Apartment Zero – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents Apartment Zero. Written by Martin Donovan and David Koepp. 124 minutes. Rated R.

Directed By:

Martin Donovan

Cast:

Colin Firth .Adrian LeDuc
Hart Bochner .Jack Carney

The Film:

There’s really no other way to say this: Apartment Zero is a strange, strange movie. All the characters are strange and quirky, but not always in ways that suit the film. It’s supposed to be a psychological thriller but there are moments where you’ll laugh hysterically. While this might seem like a compliment you must trust that it is not.

A very young Colin Firtyh plays Adrian LeDuc, a sociopathic Argentinean who hates all the other tenants in his apartment building and is obsessed with movies. When his mother is committed to a mental institution he has to get a roommate. Enter Jack Carney (Bochner), an American who seems to have an instant connection with Adrian. The sexual tension between them is instantly intense, and Adrian becomes jealous of Jack when he starts meeting and hanging out with the other tenants. Meanwhile, a serial killer is loose in the area having killed twelve people already. As Adrian’s psychosis grows worse, he begins to suspect that Jack may be the killer.

On some levels this film works. Both Firth and Bochner do an okay job portraying these very strange characters. Their performance do come across as good until the end when things turn really strange. You have no problem believing the things that are happening. Also, the ending is satisfying enough that even when Apartment Zero hits a lull you’ll want to stay until the end.

While the acting from the main players is sufficient and the ending is a nice touch, there are aspects that hinder the film from rising above mediocrity. There are moments that are quirky for the sake of being quirky. Every tenant in Adrian’s building is a little off, from the transvestite to the two old ladies who live together and finish each other’s sentences. They often congregate in the lobby of the building to gossip. They are humors to an extent, but seem to take away from the drama of the story. Tact on scenes that are meant to be serious but come off as goofy, then you’ll find yourself laughing at inoportune moments.

These faults fall on writers Martin Donovan and David Koepp. The script seems to lack focus as demonstrated above, slipping from comedy to thrill at the drop of a hat. It makes the film hard to watch. Koepp has gone on to become a very successful screenwriter and this was the first script he worked on. Pretty much the only thing that makes this film worthwhile is to see Colin Firth in this very early role.


A very young Colin Firth as the sociopath, Adrian.

The DVD:

The Video:

The film is presented in widescreen 1.78:1 and enhanced for 16×9 televisions. This film definitely looks like it was filmed in the 80’s. The image is rough and very amateur looking. There is absolutely nothing special going on here.

The Audio:

The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. The sound is subpar. There are scenes where the dialogue is not in synce with the video. Plus, most of the sound effects are muffled and dull.

Extras:

Commentary with Martin Donovan: If there was an award for most boring commentary tack ever it would, hands down, go to Martin Donovan. Good god! Listening to this will suck your will to live. Are there interesting tidbits in there? Could be, if you survive the experience.

Commentary with director David Koepp and Steven Soderbergh: These two are a lot more charismatic and enjoyable to listen to. They are also a lot more articulate and get all the interesting information across a lot more clearly. This was David Koepp’s first screenplay. Koepp went on to write Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, War of the Worlds, and many others.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Apartment Zero
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

7
THE VIDEO

6
THE AUDIO

5
THE EXTRAS

2
REPLAY VALUE

3
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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