Review: Zodiac (2007)

20

zodiac poster

“I… I need to stand there, I need to look him in the eye and I need to know that it’s him.”
– Robert Graysmith

SYNOPSIS: A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970’s case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith’s book, the movie’s focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. – via IMDB

zodiac

GRADE 10This movie is absolutely brilliant. I loved it when it came out, I loved it in subsequent rewatches, and I still love it. Why? Because it is put together extremely well, the cast carrying this show is fantastic, and it looks amazing. There is really just too much to love about this and not anything to seriously complain about.

Jake Gyllenhaal never disappoints (seriously bestie, you must watch more of his work) and his Robert Graysmith is really interesting to watch, like a dog with a bone. Robert Downey Jr. is excellent as prick crime reporter Paul Avery, and showcases how he really has more talent than just Tony Stark/Iron Man. I really miss when he used to take real other roles. The final big player here is Mark Ruffalo, and I always enjoy watching the man in anything. His detective character David Toschi is also a big draw, and I really like how these three characters each had their own obsession, they all danced around one another, were all similar but completely different. I think the movie really runs home the point of obsession, and how it interacts with everyday life, which is very interesting. Not only that, the movie is obviously shot phenomenally because, well, David Fincher.

The script it also tight, laying out all the pieces of evidence you need in the case of the terrifying Zodiac killer, who freaked people out beyond anything, even though he was never caught. I think that Robert Graysmith did a great job of investigating and seriously has the strongest case stacked against Arthur Leigh Allen. Zodiac is engrossing and mesmerising and demands your attention throughout, and barrels along at such a pace that you are not left behind, but are gripped, and does not allow your attention to wander for even a moment.

You cannot miss that immense amounts of work, interest and passions that went into the film, everything from costume design to the sets that were done, and reading up on the trivia for it, all this is confirmed. I have not read Graysmith’s book, but I will most certainly be looking into it as soon as possible. If you have not seen Zodiac, it is high time you rectify that.

Sporadic Scene: Se7en (1995) – Sloth

7

So, let’s not even pretend that Se7en didn’t have an awful lot going for it, because it did. It had a great cast hunting a whacko serial killer on the run, exercising his right to recreate the Seven Deadly Sins. However, after finding corpse after corpse, there it the one discovery that gets the audience – and I think that Fincher executed this flawlessly: Mills and Somerset go into an apartment and investigate a terrifying, gross and mutilated corpse, and when they are right up there with it the corpse coughs. Yes, that’s right, cue plenty jumps and squeals.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Review: Alien³ (1992)

5

alien 3 poster

“You’ve been in my life so long, I can’t remember anything else.”
– Ellen Ripley

SYNOPSIS: Ripley continues to be stalked by a savage alien, after her escape pod crashes on a prison planet. – via IMDB

The one iconic moment from the movie:

alien 3 iconic

Instead, this is what we dealt with the entire time :/

alien 3 cgialien 3 bad cg

GRADE 4What the hell happened here?! And to have Fincher’s name attached to it? Oh the shocking horror, the shame! Alien3 is terrible. Let’s not beat around the bush. But then, even Fincher hates it, and all the production woes and strong-arming is evident every second of the way through this. Even the presence of Weaver, Dance and company could not save it. Oh no, this was deeply flawed from the off.

I think the biggest offender here is the CGI/effects. It is unacceptable and cringe-worthy. It is some of the worst I have ever laid eyes on. In fact, it was equal in ways for me as the CG used in The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (remember that, Shitfest Social watchers?!). Wow. It is unforgivable. Alright, I understand that the xenomorph itself is a puppet, but the editing to get the limbs and shadows and all that right just makes it look so ridiculous. So not only are we watching some limp story, but the xenomorph isn’t even scary. From time to time we get to see a quick glimpse of it as a costume and not some silly computer generated kitty cat/dog/what the fuck ever that was, and it is way better then.

Let’s not even talk about the fact that within the first few minutes, this movie completely kills off what happened in Aliens – not the events, but the escape. I get that it is to move the story along and all that, but come on guys! Kick in the teeth right there. Then there was the thing with Ripley and Dance’s Clemens. I could deal with a romance aspect being tossed in (I was quite keen on Hicks and Ripley), but I was not keen on how it was rushed from meeting, to immediately asking about a mutual interest, to taking that mutual interest to bed. It happened so fast, and it felt forced. Not because they didn’t work well together, because they did, it was just how it was handled – clunky and clumsy all the way.

The cast did the best that they could with the material that they were given, and I did enjoy the performances for this film as they are worth noting. I hated the aspect of Ripley being a temptation to the men there in the prison, like it would be her fault if she got raped or hurt because, hey, these religious dudes are all good and well until a woman forces them to lose their shit. I was so not a fan of that insinuation at all.

Back to the xenomorph, my other half and I are of the firm opinion that it looks like the xenomorph is humping its prey when it gets to them… every single time. I don’t even want to go there. I appreciate that the xenomorph of this film was trying to be something else, but it wasn’t scary like the others, and I think a large part of that was due to the fact that the alien just wasn’t really that bright. Oh well.

Overall, Alien3 is just a bust all round: bad effects, some truly stilted dialogue and a flimsy story with a xenomorph that is lacking, despite the solid performances all round, this movie could not be saved.

Rapid Review: Gone Girl (2014)

38

gone girl poster

“I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain.”
– Nick Dunne

SYNOPSIS: On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? – via IMDB

gone girl diary entry

GRADE 8Finally, I got to see this. Goodness knows that I have waited an age for it, and I was really interested to see what David Fincher could do with it, if he still has the super spark, and if I would at least have been correct for backing the casting decision of Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne. I would just like to state here that I was, indeed, correct in having faith. Seeing as I have read the book, I was interested to hear what my other half would think of this, who had no idea what it was about or what the plot twist was. I think Fincher did a wonderful job of portraying Nick in the first half of the movie as a man we don’t quite understand but then grow to dislike, intensely, like the media does. My other half was pretty vocal on what he thought about Nick. However, the twist came as no surprise for him – actually he had worked that out less than thirty minutes in. I thought the camera work was amazing, and the dreary, washed out look suited this movie down to a tee. It is sort of what you feel when you read the book – it’s a thing with Flynn. It’s like she is incapable of writing about a single likable character. That shows here, but ultimately, as much a tool as Nick is, he is the one you identify with the most. The casting choices for this were great, everyone worked wonders with their material. Rosamund Pike did some exceptionally good work as Amy, but (sorry world) I just don’t get the hype. She delivered all the goods, trust me, but… I don’t know. I think the whole movie was blown out of proportion. Then I remember everyone freaking about Neil Patrick Harris’s dong making an appearance. Seriously people, it was so brief I probably would have missed it aside from the fact that everyone had something to say about it. I think that the scene with Pike and NPH there was quite… brilliantly executed. Something like that rarely works and comes across as tacky, but in here it was so much more than that. I don’t actually want to say too much because I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but I must say that this is well worth the watch, truly. Gone Girl was a really good adaption and there was a lot to like about it. It looked good, it was paced pretty well, and had a solid cast to carry it, it shows that Fincher definitely still has the goods.