Discs Are Rated
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Starring: Eric Stoltz, Jean-Hughes Anglade, Julie
Written and Directed by Roger Avary
Retail Price: $24.99
Features: Production Notes, Cast and Crew Bios,
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Surround
English, Chapter Search (28 Chapters)
It really only seems like yesterday I was living in Los
Angeles, and was reading the Sunday edition of the Los
Angeles Times. It was the Calender section, and I saw an
incredibly weird advertisment for a movie called "Killing
Zoe". It looked pretty freaky with what appeared to be Eric
Stoltz in a weird mask, with a psychadelic background of
sorts, the logo and "Opening Friday" and the theaters. I
never checked into Killing Zoe, and I always wondered about
it. A couple of years later, I did happen to catch it on
television. I did enjoy it, and little did I know, this film
had an incredible cult following.
Roger Avary, probably best known for co-writing the hit
"Pulp Fiction" with Quentin Tarantino (and winning an
Oscar® for that script), wrote and directed this twisted
movie (which was released a few months before "Pulp Fiction"
in 1994) about a bank heist that seems perfect, yet yields
less than steller results. Zed is invited to Paris to visit
his old childhood buddy, Eric, to rob a bank on Bastille
Day. However, dreams don't always come true, and the
thoughts of the easy life are soon destroyed when the
robbery doesn't go as planned and Eric goes through a major
transformation as a paranoid and psychotic druggie.
A lot of "Killing Zoe" is not so pretty and has this
dark, sick edge. However, I do enjoy it because it is a
pretty original movie. Avary's script is well written, with
excellent character development and a plot that is pretty
strong. His direction is also good, and shows he has a true
vision for the film. The performances are excellent,
especially by Eric Stoltz as Zed, who I think this is one of
his best performances of his career. However, I think
Jean-Hughes Anglade steals the show as the wacked out Eric,
I found his performance to be mesmerizing.
"Killing Zoe" uses some dark imagery to create an
interesting and different kind of action movie, yet it has
some soul to it. The movie led to the creation of a new kind
of art-house film as well, which simply stunned some people.
This DVD has been delayed and put off for some time now,
but it's been finally released. How good is it? Was it worth
the wait? Read on.
Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, "Killing Zoe"
looks pretty decent, but the end result is disappointing.
The film has a gritty and dark fixture to it, and the DVD
represents it for the most part. However, images tend to be
soft mostly, colors are not as vibrant as they could be, and
dirt is abundant. Detail is not spectacular, either. Some of
the movie looks incredibly washed out and that Artisan
didn't bother to really clean it up. This really could have
been a wonderful transfer that could have stood out
tremendously, but all in all, it's just decent.
The sound is not particulary thrilling, either. "Killing
Zoe" is presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, and I found it to
be pretty hard to hear and low. Like the transfer, I think
this should have also been re-done, and could have really
used a 5.1 track. The effects and sound in some cases over
power who's talking. This box also lists that there is a
French track on the disc and there are English subtitles,
neither are on the disc.
Nothing major. A commentary with Roger Avary would have
made this disc perfect, but insead, we get some basic
First off is the original Theatrical Trailer which
sounds mono in nature and is presented in full frame. It's
an indie like preview too, and luckily, doesn't give so much
of the movie away and makes you wonder about the film. It
draws curiousity, and like any good trailer, that's what
it's supposed to do.
There are Cast and Crew Bios, which give some good
bios on a lot of the people who worked on the movie, as well
as their filmographies.
Finally, rounding out the disc are some insightful and
detailed Production Notes. This is a good read on the
making of the movie. The insert in the box also has notes,
which aren't word for word on the DVD, but really similar.
"Killing Zoe" is definently not a movie for everyone. Yet
if you enjoy some twisted stuff and good acting, this movie
is right up your alley. On the other hand, I'm sorry to say
this DVD is not as good as it could have been, and since it
was delayed, you'd expect some improvments.
(4/5, NOT included in
(2.5/5, NOT an average)