March 5, 2007
Saw David Fincher's Zodiac?over the?weekend.?Typically the?Fincher name is the only element I require to plunk down for a ticket (see also: Wes Anderson). This, however, was only barely a Fincher movie.
Possibly the result of?high expectations, I found Zodiac?to be?just "good" - not in the same league as Seven or Fight Club, or even Panic Room, but still?a generally?solid effort. A huge, HUGE?disappointment, however,?when it came to the main film titles. All three of the aforementioned?movies?clearly had a?strong effort?put into their respective?opening credits. If I had to guess, I'd reckon Zodiac's credits were completed the night before they were due.
Kyle Cooper opens?Seven?with a?montage so brilliant it starts a renaissance in the?art of the?modern title sequence (scope it out). For Fight Club, Fincher was forced to?complete the film and show it to the studios before they were convinced to?pony up?the additional budget needed for the incredible?"fear center"?intro (scope it out). And the dramatic "architectural" typography in Panic Room, an homage to Hitchcock's North by Northwest,?took nearly a year to complete (scope it out - though it doesn't translate well on the Youtube).
All Zodiac brought to the table was some grungy typewriter font with a drop-shadow that faded into a brief "Zodiac code".?A?stupendous let down.
Credits aside, it's an engaging enough film, even?though?we already know how it ends. However,?Fincher's unique visual style felt muted. Moments of impossible cinematography with virtual cameras, for which he is known,?were few and far between - or too subtle to detect.?There were some bright spots (loved the?time-lapse sequence of the San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid being erected), but not enough to elevate the whole undertaking into the rarified air at which Fincher usually operates.