1. When I took my seat I decided that if the Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil was played at any time in Zodiac (it’s the right era after all), I would walk out. It wasn’t played.
2. Alien 3, Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac. I wonder how David Fincher would fare at a movie set in broad daylight.
3. Zodiac is not like Se7en. It’s not a police mystery thriller. It’s not a crowd pleaser. It’s a procedural. It walks you through the stages of a criminal investigation, including the blind alleys and dead ends. If you’re into detail and deductive reasoning, this is for you.
4. One thing it has in common with Se7en, other than the fact that you wish someone would turn on the light sometimes, is the flagging of certain books, an interest in what the criminal may have read.
5. The film stars three excellent actors: Jake Gyllenhall, Robert Downey, Jr, and Mark Ruffalo. When two or all of them are onscreen, the one the eye is naturally drawn to is Robert Downey, Jr. It is not simply a matter of physical beauty. (It’s not just the lust factor either, or Ruff! Ruff! Ruffalo would be it.) Downey seems to have a lot going on inside his head, and you want to know what it is. True, maybe it’s just “I can’t remember my next line” or “I’m dying for some coke”, but that’s what increases the voltage.
6. How could Mark Ruffalo and Benicio del Toro have been classmates in acting school? Wouldn’t the school have melted from hotness?
7. Many fine actors casually turn up in small roles: Brian Cox (my favorite Hannibal), Chloe Sevigny, Philip Baker Hall, Dermot Mulroney, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, Clea Duvall and others.
8. Zodiac is really about the nature of obsession: how it consumes your waking hours, assumes paramount importance in your life, and alienates you from the people around you. Outwardly your life may seem to be falling apart, but what other people don’t get is that in your own way, you’re happy. Your life has meaning and purpose. You’re on track; it’s the rest of the world that’s floundering.