Monday, December 5, 2011

List: Favourite David Fincher Movies

David Fincher with Rooney Mara
As awards season draws closer, one of the most anticipated movies to be released this coming month will be none other than The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. But to be more specific, to be released this month... in the Yu-Es-Eh (thats USA for the unimaginative). Its utterly ridiculous that it'll only get a theatrical release on Malaysian shores come February next year. I have no idea what goes on in that place between the ears (scientist apparently refer to as "The Brain") of Malaysian movie distributors when scheduling their film releases. Heck, Hugo will only be released mid-March! This makes my mate's nagging for a holiday trip to Singapore's Universal Studios even more seductive. I reckon the movie will be released earlier there in that neighboring country. And with a more merciful censor board too.

Anyway the director for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is none other than one David Fincher. This is the guy Quentin Tarantino labeled as "one of the best directors of my generation". His films have a dark, slow-building tone to them with plenty of visual flair. He is a real expert in creating scenes filled with suspense and tension while the characters in his movies often provoke plenty of thought. Here is my countdown of his movies. I had a tough time deciding the order for the top 3 as I love all three movies equally and on a different day, the order might be different.

#8 Alien 3 [1992]

Image enhanced by twoknowone
Fincher's debut feature, picking-up the franchise from Ridley Scott and James Cameron. Unfortunately though, this is the weakest selection from the Alien quadrilogy.

Selected Quote: Clemens: "Well, not much to say, is there? Death was instantaneous." Aaron: "No shit".

#7 The Game [1997]

This story has so many implausible aspects in it that sometimes I feel as I'm watching a science-fiction feature. But I'm willing to forgive all that because as a whole, this is one very engaging psychological thriller

Selected Quote: "I don't care about the money. I'm pulling back the curtain. I want to meet the wizard."

#6 Zodiac [2007]

Based on the true unsolved mystery of The Zodiac Killer during the 1960s and 70s. My first viewing of this movie was through the Director's Cut version. Although it span almost 3 hours long, I still didn't want it to end.

Selected Quote: "Before I kill you, I'm going to throw your baby out the window."

#5 Panic Room [2002]

The amount of suspense and tension generated by this thriller is at edge-of-you-seat and biting-your-nails level. As one would expect, Jodie Foster gives a solid performance.

Selected Quote: Burham: "Nice house you guys got. Your mom's rich?" Sarah: "Dad's rich. Mom's just mad."

#4 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button [2008]

I just love imaginative epic-lifetime-adventure stories like Forrest Gump [1994] and Big Fish [2003]. This movie is a strong addition to the list.

Selected Quote: "Did I ever tell you I was struck by lightning seven times?"

#3 The Social Network [2010]

After writer Aaron Sorkin won the Golden Globe for this movie he praised Fincher for "able to make scenes of typing and sometimes just scenes of talking about typing look like bank robberies". High praise indeed, especially since Sorkin's dialogue was the most potent component of an overall solid movie (see below for example of the sheer awesomeness). I was honestly hooked from the very first scene (conversation between Zuckerberg and Erica).

Selected Quote: Gage: "You don't think I deserve your attention?" Zuckerberg: "I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try, but there's no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie! You have part of my attention. You have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. [Pauses]. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?"

#2 Fight Club [1999]

An astounding masterpiece. Any "movies must see before you die" list is incomplete without this film on it. Oh, and Tyler Durden (character from this movie) is a freaking legend!

Selected Quote: "The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight club is: You do not talk about Fight Club!"

#1 Se7en [1995]

The mark of a truly great motion picture is the ability to leave the audience bewildered long after the credits roll. My first viewing had me overwhelmed for weeks. Epic!

Selected Quote: "He's experienced as much pain and suffering as anyone I've encountered, give or take, and he still has hell to look forward to."


  1. alien 3, the game and seven...woooo!
    never seen zodiac though...should try..

  2. Heh... Zodiac is probably more of a true story than The Social Network


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