Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zodiac DVD Review

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Revisits Unsolved Case of California Serial Killer

Beginning in the late Sixties, the San Francisco Bay Area was kept on edge by a brazen serial killer who called himself Zodiac. For not only did this maniac murder many people during his bloody reign of terror, but he teased and terrorized the public by sending cryptic coded messages bragging about his exploits to the local newspapers.
While the police were absolutely able to verify only seven of his victims, the sicko slasher nonetheless claimed credit for another thirty corpses. Based on a best seller of the same name by Robert Graysmith, Zodiac is a gripping docudrama chronicling the infamous case in painstaking detail. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the director is none other than David Fincher, who has given the same sort of attention to minutiae in such thrillers as Panic Room and Seven.
Still, this flick represents a bit of a departure of sorts for Fincher, since this saga is surprisingly understated in tone in comparison to some of his earlier, highly-stylized productions. The film stars Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Armstrong as a couple of cops hopelessly confounded by the killer’s clues. And the support cast includes Robert Downey, Jr, as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and Jake Gyllenhaal as the aforementioned Graysmith, a cartoonist at the same paper who became consumed with cracking the case.
Though the movie speculates about several suspects who might be responsible for the godless spree, the perpetrator was never brought to justice and the crime remains unsolved to this day. Thus, this picture’s resolution is a combination of unsatisfying and chilling, since the devious mastermind might still be alive and at large with every opportunity to strike again without notice.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for profanity, drug use, graphic violence and brief sexual images.
Running time: 158 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment

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