at award season. Definitely one of the best directed films from 2007, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. all aspects from the art direction to the costuming and music truly capture the time period during the famous Zodiac killings. This movie is not only great as a story time line about a serial killer but also as a police procedural drama. The murder scenes along with the research of the killer were more realistic and chilling than any other horror flick.