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Zodiac

I was updating the library's official webpages on the county library site earlier this evening, and there were some issues that were really frustrating. I decided to post a review to cheer myself up. Only this review isn't about a comedy, it's about a drama with subject matter that is only a little disturbing.

FYI: if you go to our page on the county site, and there are issues with font size, etc. please bear with me... I will prevail and make that site bend to my will! Insert evil cackle here. Yes, the frustration with the website has finally sent me over the edge.

Zodiac stars the very talented and always cute, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey, Jr. The DVD is available upon request from Annville Free Library. I am always most annoyed when a DVD comes without any special features... and this is one of those DVD's because apparently they are saving them all for the director's cut. And do you know what else? I am also always annoyed when a DVD does not have any previews; I feel ripped off when there aren't any coming attractions. Oh, well.

This movie is based on a true story; in fact, I believe it is the film adaptation of the book of the same title by Gyllenhaal's character, Robert Graysmith. It tells the story of the serial murders committed by a killer who called himself "Zodiac." The action takes place in northern California in the 1970's. When the police investigation stalls and the case goes cold, Graysmith decides to pick up his own investigation which is portrayed in the movie. Eventually his research solves the mystery of the identity of the Zodiac killer but not before his investigation becomes an obsession that takes over his life and destroys his marriage. While this is a very long movie, it is also a very good movie, very fast paced--the movie skips ahead in time by days, weeks, months, sometimes years to advance its narrative. This device can be confusing and hard to keep track of for someone who is not mathmatically minded. While it is a dramatic movie about disturbing events, it also has its lighter moments. For example, one day Graysmith enlists his young children's help in tracking missing persons' dates of disappearance and tells his children not to tell mommy about this because this is "their secret project." Slightly inappropriate, but still amusing nonetheless.

Gyllenhaal's performance is one of the most interesting in the movie as we witness his editorial cartoonist turned investigative reporter/author descend into obsession and go to great lengths and great risks to solve the mystery.

I enjoyed this movie, and if you like mysteries and true crime stories, you will also enjoy this one.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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