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Zodiac

Blu Ray

  • Score
    72
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Zodiac, a brilliant film with engrossing storytelling and a superb Blu-ray edition, is highly recommended.

    Zodiac Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    77
  • Paramount's Blu-ray release of 'Zodiac' boasts a pristine 1080p transfer with stunning clarity, vibrant colors, and extraordinary detail, using groundbreaking Thompson Viper Filmstream cameras, setting a new standard for HD content.

  • Audio
    65
  • Zodiac's Blu-ray Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound is effective yet subtle, faithfully delivering the film's ambiance and tension with front-heavy clarity and minimal rear channel use, supporting the story admirably without overwhelming.

  • Extra
    77
  • Zodiac's Blu-ray debut boasts comprehensive features across two discs, with director and cast commentary, detailed documentaries on production, effects, and the Zodiac case, enhancing its historical authenticity and cinematic vision.

  • Movie
    75
  • Paramount's 'Zodiac,' directed by David Fincher, is a critically acclaimed, meticulously crafted true crime drama that captivates with its story, direction, and performances.

    Video: 77

    Paramount's release of "Zodiac" on Blu-ray is presented with an exceptional 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer that sets a benchmark for high-definition home entertainment. Esteemed for being the pioneering film shot entirely with digital Thomson VIPER FilmStream cameras, this presentation takes full advantage of its digital provenance to deliver a picture that is devoid of film grain and virtually free from video noise. The clarity, depth, and precision witnessed throughout the visual rendition are nothing short of astounding. From vivid exterior scenes bursting with life and color to the meticulously detailed interior shots, each frame showcases a remarkable sharpness and an authenticity that transports the viewer directly into the movie's setting, making it not just a viewing experience but an immersion.

    The transfer excels in reproducing details with stunning accuracy and an almost tactile realism. Whether it's the textures of a natural landscape or the intricate details within the confines of an office, everything is rendered with impeccable clarity. Darker sequences are equally impressive, showcasing deep, inky blacks and a depth that rivals the view from a window rather than a screen. It is these qualities that elevate "Zodiac's" video presentation to reference-quality status, making it a must-see on Blu-ray. Paramount and director David Fincher have undoubtedly set a high bar with this release, delivering an image that faithfully respects the subdued yet richly detailed visual style of the film.

    However, it's in the combination of cutting-edge filmmaking technology with the sharpness and fidelity of the Blu-ray format where "Zodiac" truly shines. While slight imperfections such as faint banding are occasionally noticeable, they do little to detract from the overall excellence of this transfer. The remarkable preservation of detail—from the print of newspapers to the subtle nuances in skin textures—creates a compelling 'picture-window effect' that is rarely achieved in home media. This Blu-ray edition of "Zodiac," with its exceptional video quality, not only pays homage to the groundbreaking use of digital cinematography but also redefines the standards for home video presentation.

    Audio: 65

    The Blu-ray release of "Zodiac" showcases its narrative through a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack, offering an audio experience that, while not bombastic or overly aggressive, provides a meticulously faithful rendition of Director David Fincher's auditory vision. This soundscape is crafted with precision, focusing on clarity and subtlety rather than overwhelming force. The mix is front-heavy and maintains a consistent volume level that prioritizes dialogue, ensuring it remains crystal clear and well-differentiated from background sounds. Despite this clear foreground focus, there's a noticeable underutilization of the rear channels, which play a minimal role, primarily contributing to ambient noises and the occasional discrete effect. This restrained approach might not captivate those seeking an all-encompassing auditory experience but serves the film’s understated design well.

    In preserving the film's authentic sound design, the audio track excels in reproducing the atmosphere of varied scenes, from the bustling activity within the Chronicle's office to the more tranquil, tension-filled moments that mark Fincher's storytelling. The sound field is carefully balanced, embracing realism over sensationalism. Interior scenes benefit from impressively reproduced acoustics, with environmental ambiance and detailed sound effects like typewriters clicking and papers shuffling enhancing the immersion. The track skillfully manages pans, ensuring swift and seamless transitions that bolster the film’s immersive qualities without drawing undue attention to the technical prowess at work.

    Technical details such as strict channel accuracy and the thoughtful prioritization of dialogue over sound effects highlight the soundtrack’s role in amplifying the film's tension without overshadowing its narrative strength. While lacking in loud, dynamic moments commonly expected in modern surround mixes, "Zodiac" on Blu-ray demonstrates how a subtle and intelligently crafted audio presentation can significantly enhance storytelling, inviting viewers into its world through a soundscape that is both deliberate and nuanced.

    Extra: 77

    Zodiac's Blu-ray presentation delivers an impressive array of extras across two discs, ensuring an exhaustive examination of both the film's production and the notorious Zodiac case. The first disc treats viewers to insightful commentaries from director David Fincher, who offers a rich narrative detailing the meticulous research, intentions, and creative deviations undertaken, alongside a vibrant track featuring actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., producer Brad Fischer, writer James Vanderbilt, and author James Ellroy. Their discussions enrich an understanding of the film’s context and adaptation intricacies without overlapping information. The second disc presents a slew of detailed documentaries, including "Zodiac Deciphered", exploring the film's accurate replication of actual events and "The Visual Effects of Zodiac", revealing the nuanced CGI work that enhances the film's realism. Additional standout features include "This is the Zodiac Speaking", a comprehensive history lesson on the Zodiac killings, and "Prime Suspect", which zeroes in on Arthur Leigh Allen as the prime suspect, offering a blend of procedural deep dive and investigative narrative.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Director's Audio Commentary: David Fincher discusses his research, the film’s development, and his personal connection to the story.
    • Cast and Crew Commentary: A light-hearted but informative commentary with various perspectives from the production team and cast.
    • Zodiac Deciphered: A documentary focusing on the adaptation of real events for the screen.
    • The Visual Effects of Zodiac: Insight into the CGI techniques used to recreate historical settings.
    • Previsualization: Comparisons between previsualization sequences and the final scenes.
    • This is the Zodiac Speaking: An extensive documentary providing a detailed overview of the Zodiac case.
    • Prime Suspect: Focuses on Arthur Leigh Allen, exploring his life and connection to the case.

    Movie: 75

    Paramount's Blu-ray presentation of "Zodiac" delivers a superb viewing experience of a film that solidifies itself as an unheralded modern classic. Director David Fincher, known for his surreal morality tales, sharply diverts his focus towards unfolding a meticulously detailed procedural drama. "Zodiac" intricately follows the elusive hunt for one of America's most notorious serial killers, capturing the dark obsessions consuming a cartoonist, a determined investigator, and a self-destructive journalist. This narrative frame sheds light not only on their relentless pursuit but also on the broader implications of their failure to bring closure to the case, thereby presenting a film that is as much about the men behind the hunt as it is about the Zodiac himself.

    Fincher's craftsmanship is evident in the exceptional balance of story pace and attention to detail. Despite its significant runtime, the film never feels overburdened by its own complexity or historical accuracy, which is notably authenticated by extensive research. This results in a compelling narrative that captivates and maintains an audience's attention throughout its entirety. Aided by standout performances, especially from Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr., the film delves into the psychological underpinnings of obsession with capturing what is essentially their 'white whale.' The direction allows the story's gravity and the characters' compulsions to take center stage, eschewing the reliance on action for genuine, narrative-driven tension.

    Zodiac's true triumph lies in its ability to transform a historical account into a dynamic exploration of obsession, loss, and the unyielding quest for truth. Through stellar acting, precise direction, and a nuanced script, Fincher masterfully navigates the complexities of this prolonged investigation. The additional minutes in the Director's Cut further enrich the viewing experience, making "Zodiac" not just an essential film for aficionados of true crime dramas but a compelling study of human fascination with unsolved mysteries.

    Total: 72

    The Blu-ray presentation of "Zodiac: Director's Cut" emerges as a quintessential exemplar of modern cinema's ability to meld riveting narrative with superior technical prowess. This film, directed by the meticulous David Fincher, weaves an intricate tale of an obsessive quest to capture one of America's elusive serial killers, based on true events that enhances its chilling impact. The narrative's brilliance is matched by the quality of its Blu-ray release, which showcases an astonishing video transfer that brings Fincher's visual storytelling to life with stunning clarity and detail. While the audio component doesn't break new ground, given the film's emphasis on dialogue, it delivers a faithful and clear auditory experience that complements the visual spectacle.

    Paramount's release further distinguishes itself with a comprehensive suite of extras spread across two discs, boasting exhaustive production accounts, multiple commentaries, and documentaries exploring the real-life Zodiac case. These features add substantial value, weaving together an encompassing package that not only celebrates the film's cinematic achievements but also enriches the viewer's understanding of the historical context. Despite economic considerations, this edition stands out as a must-have, thanks to its seamless blend of exceptional film-making and high-caliber technical presentation.

    In conclusion, the Blu-ray release of "Zodiac: Director's Cut" is an indispensable addition to any collection, offering not just a mesmerizing cinematic journey but an impressive array of supplementary content. The meticulous video transfer and faithful audio track complement the film's meticulously crafted atmosphere, ensuring that this release isn't just recommended but essential for both aficionados of fine cinema and enthusiasts of true crime narratives. Its meticulous attention to detail in both content and presentation underscores its status as one of the decade's best films, making it a compelling purchase.