As the year comes to a close and the final leg of the awards race begins, we’ll start to see how the darkly funny and twisted “Gone Girl” stacks up against the work of David Fincher’s contemporaries in year-end lists and industry award shows. In the meantime, let’s look to the chilly auteur’s inauspicious blockbuster beginning to see how he fared when he didn’t quite have the full support of producers.
A year ago yesterday, blogger/filmmaker Scout Tafoya started a monthly video series called “The Unloved” for RogerEbert.com that cast an eye on, as the series’ title suggests, films that received a less than stellar reception upon release. The inaugural entry for the series focused on Fincher’s infamous “Alien 3” and spends nearly ten minutes making the case for much-maligned sequel by referencing, among other things, the works of Hieronymous Bosch.
Even in its much-discussed assembly cut, which many fans peg as the superior version of the film, “Alien 3” is clearly not in the same league as either Ridley Scott’s stone cold classic “Alien” or James Cameron’s insanely fun and quotable “Aliens.” The difference could be blamed on anything from Fincher’s greenness to the various rewrites the film underwent, and the continual studio meddling even after the film wrapped. Still, Fincher’s directorial debut isn’t quite as bad as its legacy would suggest, and plays as a completely different beast from the rest of the sci-fi series and actually boasts some solid performances from Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton and Charles Dance.
Watch “The Unloved” episode on “Alien 3” and share your thoughts below.