Comments on watching and making films.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Buzz Kill

I recently got in the mood to give David Fincher's Zodiac another try. I saw it when it originally came out in the theater, and, to be honest, was disappointed. I felt like all of the edginess that was always so present in Fincher's work had gone out the window. Zodiac felt like an episode of Law & Order. A really LONG episode of Law & Order. When I was sitting in the theater, watching it, it felt bloated, overly procedural, and I was shocked out how plain it looked, considering Fincher's previous cinematic offerings. Gone was the deep, rich blacks of his skip bleach processed 35mm, replaced with the Thompson Viper's gray, washed out high definition. His dark, and film-noir like world's were exchanged for a relatively dull, and uninteresting, take on late 1960's thru early 1980's San Francisco. 

As I sat down and watched it again, though, I started to see the film in a different way. I saw it as something separate from the rest of his work, and was able to sit back and enjoy the film without all of the attachment that I had to his previous work. Granted, The film still falls flat in some spots. When Jake Gyllenhaal's Robert Graysmith gets obsessed with the Zodiac killer, he becomes almost annoying in his obsession, and I still stand by my original assertion that too much time is spent on the cop characters played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards.

All in all, though, after being separated from it for a year, being separated from all of the hype I had personally put into it, I'm glad I took the chance to watch it again, and see it through different eyes. It's definitely not my favorite Fincher film (down there with Alien 3, which I don't think is horrible, but could have been better), but it is no longer on my "Movies that really disappointed me" list.

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