If they were in television… David Fincher

Notable films: The Social Network, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club, and Se7en.

Famous for: Dark, beautiful visuals, perfectionism, masculine codes of honor, violence as a part of human DNA, social outcasts, and using famous actors in unexpected ways.

Hypothetical title: Blackout

Hypothetical premise: The show follows a career man plagued by boredom.  On his routine walk home from work one day, he stumbles on the aftermath of a brutal assault against a woman.  He becomes weirdly obsessed with the case when the police shove it aside, and as she lays in a coma in the hospital, he takes it upon himself to uncover what happened to her.  After discovering she was a journalist hot on the trail of a violent secret society that has infiltrated every crack of the local government, he begins to realize that he’ll need her help to uncover all the intricacies of the plot.  The woman wakes up from her coma, only to be abducted 20 minutes after being back on the streets.  As the season reaches its conclusion, the man tracks down the woman, only to discover that she leads the society, and that the assault was an attempt by a vigilante to remove her from power.

Cross between: Zodiac, Fight Club, Blue Velvet, and Sin City.

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REVIEW: The Social Network


The Social Network
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer

There are girls playing PlayStation in the next room, and you’re uploading internet code.  Such are the ways of kings in the 21st century, and one of the keenest insights made in David Fincher’s The Social Network.

As you probably know by now, this is “The Facebook Movie.”  It’s also a potent drama, fueled by stories and themes as ancient as both stories and themes.  Betrayal, identity, and the nature of friendship are all at the core of Aaron Sorkin’s stunning screenplay.  The Sorkin/Fincher pairing, however unlikely, pays off in spades.

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The Ten Most Overrated Movies Ever

In honor of a recent CyniCritics review of Fight Club which found the film to be a little… well, overrated.  Matt and I decided to compile a whole list of other films that we think get way more credit than they deserve.

Forrest Gump

The 1994 box office jumbo-hit not only made a sea of cash at the box office, but went on to sweep six Oscars, stealing the Best Picture award from Pulp Fiction and Lead Actor from Morgan Freeman. When Forrest should have been uprooted, excavated and forgotten to make room for new, brilliant filmmaking life like Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Shawsank Redemption, it’s popularity grew and thickened with time, becoming a home video must-have.

It is little wonder why the film is adored, given it is a capsule of the second half of the 20th century. But even with all the nostalgia of Vietnam, AIDS, and growing up in the south, the film was flat and dull just like the comely narrator America was so in love with. The movie hinged itself on half-baked melodrama, a popular soundtrack and a beloved, mediocre movie star (Twilight anyone?). Not saying the film was complete shit, but its no masterpiece. Forrest Gump was as awkward, clumsy and cheesy as its gumpy title suggests.

The Royal Tenenbaums

Okay, so this movie is not all that widely rated as a classic in the first place, but to many indie-cinema lovers this film is number one on their list, and if it isn’t, Rushmore, Bottlerocket, or Fantastic Mr. Fox probably is. Maybe what we’re getting at is that Wes Anderson is the one who is overrated. After watching all his films and searching for what exactly it is that makes him indie-royalty, all we can come up with is cookie cutter characters and futura font which pass as “style”. Sure it’s unique, sure it’s different, but it also happens to be pretty lame and uninteresting.

The major issues with The Royal Tenenbaums and company are the characters that Anderson creates, who are often flat, emotionless, stripped down characters that speak their mind and act rashly on freewill. They’re so stylized and doped up, that they become caricatures of themselves and make audiences lose interest quickly. It’s uniqueness cannot be ignored, but it shouldn’t be praised like the second coming of Christ on your Facebook’s favorite movies either.

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ARCHIVE REVIEW: Fight Club

Image courtesy of Deep Focus

Fight Club
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Jim Uhls (screenplay), Chuck Palahniuk (novel)
Starring: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meatloaf

Beloved the world over by high school and college males of all ages as a philosophical masterpiece, David Fincher’s Fight Club has continuously stayed on cinema’s cerebrum ever since it became a cult hit on DVD.   Do I dare challenge the consensus that this film isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?  I almost feel obligated to.

For starters, these so-called philosophical musings.  Is a movie that promotes fighting back against a society that questions your manhood really something we should be promoting?  Isn’t that what has gotten us involved in every single conflict since the dawn of time?  What most consider unique in this film is actually just the same old masculinity complex American males are expected to suffer from.

As critic Lisa Schwarzbaum put it in her initial negative review of the film,

The giant international furnishings chain IKEA is responsible for many consumer-based phenomena, among them our docile acceptance of cheap, hinged desk lamps that droop like spent lilies. But I hadn’t realized that overexposure to IKEA results in limp penises, too, until I saw Fight Club.

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