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ZODIAC (2 Disc) director's cut
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 162 minutes, two audio commentaries, featurettes, documentary, and theatrical trailer
VIDEO: 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Paramount Pictures/ Warner Bros Pictures/ Phoenix Pictures
RELEASE DATE: 1-8-2007

Very few films suck me in like a drug. ZODIAC is one of those films. Director David Fincher owes lots of credit for that feat. Whether it was the underrated ALIEN 3 (the workprint cut is better than the theatrical), SE7EN, or PANIC ROOM, Fincher is one of the best directors today. He has crafted films that will be remembered as classics. ZODIAC follows the true evnts behind the Zodiac Killings in California during the late 1960s and early 1970s plus the investigation that dragged on for years involving three men: crime reporter Paul Avary (Robert Downey Jr.), newspaper cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), and Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo). The movie revolves around the lives of these three and how it affects things in their lives. Robert Graysmith would go on to write the true crime book ZODIAC (which I actually own a copy of).

ZODIAC never feels too long. It does almost go off the rails in the second half at a couple of points, but the film is about the case and the people invesigating it (and how it changes their lives). The film makes me want to read more about the Zodiac case. The cinematography and music help create a mood for ZODIAC in addition to David Fincher's best directorial job to date. Fincher is on fire in this film as he does get very involved like Ridley Scott and Alfred Hitchcock in how the film is made from every aspect of the production and post-production. ZODIAC is one of the best films of 2007 without a doubt and this top-notch thriller is one not to miss.

DISC 1- two audio commentaries- one by director David Fincher and the other by actors Jake Gyand Robert Downey Jr., writers James Vanderbilt (screenplay/producer) and James Ellroy (crime author guy), and producer Brad Fischer. Fincher mentions a longer version of a scene which would have been nice to include as a deleted scene for disc 2. On the other track, you can tell the actors and the writers/producer have been recorded each on their own (and edited together. You can skip the actors and listen to the producers chat with Ellroy. It's quite entertaining. You even are told which scenes weren't in the theatrical cut.

DISC 2- The meat of the extras cabn be found here. It is split into featurettes on the film and facts about the Zodiac killer.

ZODIAC DECIPHERED- It is a making of documentary which can be played in 7 parts or together. It is one of the more intersting making-of documentaries. It has interviews with cast and crew (except David Fincher who can be seendoing things during the production and being talked about by others). You see one part of a delted scene which leads to DVD viewer pet peeve of mine when they show part of a deleted scene and don't even have a proper deleted scenes section where it can be viewed on it's own. The dodumentary shows how Fincher does things during a movie production.
Also you get the previz of three murder scenes in the film and the original theatrical trailer.

THIS IS THE ZODIAC SPEAKING- a very detailed feature length documentary (produced and directed by the DVD producer David Prior) that covers the investigation of all four murder scenes that features interviews with surviving victims and the original investigators.

HIS NAME WAS ARTHUR LEIGH ALLEN- this 42 minute featurette gives evidence for and against for Leigh Allen being the Zodiac killer.

FINAL ANALYSIS: The ZODIAC Director's Cut is definitely worth a an upgrade for the extras slowly lacking from the one disc release.

this DVD review is (c)1-8-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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