Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Oscars Here

While you all are catching up with your nominees, I'm watching crap like Cube 2: Hypercube and Cube Zero. Right on.

If you haven't seen the first Cube, it's definitely worth your time. Great concept. A bunch of people are trapped in a cube-shaped room with 6 exits in the center of each square wall, with no recollection of how or why there are there. A bit of exploration reveals that the cube they are in is only one of a large number of similar cubes, some of which are booby-trapped. It's a classic lifeboat setup with the tension among the characters almost a greater threat than the booby-trapped rooms. From a production standpoint, it's genius; they only built one complete cube, using sliding panels to change the colors in each room. It was completed for less than four hundred grand (Canadian) in 1997. It made barely more than that, but has been elevated to cult status in some circles.

The setup of the sequel Hypercube is similar except that the threat is from quantum mechanics gone awry more than mechanical torture devices--things like razor sharp polygons appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the room and slicing people up, and differing gravities and time signatures. It's a nice idea, but not nearly as effective or entertaining as the mechanical torture devices of the first film. Sub-par acting, writing, and special effects don't help matters much either.

The third installment, Cube Zero, returns to the structure of the first, only we get glimpses of what happens outside the cube as well, as a computer technician decides to enter the cube himself to save one of its residents. It's better than the second and doesn't take itself as seriously as the first. Michael Riley's character acting as Jax, an agent of the proprietors of the cube, provides a nice change of pace from the dramatic horror of what goes on inside the cube itself.

The original is not available on NWI, but the two sequels are.

Speaking of Oscars, my wife and are are likely going to see The King's Speech this afternoon. I may or may not keep you posted.

Brandon, after reading your review of Dogtooth, I thought, ugh...I don't think that sounds like something I want to see. And then I saw it was nominated for an Oscar, and suddenly I changed my mind. Funny how that goes.


  1. It wasn't until the end of this post that I realized you weren't making up those Cube movies. Until then, I thought you were very clever.