Friday Flicks 6-1-12

Posted: June 1, 2012 by gd2525 in Movies
Tags: , , , ,

A Weekly Educated Movie Recommendation by Shaun Smith

After a few weeks in Japan and New Zealand, I felt it was time to bring things back to the U.S.

Director David Fincher is mostly known for his work on classic films such as Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network, and his most recent The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but one of Fincher’s best films usually gets lost in the shuffle while discussing his prior work.

Fincher’s film Zodiac was released in early March of 2007 to a much deserved critical buzz yet failed to make a dent in the box office or garner any Oscar nominations (mainly since it came out in March).

Zodiac is an adaptation of the Robert Greysmith book of the same title about Greysmith’s search to find the Zodiac Killer.

In case you didn’t know, the Zodiac Killer was a man who terrorized the San Francisco area in the 1970s.

The Zodiac Killer sent cryptic messages to the police and local newspapers while committing random murders in the area.

Greysmith, (played in the film by Jake Gyllenhaal) a cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle, takes an interest into the cryptic messages left by the Zodiac Killer and helps decode them.

Robert Downey Jr. amazingly plays the famed and immensely cocky Chronicle writer Paul Avery who covers the Zodiac case (Think of Downey Jr. as playing a cowardly Tony Stark).

The story is told in almost two parts, the first with Gyllenhaal and Downey Jr at the Chronicle and the second part follows two San Francisco detectives played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards as they investigate the Zodiac murders.

The dark and broody look of the film certainly puts you in a David Fincher mindset but Zodiac also includes some beautifully bright scenes including one where the Zodiac Killer appears in an unsettling scene.

Even though Gyllenhaal normally bother me, he is perfect in this role as the young kid way over his head within the investigation.

We also get a strong performance by Ruffalo and what I believe should have been an Academy Award nominated performance by Downey Jr.

I would highly recommend checking out the Director’s Cut DVD or Blu-ray of the film for the This is the Zodiac Speaking feature-length documentary about the Zodiac Killer and features interviews with the real people involved in the case.

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