…and the quest to see everything

Posts tagged “David Fincher

Style Guide I: Do Not Be Armond White


This screencap is stolen. Deal with it.

I couldn’t write the actual rule because it was too long – ‘Do your best not to include the history of cinema while writing about one movie,’ which is pretty much what he does every. Single. Time [Fr.]. And you know, I’m trolling [coll.] for page views so that title seemed more apt for that purpose.

With almost every post here until recently, I check out what other paid film critics say about movies so I don’t unwillingly [d. neg.] steal from them. For “Odd Man Out,” there’s one from either Variety or TV Guide of all places. Then Armond White, who wasn’t listed in RottenTomatoes as a top critic.

You know what? To rehash the Armond White thing is so last year. White’s name comes up every time someone asks who the worst presently working critic. In my pre-blogging, days, I read an interview of his and he said that he disliked P.T. Anderson “There Will Be Blood” because it was pretentious. I looked up his track record and saw that he’s fine, and by fine I mean Pauline Kael-esque. Both, by the way, are notorious for hating movies touted as classics. And if we allow Kael to have a .500 batting average and write books about it, so can White.

Back to “Odd Man Out,” White’s uses his piece on its recent screenings in Film Forum in New York to shit on “Blood,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” and David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” And it’s like, why do I have to hear this? Besides, “Che” was passable, “Blood” was fun (call the psych ward if you want) and “Button” pulled on the heart-strings and I saw that on a plane! If I like a movie while seeing it on a plane, it can’t be [pass.] that bad! And [conj.] I liked it not because of the lack of oxygen because everything else on a plane annoys me and I’m inside so my oxygen isn’t lacking at all!

Ok, I’m calm. I also reminded myself that there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re gonna write about a Tarantino film, go ahead and write your head off about the history of cinema. Because it’d probably all be there. But with bending rules you have to only do it once or twice. Like Ron Fair or whatshisname from the Pussycat Dolls show says, one growl per album.

Talking about the history of cinema makes you look like a dick because you’re probably telling the world that said movie is the worst thing ever made, which it’s probably not. And it makes you seem distracted. In doing something well, you must know and do the task at hand.

To remind the 26 of you who pass by, do your best not to include the history of cinema while writing about one movie. I cuss and write like a teenager, and I know to avoid doing that.


Obsessed: Zodiac


(Make me wanna holler. ph. Paramount)

Maybe “Zodiac” is trying to show an alternative system in solving crime. There are always gonna be cold cases and the police cannot fully dedicate themselves to every unsolved crime. They’ll just find some seemingly altruistic nerd like Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) to ponder over dusty evidence. I was gonna call this transfer system perfect if it didn’t ruin families and if it didn’t end in a staring contest instead of an actual arrest and conviction.

The movie starts with a high angle wide shot of San Francisco in the Fourth of July while a croony male version “Easy To Be Hard,” a Broadway song about civil rights is playing, making the scene and the rest of the movie seem dangerous in a romantic way. We see the Transamerica Tower being built. “Zodiac” glides for a 160 minute movie about a serial killer, showing the passage of time with the same artistic hand used with depicting a man stuck in the past.

(Jesus Christ indeed)

This is the best David Fincher movie I’ve seen so far. It doesn’t have the blatant dialogue about morality in  “Se7en,” an element that can make a movie age like fish (but don’t mistake me, I like a lot of it). It doesn’t have the ‘shut up, Brad Pitt’ of “Fight Club,” although I like Brad Pitt everywhere else. “Zodiac” doesn’t declare itself as a great film like the other two, but watching this after two and a half or so years makes me feel like I found a hidden jewel.

(A better stalker than Edward Cullen)

Graysmith’s obsession is still seductive because it attempts to shatter  impartiality, especially that of police work. He tries to get into police stations and detective’s homes and yes, that’s annoying. But the typical police officer isn’t sadistic enough to say no. In his last conversation with David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), he knows how to spin a tale and has done a lot of research on the suspect’s time line coinciding with the killings. Toschi tells him he can’t prove any of his speculations. He bravely replies that ‘Just because we can’t prove it doesn’t mean it’s not true.’

Lastly, why is John Carroll Lynch playing douche-y roles? He’s amazing here as Arthur Leigh Allen, and he’s serviceable as one of the guards in “Shutter Island.” I just miss the loveable husband from “Fargo.”