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Monday, March 12, 2007

GREENLIGHT #118: Zodiac (with "Now Way to Treat a Lady" and "Boston Strangler")

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Ann and Les don't think there is much mysterious about why Zodiac (2007) isn't as good as it could be. It's too long. For almost three hours Jake Gyllenhall plays Robert Graysmith, the real-life San Fransisco reporter whose obsession in life was catching the Zodiac serial murderer of the 1960's and 70's - though he never does. The two cops who try to help him are played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards who do a very thorough job of following-up on leads year-after-year. And that's the problem - it's written and performed well but it just goes on and on. However, Ann thought Robert Downey Jr. was such a delight to watch as the star reporter with the ignored drug problem (funny that RDJr. took on this role) that she forgave the usually tight director David Fincher his verbosity. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends a fabulous and funny movie about a serial killer called No Way to Treat a Lady (1957.) In it Rod Steiger plays a killer who is the master of disguise and each character is astonishing. So much so that one guy, played by Michael Dunn, tries to confess to the crimes just for the publicity. You'll hear why that's so funny. Ann also recommends a film about a serial killer but not because the movie is so great (and it's certainy not funny) but because it features such a surprisingly good dramatic performance by Tony Curtis. The story about how he won the part is worth the listen alone. And you'll also enjoy the work of Henry Fonda in Boston Strangler (1968.)

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