|06.23.17||Netflix||I think this is turning out to be my favorite David Fincher movie. While I've enjoyed almost all of his films, this one seems the most watchable and to hold up the best. The cast is stellar, all playing non-showy roles (perhaps with the exception of Robert Downey Jr). And I think it's a rare film that shows the passage of time. I think the time lapse of the transamerica pyramid is one of the best ever examples of this. And I love how constrained the murders are followed by how unraveled the invastigation gets. And that look at the end. John Carroll Lynch in the hardware store. Murderous eyes. Dead face. SO GOOD. gooooood byeee....|
|01.05.14||Netflix||I really love this movie. watched it on impulse. still love it. It may end up being my favorite Fincher movie, or at least the one I come back to the most regularly.|
|04.28.09||DVR||Another one watched pretty much just because it was in HD. I really like this movie more and more every time I see it. Something about the revolving cast and the obsessional attention to detail about the nature of obsession not to mention the beautifully clean photography and - let's face it - fascinating subject matter all work wonders for me. I love that practically every speaking role in the film is filled by an actor who's been the lead in other films. I love the passage of time and the process of investigation. It's just a really pleasant movie for me to watch. Especially in HD! LOLZ|
|10.05.07||Internet|| I refuse to buy the barebones disc of this when I know Fincher will probably do up a spec ed along the lines of his other films once he finished Benjamin Button.|
I still really love this film. It's long and sprawling and pretty much everything I didn't like about Wyatt Earp but... in a good way. I love the film shows a handful of murders take on mythic status and the search for facts in the messy labrynthine world of reality clash to create something easily obssession-worthy. Very similar to Jack the Ripper or any other high-profile unsolved murder I guess, it's kinda like a fractal in that the closer you search the more you find until you literally have rooms full of information draining your life away. This was what I loved about Ellroy's Black Dahlia book because several cops in that story become this level of obssessed. Of course none of that stuff was in the movie because De Palma had to make it sucky, but whatever.
I really hope we get a 3-disc set comparable to the Panic Room DVD. I'd love that level of thoroughness with a movie I actually like.
|02.09.07||Alamo South Lamar|| David Fincher finally makes another movie and thankfully, mercifully, it's really really good. I hate when I'm going on and on about Fincher and people say "didn't he direct Panic Room?" or they bring up Alien 3 and I have to qualify the shit out of every statement I've just said, blaming the script or the studio or whatever. Finally I can be like "you know, the guy who did Zodiac" and not have to say any more. Even Fight Club... I have a problem with the last act (that's also the last act in the book) but I can honestly say I had no problems with this movie. Even the length (two hours forty minutes) seemed to fly by for me. It's also a rare case where the length of the movie acts towards the message and theme of the film. Watching it does exhaust you to some degree, but you get the sense that you're supposed to be exhausted because the main characters are also exhausted. So in fact, the long running time actually helps you to identify more with the characters as the film becomes less about the actual crimes than the general human nature of obssession and fascination with the missing puzzle pieces of life.|
It's definitely not the first film to deal with this stuff, but the second half of this film was also really interesting to me because I know for the longest time Fincher was working on developing Ellroy's The Black Dahlia as a movie... I'm a huge fan of both the author and the book but I don't think those are the only reasons why I hated the movie. The movie was just a horrible translation. They kept in all the goofy plot stuff that relies on Ellroy's execution and threw out all of the overlaying themes and colors. Well... as the book The Black Dahlia moves on, the main characters become obssessed with the case EXACTLY like what I just saw in Zodiac. Yes, EXACTLY in all-caps. I can almost see Fincher thinking it out, ultimately dropping Dahlia due to too many problematical elements and finding himself attracted to this project in part because it touches on such similar facets. "well, I can't convey the exact tone I want to with that project but I bet I can with this." I'm telling you... right down to the tableaus with the invading paperwork; boxes and boxes of case files spread out and looked through and taking over these peoples' lives. Watching this movie was like seeing my Ideal Black Dahlia movie without all the Elizabeth Short stuff.
Instead it's true. And it feels it. I got a kick out of reading in the end credits how they had technical advisors, researchers, and private investigators working on this movie. As I watched I felt completely comfortable in believing every detail on screen, right down to the pocket protector that Anthony Edwards wears (also a great homage to Revenge of the Nerds, whether it was intentional or not). The actual Zodiac killing sequences felt realistically creepy, maybe borrowing from the way Spike Lee shot the Son of Sam killings in his movie a little bit (without the stylized color palette, still no red in Fincher-land). That he uses several different actors to protray the killer is a master stroke. They all fit the type but are all subtley different... so when the police interview different suspects you really don't know who's "supposed" to be the killer.
Or do you. One interview scene in this movie is just unbelievable. And it's the kind of scene that has to be true. If it was fiction... well, then it would be a David Koepp script. And the actor playing the interviewee (I know him mainly as Marge's husband in Fargo but I know he also did some TV work as well as plenty of other character roles) is beat-for-beat perfect. That's another thing actually... every little walk-on, single-day, glorified extra role in this movie goes to incredibly talented and well-respected actors. One thing I like to do with any movie is read the beginning titles and see how deep in the cast I get before I stop recognizing names. If i can get all the way to the casting agent then I feel like I'm in for a pretty good movie. Well, with this movie... every new name was an extremely pleasant surprise. It's almost worth not looking this up on IMDb (I've already spoiled Anthony Edwards, sorry).
So you have an excellent cast at work on an incredibly detailed script oozing verisimilitude. Then there's Fincher's direction. Anyone who got the Panic Room DVD probably expects this but I think his movies contain some of the best use of CG elements period. You watch this movie and... while there are a few shots that are a little visually virtuoso, for the most part it just looks like a period 70s movie. I'm just guessing but I bet there's a good 2-300 visual effects shots in this movie. The thing is you just don't notice them. Fincher uses CG so effectively though, to bring his intentions to screen with 100% clarity. On the one hand this doesn't allow for very many "happy accidents," but on the other you never see anything where it shouldn't be. Nothing's slightly out of place, nothing doesn't land two inches to the left or right of where it needs to, nothing. And yet it looks like it's shot like any other film.
Now, I bet studios don't quite see the point of spending all this money to make sure a gun slides to the exact right spot on the floor or a building has the exact right second floor as it used to in 1969, but I bet it does have an affect on the audience. That affect might be subconsciouss, but I bet it's there. Fincher's using new tools to tell his story more effectively, which is money better spent than any number of robot explosions or flying superheroes.
So yeah, I guess I liked this movie a lot. I think it represents about the best both true crime movies and serial killer movies can get, up there with In Cold Blood, The Boston Strangler, Silence of the Lambs, and Bonnie And Clyde.
Thanks to Lars and Kier-La for something.