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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20405 Location: New York City
bart wrote:
Lorne,

re "In other words, Fincher made the best film possible about a mid-level crime story."

See, this is what for me made the film so splendid -- it's basically about a few guys who are mostly going in circles and getting really frustrated and scrabbling for elusive bits of evidence and bickering endlessly about handwriting analysis -- and YET it is so utterly fascinating in the way it delves into the grind of real police work. I think the achievement is monumental.


Couldn't agree with you more. In fact, it probably should have occupied a spot in my top movie list, but more time will make that possible. It's certainly still by far the best film of 2007.
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Marj
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:57 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
bart wrote:
Lorne,

re "In other words, Fincher made the best film possible about a mid-level crime story."

See, this is what for me made the film so splendid -- it's basically about a few guys who are mostly going in circles and getting really frustrated and scrabbling for elusive bits of evidence and bickering endlessly about handwriting analysis -- and YET it is so utterly fascinating in the way it delves into the grind of real police work. I think the achievement is monumental.


Bart - I couldn't agree more!
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Marj
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:06 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Almost missed your post, Billy. But suffice to say I gave Zodiac a lot of thought when I made my list. Since I included the two other films that were of similar themes, All The President's Men and Shattered Glass, I have a feeling that were I to see Zodiac a few more times and as you said, gave it more time, it would be there.

I think it's interesting that all three films are very different, told in totally different ways, but work beautifully for what they are. I love this kind of movie so much.
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ehle64
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Great stuff kids. Love it and will queuing the thing and seeing it again, soon.

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lshap
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:19 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2004 Posts: 4246 Location: Montreal
Zodiac felt like a hybrid of a heart-thumping serial killer flic mixed with a deeper, if plodding, portrait of an alcoholic journalist, an obsessive cartoonist and a dogged cop. Sure, marry the best of those stories and - voila - it's a masterpiece. But I just wasn't sufficiently drawn to Gylenhall's masturbatory, career obsession with finding this killer, which made the center of the film taste overcooked and rubbery. I dig slow buildups and I grant plenty of wiggle room for a story to ferment; this one was left in the oven a tad long. I liked Downey Jr. and Ruffalo's characters quite a bit, it was unfortunate their stories were merely support beams for what I thought was a less interesting structure.
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Marj
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
lshap wrote:
Zodiac felt like a hybrid of a heart-thumping serial killer flic mixed with a deeper, if plodding, portrait of an alcoholic journalist, an obsessive cartoonist and a dogged cop. Sure, marry the best of those stories and - voila - it's a masterpiece. But I just wasn't sufficiently drawn to Gylenhall's masturbatory, career obsession with finding this killer, which made the center of the film taste overcooked and rubbery. I dig slow buildups and I grant plenty of wiggle room for a story to ferment; this one was left in the oven a tad long. I liked Downey Jr. and Ruffalo's characters quite a bit, it was unfortunate their stories were merely support beams for what I thought was a less interesting structure.


Lorne,

The section I bolded, I agree with. The rest is I suppose, a case of different strokes.
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Joe Vitus
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
Have to echo Marj. It was in fact Gylenhaal's destructive obsession that intrigued me so much. Which is part of the reason the ending doesn't quite work for me. There should be no victory, just compulsion that eats away at the characters (from Zodiac on down, they are all caught up in destructive, out-of-control obsessions, and they all thing they are the masters of themselves; maybe Ruffalo is an exception).

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bart
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:18 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Dec 2005 Posts: 2381 Location: Lincoln NE
I take the journalistic perspective here -- whatever happened at the end, that is what really happened. It's based on true events, so it can't "not work."

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Marj
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Joe Vitus wrote:
Have to echo Marj. It was in fact Gylenhaal's destructive obsession that intrigued me so much. Which is part of the reason the ending doesn't quite work for me. There should be no victory, just compulsion that eats away at the characters (from Zodiac on down, they are all caught up in destructive, out-of-control obsessions, and they all thing they are the masters of themselves; maybe Ruffalo is an exception).


Thanks Joe.

But do you think Gylenhaal's character thinks of himself as a master of himself?
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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20405 Location: New York City
http://tinyurl.com/3xvz9p

Ebert catches up with Zodiac, to four-star effect.
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ehle64
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Thx for that Mr. Weeds.

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Joe Vitus
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
Marj wrote:
Joe Vitus wrote:
Have to echo Marj. It was in fact Gylenhaal's destructive obsession that intrigued me so much. Which is part of the reason the ending doesn't quite work for me. There should be no victory, just compulsion that eats away at the characters (from Zodiac on down, they are all caught up in destructive, out-of-control obsessions, and they all thing they are the masters of themselves; maybe Ruffalo is an exception).


Thanks Joe.

But do you think Gylenhaal's character thinks of himself as a master of himself?


Well, this is where the ending is a problem for me. He's so sure that if he keeps with it, he will discover Zodiac's identity. So, to that extent, yes, I think he considers himself in control. Or at least that if he can figure this out he can regain control of himself, put this behind him. By suggesting this was accomplished, it proves him accurate. He wasn't floundering hoplessly, he was on the trail. A thematic mistake, IMO.

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Joe Vitus
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
bart wrote:
I take the journalistic perspective here -- whatever happened at the end, that is what really happened. It's based on true events, so it can't "not work."


Well, I'm only saying it doesn't work for me. I can understand other people being fine with it. For me the problem is both thematic, as I said in my post to Marj, and just factual, since Robert Graysmith isn't really trustworthy and we really have no idea who the killer is/was.

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bart
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Dec 2005 Posts: 2381 Location: Lincoln NE
I thought Graysmith and Toschi came to a pretty sound conclusion, that it was Leigh. And then they find Mageau at the end, in the 1990's, the one guy who has seen Zodiac, and he picks Leigh's picture out instantly and with strong certainty. So I don't feel "we really have no idea..."

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Joe Vitus
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:51 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
It only seems like a sound conclusion if you trust Graysmith. Zodic-case followers have a very low opinion of his reporting and conclusions (he makes stuff up, short and simple).

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