Droid defines the Decades Best Films – #5 Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac poster

Well here we are. Finally down to the Top 5 of the Best of 2000-2010. I’ve been taking my sweet ass time doing this, due to my dedication to watching complete shit like 70’s Arnies. I’ve also been putting this off because I keep shifting the order of movies two through five. One is set, but on any given day five could be two, four could be three and so on and so forth. So I’ve decided to just set the order in stone and state for the record that numbers two through five are terrific films. All worthy of the holy grail every film vies for; Four Changs. And I’ll leave it at that.

Zodiac 3 In San Francisco and neighbouring parts of Northern California during the late 1960’s and early 70’s, a serial killer who called himself Zodiac was murdering people and sending taunting letters to the San Francisco newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle. The police, led by David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and Bill Armstrong (Anthony Edwards) were baffled by the random nature of the killings and the lack of substantial evidence. The killer would include coded messages in his letters to the Chronicle, and crime reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr). Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), who decoded one of the messages, became obsessed with the case, dedicating his life to gathering the evidence necessary to find out the killers true identity.

This film is fascinating. There is so much detail involved, and so many facts, dates, people and places thrown at you it’s truly amazing that it’s so easy to follow. When I first saw this, I wasn’t very aware of any of the details of the case. All I knew is that during the early 70’s there was a killer that sent letters to the media that called himself the Zodiac. Baring that in mind, I never once had any issue understanding who everyone was, and what all these details meant, which for a film with so many characters, and so much attention to detail is an impressive feat. One way the film has solved the issue of the multitude of characters is to cast distinctive character actors. By casting actors such as Elias Koteas, Philip Baker Hall, Brian Cox, Dermot Mulroney and John Carroll Lynch, distinctive actors that we are familiar with, we never have to check twice to remember who these people are. It helps keep us focused on the case, and allows us to get involved in the characters.

Zodiac 1 I’m not a particular fan of Jake Gyllenhaal (I don’t really dislike him either). He’s never really stood out as a terrific actor, or been particularly great in anything before this. The character of Robert Graysmith is an eager, wide eyed boy scout (“eagle scout, actually”) who gradually becomes so obsessed with the case that he allows his life to fall apart around him. Gyllehaal is perfectly cast. He has that innate wide eyed vulnerability that works for the character. It’s a great performance, and one I think is probably a bit underrated. Downey Jr is terrific in his scene stealing performance as alcoholic chain smoking reporter Paul Avery, and Mark Ruffalo is also good as Inspector David Toschi, the celebrity detective who influenced Steve McQueen’s Frank Bullitt.

I’ve since read the book written by Graysmith, and despite it being pretty circumstantial, it is still a compelling read. Adapted by James Vanderbilt, the film is a far more convincing presentation of the evidence. The case remained unsolved until it was officially closed a few years ago, and Vanderbilt deftly chose not to focus the story on the killer himself, but on the investigation. It focuses on the obsession of Graysmith and Toschi, and the effect it had on their lives. The way the evidence, so random and seemingly unconnected, ate at them. Their obsession was not so much to bring this killer to justice, but to solve the puzzle, to connect all the dots and to satisfy their own need for closure. Two of the best scenes in the film come at the end. When Graysmith presents Toschi with compelling evidence, Toschi’s reaction is of a man unburdoned. “Thankyou. Thankyou for breakfast.” Out of context it’s a meaningless line of dialogue. But in the film it’s a terrific moment. Directly following that scene is one where Graysmith simply looks upon the suspect, and the suspect understands why. The slight change in the look on Lynch’s face when he realises why Graysmith is looking at him is terrific acting. The entire Graysmith character is summed up perfectly when his wife (Chloë Sevigny) asks him why the case is so important to him.

"I need to know who he is. I need to stand there. I need to look him in the eye. And I need to know that it’s him."

Zodiac 7 This, for me, is director David Finchers best film. He’s made terrific films prior to this, but ‘Zodiac’ is his masterpiece (thus far). It’s a visually impeccable film. Everything about the period feels authentic. This is ‘All The Presidents Men’ for the 2000’s. He wisely places all the brutal murders at the beginning, and then focuses on the investigation. He lets the story unfold, and he keeps us engaged with elegant camera work and fascinating little touches like the way he conveys the passing of time. Just when we are beginning to tire a little of seeing title cards on the screen, he will show a time lapse shot of Transamerica building being built or a black screen with recognisable music from the period. They are timed perfectly and keep our attention focused and have us anticipating what will come next.

I only just realised this when watching it for the third time, because it’s not something that stands out, but the most important element of the film, the thing that keeps us engaged and doesn’t allow us to tire of the endless facts and detail, is that it is actually very funny. I was frequently laughing during the film, and this involved me with the characters, and with the story. If this film was deadly serious it would be like a University lecture that I would go to so I could grab a nap. The humour lightens the feeling of the film, which lets face it, is pretty depressing. A serial killer doesn’t get caught despite years of investigating. On paper that doesn’t sound like the most interesting film. But Vanderbilts terrific writing, and Fincher’s ability to find small touches of humour in fact heavy scenes is crucial to it’s success.

Zodiac 5 There are also quirky details that an ordinary film just won’t even think of. There’s a scene where Toschi and Armsrong are sitting at a diner counter. It’s a dialogue heavy scene, with facts, names and places being discussed. But Fincher has Toschi take half of Armstrongs BLT sandwich, and instead of just eating it, Toschi first removes the tomato and puts it on the plate in front of him. It means nothing in the grand scheme of the film, but I noticed it, and by merely noticing it I was paying more attention. It’s small details like that which helps us keep focused on the information coming at us.

I’ve said focus and detail a lot in this review, but that is what this film comes down to. Much like the case itself, the film rewards attention. The closer you can follow the ridiculous amount of information that is conveyed, the more you will enjoy and appreciate this film.


The list so far…

#6 – In Bruges (2008)

#7  – Before Sunset (2004)

#8  – Avatar (2009)

#9  – Requiem for a Dream (2001)

#10 – The Descent (2005)

#11 – Unbreakable (2000)

#12 – Best in Show (2000)

#13 – Open Range (2003)

#14 – The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

#15 – Bad Santa (2003)

#16 – The Hurt Locker (2009)

#17 – Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

#18 – Kingdom of Heaven (2005) Directors Cut

#19 – High Fidelity (2000)

#20 – Friday Night Lights (2004)

#21 – Frequency (2000)



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About Judge Droid

In between refining my procrastination skills I talk a lot of shit about movies and such.

164 responses to “Droid defines the Decades Best Films – #5 Zodiac (2007)”

  1. Tom_Bando says :

    I’ve yet to see this one, but certainly will soon. Thanks for the write up, interesting stuff.

  2. Continentalop says :

    Great review Droid, and I agree with you – THIS is Fincher’s master piece. Just like There Will Be Blood for Anderson. Truly a great true crime movie.

    • koutchboom says :

      You’d put blood over Boogie Nights? I’d put Blood last really. Just in terms of rewatchablility. Boogie Nights/Magnolia/Hard Eight/Punch Drunk Love I could watch all the time. I’m no Mayor of Ginger Town so I couldn’t watch There will be blood five times in a row. Probably will only watch it one more time before I die.

      • Continentalop says :

        I actually didn’t like Boogie Nights. I thought is was bloated as hell and over indulgent.

        Of course, then he had to go do Magnolia and be really indulgent.

        I would say Blood and then Hard Eight for favorite Anderson films. He is not one of my favorites but I think he delivered with those two.

      • koutchboom says :

        No Punch Drunk?

      • Jarv says :

        Can’t stand magnolia.

      • Droid says :

        I like all of PTA’s films to varying degrees. Punch Drunk is the least of them, but I don’t think it’s a bad film. I saw it once, liked it and have never felt any desire to watch it again.

        Blood might pinch it as his best because quite simply Day Lewis is probably my favourite actor and he is fucking amazing in that.

      • koutchboom says :

        I like Blood, but I just can’t imagine ever watching it again. It was pretty boring for the most part.

      • Droid says :

        How can you like it, but find it mostly boring?

      • Continentalop says :

        Punk Drunk was ok but nothing special. I mean, at this time I really was getting sick of quirky, and Punk Drunk can definitely be described as f’ing quirky.

      • koutchboom says :

        I think it’s held up better then Enternal Sunshine.

      • koutchboom says :

        I mean boring things can be good if they are well done. I’m mainly talking about rewatchability. Like one time through TWBB was good. But if I ever watch it again I’ll really notice just how fucking boring it was.

      • Droid says :

        Eternal Sunshine is a much better film, and I’m not particularly a huge fan of it.

      • Continentalop says :

        I can always watch stuff like that again and again because I am always looking for stuff to see – camera composition, lighting, editing, sound design, etc.

      • Droid says :

        Yeah, Conti. I’m like that with Pirates 2: Stagnettis Revenge.

      • koutchboom says :

        You just don’t like Punch Drunk because you don’t like Sandler.

      • Continentalop says :

        Koutch, I said it was ok, nothing special. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it or like it that much.

      • koutchboom says :

        Ohhh I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about Droid.

      • Continentalop says :

        Droid, the mise en scène in Pirates 2 is incredible. Ali Joone is a fucking genius.

      • Continentalop says :

        Sorry then Koutch. I thought that was directed at me.

      • Jarv says :

        Eternal Sunshine is a much better film than Punch Drunk. But I admit to being predisposed to disliking anything with Adam Sandler in it


      Eternal Sunshine a much better film than Punch-Drunk? Yes. It is…but its a much better film than almost any film ever made, so….that doesn’t make Punch-Drunk BAD.

  3. Stuntcock Mike says :

    “This, for me, is director David Finchers best film.”

    Agreed 100% sir.

  4. kloipy says :

    great review Droid. I really enjoy this series you’ve done

  5. koutchboom says :

    This movie does get better with each viewing, but the whole let down at the end even though you know its coming just makes the whole movie feel like a let down. Its great, and maybe since you know the let down is coming makes it easier to swallow each time.

    • Jarv says :

      I’m with Koutch on this one, I wish Fincher had got off the fence properly and named who he thought actually was the suspect. There are hints, but that ending is painfully anticlimactic for me.

      • Droid says :

        I don’t get that argument. The case was unsolved. Obviously they can’t just come out and label someone a murderer. But Fincher does provide information that implicates Arthur Leigh Allen. The dialogue provides your indication that Fincher wasn’t “on the fence”. The quote “I need to know who he is. I need to stand there. I need to look him in the eye. And I need to know that it’s him.” gets paid off when Graysmith confronts him.

        What you don’t get is a false “cathartic” ending where the good guy shoots the bad guy. It’s far more subtle than that. The film isn’t really about the bad guy at all. It’s about these people who’s lives get wrapped up in the case, and their need to know. Their need to solve the puzzle. The last scene of the film is a witness pointing to a photo of Arthur Leigh Allen for christs sake.

        I don’t find this film anti-climactic at all. It’s compelling right to the end. I think you need to alter your expectations. This isn’t Seven or Silence of the Lambs.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m not after the false catharsis, but rather I felt with it that he went a certain amount down the road to the show but then shied away.

        I had no expectations of the end, just that it tailed off for me- I knew straight up that it wasn’t a thriller.

        It’s a film that I really liked, and this is quibbling more than anything else. Painfully was an exaggeration.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well thats what I’m saying, I was able to enjoy it a lot more upon second viewing. I knew going in it wasn’t going to be some thriller and that the case was never solved. There is just that REALLY! feeling at the end of it, its going to piss you off to a certain extent. You just sat there for three hours and did not get a blantent right or wrong answer.

        Upon second viewing I was over that and enjoyed it more.

        I liked Ben Button, namely for the last 20 minutes of the movie. Also probably the first time I’ve ever found Blandchett good (minus her old women part).

      • Droid says :

        I hated Button, especially the last 20 CGified minutes.

        It’s all garbage. And I wanted to tell Fincher just that but the fucking mic was getting slobbered over by nauseating film nerds kissing his ass and crapping on about lenses and shit.

      • koutchboom says :

        Its not that bad. Then again, you guys aren’t American.

      • Droid says :

        Thank christ for that if being american means you love Button.

        I think it’s a terrific looking film and technically impressive. But the film itself fucking sucks.

      • Droid says :

        BTW, what does being American have to do with it?

      • koutchboom says :

        It’s got everything to do with it, it’s the American dream.

        I really like that last 20 minutes about living your life and what not, save for those 20 minutes I’d probably agree with you more. But it saves it for me. Its a solid film I don’t see a reason to hate it. Much better then a majority of recent drama’s that have come out in the past couple of years.

      • Droid says :

        I can only see that it’s the American dream in that its about some hideous, decrepit moron who flowers in to Brad Pitt without the help of plastic surgery.

        But since youth and beauty is the ultimate american dream I suppose you’re right.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well that and getting to watch Kate Blandchett die.

      • Jarv says :

        I’ve not read the short story, admittedly, but being as it’s Fitzgerald, I’ll bet on it having something to do with the American Dream.

        Even though Droid is right with his description of that hideous wank.

      • Continentalop says :

        I’m an American, proud of it, and I did not like Button at all.

        And I agree with Droid on Zodiac. You guys want closure, watch an Ashley Judd thriller – this isn’t the film for you.

      • koutchboom says :

        I don’t know. I question your American heritage. You seem to pro French to be a true red blooded American.

      • Continentalop says :

        Hey, they have many fine looking, skanky women. Emmanuelle Béart ring a bell?

      • koutchboom says :

        Its not the lack of closure that ruined the movie for me the first time I saw it. Its just the acting isn’t very strong and when pitted against a bunch of Law and Orders its not very good.

        I am just saying that in the end its just a bit of a fucking let down. But watching it again I was able to enjoy the story more the what he did with the time period. But still only really found Drew Carry’s brother that only really interesting part of the acting. RDJ/Heath’s Bottom/Raffalo were not very good.

      • koutchboom says :

        You ever actually been to France? I think the Brothers Blimey can back me up, but its not a pretty place (people wise).

      • Continentalop says :

        K-Boom, I’ve been to France once – Paris and Canne. I was at Canne for the festival and market, so I was probably dealing with a lot of actresses. And I am not complaining.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah if you don’t believe that America has the best looking women in the world. I’m gonna need to see your papers.

      • koutchboom says :

        Also who’s going to want her after he’s been with her?


    • koutchboom says :

      You know I was thinking about the short Ben Button story. I’ve read it, it’s online its only like 10 pages or something. And they totally veer off from one aspect I liked about it. Can’t fucking remember though.

  6. koutchboom says :

    And like I’ve said a thousand times I fucking hated this film the first time I saw it. But I watched it in the middle of watching like Law and Order 5 hours a day, so it just sort of blended together as a lesser Law and Order episode.

    When I rewatched it I was more into it and got more out of it. I still thought the Ass of Jesse James was better (nothing to do with this, just comparing it to other three hour movies I saw at the time of the rewatch). But I don’t think I’ve had a movie improve that much on 2nd viewing except for maybe District B-13.

    As for being Fincher’s masterpiece? Ehhh I hope not (just because I hope that Facebook movie is his masterpiece!!). Probably his best movie, but I still like Fight Club better.


    This movie was fucking terrible. I have no problem with endings that lack closure, what I have a problem with is sitting through 2 and a half hours of pointless Fincher jerk-off fodder. How anyone can give a shit about any of these characters is beyond me.

    For me, the thing with true stories……make sure you actually have something to say by adapting them into a film, not just– there was this creepy guy one time and he killed some people….and uhhh…the cops couldn’t find him…and uhhh the Viper HD cam can capture some really cool night shots…and Hurly Burly Man is a really creepy song.

    Also…if you’re gonna make a movie about a serial killer, actually try to inject it with a bit of tension next time Dave.

    • Continentalop says :

      Hey, people have to learn that the Viper HD cam captures cool night shots somewhere.


      I’m not knocking the images.

      It does look damn good.

      • Continentalop says :

        Funny thing is the look of the film is the one thing I actually did have a problem with. I remember seeing it and thinking some of those are noticeably digital.


        Yeah, a lot of the stuff has a digi look to it. I don’t have a problem with that though…..I really liked the bird’s eye shots. I would have enjoyed 2 hours of that with elevator music behind it, more than the film itself.

      • Continentalop says :

        The bird’s eye shot with the Taxi cab was great (especially when you add all the sound they added to it). I thought all the murder scenes (including the woman and her baby in the car) were great and well done.

        I think most people don’t give a shit about digital look, but it just bothers me. Probably because it just doesn’t “feel” right to me and I associate that look to cheap shit like porn and soaps.


        Well yeah, the porn association with that cheap digital look doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of the film at all– it just means I sit in the theater with a throbbing fucking boner, which really angers me when its longer than 2.5 hours.

      • Continentalop says :

        I don’t know. If I am associating something with porn and 30 minutes have gone by without a two girls getting totally pounded, I start to grow impatient.


        You do bring up another good point– for a film set in San Francisco, it has a disturbing lack of male-full-frontal.

  8. DocPazuzu says :

    “You guys want closure, watch an Ashley Judd thriller ”

    Ouch! Hahahahaha

    Zodiac is a tremendous film. I would have felt cheated if Fincher had decided to lean one way or the other too much in terms of who he thought was guilty.

    As for Button, I didn’t love it but was quite moved by it from time to time. Being 42 and having two small children doubtless has a lot to do with how I experienced the movie.


    So really…..no one’s fucking pumped for THE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT?!

    • koutchboom says :

      I already called it. I said it was going to be his true Masterpiece.

      Even though we all know this is.



      • Continentalop says :

        I am probably the only person who doesn’t think much of Se7en. I liked it and thought it was OK movie, but I just don’t think it is a master piece. I felt like it was trying to hard to be shocking and unsettling.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well then you should probably stick to tamer Ashley Judd flicks then.

      • Droid says :

        Seven is ruined from awesomeness by Pitts HIDEOUSLY awful “OH, GOD!” acting at the end.

      • Jarv says :

        The problem with 7 was the end. Pitt had been relatively good by his standards, but it all went out of the window.

        I like 7 a lot, but it is seriously flawed, and most of the problems with it revolve around Pitt’s character/ performance.

        As I say, I don’t think Fincher has had a masterpiece yet. He’s made consistently good- great films, but not anything I’d call a masterpiece.

      • Jarv says :

        Not to mention his “fuck Dante poetry writing faggot” bit earlier.

        great minds and all that.

      • koutchboom says :


        Though I bet that Zucker fuck ends up suing someone over it about privacy issues.


      ‘Seven’ hasn’t aged well. And with how far and grotesque shit in murder films has gotten– its not even that gross or shocking anymore. I saw it a few months back for the first time in years and I was surprised the dramatic/hard-hitting moments really lost a lot of impact. Also, the photography isn’t as good as I once thought.

      Its still a decent film, but I used to really really like it. Now its just okay. But lets face is, the real star is LELAND ORSER.

      • Jarv says :

        I agree with that. Fincher movies do not age well at all- Alien 3 aged really badly, but then kind of stopped (probably because of the suckitude of AvP making the effects and colour look fucking superb), Fight Club is aging badly, The Game I haven’t seen in years, but bet it’s not aging well, and Panic Room started aging about 3 seconds after I left the cinema.

        Maybe it’s an aesthetic thing?


        Other than the weak CG/puppet work shit, I think Alien3 has actually aged really well. It has a timeless look to it, unlike Aliens, which is pure 80s cheese. But I’m not getting into this fucking discussion, I’ve wasted enough of my life on Aliens.

      • Continentalop says :

        Actually, that is my point. It tried so hard to be shocking and unsettling, but it just felt like some posers really trying hard to prove they got “hardcore” credentials.

        And the entire movie is about what a sleazy hell hole the big city is, but it was just some weak impressions of how bad it is. Like the guy got all the info second hand without witnessing it himself (and I don’t mean the murders per say – I mean about urban life is just decadent). Between Se7en and 8mm I realized Andrew Walker is very much a kind of prude and puritan.

      • Droid says :

        We’ve talked the Alien flicks to death. Especially Alien 3. I really like it. And I’ll end it with that.

      • Continentalop says :

        No you haven’t. The entire point of life is to debate the Alien movies ad nauseam.


        Alien3 is fucking epic. No other film in the series comes close to packing that kind of an emotional punch.

        Especially considering the pressure/complications surrounding it, its a fucking tremendous debut feature. Sadly, he’ll never live up to that debut.

      • koutchboom says :

        Conti, please elaborate on your knowledge of the snuff film industry?

      • koutchboom says :

        Also Roc boxing an Alien, fucking epic. It was scary enough to stop me from approaching him for an autograph. That and he showed me his knife when I got close.


        Yeah, Roc’s preaching is pretty fucking righteous.


      • Continentalop says :

        Koutch, Snuff films don’t exist. Urban legend. And whomever made 8mm obviously knows shit about how the porn industry works.

      • Continentalop says :

        Alien 3 packed no punch for me. It just felt forced as hell.

        And it is hard to care for characters when even the filmmakers just look at them as upcoming casualties.

      • koutchboom says :

        DAMN! That’s what I figured. I was hoping for some crazy story where you just happened to see one somewhere. I mean there are some out there, just probably only in Serbia.


        Really? The fucking cremation scene is epic and haunting. The visuals, the preaching, the slomo bodies falling, the score, Ripley’s bloody nose. Powerful scene. And I dont see how Newt was just an upcoming casualty if she’s totally fucking dead right off the bat. People whined about killing off Hicks and Newt, I said good fucking riddance, to give Ripley this sweet little atomic family unit was fucking retarded. Glad they had the balls to take it back to the basics….Ripley versus her fucking curse.
        And having no character be safe, everyone as vulnerable as the next, with a fucking target on their head is the same kinda shit you supported in The Departed. But when an alien is doing the killing its not cool?! COME OOOOOOOON!!

      • Continentalop says :

        Danny, I don’t remember the scene in The Departed where they said there is no guns or weapons in all of Boston except for the ones the hoods have, and you are going to have to take them down by sacrificing yourself one at a time with absolutely no hope of surviving because the story demands it. Did Martin Sheen explain that part to Leo or something?

      • Continentalop says :

        And the Alien is Ripley’s curse? Are you saying it is a metaphor for a period? Because that might make the movie go up a notch or two in my book it it is (seriously).


        What? Thats not what I said at all. You have raved about how bold Departed is because they had the balls to paint cross-hairs on virtually every character’s head, this shows just how explosive and dangerous this world is– not your words exactly, but you’ve said shit like that. I’m saying– how is that any different than Alien3 or virtually any other survival horror sorta thing ever made? Its a haunted house where characters are picked off one by one. Yeah, I thought it was an awesome move to take away their weapons. Watching Marines unload machine guns into crowds of xenomorphs did absolutely nothing for me. Its repetitive and boring to watch. I dont think real weaponry and xenos should mix. The only two to get the tension and vibe right were the 1st and 3rd partly because of this. It was a bold and unexpected move to have Ripley go down the way she did at the end and to only have one survivor, and make it one of the lesser known characters. Anytime they willingly slam the nail in the coffin of a franchise, I applaud it. Of course…the suits fucked that up as well, but still– it was a good effort.

        The fact that people even bother to compare 1, 2, and 3 is absurd. 2 is just a totally different fucking thing. Its basically like analyzing ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Mickey Blue Eyes’ side by side.


        And yeah in regards to the ‘curse’ thing. I think there is a lot of symbolism with the bleeding from the nose being intercut with birth of the alien through the dog, and the fact that this is a funeral for the two people she loved and could one day consider family. Nosebleed signals there is one growing inside her; she loses a child and a man, a family basically….but the void is filled with the alien being born and the one within her.
        Also…instead of through the cunt, the aliens impregnate through the face/mouth. So it makes sense.

        Anything originating with Giger, involved cunt and blood.


        So yeah I think the blood is representative of menstruation/life/birth/Ripley’s longing for a daughter…..all that stuff. And Ripley’s curse is that no matter what, people around her will die, and her family will always be the xenomorphs, which they took to a whole ‘notha level in that crazy fucking Resurrection shit.

      • Continentalop says :

        1) The Departed made me care about the characters that died. Alien 3 didn’t. And we all knew Ripley wasn’t going to die until the end because the Alien couldn’t even kill her because she was carrying a queen. For me it was like watching Jason slaughtering every teenager but refusing to kill one girl because she was his sister or he couldn’t touch her because of magic. You felt it was bold, I felt like it was excessive and pointless.

        2) I like Aliens because I think they took the film in a different direction – Alien was the Dark Old House with an alien monster on a space ship, Aliens was a 50’s monster movie like Them! set in Space IMO. Alien³ Just felt repetitive to the first one, and didn’t seem to be a complete idea to me.

        3) I wasn’t joking about the period thing. I was just sitting here thinking about the third one (haven’t seen it forever) and coming up with all these allusions and metaphors for sex and reproduction in the movie. I mean, she is on a planet of celibate men, which would make her a danger naturally to them. So she is now impregnated by an alien, something these men want to do but refuse to do. The living Alien on the planet is an example of the dangers of her offspring to them, and you could even go into this entire kind of Grendel’s mom “danger of womanhood” thing.

        And you could even throw Newt into the metaphor because women who’s children die start to ovulate right away. I might have to check it out again.


        I’m not joking about the period thing either. The importance of blood and child-birth and all that is there…

        But Aliens/50’s sci?! What? That movie reeks of 80s cheese. I don’t see where 50s influence comes into it.

        And you really cared about who died in The Departed? I guess Sheen, cause he’s just an old man. But outta Leo and Damon? I wanted to watch both those cunts get popped. But when it happened it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I thought it’d be. If Wahlberg would’ve gotten in the end….then yeah, I would’ve cared.

      • koutchboom says :

        The Departed made me care about the characters that died.

        well that’s easy, because Alec Baldwin didn’t die. So nobody you care about dies.

      • Droid says :

        Neither did Marky Mark. Booya!

      • Continentalop says :

        Danny, watch Them! You’ll see a lot of Aliens in it. Tell me if these things sound familiar:

        A traumatized little girl who witnessed the monsters
        Civilians teaming up with the military to stop the monsters
        The heroes must face a queen
        The heroes must rescue a child from the clutches of the monsters
        The nest and eggs of the monsters are destroyed by flamethrowers
        They find the queen and the nest inside the storm/sewers drain system.

        All those things are in both movies. Add other sci-fi 1950s movie scenes like Dinosaurs! where the hero diverts the monster with a ditch digger (kind of like Ripley and the exo-armor) and you can see a lot of 1950s sci-fi movie influence.

      • Jarv says :

        I know you really like The Departed, but I didn’t give a red fuck if either Damon or Di Caprio bought it. The affair with the shrink was painfully contrived, and it just wasn’t a patch on Infernal Affairs.

        It isn’t a bad film, it’s just not a “Best Film” worthy one. It’s thoroughly meh for me. It still irks me that they didn’t have the balls to follow through with the Asian ending- what a shame.

    • Droid says :

      No, not really. Facebook sucks and it stars that Zombieland nerd and fucking Timberlake.

      Maybe I’ll be surprised. Who knows?

      • Jarv says :

        Fucking facebook.

        Eat a dick “I’ve got 94 squillion friends”

        Oh, do fuck off.

      • Droid says :

        I have actually recently considered just shutting down mine. I never fucking use it and a lot of the cunts on my “friends” list I never ever plan on associating with.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah also now that my entire family is on facebook its not fun. I haven’t check it regurally since 2005. Now its like a once a week if that thing. Its annoying to have to explain facebook to old people. I think I gave up on it after their first wave of fucking add on apps and shit.

        Really the marketing thing they do doesn’t bother me. I mean who gives a shit about internet ads? Whens the last time ANYONE has ever clicked on one and actually bought something?

      • Continentalop says :

        Facebook is good about reminding you about birthdays. I suck at remembering that shit.

      • koutchboom says :

        Can you guys believe people pay money for that Farmvillie shit?

      • Continentalop says :

        People pay for Farmville? I thought that shit was free.

      • koutchboom says :

        I’m just going off of a report this guy did on it. He tried playing it for a week to see what the fuck the deal was. And its free to play, but you can buy stuff with real money to upgrade your farm.

      • Continentalop says :

        Is it like the farm from the doc “Zoo”? Because then I have to wonder what you can buy.


        Whats so weird about that? Its a game…people spend money on video games or online fucking subscription to multiplayer shit all the time. They’re all dorks. So? How is the farm shit any different?

      • kloipy says :

        I will admit to having a facebook as well, I try to stay away from it as much as possible. It’s only ever good for sharing pictures and sending videos to your friends that don’t live nearby. However some people take it as if it is real life

      • koutchboom says :

        Its not weird, its just surprising that people pay money for it. Like most of us thought it was some free stupid thing. Thats all. I mean its got like 93 million people playing it. Its probably the worlds biggest video game. It totally makes sense that they get people to pay for shit.

        And man if it were like the Zoo farm, facebook would be a MUCH cooler place.

      • Continentalop says :

        Danny, it is called farmville. Who the fuck wants to own a farm, especially in this day and age when it is so hard to run one. It is a weird fucking game.

      • Jarv says :

        Games are about escapism mostly. Clobbering monsters etc.

        There’s nothing fun about owning/ running a farm

  10. just pillow talk says :

    I enjoyed this flick quite a bit, ending and all. I’ve only seen this once, so I can’t put it ahead of 7, which is probably my fave of his.


    Oh my God, I’ve just been informed that Leland Orser was once married to Roma Downey!


  12. koutchboom says :

    Oh yeah Fincher’s masterpiece.

    NIN Only music video.

  13. koutchboom says :

    Hrmmm Hugo Weaving as Red Skull???? I like it.

  14. xiphos0311 says :

    I dont think real weaponry and xenos should mix.

    How else are you going to kill them if you are a Marine Expeditionary Unit? What Are you supposed to use harsh language and a rubber training knife maybe MCMAP?

    • Droid says :

      You send in Samuel L. Jackson as the negotiator to eyeball them down and if it gets out of hand he can yell obsenities at them.

      “I’ve had it with these motherfucking xenomorphs on this motherfucking LV-426!”


      No I mean I dont want to see military go up against them at all. For me– it makes for boring scenarios. Nonstop firing and aliens exploding, back and forth. This is cool in a Predator movie, but Alien should have never become THAT.

    • Continentalop says :

      See, that is why I liked Aliens. It dwells in a somewhat realistic universe where how we (humans) react to the xenomorphs is based on some kind of everyday reality we can recognize.

      In Alien, the humans who encounter them are basically space truckers – blue collar workers. They just want to survive and earn a bonus. In Aliens the people who encounter them are colonist. Well, if colonist or people are in trouble we are going to send help. Who would we send? Either Space SWAT team or, considering the distance, Space Marines. It seems plausible.

      But an alien planet with a bunch of monk-prisoners who have taken a vow of celibacy? Oookaaay…that totally felt like a total plot device.

      • Jarv says :

        I didn’t find it contrived at all- I would have found the Wood Planet contrived, but the Alien films have always had a feel of decay and it seemed like a run down facility with lifers on it, everything rusted to buggery etc was the natural end point of that.

        As a trilogy ending it would have been great. Unfortunately we got Resurrection/ AvP/ Flight of the Nob Jockey etc.


        Its not an alien planet, they just crash land there on the prison planet. And a wasteland prison planet filled with murderers and rapists thats been forgotten and left to rot– so the inmates turn to religion? Yeah. I really dig that whole idea, alien or not…

        If you’re talking convenient plot-points, then point out the biggest contrivance of all; Aliens being set 50 years after the first film, the company doesn’t believe her story, contact is lost with LV-426 and they invite Ripley along as a ‘Consultant’? What the fuck kinda dogshit is that?

      • Continentalop says :

        Aliens in set 50 years in the future because FTL travel does not exist in the Alien Universes (but artificial gravity on spaceships does – I know, I know). Travel through space takes a long time, and the odds of finding her were slim so it makes a logical and plausible sense that it would take that long.

        And the company doesn’t want to believe her story. She comes back with this incredulous tale about an alien monster, so obviously they are not going to buy it. But when they start a colony on this planet (and very EXPENSIVE endeavor) and then lose contact with them it makes a lot of sense to me they might start thinking “shit. Remember that crazy lady? What if she was RIGHT?”

        If a sea captain in the 19th century came back as the lone survivor and told the East India Company that he lost his crew and ship to an island of intelligent, cannibalistic orangutans they are going to think he is nuts and dismiss his story as a delusion. But if they had started a colony there for sugar or cotton or what-not, and they suddenly lost all contact with them, maybe one of the members of the company would think “As unlikely as it seems, maybe, just maybe that captain wasn’t completely crazy.”

      • koutchboom says :

        Conti just admit it. You love it when people turn to rape at the drop of a hat.

        But I agree with you about the adrift in space aspect.

      • Continentalop says :

        Well, you said Alien shouldn’t be a universe where weapons are involved. Fine, that’s your opinion. But in my opinion Alien stories should involve people we recognize, despite the futuristic setting. The first one dwelt with blue-collar people, a kind of future truck driver/cargo ship. What was so recognizable about prisoner monks? You like it, fine, but I think that goes against the original concept more than Space Marines ever did.

        And I will say that the other problem I had with it is that it just is a “start-over” movie. The deaths of Hicks, Newt and Bishop (who gets one little cameo) don’t even seem that shocking to me because I see it for what it is – a way to completely erase the last movie so they can just go back and do “remake” of the first one. Alien exterminating people one by one.

        And by killing off the people from the last movie but not Ripley, they make it apparent that she is all that matters. I don’t care about any of the prisoners because I can see they only exist as a means to keep the plot moving and to give the Alien plenty of people to kill because you can’t off Ripley.

        Aliens took the concept of the Xenomorphs and put them in a new context; Alien3 just went back and basically redid the first movie all over again. That is what it felt like to me.


        I wasn’t saying the 50 year lapse or the fact that they don’t believe her is the dogshit part. I’m saying the typical plot device ‘well….she was there– lets bring her with us’ aspect is dogshit, if you’re pointing out plot conveniences that feel contrived.

        And you’re right it is a ‘start over’ movie that could pretty much cancel out Aliens existing all together, which is another thing I like about it.


        Wait…so by killing all the people from Aliens that sucked and starting fresh, this felt formula to you because you knew Ripley was the only character that mattered and she would live…and this all feels like a redo of the first film? But thats not at all what happens.

        Another thing about Aliens I can’t stand, horrid xeno design and suits. The worst of the series. They are bulky, ugly, and fake. They look totally ninja turtles-like rubber. The only creature to come off convincingly real is The Queen, which I’ve always said made that film. Were it not for The Queen character, the movie would’ve been utter shit.

      • Continentalop says :

        Ok, another question for you Danny: what the fuck is Don Murphy doing over in Droid’s review?


        I dunno man…he’s your friend. Not mine.


      • Continentalop says :

        No, by killing off everyone from the last film I could see that they were just worried about making it a Ripley vehicle, and imitating what happened in the first film – having a bunch of people die until Ripley becomes the “final girl.” What Alien did as a natural progressing story line, Alien3 turned into a formula (and yes, even if she dies at the end it is still formulaic).

        Aliens took the Xenomorphs and said “What if someone colonized and a bunch of Xenos where made? What would happen?” Alien3 felt like “Hey, how can we get back to what they did in Alien and just have a bunch of people getting stalked by an Alien until Ripley is pretty much all that is left?”


        Going with your 19th century sea-captain shit, it would be interesting to see a film that was pretty much the same as Alien, except set aboard an old shit in that era. Why the fuck does it always have to be current or future with these kind of creature films? It would be fun to see a crew of old picked off one by one by some sea beast that sucks your fucking brains.

      • Continentalop says :

        Hey, I didn’t invite him. I said hi to him once and he’s been following me around like a puppy since.

        But seriously, if that is the “real” Don Murphy, why the fuck waste your time yelling at a small group of guys bashing your movie on the internet? Shouldn’t you be out, you know, being a Hollywood “big shot”?


        “…..how can we get back to what they did in Alien and just have a bunch of people getting stalked by an Alien until Ripley is pretty much all that is left?”

        Well yeah– good. Because it is after all, like the greatest fucking story ever told.

      • Continentalop says :

        I agree about the sea captain thing. I just wrote that quickly but I was thinking “Fuck! Alien meets Master & Commander! That would be awesome!”
        I’m sure there is some old mythological or legendary creature you could turn into a kind of 19th century Xenomorph. Fuck, Japan had “Octo-merman”, maybe something like that crawls up the ship and is eating men’s brains.


        Yeah, it would be really fun….and to not take it into different monster territory, keep it one small man sized creature. Yeah its gotta be after something specific, like it sucks men’s eyes out of their skull or something. All they have is one rickety revolver and a few harpoons. But the thing is fast and strong as fuck. Bring back the ‘man in suit’.

      • Continentalop says :

        Make it a “woman in a suit.” Horny seaman see the silhouette of a hot woman on the ships deck at night, are lured to approach it, then BAM! – Eyeballs sucked right out of them.

        Get Don Murphy over here. We got an idea for him.


        …and it can have that classic opening where some crazed dude bursts through the village pub with a tale to tell. It can open sorta like ‘Moby Dick’ following one drifter new in town who hopes to land a job aboard a ship. He’s our Ripley.

      • Continentalop says :

        I think you could also have them stumble on an old derelict ship and our “Ripley” recognizes this as the work of the “Monster.” Be creepy, stumbling around a ghost ship looking for survivors. Maybe finding just one, but mostly finding just clues of the monster.

  15. Tom_Bando says :

    *Never liked ‘Seven’. Meh followed by blech.

    *Own Panic Room. It’s okay, but nothing beyond that. Disposable viewing ala SWAT or the Real McCoys.

    *Always good to see MrGlover make a cameo.

    *Didn’t see Fight Club. Never interested in it.

    *Zodiac interests.

    *Thought Magnolia was junk.

    *Farmville looks like the ultimate timesuck.

    *Public Enemies was a dull digital-look flick. That one needed Giant Robots.

  16. ThereWolf says :

    I think Zodiac is a beautifully structured film. I find the pace of it hypnotic and I love watching these characters go about solving the puzzle. The performances are great, particularly Ruffalo and Downey Jnr – and Anthony Edwards puts in a shift too, understated & dignified. For some reason, I find the moment Armstrong tells Toschi he’s retiring quite moving. Something shatters in Toschi’s world at that moment, he feels it like an earthquake, while on the surface he stays calm.

    I’m with Droid on the ending; Graysmith looks at Leigh Allen. What more do you need?

  17. Stuntcock Mike says :

    Hugo Weaving and/or Udo Keir must play the doctor in the next Human Centipede film.

  18. Stuntcock Mike says :

    Conti, 8MM was directed by Joel Schumacher.

    ’nuff said really.


      I’ve dug a lot of Schumacher’s shit…

      Lost Boys, Cousins, Flatliners, Tigerland, Phone Booth, Phantom of the Opera….all well done…

      And I dont hate his Batmans. I think Forever is very good and B&R is funny as fuck.

  19. Stuntcock Mike says :

    I’m kinda siding with Dickblood re: Alien3.

    It’s my favorite of the bunch.

  20. Tom_Bando says :

    Just saw this. Basically I agree w/ Droid’s writeup of it. Really good movie, fine acting, suspenseful, etc. Drags to be honest in the last 45 minutes but it’s still quite worthy of seeing.

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