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Zodiac Director’s Cut: A Whopping Four Minutes Longer

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Zodiac DVD coverZodiac, one of the best movies of 2007, is the latest David Fincher masterpiece, a serial killer film completely unlike Se7en it’s completely inappropriate to compare the two. Zodiac is over two and a half hours long, and yet it is suspenseful and intriguing from beginning to end. Wonderfully directed and edited, the movie flows with a casual intenseness that never eases, even after the killer stops killing.

You can read my full Zodiac movie review here.

However, Paramount has now released (as of January 8, 2008) a two-disc Director’s Cut version of the film. The good thing is that Paramount didn’t mark up the DVD cover with stupid marketing tricks like “The version you couldn’t see in theaters!” or “Unrated” (it has, in fact, the exact same R-rating that the theatrical release had); the bad thing is that if this is David Fincher’s actual director cut, he must have been pretty happy with the theatrical release. This new DVD version adds a thrilling four minutes into the film; where those four minutes are placed I have no clue. I hadn’t watched the movie since its release in March 2007, and if there was a defined scene that was inserted in, I didn’t notice it.

Basically, if you already own the theatrical version on DVD, there is absolutely no reason to buy this one for the film… However, the DVD does offer a fair amount of special features that I am pretty sure are new to this edition (though don’t take my word for it). I spent most of my time on the Director’s Cut (no, there’s no alternate ending), but the special features include two separate audio commentaries, a long behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Zodiac, a split-screen comparison that takes a look at the difference between the animatics and finished film for the murder sequences, a feature-length documentary that examines the actual investigation and includes interviews with the original investigators and victims, and another featurette about the prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen.

So, I recant my previous statement. If you’re not into special features, don’t bother, but this Zodiac package is pretty packed with material; I’ll definitely be exploring the rest of these DVD features over the next few days.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movie Reviews
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