March 19, 2007

The first great film of 2007

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Either you KNOW David Fincher's movies or you don't. What's surprising about his new film ZODIAC is that it's so different from ALL of his previous works. Gone are the flashy camera moves, digital special effect touches, and dense characterization. Gone!

In his latest Fincher goes for 1970's straight ahead storytelling. He unfolds the tale of San Francisco and the town's panic in the grip of a serial killer who's identity was never discovered.

Pacing the story over nearly 3 hours, Fincher takes the time to look at every angle possible. Starting with the killings themselves, then moving slowly into the newspaper and local media's reaction to the communications the killer sends (along with coded messages) then slowly again morphing the media story into the police investigation and then finally doubling back again to the media and finally to one lone man's obsession with discovering the killer.

The film's pace is flawless. Moving from one aspect of the crimes to another and covering almost 20 years of story Fincher never amps things up and gets falsley dramatic or bogs down. His focus on the group of men who are at first curious and later obsessed and haunted by the killer's identity is never lost.

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