3 Stars out of 4
In an opening scene to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a man introduces Lisbeth Salander to another with a careful hesitation: “I don’t know if you’ll like her, sir. She’s… different.” So goes our feelings – equally strange, gun-shy, and apprehensive – in the commercialized remake of an adaptation The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a film of further proof that mainstream audiences refuse to read subtitles and hate any unfamiliar, un-Hollywood face. By now, they could be accused of xenophobia. (continue reading…)
2 Stars out of 4
Alien 3 isn’t terrible. But it is a victim of “the three is not the charm” phenomenon of films. You have the Shrek series, Spiderman, Matrix, etc etc all succumbing to a third and final film that did not work whatsoever.
Alien 3 shows much promise at first: an apocalyptic world, complex convicts who aren’t just caricatures, and a renowned director–David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven). But the film never seems to pull through. The acting is subpar perhaps and Sigourney Weaver looks tired of enduring the same plot again, but that doesn’t ruin the film. The action is still adequate enough. The problem with the third instalment is the antagonist: the alien. In previous films, the alien was a frightening character that hid in the shadows and preyed on every human walking by.
What made Alien and Aliens was that it emphasized the horror not the gore. Claustrophobia was first hand and it was an atmosphere we could not escape. Here the Alien we just see too often and all it does is impale every character so gracefully. The scares are not to be found; it is just nasty nasty stuff. The characters are interesting enough but are undermined by weak performances and bad one-liners (special thanks to the script). By the time we reach the ending Fincher starts to focalize the film through the alien’s perspective; this is an interesting choice but it doesn’t scare you. This is because it takes the mystery away from the menace; the alien is meant to be scary because we rarely see it and we are far from understanding it.
Alien 3 is equivalent to Romero’s Day of the Dead (also the third instalment of those Dead films): it has potential but it falters under tiring dialogue and a story that is on-par action, but subdued in subpar drama.
4 Stars out of 4
David Fincher’s Zodiac is not about a killer but what surrounds a killer. Most of the film is addressed through nuanced, subtle, and ponderous banter about characters trying to connect-the-dots but always drawing square circles. The Zodiac Killer was a tease; he got what he wanted - infamy, power, and control - and regardless of his motives, he got away with his killings. Zodiac, therefore, punishes our expectations: we sit through this almost three-hour movie not for a payoff but to be put in our place, only allowed to speculate and try to logically resolve a case that has no resolution. (continue reading…)
4 Stars out of 4
For a film that begins and demands your attention on the prose of its dialogue ought to be great. Fortunately, that is the case for David Fincher’s The Social Network. It tells a story, while never overdoing it, about a college student, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), who conceives a billion dollar concept while intoxicated and hoping to get laid. It sounds much like the impulsive urges of the boys from Superbad, but The Social Network is compact with characters filled with anger. You can see it as their eyes twitch staring at their computer screens. (continue reading…)
2 Stars out of 4
The Game has been well-respected for its twisty tunnels of suspense that channeled all towards a transfixing payoff. Meh. Before I elaborate off this succinct colloquialism, let me counter that expression with an comment stated by Roger Ebert (he, would you know it, loved the film): “[The Game] doesn’t progress in a docile, predictable way; for one thing, there is the real possibility that the Game is not an ego-reduction program, but a death plot.” This explanation shadows much of what Fight Club was about, and though it was not out yet, Ebert would, what do you know, dislike it. But this is not a review on attacking a critic, this is about a game. And would you know it? It is called ‘The Game’. (continue reading…)