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The David Fincher Retrospective

This retrospective begins with what a lot of people like to call “Alien Cubed,” or Alien 3 as it wanted to be called.  Actually, I think that “3″ was one of those excuse-me moments in film titling, considering they avoided the “2″ with Aliens.   It looks like Fox didn’t want to break that tradition, but with no clever way of titling it, they decided to stick that “3″ in there like a cubed sign, like no one would notice or call that to attention.  As it is, it stuck out like Prince’s “Don’t Call Me Prince” symbol.

And, so, here it is…Dr. Loomis examines Alien 3.  Enjoy.

The Fincher retrospective continues with Se7en, a highly influential horror-thriller that I must have watched the trailer for, and the final twenty minutes of, about a hundred times.  Se7en cold opens on Morgan Freeman’s character William Somerset and bleakly forecasts the mood of the entire film, and then offers a groundbreaking, often-imitated jittery credit sequence over a remix of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” while blurry, creepy images create a backdrop.  It may have been the first time I had ever been entertained by credits.  Anyway, Sam Loomis delves further here.

In Fincher’s third (almost forgotten) 1997 film The Game, Michael Douglas plays a man he was very used to playing in the previous ten years: wealthy/powerful white guy (see: Wall Street, War of the Roses, Disclosure, and The American President). The Game plays on that character and throws him into a total mindfuck, something we’d probably like to do to a bunch of the world’s wealthiest people. The Game wasn’t a big hit, and has a ton of implausibilities that some people just can’t forgive, but man is it fun.

The director’s fourth film is also likely his most popular, although it took life after the big screen to achieve that kind of following.  Fight Club pulled in a paltry $37 million domestically ($100 million worldwide against a $63 million budget, so it ended up doing OK) back in 1999.  It’s one of those movies that came with an awesome trailer and the average Joe customer didn’t know what to make of it.  Now it sits at 18th on the IMDB’s user-generated Top 250 list.  It shares the same kind of incredible post-theatre popularity that The Shawshank Redemption ($28 million domestically in 1994, now #1 on the IMDB) now enjoys.  I’ll tell you straight out, I don’t entirely agree with Dr. Sam Loomis’ review here, but when I first watched the movie back in 1999, this might come close to what I would have written about the movie back then.  But now I enjoy this immensely and can pick it up from anywhere and start watching.

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