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Episode 163 - Zodiac vs. Shaun of the Dead vs. Magnolia

Episode 163 - Zodiac vs. Shaun of the Dead vs. Magnolia  

67 members have voted

  1. 1. Which film should enter The Canon?

    • Zodiac
      29
    • Shaun of the Dead
      23
    • Magnolia
      15


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We asked, and you nominated! For the final episode of the season, Amy and Engineer Sam take listener calls to hear arguments as to which of these films should enter The Canon: David Fincher’s 2007 thriller “Zodiac;” the first film in the Cornetto trilogy, 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead;” or the 1999 Paul Thomas Anderson drama “Magnolia.”

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Leaning Zodiac, but need some time to do a rewatch of these (especially Magnolia, which I haven't seen in a looooong time). Maybe the poll should remain up until the new season begins?

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Magnolia for me. I re-watched Shaun of the Dead recently and it didn't hold up well at all for me. I'm fine with Zodiac, but Magnolia is a film that I get excited to watch every 3 or 4 years, where I doubt I'll ever watch the other two again.

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It was so great to be able to call into the show and plead my case for MAGNOLIA. Thought I would refine my words slightly and weigh other options. MAGNOLIA is a very personal choice to me. As I said in my call, I was obsessed when it came out. I had already been quite taken with HARD EIGHT and especially BOOGIE NIGHTS, so I was excited by the prospects of a relatively new filmmaker doing such promising work. Here's one interesting tidbit. The first time I saw MAGNOLIA it was a defective print. The film ran smoothly except for when the frogs started to fall, during which every individual shot began to run backwards, with the frogs falling up instead of down. It was oddly hypnotic and at the time, we in the theater were not completely convinced it wasn't an artistic choice. There was so much going on in the film though that it confounded me, and being younger at the time, I embraced the chance to discover every little secret meaning hidden in the film. I poured over the shooting script, I read every interview with Anderson, and ended up writing a needlessly ambitious 50 page term paper on the film, much to my A.P. English teacher's chagrin. I probably watched the film about 12 times within the first few films of its release, and then not at all for a long time.

 

I recently saw it again on the big screen and the effect was dizzying. I was flooded with the original memories I had watching it during its theatrical run. It didn't always mean the same thing to me as it did then and I started to see some cracks that never quite occurred to me, but it was still an emotional experience. I still don't understand why Anderson decided to cut a subplot involving the murder of the man in the closet, but continued to keep in numerous references to that subplot. While I think that Tom Cruise is truly outstanding in the film, with his seminar scenes and breakdown over Robards' deathbed being highlights of the film, his interview scene felt rather contrived. Why does this reporter think or know that a question about his parents will be such a "gotcha" question. This guy is a misogynist asshole. Can you really not find a better way to take him down than saying that she found out that he lied about which one of his parents died? And while I think there's some great stuff within the subplot, I think the film might have been stronger without the centerpiece of the game show. Though I am very curious as to what Burt Reynolds would have brought to the role of Jimmy Gator, as was Anderson's original casting intention. We get a bit too much of Stanley and not enough of adult Donnie to draw the correlation between the two stories. I feel like expanding William H. Macy's role so that you feel all the history of that character without its modern counterpart would have been enough. But without these plots all fitting together, perhaps the film wouldn't quite have the same impact. As I said before, this ensemble cast really completes the film, with not a weak performance among them. For me, my favorite scenes are between Hoffman and Robards and Reilly and Walters, but to comprise the film solely of these smaller stories like a cop falling for a girl after showing up to her place on a call, might just feel like a fleshed out but still thin love story, not unlike PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.

 

To call MAGNOLIA "a spectacular mess" may be giving it too much credit. Caller Cody was right to point out how indulgent the film is, with Anderson flying a bit too close to the sun with creative freedom after the success of BOOGIE NIGHTS, which I do think is a tighter, more superior film experience. So can I vote for a film based purely on nostalgia even as I am aware of various imperfections? Like I said in the episode, sometimes I believe we can learn more by a director's missteps than we can from their successes. I think that Anderson knows that MAGNOLIA wasn't always successful in balancing his stories and perhaps did tip into the indulgent, but that prepared him for the experiments that he would go on to make with his next few films. While I don't love THERE WILL BE BLOOD, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, or INHERENT VICE as much as MAGNOLIA, I do appreciate a lot of the craft that goes into these films, and I genuinely love both THE MASTER and PHANTOM THREAD. There's never an Anderson movie that I'm not happy to watch at least a few times so that I may wrap my head around them. Were MAGNOLIA up against BOOGIE NIGHTS, I think I would vote for the latter, and perhaps we shouldn't overcrowd The Canon with Anderson films so that we may leave room for what may be his greatest work, either from the past or a film he's yet to make. My nostalgia and love still lies with MAGNOLIA, but does my vote?

 

Everything that was said about ZODIAC in this episode was spot on. My mother grew up in the bay area and would (inappropriately) tell me stories growing up about her mother not letting her ride the bus for fear that the Zodiac killer would make good on his promise to shoot children as they exited. This is a real horror story that still lingers in the memories of Northern California residents today. Some out there (my brother-in-law and I have fought about this repeatedly) believe that ZODIAC is anti-climactic. A story with a great beginning but no ending. But this is precisely why I love it. It captures the frustration and obsession of an unsolved crime. The film is thrilling for the first hour when we are seeing the murders and watching our players get clues with hopes of solving them. And then the clues stop. There's no new information. And all we have to observe is our characters haunted with not knowing the truth. This is also one of the best depictions of realistic police procedure and its many faults and imperfections. I particularly love the sequence when the detectives from multiple counties get together and finally compare notes, discovering that by not initially sharing information with each other they are all more in the dark than they realized. In the midst of this serial killer movie, one suddenly starts to think about all the potentially innocent people who may have been convicted based on one investigation, while the information that might have absolved them was in the possession of another precinct that didn't practice communication with local colleagues. This is a phenomenal film. Without question my favorite by Fincher. I think it has justifiably become the go-to film that depicts what the true crime obsession has ultimately become. My wife was watching some awful Ted Bundy movie last night, and it just can't compare.

 

So I think for the time being I am going to keep my vote for MAGNOLIA, because it's what 17 year old Johnny would want me to do. But I am inspired to watch my umpteenth screening of ZODIAC this week just to see if it can sway me, as I do think it is probably the better and certainly more influential film. I may change my vote later in the week, especially if ZODIAC looks like it is going to be in a runoff with SHAUN OF THE DEAD, one of my favorite comedies of this century but a film I can't measure up next to the other two. Thank you, Amy, for giving us this show. I don't write about film professionally anymore but coming to the message boards every week gives me a chance to stretch those muscles and converse with some like-minded individuals. I eagerly anticipate the return of the show, in whatever form it comes, and hope you find a co-host worthy enough to sit beside you. In the meantime I'll get my fix with UNSPOOLED. Have a great year with that and Canonize us again soon.

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Tough choices! “Magnolia” and “Zodiac” are arguably great cinema, but “Shaun” is so sincere, good-hearted (and impeccably made). It’s just lovely.

 

I leave Fincher films and Paul Thomas Anderson films ecstatic for the “cinema”, and Ieave Edgar Wright movies happy to be at the cinema. “Shaun” has my vote.

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This is my least favourite kind of versus episode. Where the movies up against each other have almost nothing in common and occupy totally different spaces of the Canon. Totally insane. Although I am still holding a grudge for that Whiplash V Juno episode which was also a total farce.

 

Anyway, Shaun of the Dead. Edgar Wright is basically a god in my book- so hopefully this isn't the last time a film gets nominated. I probably would've voted for Zodiac or Magnolia in a different more appropriate versus btw.

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I enjoy and admire both Magnolia and Zodiac, but my vote goes to Shaun of the Dead. I am a big fan of Spaced - Pegg’s, Wright’s, and Jessica Hynes’ British T.V. show. It was my introduction to Wright’s ability to meld comedy with different film genre tropes. I’m not a fan of zombie movies, but I love the way Wright and Pegg use the genre to satirize the way we go about our daily routines largely on autopilot, and the way our lives can easily fall into mindless repetition of the routines. Boogie Nights is my favorite PTA film, and it is definitely Canon-worthy. I enjoyed Magnolia, but don’t think it reaches the highs of Boogie Nights. And Zodiac is compelling, but IMHO not as good as Shaun.

 

On a more personal note, I will miss having the Canon to listen to each week. I’ve enjoyed both seasons, and hope that there will be more down the road. Hopefully you will be able to find a permanent co-host soon. I will continue to listen to Unspooled, which is also on my list of weekly must-listens.

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Zodiac all the way.

 

Even though I'm a huge Edgar Wright fan, I can't cast my vote for Shaun when Hot Fuzz exists. Hot Fuzz is the perfect distillation of Wright's sensibilities as well as a seamless combo of action and comedy. In fact, Hot Fuzz is vastly superior to many of the action "classics" that he pays homage to in the film. Every viewing reveals a new joke and unlike the Apatow comedy factory, it is deftly plotted. No unnecessary riffing or improv here.

 

Magnolia is PTA at his most pretentious. Even he is on the record that an hour needs to be cut from the film. Boogie Nights is far more Canon-worthy PTA.

 

Zodiac is not Fincher's best film (that would be Social Network), but it is firmly in his Top 3. It also might be his most personal film as he grew up in the area during the Zodiac killings. Zodiac just might be his definitive statement on obsession in a career of films that focus on obsession. The ensemble acting, period design, cinematography and canny use of CGI are all incredible. It got zero recognition from the Academy and deserves to be in the conversation of truly great films from 00-10.

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100% agree with all of this.

 

Zodiac all the way.

 

Even though I'm a huge Edgar Wright fan, I can't cast my vote for Shaun when Hot Fuzz exists. Hot Fuzz is the perfect distillation of Wright's sensibilities as well as a seamless combo of action and comedy. In fact, Hot Fuzz is vastly superior to many of the action "classics" that he pays homage to in the film. Every viewing reveals a new joke and unlike the Apatow comedy factory, it is deftly plotted. No unnecessary riffing or improv here.

 

Magnolia is PTA at his most pretentious. Even he is on the record that an hour needs to be cut from the film. Boogie Nights is far more Canon-worthy PTA.

 

Zodiac is not Fincher's best film (that would be Social Network), but it is firmly in his Top 3. It also might be his most personal film as he grew up in the area during the Zodiac killings. Zodiac just might be his definitive statement on obsession in a career of films that focus on obsession. The ensemble acting, period design, cinematography and canny use of CGI are all incredible. It got zero recognition from the Academy and deserves to be in the conversation of truly great films from 00-10.

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All these years later, even after enjoying PTA's recent films, I still hate Magnolia's frogs. There are too many PTA movies in the Canon anyway. And since I agree with others that Hot Fuzz is better than Shaun of the Dead, my vote is for Zodiac. A master-craftsman fixated on getting the exact right takes tackles an obsessive pursuit without a Hollywood ending. We complain a lot about CGI in movies today, but Fincher does it right here (at a large scale), where the proof of its effectiveness is how unnoticeable it is.

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Oldschoolways1 argues that the existence of Hot Fuzz prevents a vote for Shaun of the Dead... and yet recommends a vote for Zodiac in spite of the existence of Fight Club and Se7en.

 

I would agree that Shaun of the Dead is not Edgar Wright's best movie, but it is his most influential. A love letter to the zombie genre and the inspiration for a return to horror/zombie comedies spawning numerous inferior knockoffs.

 

Zodiac, by comparison, did not generally capture the imagination like his hit film Se7en or his cult hit Fight Club. I generally only ever hear praise for Zodiac from aspiring filmmakers. As a piece of art/entertainment I personally find Zodiac very slow and plodding, so I presume it must be cinematography and shot composition that the film buffs find so impressive.

 

Magnolia is the crazy film with the rain of frogs where all the actors randomly burst into song, right? You want to pick THAT over one of the most influential comedy movies and most influential zombie movies of that decade?

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This was a tough one for me. Shaun of the Dead is my favorite movie. Magnolia has the best performances. But Zodiac is the best movie of the three. I don't often use the terms "masterpiece" or "perfect movie" but I would apply both to Zodiac. The structure, the pacing, the cinematography... everything is firing on all cylinders. That basement scene is so great thematically, although I agree the scene where he murders them in daylight is even scarier... fills me with dread just thinking about it.

 

I also think it was the most influential, because while Shaun of the Dead may have helped bring a new wave of zombie movies, that's something that has always come and gone and it doesn't seem like the movies that followed went for what really makes the movie great--the way it mixes both horror and comedy and does both so well. But the obsession with true crime stories that continues to this day has its roots in Zodiac. Before that all we had was junky, tabloidy stuff like America's Most Wanted. But this movie ushered in a totally new approach of really trying to capture the drama and tension rather than just going big and broad.

 

Oldschoolways1 argues that the existence of Hot Fuzz prevents a vote for Shaun of the Dead... and yet recommends a vote for Zodiac in spite of the existence of Fight Club and Se7en.

 

Those are very good movies but Zodiac is better.

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This grouping is interesting. I love all of these films and all these directors. Magnolia is my favourite PTA film and Zodiac is definitely top 3 Fincher. On the other hand, I feel that Shaun of the Dead is one of Wright’s weakest films and it always felt like a dry run for what Hot Fuzz did infinitely better (Hot Fuzz is my personal fav Wright film by far, I was surprised that Amy hasn’t met more people who put it #1). That said, Shaun of the Dead is Edgar Wright’s most culturally impactful film and the same cannot be said of the other 2 films/directors. So, for that reason, I reluctantly vote For Shaun.

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I went in thinking that I would vote for Magnolia, remembering it was the most audacious of the three. However I finished this viewing a little disappointed, finding the easily tied up melodramas lacking in emotional nuance. Also, (and someone please feel free to clarify), but I felt that the frogs aren't really a "coincidence" in the way that the three stories in the beginning were. In those stories, there was some kind of unexpected connection between the character and what happened to them (e.g., Greenberry Hill, the son put the bullets into his parents gun). Unless I'm missing something, the frogs aren't so much a coincidence, as just a random occurrence. That dissonance between the intro stories and the story itself has always seemed like a glaring script issue to me.

 

Similarly, this second viewing of Zodiac felt less emotionally impactful than on my first viewing. Devin Faraci summed up how I remembered Zodiac all these years: a well made, detailed procedural that subverts the genre by never giving an answer, thereby underscoring its theme of a fruitless obsession. But letting Graysmith see Leigh, and having the final scene be of Mageau identifying Leigh, the movie basically does give an answer. Thus I felt that Fincher maybe got too precious about his research, and chose to show it to the detriment of the obsession theme.

 

Issues with those two movies aside, I was thoroughly impressed with Shaun of the Dead. I'm not well-versed with Edgar Wright's movies, but this is a rare modern comedy that definitely has lasting power.

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I love Shaun of the Dead, but I'd put Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World way ahead of it.

 

I love Zodiac, and is probably my actual favorite of this trio--among my thirty or so favorite films of all time.

 

But if I'm picking what I want to represent the all-time greatest that film has to offer, I'm gonna go with my least favorite. I'm gonna go with the brash, bold, overstuffed, positively ridiculous force of nature that is Magnolia. This is a film that shouldn't work. It's overly sentimental, it's too long, and often makes very little sense. But I apply the same argument to Magnolia that I do for something like The Room. It is, if nothing else, wholly itself. It's an honest vision that might not be as disciplined as Fincher, or as snappy as Wright, but this is what I want from a film. I want something that has a clear point of view. I want something that is as courageous and brash as this. I want something so weird and dynamic to exist in the world. In the end, Magnolia works. What Anderson has to say about parents and children, about denial, about loneliness, about selfishness, and about forgiveness is big and gaudy, and I love it. It's the textbook definition of an imperfect masterpiece. Would cut about 30 or 40 minutes, though. Probably the Julianne Moore stuff, to be honest.

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I voted Zodiac but would not be upset if SotD (leading as I write this) gets it. PTA is already represented with better films. It is close for me, but Zodiac is a very immersive experience with DF at his best and a cast that hits on all cylinders.

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I love all three, but it's got to be Shaun of the Dead all the way for me.

 

To articulate why I didn't vote for Magnolia or Zodiac, it's very simple for me for two reasons:

 

1) They're not the best examples of their respective directors' works (PTA keeps getting better and better, and Fincher's best works live somewhere around Se7en, Fight Club, and Panic Room).

 

2) They're not the best examples of their respective genres. Magnolia is somehow more self indulgent than Tarantino and far less important and indelible than Do the Right Thing, and Zodiac is topped by Monster, Bonnie and Clyde, Foxcatcher, and Catch Me If You Can.

 

Shaun on the other hand is still Edgar Wright's high water mark. And it's a perfect example of horror-as-comedy and has yet to be topped in that genre.

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Oldschoolways1 argues that the existence of Hot Fuzz prevents a vote for Shaun of the Dead... and yet recommends a vote for Zodiac in spite of the existence of Fight Club and Se7en.

 

I would agree that Shaun of the Dead is not Edgar Wright's best movie, but it is his most influential. A love letter to the zombie genre and the inspiration for a return to horror/zombie comedies spawning numerous inferior knockoffs.

 

Zodiac, by comparison, did not generally capture the imagination like his hit film Se7en or his cult hit Fight Club. I generally only ever hear praise for Zodiac from aspiring filmmakers. As a piece of art/entertainment I personally find Zodiac very slow and plodding, so I presume it must be cinematography and shot composition that the film buffs find so impressive.

 

Magnolia is the crazy film with the rain of frogs where all the actors randomly burst into song, right? You want to pick THAT over one of the most influential comedy movies and most influential zombie movies of that decade?

 

Actually Abe Froman said that and I agreed (and on reflection I do not agree that Social Network is better, that Sorkin script kills it for me, not a big fan of that movie. For me, Zodiac is Fincher's best).

 

FWIW I think Zodiac is far better than Se7en. Zodiac vs. Fight Club is an interesting one, I think Zodiac is a more mature movie in the end and probably holds up better (I've also watched Zodiac more recently but I think I'd find Fight Club a little glib and nihilistic these days. Still good but probably not as much as I used to like it). Zodiac to me was plenty tense, in particular the scenes with the killer and with Gyllenhaal in that guy's basement. It was a very earned, slow-burn tension.

 

Anyway bottom line I think Zodiac is better than Shaun of the Dead (and both are better than Magnolia, since Magnolia is just overstuffed, though there is a lot of good stuff in there). If it were Zodiac vs. Hot Fuzz I'd have a hard time choosing. If it were There Will Be Blood vs. Zodiac vs. Hot Fuzz well, I'd go with There Will Be Blood. But it's Zodiac vs. Shaun vs. Magnolia so for me it's easily Zodiac. I like Shaun and Magnolia but don't love them, Zodiac I think is really excellent.

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I'm voting for "Magnolia" in all of it's over-abundant glory. Yes, it's showy, but gloriously so. This is the middle film in what I refer to as PTA's "Feels Trilogy" (along with Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love). Characters so wonderfully written (and performed!), I can't get enough of them. I've watched those three films so many multiple times--and ache and exult with the characters every single time.

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I ultimately voted for Zodiac. As many have noted, there is a good Canon case to be made for all three of these. I don't personally find that any of them are their director's BEST movie, but I can't definitely say anyone else is wrong for saying it is.

 

But a rewatch of Zodiac confirms for me that it just keeps getting better with every rewatch. The attention to detail is off the charts, even for the notoriously exacting Fincher. One thing I love (as someone who grew up in the city) is how well he captures the "feel" of old school San Francisco, from before high tech took over and made it too expensive for anyone else to live there. The Zodiac Killer saga predates my birth, but even during my own youth in the 80s and 90s the same "grungy" feel still persisted in much of the city. Some of my favorite details include the inclusion of the old Embarcadero Freeway in an establishing shot of the S.F. skyline (long time locals remember this being torn down after the 1989 earthquake), and the building of the Transamerica Pyramid to show how much time has passed in the Zodiac case.

 

So this movie gets my highly subjective and biased vote for its portrayal of my hometown. Kudos to David Fincher for demonstrating his bona fides as a Bay Area guy.

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Is it time for those who voted for MAGNOLIA to change their votes to ZODIAC for the greater good? We gave MAGNOLIA a good showing, but I think many of us will be fine with ZODIAC taking it over SHAUN.

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I'm going for Shaun of the Dead.

 

All three of these movies are excellent, and Shaun isn't necessarily better than the other two -- it's pretty much impossible to compare. But, out of these three, Shaun is the one that's both the director's best and the subgenre's best. Magnolia is not Paul Thomas Anderson's best movie (I think that's Boogie Nights), and besides, PTA is already represented. Zodiac is probably David Fincher's best movie, but it's not the best serial killer movie or the best detective movie. Shaun, however, is both Edgar Wright's best movie and the best zombie movie ever made. I mean, sure, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are more culturally relevant, but I've always felt George A. Romero is stylistically a pretty pedestrian filmmaker, and his characters are only interesting as metaphors, not as people. Wright tells a story about people you can get invested in, as well as using the zombie genre for an original metaphor, precursing the wave of movies about directionless twentysomethings. It's also funny, suspenseful and full of kickass zombie violence.

 

It's also on the extremely short list of great horror comedies. It would probably be the best one ever if it weren't for Bride of Frankenstein; the only other three that come close are The Old Dark House, Evil Dead 2 and An American Werewolf in London.

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I may have missed the cutoff for the end of voting, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in anyway.  As it seems with a few people here, I'm not going to be voting for my favorite of these three films, which would be Magnolia.  Magnolia seemed to have a sort of mythos around it in my eyes during the many years between its release and when I finally was able to see it for the first time.  I knew it in the early 2000s as that three-hour film with so many actors I liked, and that many people seemed to think was the best film of 1999, an all-time great film year.  In the late 2000s and early 2010s, after seeing There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love and The Master, I had ridiculously high expectations for Magnolia, which now seemed to me to be an epic movie in the early career of an all-time great filmmaker.  However, I still didn't see it until I had moved to Los Angeles, and American Cinematheque was doing a Philip Seymour Hoffman retrospective in March 2014 at the Aero Theatre.  Even though my expectations were impossibly high, Magnolia completely surprised me and blew me away.  Boogie Nights is probably the PTA film I rewatch the most, and Blood is the PTA film I most admire for its merits, but Magnolia is probably my favorite PTA film.  A caller in the episode (maybe Johnny Pomatto? I can't remember) pointed out that Magnolia is PTA's tribute/homage to Robert Altman, one of his directing heroes.  However, I can't help but prefer Magnolia over all of Altman's work that I've seen, as Anderson masters the intricate plot work and emotional character work of Altman's films and adds in dazzling visual storytelling and camera work, which I've always found lacking a bit in Altman's films.

So emotionally, I'm with Magnolia.  However, I don't think we need three different Paul Thomas Anderson films in the Canon.  Although the films that are in there now are not the first ones I would choose, I still think they offer enough encapsulation of PTA's strengths that putting Magnolia in would be mostly redundant, despite how much I love it.

Next, I quite frankly don't think David Fincher is a director that the Canon needs to include at all, so the fact that Se7en is already in also makes me less interested in supporting Zodiac.  Don't get me wrong, I find Zodiac to be a great film, and I agree with many people here that Zodiac is Fincher's best film, but I don't find it Canon-worthy.  Maybe I'm just bitter about Se7en getting in, but despite its appeal and merits, Zodiac runs a distant third for me in this matchup.

Finally, we have a director in Edgar Wright who has not yet been put into the Canon.  In many ways, I see Edgar Wright as a comedic parallel to Paul Thomas Anderson, as both were excellent at both writing and directing at extremely early ages.  And honestly, the best argument against putting him in the Canon now is that it is all too possible that his best film is still yet to come, even after how impressive Shaun of the DeadHot FuzzScott PilgrimThe World's End, and Baby Driver are.  (Can anyone name a primarily-comedy director who had a better stretch of five consecutive films?  Maybe early Woody Allen, though his films tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth these days.)  Like with PTA, anyone can make a solid case for any of Wright's films being their favorite.  My personal favorite of his is Scott Pilgrim, though I absolutely feel that the film that best shows his gifts is Shaun of the Dead, which I see as his There Will Be Blood: you may be into it or you may not be, but you can't deny the prowess on display.  (Stupid aside: if Shaun is his Blood, then I suppose Scott Pilgrim is his Boogie NightsBaby Driver is his MagnoliaHot Fuzz is his Punch-Drunk Love, and The World's End is his Master.)

So I'm throwing my vote at Shaun of the Dead.  But I'll say what others have already said, that all three of the these movies are fantastic, and I'd probably vote yes on any of the three of them in solo episodes.

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Also, when a caller suggested that Magnolia was hard to find streaming, I may or may not have screamed aloud, "IT'S ON FILMSTRUCK!"

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Shaun of the Dead is really fun, but very slight.  I doubt I would glean anything more from a second viewing

Magnolia is over long, self indulgent and pretentious. It is one of 2 or 3 films that I utterly despise.  Life is so sad! Now cry at the lives of these pathetic characters.  The best thing about it is the Aimee Mann songs. 

Zodiac is the my pick for The Canon.  Yes,  it is the most traditionally dramatic. However it is probably Fischer's most restrained and mature work (pee Social Network). And he gets fabulous work out of Robert Downey Jr,  Mark Ruffalo, and Jake Gyllenhaal

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