Home / Action Plan / ‘Mindhunter’ Review: David Fincher’s Netflix Return Debates the Origins of Evil — And It’s Pretty Funny, Too

‘Mindhunter’ Review: David Fincher’s Netflix Return Debates the Origins of Evil — And It’s Pretty Funny, Too

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/10/netflix-mindhunter-review-season-1-david-fincher-1201886179/

It’s no spoiler to say the second episode of “Mindhunter” ends with “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. And considering the focus of hour No. 2 was a serial killer who had sex with his victims’ heads, well, that’s a pretty funny way to wrap two scene-setting hours of television.

David Fincher’s return to Netflix, after putting its originals program on the map with “House of Cards,” isn’t as consistently uproarious as its second hour kicker implies, but the fictionalized story of criminal profiling’s birth does have a dark sense of humor to match its grim, academic nature. Fincher and creator Joe Penhall have crafted a markedly talky original series that shouldn’t work at all — not really. Through two of the first 10 episodes, it’s unclear what kind of long-term potential “Mindhunter” has beyond the morbidly fascinating conversations between analysts and murderers. But its mission is pure, aesthetic outstanding, and hook undeniable.

Imagine the scene in “Zodiac” where Arthur Leigh Allen (played by John Carrol Lynch) sits down with detectives to answer questions about the killings. Then pretend Leigh, as he prefers to be called, is the Zodiac killer. There’s no question that he did it. He’s been convicted, and he’s already in prison. All the apprehension over whether or not he’s the guy, let alone if he’ll get away and kill again, is gone. He’s just a tall, middle-aged man with a few unnerving quirks who’s doing time and talking to the cops.

Wouldn’t that be kind of funny?

OK, OK. It would still be disconcerting, but remember when Sgt. Jack Mulanax (Elias Koteas) gave Leigh a look after the big blue collar worker effeminately crossed his legs? Certainly, this moment is intended as a humorous beat, if not the inducement of a tension-breaking giggle-fit, and that nerve-tingling spark is what “Mindhunter” chases.

MINDHUNTER Episode 3 Netflix Cameron Britton, Jonathan Groff

Fincher’s series does so in large part because it’s absent the primary hook of most serial killer stories: the chase. “Mindhunter” follows FBI Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), a hostage negotiator and teacher who wants to find new methods of communication with suspects. The first scene of the show sets a simple mission statement, and the clunky, overextended pilot reemphasizes the point again and again: Holden wants to help, even if he doesn’t know how.

His quest leads him into a psychological realm most of his fellow agents aren’t comfortable with; they don’t want to empathize with “monsters,” let alone consider that any “normal” person could be capable of that kind of evil. But an array of atypical events — the Manson murders, JFK’s assassination, Vietnam — has them questioning how the FBI assigns logic to society. “The world barely makes sense, so it follows that crime doesn’t either.”

Soon, Holden meets Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), who’s part of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. Tench travels around the United States, talking to local agencies who are dealing with extreme cases. They’re officially trying to teach America’s police force the advanced methods utilized by the FBI, but they’re always on the lookout for something off-book. They want to learn as much as they want to teach, and that’s what gets Holden involved.

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‘The Last Jedi’ Will Be the Biggest Movie of 2017, Even as It Leaves Some Records Untouched

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/the-last-jedi-break-records-box-office-2017-1201907307/

The first shows for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begin tonight, and there’s every expectation that is will be the biggest-opening, top-grossing domestic release of 2017. At a minimum, we’re looking at a $200 million opening, with $225 million very likely.

With strong holiday playtime following the first 10 days of release, a multiple of at least three times its opening is possible, which could propel to the domestic take to around $700 million.

Yes, it’s going to be huge — but there’s a few records it might not beat. Here (with adjusting numbers to 2017 values) are some comparable numbers that “Jedi” will easily best, and a few that seem unlikely.

Top domestic grosses of 2017: YES

“The Last Jedi” should find the opening numbers easy to beat, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be the best-performing movie of the year.

Film Studio Opening Gross Domestic Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $174.8 million $504 million
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Disney $146.5 million $412.6 million
It Warner Bros. $123.4 million $389.8 million

 

Best opening weekends in the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

The bigger opening numbers in recent years can be tied to more seats available, pre-buys, and overall moviegoing habits.

Title Year Opening Box Office
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $254.5 million
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 $157.6 million
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 2005  $151.1 million

 

Best domestic gross for the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

This includes reissues. “Star Wars” is the #2 film of all time, while “The Force Awakens” is the biggest success in the last 20 years. To be as high as fifth on the all time “Star Wars” list, “The Last Jedi”  would need to do 78 percent of the total for “The Force Awakens,” and significantly better than “Rogue One.”

Title Year Total Box Office
Star Wars 1977 $1.591 billion
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $965.5 million
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 $876.8 million
The Return of the Jedi 1983 $840.0 million
The Phantom Menace 1999  $757.4 million

 

“The Fate of the Furious”

Top international grosses for 2017: NO

The two most recent “Star Wars” films weren’t top among overseas release in their years. In 2015, “The Force Awakens” was second to “Furious 7,” though it did gross over $1 billion overseas. “Rogue One” was eighth best among 2016 releases, grossing $524 million. Expect “The Last Jedi” to gross somewhere in between, unlikely to be better than third best for the year.

Title Studio Total
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.010 billion
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co. $864.9 million
Despicable Me 3 Universal $767.8 million
Beauty and the Beast Disney $759.5 million
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Disney  $622.3 million

 

Top worldwide grosses for 2017: YES

This looks entirely doable. “The Force Awakens” made over $2 billion, “Rogue One” a little over $1 billion; expect this to do more, both at home and overseas.

Title Studio Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $1.264 billion
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.236 billion
Despicable Me 3 20th Century Fox $1.033 billion
Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony $880.2 million
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co.  $870.3 million

 


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