Lying somewhat quietly between two of David Fincher‘s most beloved works is The Game (1997) starring Michael Douglas. Although it failed to reach the level of critical and box office success enjoyed by Seven (1995) or the cult classic status of Fight Club (1999), after watching its Criterion Collection DVD release this past week I came away thinking that it may actually be one of Fincher’s best directorial efforts. Working from a script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (2/3 of the writing trio that helped bring you the 2004 Catwoman screenplay that you enjoyed so much), Fincher’s cold/muted color palette, striking visual style, and fantastic pacing help elevate the interesting, albeit occasionally absurd, screenplay to another level. The result is a haunting work that expertly sets up and tears down the callous, calculated world of corporate wealth by forcing Douglas’ Ebenezer Scrooge archetype to see the shell of a life he has outside of his work and possessions. The Game may go off the rails at times, but with Fincher’s steady hand guiding the story it does so in all the extremely dark, right ways.
My Fincher recommendation aside, I should mention that the Top 5 will take a quick week hiatus to allow me to travel next weekend. In the meantime, this week’s installment highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII casting news involving Adam Driver, the new trailer for director Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla, a review and interviews for Non-Stop, worlds colliding as Brendan’s Cinemath meets Adam’s Oscar Beat, and our Veronica Mars set visit coverage. As you’ve come to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
1. Adam Driver Nears Deal to Play Villain in STAR WARS EPISODE 7
Given that I’m not a particularly big Star Wars fan and I’ve never seen a single episode of HBO’s Girls, I’m probably the least qualified person on this site to be writing about Adam Driver having the villain role in Star Wars: Episode VII all but in the bag. That in mind, I’ll keep the analysis to a minimum and simply state the obvious: with this latest gig, his recent list of credits (including Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln, etc.), and the fact that he was also considered for the role of Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman before it went to Jesse Eisenberg, I would say that whatever Mr. Driver is doing is working. Godspeed, sir.
2. New Trailer for Gareth Edwards’ GODZILLA
I’m typically not one to be wowed by mass destruction on the silver screen. From ravaged national landmarks to major cities reduced to rubble, this type of grandiose disaster for the sake of action spectacle causes me to lose interest more times than not. This latest trailer for director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla remake is an exception to this rule. Set to the desperate warnings of the excellent Bryan Cranston, this cut plays up the horror of the situation and, to be honest, it kinda scares the hell out of me in the best possible way.
3. NON-STOP Interviews and Review
Let me get this straight: Liam Neeson plays an air marshal who is scared of plane takeoffs and is forced to save his fellow passengers from mysterious criminals demanding $150 million during a transatlantic flight? Sounds like Passenger 57 meets Flightplan meets Snakes on a Plane but with the badass from the Taken movies. Yeah, I’ll probably see this. If your interest is piqued like mine then do yourself a solid and check out Matt’s review of Non-Stop, our video interviews with director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, and full press conference coverage with Liam Neeson & Julianne Moore.
4. Cinemath Meets Oscar Beat
Shame on me for not mentioning it before, but this is Oscar weekend. In the spirit of the festivities our Adam Chitwood and Brendan Bettinger took to their respective wheelhouses (Oscar talk and math) to produce a Cinemath meets Oscar Beat feature that begs the question, “who would win every Best Picture race if IMDb voters chose the winner?”. The results are fascinating assuming you’re not easily intimidated by scatter plots.
5. VERONICA MARS Set Visit
I love Veronica Mars. I remember picking up the first season on Black Friday for like -$1.25 years ago, watching it with my then future wife, and the series winning me over almost instantly. The dialogue was sharp, the mysteries were almost always a ton of fun, and the father/daughter relationship between Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni was the best I’d seen in a show with its target audience. Flash forward to the present and I’ve already pre-ordered my tickets for the wife and I to check out the film when it opens on March 14th. All this in mind, it seems only natural that I select our Bryce Fallon’s Veronica Mars set visit coverage to round out this week’s Top 5. Check out our set visit recap, set interview with creator/director Rob Thomas, and set interview with co-star Jason Dohring. Also, if you want to get a head start on watching the film you can check out the first two minutes here.