The final eight candidates for a highly desirable corporate job are locked together in an exam room and given a test with one question. It seems simple yet confusing that soon, tensions begin to unravel.
The story revolves around the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas.
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
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Six different people, each from a very different walk of life, awaken to find themselves inside a giant cube with thousands of possible rooms. Each has a skill that becomes clear when they must band together to get out: a cop, a math whiz, a building designer, a doctor, an escape master, and a disabled man. Each plays a part in their thrilling quest to find answers as to why they've been imprisoned. Written by
You ever get stuck in an elevator? Multiply that emotion by 1,000
Great. Another shining example of how my inadequacy in mathematics could be the end of me. I used to skip math class. I took the bare minimum requirement expected of me and passed with something less than flying colours. The point is, math is all that separates our "heroes" from certain death in this arena.
"Cube" is an innovative little thriller that can safely dodge accusations of blandness or mediocrity. The premise is simple and the plight of the characters is highly relative despite its surrealistic science fiction setting. Six individuals find themselves trapped in a cube comprised of many rooms linked together, with no readily visible way out, no rations, tools or explanation for being there, with traps set up in some of the rooms. An apparent experiment on how people think and react to certain situations and the transformations they might undergo.
The simplicity of the film and the cube itself are the film's strongest assets and can probably account for it's international success, notably in Japan. It's low budget production costs came under $400,000. But they got a really good bang for their buck with some help from special effects houses that provided their services free of charge. As the director has commented on the audio commentary track of the DVD, one aspect they were going for was a way to have an action flick in one room. They pulled it off quite nicely. Another interesting tidbit brought to light was that each character's name is after a prison.
A curious aspect of this Canadian film was its surprisingly short run in Canadian cinemas. In speaking with one of the film's producers, Mehra Meh, I learned that despite it's award as "Best First Feature" at the Toronto Film Festival of 1997, the film run in Canada came a year later and was just for a few short weeks before it was yanked from theaters and then showcased internationally. When time came for the DVD release, I found another perplexing development. It was only available as an import. A Canadian film only available as an import in Canada? It wasn't until months later that it was released domestically.
In any case, the film is available now and worth checking out if you have interest in the psychological thriller fare. Those who work their days or nights (or both) in a cubicle may wish to pass on this one, as it just might be too close to home.
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