Having previously released the theatrical version and director's cut of David Fincher's "ZODIAC" on dvd, and HD-DVD, PARAMOUNT is now releasing the "Director's Cut" on blu-ray. There's really nothing notably different between the theatrical and director's cut versions, save for less than 5 minutes of changes, a prolonged fade-to-black, to indicate a 4 year passage of time, some extensions,etc. Nothing that will wow a fan of the original. What is notably different, are all the extras! An audio commentary with Fincher, alone, and another commentary with Robert Downey Jr. Jake Gyllenhaal, James Ellroy and James Vanderbilt. Both commentaries are great, although nearly 3 hours can be trying at times!
The blu-ray offers the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There isn't a hint of grain, and the image is consistently more colorful than Fincher's previous work. Color levels are pushed to the limits without any sign of over-saturation. The attack by Zodiac at a lake, early on in the film, showcases just how well-crafted the transfer is, creating a colorful, surreal world, with incredible detail. Contrast is impressive, offering fine detail in darker scenes, due to extremely inky blacks. The overall quality of this image ranks "ZODIAC" up there with the best reference quality blu-rays available!
This blu-ray sports a new Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, a notch up over the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 offered on the hd-dvd. Being a procedural investigation/thriller, much of the film is dialogue-heavy, with emphasis on the center channel. Still, surrounds kick in effectively on occasion, and the impact is often quite intentionally eerie. Separation effects are used to a large degree on the front speakers, and music is well rendered, with excellent dynamic range throughout. Bass effects appear briefly, but this is an intentionally restrained mix. However, when surrounds and discrete effects appear, it's with a maximum impact.
All of the previously offered extras have been carried over, including two great commentaries on the feature film disc. The 2nd disc offers featurettes, provided for in various aspects from 480 all the way to 1080p.
There are a great number of extras included on this 2 disc set. The commentaries are offered on the 1st disc, with the feature film. The 2nd disc offers a behind the scenes documentary, split-screen comparisons and a feature-length documentary covering the investigation.
Another great documentary focuses on the prime suspect.
All of these are offered on the dvd and hd-dvd special edition, however, the hd-dvd offers everything in hd, except for the split-screen comparison.