Wednesday, February 26, 2014

F This Movie! - Se7en

What's in the box? Patrick and JB are in the box.



Download this episode here. (56 MB)

Subscribe to F This Movie! in iTunes

Also discussed this episode: Academy Award Nominated Short Films, RoboCop (2014), Labor Day (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), Welcome to the Jungle (2014), Nurse (2014), Eve of Destruction (1991)

26 comments:

  1. Just started listening to this and was about to ask, but then you answered my question - the new sound is GREAT and I think the investment was well worth it. Never had a problem with your previous podcasts or anything, but it is a nice change. Though it would sound even better on vinyl.

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  2. Good job, guys!

    The problem with watching Se7en (not a problem with the MOVIE, it is what it is and does not back down from that) is pretty much, as you said, the worldview. And that's a problem because the movie is not lying.

    Like everything, there's not just one side...but the story the movie tells is solely about that one side. In that sense, the movie never lies; it tells the truth. The world IS a horrible, ugly place. Anyone who says it isn't is either horribly naive or has their head in the sand. This movie lives there, clearly. It's ugly. It's soul-crushing. Recognizing this fact is not the same thing as being a terribly negative asshole ALL DAY EVERY DAY, but the movie is that asshole for two hours. But it does not lie. Just because it doesn't recognize the goodness and love and beauty that ALSO exists (again, two sides) doesn't make the movie unfair; that is just not what it is doing, or interested in. Not many people bitch about Disney flicks for not getting into the evil in the heart of man.

    Yet the problem with Se7en is that it can be way, way too much to take. Especially considering that perfect, gut-punch of an ending; for this flick -- the story they've told so far and HOW Fincher has told it -- it couldn't end any other way. It would have been cheating. It would have been wrong. Which is exactly why, while I admire and respect the hell out of it, would certainly call it a masterpiece, and even kind of love it...I couldn't watch it all the time. In fact, if I knew somebody who watched it once a month for pure entertainment purposes, I would probably cut ties with them out of fear. I'm (sorta) joking, but you get my point.

    The contract you mentioned...Se7en breaks it. It reminds us of things most of us would rather forget. There is no reassurance here, and things will most definitely NOT be okay. All of which is, ultimately, true. Most of us don't watch movies to be told that sort of truth, and is not the escape we're looking for when we sit down to enjoy cinema.

    So Se7en is a special beast, I feel. It is amazing. Told without the skill Fincher, the actors and countless technicians brought to it, it would be unwatchable. Not to mention a lesser filmmaker would have depicted the kills onscreen (most forget that John Doe is the ONLY death we see; everything else is aftermath) and that, quite frankly, would be too much.

    Anyway. It's great. But, like Adam R. said to me on Twitter, it's utterly mind blowing that a studio gave this a wide release across the nation. It's probably the darkest, most depressing movie I love and call a classic.

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    1. Well put.
      I really like Se7en, I too think it is a great film. However, for all the reasons you list, it is not a film I revisit very often. I think I have seen it maybe three times since it came out. (All within five years of its theatrical release) And though I own the DVD I don't think I have ever watched that disc.

      That could be a column for someone or Weekend Weigh-in unless it has already been done. "What are movies you really like/love but seldom if ever revisit?"

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    2. THAT is a great idea, Tom.

      Number One on my list would be Martyrs. It's an incredibly well done, precisely and beautifully made film. I will never, ever watch it again. There aren't enough showers in the world.

      Easily the most effective horror movie I have ever seen.

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  3. What a difference in the audio quality! The quality of your recording now matches the quality of the content. Congrats on the upgrade!

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  4. Excellent episode, Patrick, and I loved the improved sound quality. Sounded like you and JB were calmly chatting on NPR. But, you know, the version of NPR where you talk about boxes, and what could possibly be in them.

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  5. Great episode. I still remember the first time I watched Se7en. I was probably 10 or 11, and it just made me very uncomfortable about everything it dealt with. My buddy Conor told me that I had to watch this cop movie, and that the ending was nuts. Even though he spoiled it for me, the evil shown throughout the movie horrified me.

    Also, all the talk about Zodiac jumped it to the top of my list. I've been meaning to watch it forever, but just haven't gotten around to it.

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  6. I thought that the lead performance in Nurse was deliberately bad??? I don't know..I've never seen her in anything else.

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    1. Ha, Paz de la Huerta is just bad. She was in the Gaspar Noe film Enter the Void, which is worth seeing, despite her awful acting. Very interesting film. But she was also terrible in Boardwalk Empire before the show wrote her out. It boggles the mind that she still gets work.

      If you're looking to do an impression (that no one will get), Paz from Boardwalk Empire is a good one. Her slurred mumbly-upspeak is so awful.

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  7. I believe she was trying. Which only makes me like it more.

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  8. Another great one guys! I'd love to see you guys do Zodiac director's cut to compare it with Seven. I like how you two pointed out "filling in the blanks" in your mind and what movies that works effectively in. I think this method is absent in Zodiac (director's cut adds so much more to the film) and works. For me, it's one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time and there are no action scenes in the film, or if there are it's subtle and doesn't slow down the film like it did in Seven.

    Sound was great! Can't wait for the next one!

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  9. Say, here's a question about Fight Club. I've always seen it as a movie with a great first and second acts that completely falls apart in the third act and betrays everything before it. So, is this a fault of Fincher and the screenplay by Uhls, or is it fairly close to the novel and it's Palahniuk's fault?

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    1. I have never read the novel, but my understanding is that the script retains much of the ending (with one exception). To answer what I think is your question, the "twist" comes from Palahniuk.

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    2. Thank you, sir! (And to be clear and vague, I think the problems of the third act are far bigger than the twist.)

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    3. I've read the novel, and I think the movie ends up having a "lighter" ending. I don't own a copy of the book anymore, so I would love to hear some confirmation, but that's what my memory says.

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  10. I first saw "Se7en" as a sophomore in College. It had been recommended by a few people to me in computer class so I went to see it that night at the 10:30pm show. I was so tried that the incredible library scene with Morgan Freeman (was sad you guys didn't touch on that) lulled me to sleep.

    Yes, that's right. I fell asleep.

    When I woke up, it was the shot of Brad Pitt in the back of the police car and the police chief telling Freeman that they would get him the best help available. I was so pissed because I thought Brad Pitt was the killer and couldn't believe what a terrible, cop out ending this film had.

    I complained about this for a few days until someone told me that's not what happened. I then went to see it again earlier in the day and was startled by what I saw. LOL.

    Couple quick points.

    1. Love how during the chase between Pitt and John Doe that Doe is wearing the same outfit that Keyser Soze does at the opening of "The Usual Suspects".

    2. Since Fincher has matured as a filmmaker, "Se7en" plays more like a film student movie, yes, but looking at it in context keeps it powerful. And I agree, it's a horror film.

    3. Paltrow gives a very good performance. Small, but crucial.

    4. Since this film has been on DVD/Blu Ray in the late 90s, the sound mix during the "What's in the Box" scene is not as coherent as the LD/VHS. Strange.

    5. The Swedish version of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was a great film in the style of David Fincher. Fincher doing the remake seemed to be poised for greatness until one saw it and realized it was Fincher trying to make a Fincher film. Kinda like Tim Burton and "Sleepy Hollow".

    6. Love "Zodiac" and "Social Network". I agree those are his best films... so far.

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  11. I tweeted that this is my favorite movie, and it really is. When It came out I had just started working at one of the oldest and last real camera shops in SLC, and ended up managing the B+W darkroom (managing means me, by myself working all day, not really knowing what I was doing, this went on for 6 1/2 years) But I got Se7en on VHS a few months after I started working there, and then on the New Line DVD, and the thing is the exposure and color timing of every shot in this movie is perfect to me. I mean the blacks are black. But I just remember watching and still watching and still listening to the cinematographer's commentary trying to understand what they did, and to be honest, now I don't want to know. it's magic to me, and it's one of those movies that's beloved by many, but I have my own reasons for loving it.

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  12. I saw Zodiac with my gf when it came out. And I, knowing it was about a real serial killer who was never caught, absolutely loved it. My gf, having never heard of the Zodiac killer at that point, absolutely hated it. I believe her first words when it ended was "what a fucking stupid movie." Incidentally, the relationship did not last.

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  13. Just listened. Great job, really enjoyed it. Haven't seen the movie in a really long time, but I really feel like revisiting it.
    Btw, I saw the Lego Movie. I really liked it...I found that it really stuck with me as a dad. The idea of creating a balance for your kids to explore and create decisions on their own versus trying to model the "right" way to do things really resonated with me far beyond how to allow them to play with toys.

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  14. Just saw Nurse 3D and it was such a joyous experience. I want to see everything Paz De La Huerta is in now. Who is she? What is she? Why is she? What was Kathleen Turner doing there? Why were there so many butts?

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  15. Been busy but just caught up with this episode. With the new microphones, Patrick’s co-host sounds very sultry and svelte to the point that I ask myself – who is this new JB guy and what happened to the other one? And then the smooth, sexy voice says “I’m masturbating ironically”. Hahahaha, there he is! Good ol’ JB!

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  16. "Labor Day" - from the trailer - looked like "Stockholm Syndrome: The Movie"! I had no interest in it.

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  17. Loved that the movie Se7en never told you what city it was set in...genius. One procedural mistake I saw was that Brad Pitt (Mills) would not have been that cavalier at the crime scene of the dead lawyer. He sits in the chair, twirls around and walks all over the floor. No way a smart detective risks messing up that much forensic evidence.

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  18. Just discovered this podcast a couple of months ago and love it. I haven't read through all of the previous Se7en comments so I apologize if someone said something similar, but I have always had two small nagging feelings about the box: 1. Upon the first viewing, I was sure it was their unborn baby inside 2. I always wondered (possibly because of my first-viewing-confusion) whether a wisp of blond hair fluttering out of the top would have been even more effective - or heavy handed. Thanks for the hours of thoughtful and hilarious insight you all provide! K

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and welcome! Great to have you. If I can remember correctly all the way back to '95, I had the exact same thought re: what would be in the box. Is that sicker or less sick?

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