Rules: No polls, just a review and your opinion on why you believe the film you've chosen should stay higher up in the list. 50 words or more, 40 is accepted if you have expressed your opinion in a satisfactory standard.
Both pretty recent films here going up against each other.
I guess I'll start with Layer Cake. I've always been extremely keen of Matthew Vaughn's movie involvement, especially with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch (two very fine films if I may add). Initially when I had heard Layer Cake was going to be directed by Vaughn, I was jumping for joy and was in big anticipation for its release. Though, when I learned Daniel Craig was going to be the lead role, my feelings dipped south. I never ever liked him in many of his earlier films; Elizabeth and A Kid in King Arthur's Court to name a few. For me, the plot wasn't bad, but there was a ton of sh*t being thrown at you and it made it very hard to follow, which ultimately lead to me disliking the movie as a whole.
Zodiac struck me tenderly as I'm a big fan of murder-mystery films and all of the drama that surrounds the genre. Another thing that heightened my hopes for Zodiac was that it would star Robert Downey Jr. and would be directed by David Fincher (Panic Room, Alien 3 and Fight Club come to mind). I love just about everything about this movie; the suspense, the cast, the dark styling and the mystery. I was always on the edge of my seat as new letters and evidence were found. Definitely one of the best movies of the last five or six years.
+1 for Zodiac
EDIT: Misspelled two words.
This post has been edited by StoneHead37 on Sunday, Sep 9 2012, 20:27
You know, seeing both great films up against each other is hard, when I drew these out it always pains me to see films that I adore up against each other, but I guess sometimes sh*t happens eh?
Layer Cake is a great film, actually it's one of my favourite crime films ever. The OST, the cinematography, the script, the dialogue, the acting... all of it is top-notch to be honest, I love every single bit of it. My favourite scene in Layer Cake has got to be this scene:
Mr Mortimer's acting in this scene is bloody brilliant, and the way the camera works with George Harris is fantastic, it's a first-person view of Freddie, and in my opinion first person view in films is very underused, and needs to be used much more as it puts you in the shoes of someone who's getting a thrashing, like this scene. I just think Layer Cake is brilliant, explains the drugworld in a way that not a lot of films portray it, the drug business isn't glamorous, it gets you into some serious sh*t, don't expect to get out of it so easily.
Now regarding Zodiac, I think this is also a great film as well. When I first viewed it I was scared sh*tless, because as far as I know the Zodiac killer is still out there, that's quite scary to think that a guy that killed people, who some would say is a man who knows the laws of the land has never been caught, is scary to think that. But regarding the film, I think it's still great, it's full of intense, and I'm sure some of this had been inspired from Alfred Hitchcock films because in my opinion, he also defined the genre of Mystery and Intensity in movies. I think the majority of the acting is brilliant, it sure does keep you entertained. Mark Ruffalo was great too, one of the scenes was where he was trying to track down a killer and he had to go inside this weird dude's house, and that was pretty freaky. Kept me on the edge of my seat that's for sure.
Whilst I will concede that Layer Cake boasts fine performances, the problems I have with it are the same ones I have with a great many English gangster films. For whilst every actor does their job very well, the characters are two dimensional and wooden. Gruff, emotionless drug dealers. Evil Eastern Europeans. The typically dull 'lad' archetype. Whilst telling a far more capitvating, coherent story than any of Guy Ritchie's crime efforts, it keeps the shallow nature of his movies and so never rises above being merely good. It is a real shame too, because it has some stand out performances. Michael Gambon is especially impressive. But at the end of the day, it is not an intelligent movie, it doesn't engage you on an intellectual level, it's slick and tense but ultimately lacks the depth that makes the likes of Godfather and Casino superior organised crime flicks. Although those are perhaps unfair comparisons, I will admit that it is leagues above almost any other English gangster movie you care to mention. But that's not really saying much, is it?
Now, Zodiac on the other hand is a far more intelligent, gripping movie. A drama focusing on the real-life hunt for the San Franciscan serial killer, it has the killers mind games as a backdrop for a far more captivating tale. Robert Graysmith, expertly played by Tom Selleck, at first seems like an amateur sleuth. A quirky but likable man who you initially root for. But as his involvement in the case grows more obsessive, we grow further from him. The ending offers no absolution, no vindication. The hero is revealed as a crackpot, persuing a man long since cleared of any wrongdoing. It is the ultimate display of how violence corrodes the lives of those around it. Graysmith becomes a delusional charlatan and Paul Avery, a typically riveting role for Robert Downey Jr, transforms from a charismatic rogue to a booze-sodden wreck. The score, cinematography and acting is of a world-class caliber and helps Zodiac stand as a true masterpiece of the crime genre.