URLs du Jour

2007-08-07

  • The question du jour: "Who'd have thought that shaping a product designed to intentionally alienate half the available market would be a bad business decision?"

  • Steven Pinker—I'm a huge fan, despite him being a Harvard prof—looks at dangerous ideas. I've groused in the past about ideas I consider dangerous, but he specifically excludes my bete noir: "incendiary conspiracy theories from malevolent crackpots."

  • Speaking of which, Prof Althouse reports on a "9/11 truther" conference in Madison.
    "I think we need to focus on conviviality in this movement," [Kevin Barrett, ex-University of Wisconsin instructor] declared. "We 're not the miserable paranoids people think."
    Kevin, would you like to bet on that?

  • James Lileks has Gnat, but Dave Barry has Sophie. Can the life of a humorists' daughter be easy, when your every cuteness is immortalized on the Interweb?

Zodiac

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

As I type, this movie is number 216 on IMDB's top 250 all-time movie list. Which is absurd, but it's pretty good.

It's about California's Zodiac serial killer, mostly seen from the view of the investigating police and journalists covering the story. The timespan is huge: from 1969 up to the early 80's.

It's directed by David Fincher, who's best known for intensely creepy movies like Fight Club and Se7en. But this movie is relatively straightforward, dealing neatly with the obsession, frustration, and self-destruction of cops and reporters. It's only lightly fictionalized from the real thing. The movie spans years, and that's nicely communicated in a number of ways: we watch the Transamerica Pyramid go up; there's a scene set at the premiere of Dirty Harry, a movie inspired by Zodiac.

All the actors do a great job with their roles, especially Robert Downey Jr., who is basically your go-to actor for Cynical Substance Abusing Wise Guy. Mark Ruffalo is also good as a wise-cracking but tired cop, Dave Toschi. (IMDB says that Candy Clark, well-remembered from American Graffiti, was in this too, but I missed her.)


Last Modified 2012-10-17 3:33 PM EDT