tectactoe
User

Reviews 2
Approval 100%

Soundoffs 39
Album Ratings 950
Objectivity 95%

Last Active 09-26-19 1:53 pm
Joined 09-24-05

Forum Posts 20
Review Comments 1,452

 Lists
10.15.19 FILM: tectac's Gus Van Sant, Ranked10.09.19 FILM: tectac's David Fincher, Ranked
09.27.19 14 Years on Sput/mx: Top Albums of the 09.09.19 FILM: tectac's Christopher Nolan, Ranke
08.28.19 FILM: tectac's Coen Brothers, Ranked08.19.19 FILM: tectac's Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ra
08.12.19 FILM: tectac's Paul Thomas Anderson, Ra08.06.19 FILM: tectac's David Lynch, Ranked
08.01.19 FILM: tectac's Wes Anderson, Ranked07.30.19 FILM: tectac's Stanley Kubrick, Ranked
07.27.19 FILM: tectac's Quentin Tarantino, Ranke07.25.19 FILM: tectac's Top 50 Favorite Films of
07.10.19 MUSIC: tectac's Top 100 Radiohead Track 06.30.17 FILM: tectac's Top 30 Movies of the 21s
07.18.16 MUSIC: tectac's Top 25 Brand New Songs

FILM: tectac's David Fincher, Ranked

A director I respect more than I love, though the fault of his films is rarely (if ever) because of poor direction…I just think he has a strange knack for picking out scripts that don’t necessarily compliment his biggest strengths. But he’s crafted a few amazing films nonetheless and several culturally significant ones at that. Even his low-end efforts are entertaining to some degree.
10can
Ege Bamyasi


>> THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008)

Even Fincher’s distinct visual mastery hardly does justice to this saccharine cudgel of mass proportions. (Not sure what even attracted him to this adaptation.) Good intentions and noteworthy observation (i.e., that geriatrics and infants are essentially the same) aside, it’s simply impossible for me to take old-Pitt and old-Blanchett with any modicum of seriousness—the former too blatantly caked in layers of makeup and dense CGI, the latter testing every bit of my patience with her overwrought deathbed cadence. The latter-half of the picture (when Pitt and Blanchett are acting as characters aligned with their real ages) is significantly better, and the only moment in the entire nearly-three-hour feature that rang with any authenticity was the sequence of a young couple in love, blossoming in their first home together. The other vignettes are way too syrupy to do any legitimate tear duct damage. A big miss for Fincher.
9The Antlers
Hospice


>> GONE GIRL (2014)

Have already heard most of the arguments for this picture, none of which help me rectify how many ridiculous plot contrivances and narrative leaps are required to make anything “work” like it should. (Have a laundry list of my exact problems with this; too long to post here, but it’s available if anyone is interested.) In short, it’s as sleek and glossy as anything Fincher’s done, but gaze at it with a single iota of scrutiny and it crumbles into a pile of inexplicable rubble. Everything about it is entertaining, undeniably so, but it’s convoluted plotting isn’t sound enough to withstand even the most basic “hows?” and “whys?” Arguing that its projects through some form of supernatural / imaginative psychosis doesn’t little to quell my headaches (esp. since the film is told from several points of view). Could be good if you refuse to poke or prod any of the chronicled events with a speck of realism or genuine logic.
8Slint
Spiderland


>> THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011)

Partially works as an amorphous view of toxic masculinity through the eyes of one of its victims: Rooney Mara is unquestionably the best thing this film has to offer, her storyline and performance far exceeding interest and quality of everything surrounding it. Too bad about that entire murder mystery tangent with Daniel Craig, because it blows, and it’s no coincidence the weakest segments of Mara’s narrative are the strands that rub against Craig’s. That ending is a retroactive stinger, though, confirming the portrayed affection as another chessboard maneuver by a man abusing his genetic predisposition to get what he wants from a woman. Sexist, maybe, but not entirely inaccurate, either—more power to Mara, I say, and her homespun tattoo session with Mr. Sodomy presents the film’s best individual moment. Not sure what's more painful to endure: Mara's bound or Craig haphazardly trying to mask his English accent for over two hours.
7Earl Sweatshirt
I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside


>> FIGHT CLUB (1999)

A “good” movie at best, and I can only think its superlative status hinges largely upon the twist, which was fine back in 1999 but seems so obvious and feels so plasticized in retrospect (it doesn’t work from a figurative angle nor a material one, really). Ripping lines directly from Palahniuk’s novel and having a young, gruffy Pitt regurgitate them aloud like a bible salesman is painfully phony to me now (though I concede that fourteen-year-old me was sufficiently taken aback by the false enlightenment, so I guess it works depending on the audience). Truth is, each successive time I watch this, I like it a little bit less; its snobby posturing, its Fascism-for-dummies manta, its silly narrative quirk (yeah, *that* one). Can’t fault Fincher entirely, I think Palahniuk novels are generally not great candidates for film adaptations. Pitt and Norton (and Bonham Carter) are extensively great and enthusiastic, though; fun enough but equally enervating.
6Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 2


>> ALIEN 3 (1992)

Confession: Love Scott’s original ALIEN, absolutely *loathe* Cameron’s sequel ALIENS. Hate it. And going into this for the first time, I was convinced I’d hate it even more. So, naturally, I didn’t hate it, and it’s entirely possibly I’ve overrated it in the wake of rock-bottom expectations being surprisingly uprooted. This is far from a great film, but it veers more toward Scott’s bleak and restrained modulation of terror instead of doubling down on Cameron’s machismo-doused, action-packed fever dream. Fincher prioritizes dismal world-building and hopelessness over explosions and six-foot miniguns, which is already a positive for me. Can’t deny the abysmal CGI, though; even being lenient for the early-90s timestamp, it’s jarringly bad. Latter-half (esp. the final twenty minutes) gets excessively silly, borderline inane, but this is a shockingly serviceable film for a majority of its runtime. Psychosexual angle was interesting, but severely underplayed.
5Love
Forever Changes


>> THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)

When you have a screenwriter as good as Aaron Sorkin, the inevitable problem is that the script has a chance to outclass the very actors and actresses it depends on, as is the case here (aside from maybe Eisenberg himself, whose hermit-like smugness is the film’s most palpable aspect). Everyone else—especially Timberlake, Garfield, and Hammer—puts too strong an emphasis on capital-A Acting: too hammy, too cloyingly exuberant, too conveniently epithetic. (Don’t get me started on Armie Hammer, who appears to be auditioning for a stage play.) Even in the face of such thespianism, however, the film thrums solely on its compositional strengths: Exquisite direction, razor-sharp editing, an anxiety-laced soundtrack, and, of course, one of the most robust scripts of the decade, making a ‘movie about Facebook’ about a million times more nail-biting and legitimately thrilling than one could’ve ever imagined. This is how you mine tension from a stodgy premise.
4Vukari
Aevum


>> PANIC ROOM (2002)

Straight thriller—no less, no more (grasps at unearthing any kind of commentary or subtext here are desperate). As is often the case with these types of films, things generally feel precise and mechanical over happenstance and natural, but per usual, Fincher’s directional shellac makes it exciting to watch nonetheless. Brash coincidences, unlikely forestalling, and downright nonsense aside, my nerves were still shredded on several occasions, buckled with genuinely gripping tension (bolstered by a great performance from Stewart). Works almost as an “anti-caper”; as moviegoers, we’re so used to rooting for mischievous protags to infiltrate maximum security areas that it feels subversive to empathize with what’s *inside* for once, rooting for the failure of those outside the room. Comes too nauseatingly full-circle a few times (the door warning, the cell phone placement, the diabetes, etc.) but relatively small qualms for such an expertly crafted adrenaline shot.
3The National
High Violet


>> THE GAME (1997)

Strange beast: Normally I despise films with such belabored intertwining and inconceivable conveniences, but the key is total self-awareness. Fincher is 100% aware of how implausible something like this “game” would be, planting plenty of rib nudges and winks to let us know (e.g. the CRS company’s logo being a Penrose triangle, or the cheekily specific time-range of Nicholas’s “arrival” on the invitations). Obviously no company, with any amount of technology or information, could predict human behavior down to such a fine level of precision, but that’s *entirely not the point* of this film. It’s *supposed* to be inextricable and overelaborate because it highlights the excruciating lengths someone will go to be saved, or to save someone they love. In this case, it’s one man rescuing his smug, uptight brother from ossifying into a heartless pillar of salt. It’s a chunky metaphor, but it uses said chunkiness as part of its thematic bombshell—well played, Fincher.
2Yes
Close to the Edge


>> SE7EN (1995)

A great detective–procedural–cum–thriller that has amassed an iconic status (rightfully so; “What’s in the box?!” will be remembered forever) over the years, gently seeping into the throne as the poster child for “grimy murder investigations with good twists.” Its aura, like many, has dimmed for me over the years as I start to notice things I hadn’t before e.g. Pitt’s hamminess—the knee-slapping one-liners, formal tantrums, general slobbishness, etc., all makes him feel like a perfectly juxtaposed stereotype against Freeman’s (equally stereotypical) all-knowing, all-wise, been-there-done-that sage variation of the same role. That’s the *point*, surely, but its such a glaringly fine point that it threatens to break skin. But there’s too much goodness here to simply ignore; Spacey’s surprise third-act appearance was nearly unprecedented at the time, and being able to predict what’s in the box didn’t make it any less horrifying when your hypothesis turned out correct.
1Danny Brown
Atrocity Exhibition


>> ZODIAC (2007)

Not sure how anyone finishes Fincher’s filmography and doesn’t conclude that this is far and away his best film, the closest he’s been to crafting a thoroughbred masterpiece. Those expecting a typical crime-thriller are sure to be disappointed—starts off full-procedural but refuses to lean on the archetypal chases, shootouts, and standoffs, instead relishing in the minutiae we rarely see: Peering into office nooks, developing a rapport between off-duty detectives and reporters, and spending years piecing things together but never arriving at any absolute truth. That last point echoes the film’s main subject as it keenly transitions from a murder investigation to a self-deprecating study of unhealthy obsession. Fincher emphasizes the hopelessness with ever-widening timestamps and conflicting information. Some may be angered by the non-resolution, but that silent exchange of glances between Gyllenhaal and Lynch is more satisfying than any handcuff-slapping I’ve seen.
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