This week on the It’s the Pictures Podcast we have an episode discussing David Fincher’s filmography. Well more like 2007 through 2014. Along with guest Roxana Hadadi; we discussed Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl. We skipped movies like The Social Network since we’ve covered it recently.
You’ll be able to hear our opinions on those films and the themes that permeate throughout his work. Fincher is a fascinating filmmaker. Not only for the themes he tackles, but for his persona in the film community. He is in one instance a man who has created movies like Fight Club, that are enshrined by dorm rooms around the country. Fight Club and some of his other films are misconstrued as these films that show the power of white masculinity, but really show the problem of leaving toxic masculinity unchecked. On the other side, he has become somewhat of a master of adapting thrilling novels. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl could’ve been disasters in the hands of another director.
Sometimes I wonder where his entire filmography stands in contrast to other cinematic titans. While he doesn’t have the cinematic clout of someone like Christopher Nolan or Steven Spielberg, there is no denying the quality and ambition of some of his films. He has been nominated for Academy Awards multiple times (and will likely be nominated for Mank despite that film registering as a miss for me). His movies are sold based on the fact that they are David Fincher movies. But I wonder if his name holds that much weight for everyone.
What is your favorite David Fincher movie and does his involvement sell you on the movie?
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Barb and Star is one of those movies I struggle to review. Not because it is bad, but rather the opposite. The problem is that the less you know, the funnier Barb and Star becomes. It absolutely revels in the unexpected. The non-spoiler premise is that middle-aged women Barb and Star have lost their job at a local department store. They need to get out of town and the sunny Florida retreat, Vista Del Mar, is the perfect getaway.
There haven’t been many great comedy films released during the pandemic (except Borat 2). Big studio comedies were delayed and studios were going to release the movies when COVID was over. We know how well that has worked out. Instead of waiting a year and launching Barb and Star in the summer of 2021, we are getting this hilarious comedy right in time for Valentine’s Day. I think it is an absolute riot. It is one of those movies’ that look horrible in ads because they can’t reveal anything about it. Let me tell you, you need to see Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Don’t read anything about it. Just rent it and enjoy.
If you need me to sell you just a little bit more. Jamie Dornan flexes comedic muscles I didn’t think he had. There’s musical numbers that will have you gasping for air between laughter. Kristen Wiig is having an absolute blast doing what she does best. I know we are only a month and a half into 2021, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this is one of the best comedies of the year. [B+]
The new A24 movie, Minari, is about to be seen by a much larger audience. A two week virtual cinema engagement is on sale now and then it will be available on PVOD services. Kristen Yoonsoo Kim has written about the film for The Nation, and how it’s a landmark film for Asian American Cinema.
I watched the new documentary Framing Britney Spears that is now available on Hulu. The documentary doesn’t focus on the songs of Spears, but rather how stardom and the media can make a superstar more confined than ever. The big topic of course is the legal conservatorship her father, Jamie Spears, holds over her. Kathryn VanArendonk wrote this piece about the documentary, showing how presenting the events in a logical and precise way might make you think differently about Britney Spears and her life.
Friend of the newsletter, Andrew Liptak, wrote about the newly announced Redwall adaptation for Netflix. For Tor.com Liptak writes, “Netflix is set to visit Redwall Abbey. The streaming service has announced that it’s struck a deal with Penguin Random House to adapt Brian Jacques’ long-running children’s fantasy Redwall series, about the adventures of generations of anthropomorphic animals as they fight against evil to protect their home.” Not to bury the lead, but the series is being developed by Patrick McHale who was responsible for the fan-favorite Over the Garden Wall animated series. While I’m not familiar with Redwall, I’m excited about this project.
A Fan-Favorite Cinderella adaptation is coming to Disney + this weekend. The 1997 movie starring Brandy and Whitney Houston was one of the most requested titles when the service launched in 2019. Zoe Haylock has a new interview with Brandy for the upcoming re-release.
Streaming this Weekend (Feb 12-14)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King) HBO Max
Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar (Josh Greenbaum) PVOD
To All the Boys: Always and Forever (Michael Fimognari) Netflix
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Ian Samuels) Amazon Prime
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella ‘97 Disney +
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