Posts Tagged ‘david fincher’

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Gone Girl (2014)

February 17, 2015

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike
Director: David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network, Zodiac)

“Am I supposed to know my wife’s blood type?”

Bottom Line: Gone Girl is a pretty faithful adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel – a biting depiction of married life that will scare the crap out of you long before things get crazy. I always prefer reading the book first when a blockbuster novel is being adapted into a film, but in this case, I feel my enjoyment of the film may have suffered a bit since I knew everything that was going to happen – and this is a movie where the surprises probably add to one’s enjoyment. I know there were numerous what moments in the book that didn’t have the same affect on me when I saw it on screen. That being said, the film is perfectly cast and David Fincher continues to be one of the best filmmakers working today. Rosamund Pike in particular is brilliant in this movie – and the fact that she’s Oscar nominated for her role almost feels like a spoiler in itself. Gone Girl is definitely must see cinema – fans of the novel will like it and those that haven’t read the novel might even be blown away. It’s good stuff.

Note (Spoiler Alert!): Amy Elliot Dunne is the definition of an unreliable narrator, but her recollection of discovering her husband’s affair strikes me as genuine. In this memory, Amy sees her husband walking out of his bar with a college student he’s having an affair with and sees them kissing in a similar fashion to their first kiss. Rewind: I said his bar… that he (well, Amy) owns… where his sister tends bar… where everyone presumably knows him… where everyone likely knows Amy. Elsewhere in the movie, after it’s discovered that his sister’s woodshed is one of the spots where Nick and his secret lover did their business, Nick states helplessly: “we had limited options.” I’m guessing their own bar probably wasn’t one of them. This seems like a pretty big oversight by Fincher and Flynn, but perhaps it’s just Amy being Amy. Not a big deal either way, but something I couldn’t help but notice.

Replay Value: Knowing the twists made it less enjoyable for me. Take away the wow factor and it’s still a good movie, but not mind-blowing.
Sequel Potential: None
Oscar Potential: Best Actress nomination for Pike. Kind of surprised to see the lack of nominations as I enjoyed it considerably more than some of the Best Picture nominees.

Grade: 7.5/10 (Must See/Excellent)

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Movie Reviews: How To Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter, The Social Network

December 5, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

”We’re Vikings. It’s an occupational hazard.”
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera
Director: Dean Deblois, Chris Sanders
Quick Thoughts: A solid, underdog-becomes-a-hero family film that might be a little bit overrated. It’s very good, but its current standing amongst the top 250 films of all-time is probably being a bit absurd.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Great Christmas present for kids and I wouldn’t be mad about owning this film either, but I’m not rushing out to buy it.
Sequel Potential: I just read a release from Dreamworks saying there are going to be at least two more movies in this franchise and maybe as many as eight. Yikes.
Oscar Potential: Toy Story 3, Tangled, and this movie should be battling it out for Best Animated Movie. Unlike TS3, however, I don’t see Dragons getting a Best Picture nom.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 7/10 (Must See)

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1 (2010)

”I must be the one to kill Harry Potter.”
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes
Director: David Yates
Quick Thoughts: There are pros and cons to breaking HP7 into two parts. It’s good because the source material will be valiantly represented and kids won’t have to sit through a four or five hour movie. It’s bad because the first film doesn’t work that well as a stand alone project. The first half of J.K. Rowling’s book finds Harry, Ron, and Hermione doing a lot of walking around and minimal action. Almost everything exciting in the last book is going to happen in the second part. It is a very faithful adaptation, however, and I’m sure when the two movies can be viewed back-to-back the first film won’t seem so incomplete and boring. HP&TDHP1 doesn’t suck; it’s a beautiful film and a solid build up for the next movie, it’s just a little underwhelming. However you want to put it, the finale–coming next summer–is going to be EPIC and second part should garner the Harry Potter franchise its first Best Picture nomination. I’m just guessing.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: I’d like to see it again before it leaves theaters and then I’m reading books 6 and 7 again before watching the finale.
Sequel Potential: Part 2 comes out July 2011… and for those that don’t know already, Rowling is toying with the idea of more Harry Potter books.
Oscar Potential: I don’t see HP getting any major nominations, but it should pick up some nods in some of the technical departments (art direction, costumes, score, etc.).
Nudity: We actually get dangerously close to seeing a topless Emma Watson. Crazy.
Grade: 7/10 (Must See)

The Social Network (2010)

”If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.”
Starring: Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Director: David Fincher
Quick Thoughts: A movie about the creation of a social networking website sounds dull as hell, but the great script from Aaron Sorkin, great performances from the surprisingly talented cast, and David Fincher’s usually solid direction makes this one of the best movies of 2010. Also, Andrew Garfield showed he has serious acting chops and should have everyone excited about the Spider-Man reboot.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: This movie was great the first time and I’ll definitely watch it again when it releases on DVD, but I’m guessing it’s replay value doesn’t extend much beyond that.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Should be a cinch for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations and my current favorite to win the Oscar the for the screenplay. This isn’t Fincher’s best directing job, but he always has an outside shot at an nomination. Jessie Eisenberg and maybe Andrew Garfield deserve mention as longshots for acting nominations.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 8/10 (Must See)

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Put Zodiac On Your Netflix Queue

June 6, 2009

Today is the last day of this phase of my life. Tomorrow I start fresh again and I have set out several goals for myself in the upcoming months. I was doing pretty good on bettering myself from March to May, but I let a woman sidetrack me and lost focus and the past couple weeks I’ve really let myself go. That’s fine. I should have an even bigger sense of accomplishment in the upcoming weeks. As I said a while ago, I wanted to start gaining some serious weight and getting back into shape. I haven’t lifted in a few weeks and my appetite has been horrible ever since I got some weird food poisoning-like sickness a few weeks ago and spent the whole night throwing up. I started my weight-gaining journey at 144 pounds and I peaked at 160… if I had to guess, with the way things have been going recently, I’d say I’m back down around 152-153. I’ll find out tomorrow when I finally hit the gym again and I’ll post regular updates regarding my progress. I have a new workout routine typed up for lifting days and non-lifting days and I’m going to start focusing on my diet again. I’ve somehow got back to one meal a day and that is not cracking. Unfortunately, I’m also kind of broke, so I’m going to have to get creative with this shit.

I watched the film Zodiac last night and I have to say it’s one of the most underrated films of the past several years. It didn’t really receive a lot of awards attention and I don’t really hear a lot of people talk about it, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s my favorite film from 2007. There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men get all the publicity, but I don’t own either of those films. I saw No Country in theaters once and never again and I’ve rented Blood from Netflix twice and I’m yet to see the film in its entirety. While that is a travesty on my part, it does say something about how good Zodiac is. First of all, the story is really what’s interesting here. I find myself eager to read the novel after seeing the movie for a second time. It will be interesting to see how much of Graysmith’s story didn’t make the film and find out what was left out and what was changed or exaggerated. I’m not going to laud any of the performances… I can’t say anyone was too overlooked here, although this film marks Robert Downey Jr’s resurgence as an acclaimed actor more than Iron Man should. For those of you that have been sleeping on this film, this tale of a serial killer who toyed with the media and the police, but still got away with everything, comes highly recommended by me.