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Monday July 30, 2007 7:32 pm

DVD Review: Zodiac

Zodiac posterDavid Fincher’s slow, introspective thriller was released on DVD last week.

In the late 1960s, the San Francisco Chronicle receives one of the first letters from the Zodiac killer, a partial cipher detailing the gruesome deaths of his first victims and his intention to kill again.  What begins as a unique gimmick attached to senseless murder becomes a calculated plan to confuse and manipulate San Francisco police and news media, leaving the city in a state of panic.  Robert Graysmith, a young cartoonist for the Chronicle, grows obsessed with the Zodiac and, with the help of some local detectives, sets out to uncover the truth behind his identity.

Please read FilmCrunch’s full Zodiac review.

During the golden days of film, cinematic endeavors needed only their own substance to achieve success or failure.  Moviegoers would see a familiar face on screen and, if the story was good enough, would head home feeling joyful and touched, in awe of the man-made spectacle they’d just seen.  In other words, the movie itself used to be all that mattered.  But in the present state of the film industry, with big-budget studio productions, big-name directors, outrageous ticket prices, home entertainment, and now, high-tech DVDs loaded with special features, the ability of one two-hour long, artistically driven movie to sustain itself has become more and more challenging.

Where I am going with all this?

Well, contrary to all I’d hoped for in the DVD release of Fincher’s Zodiac, the film carries with it no special features.  None.  This is one of the better films of this year, people.  I had been waiting fervently for five months to get that vicarious glimpse behind the scenes.  Other films could easily omit the features (The Number 23 immediately comes to mind), but not this dark, agonizingly creepy little gem.  Fear not; I feel a special edition coming in the not-too-distant future.  I’m thinking two discs.

Does Zodiac stand on its own in this age of information technology?  Absolutely.  But without features, DVD is just VHS with better picture quality and a slimmer waistline.

And here are a few extras I found on YouTube.  Don’t worry boys — I got this one.

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