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Apartment Zero

56 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 20, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An emotionally crippled man rents out his insane mother's room to a man he eventually suspects is a serial killer.
Genre: Horror
Rating: R
Release Date: 20-FEB-2007
Media Type: DVD

Additional Features

Anchor Bay's 2007 DVD release of Apartment Zero corrects two major shortcomings of the film's previous video releases. Director Martin Donovan cut eight minutes from the film when it was first released on VHS and laserdisc, and the 1999 DVD release was in full-screen format. This DVD restores the film to its original theatrical length (124 minutes) and 1.78:1 aspect ratio, finally allowing viewers to enjoy this exquisite psychological thriller as it was meant to be seen. Image quality isn't exactly dazzling (remember, this was a low-budget production), but it represents a significant improvement over previous releases, and in any case it's the best presentation available. And while Donovan's solo commentary (recorded in 2006) may seem quietly droning to some, he's actually providing a great deal of insight into the behaviors and motivations of his characters, spontaneously letting us into his own thoughts as he watches his film for the first time in years. Despite being a novice when the film was made, Donovan demonstrates a very clear grasp of the story's psychological dynamics and how they're reflected in the production design and, most importantly, the performances of Colin Firth and Hart Bochner, who became good friends after filming was completed.

The second commentary (also recorded in 2006) features co-writer David Koepp (later to become one of Hollywood's hottest screenwriters; this was his first produced screenplay) and director Steven Soderbergh, the latter billed as "special guest" on the DVD's special features menu. Because their careers began at roughly the same time, Koepp and Soderbergh share voluminous insights about independent filmmaking in the late 1980s, how the industry has changed since then, and how Apartment Zero played a substantial role in Koepp's early-career education (including the hard-earned lesson about never investing in your own movie projects). Their free-ranging conversation covers a lot of detail about the making of Apartment Zero (and Koepp is a lively source of production anecdotes), but it's most valuable to aspiring filmmakers as an authoritative discussion between two talented filmmakers who've learned a lot about their craft, and are able to articulately share their perspectives. Soderbergh also serves as an inquisitive film buff, asking pertinent questions that keep the commentary flowing at a constantly fascinating pace. It's a valuable snapshot of filmmaking past and present, coming from a writer and director who speak vividly from experience. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Martin Donovan
  • Commentary by writer/producer David Koepp and Steven Soderbergh on independent film on 1980s

Product Details

  • Actors: Hart Bochner, Colin Firth, Dora Bryan, Liz Smith, Fabrizio Bentivoglio
  • Directors: Martin Donovan
  • Writers: Martin Donovan, David Koepp
  • Producers: Martin Donovan, Brian Allman, Brian Reynolds, David Koepp, Ezequiel Donovan
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJTFG6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,220 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Apartment Zero" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Omni on June 20, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
What makes this film so good is how dangerous it is. It teeters on the edge of homosexuality and true friendship and at the same time casts Colin Firth as almost a damsel on the edge of madness to Hart Bochners rogue character. This movie is set in Buenos Aires and and creates a political climate, a delicate madness and an under current of so many divergent sexualities that fuel the film and keep pulling the rope taunter and taunter.
What makes this film so good is how eventually Firth's character expresses his love for a man who is a ne'erdowell and always will be. He goes to the brink of madness and violence but never of sexuality which is what twists this fikm in upon itself. Eventually it seems as if the relationship between the two becomes too fraught with peril for sex but all of there actions for each other are sexualized.
What I find interesting about this movie is that it in no way compromises its sexuality to be politically correct and instead challenges the watcher to stick with it thru a byzantine plot of identity that switches the nerd for the rogue and then the rogue for the nerd. Both men ultimately have no identity. firth's character by harsh abuse racked upon him by his family and currently dementia trapped mother and Bochner thru the way he must live for his terrorist lifestyle.
In the end Firth learns to absorb Bochner's character to have an identity and Bochner hesitates and theefore loses his own. The best movies are about things that are intangibly exchanged thru the physical world of actions representing so much more.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Greg B Raney on April 18, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I recently watched this movie three times in a row. The acting by Colin Firth and Hart Bochner is first rate. Jack is very likeable and lures people of both sexes. The sexual chemistry between Adrian and Jack is very evident. Adrian is one of several people that Jack seduces and he just has to look at you with his beautiful blue eyes to make you want to do whatever he wants. It is a very interesting look at human nature and it shows us that you can't always judge a book by its cover. People are not always what they appear to be. The ending of the movie was very intense and somewhat surprising. Once again, you can't judge a book by its cover. I highly recommend this movie.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Ann Shillinglaw on May 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Hollywood could never pull off a movie this hard to define. Set in Buenos Aires, it stars British Colin Firth, whom everyone is seeing stars over due to the new Bridget Jones film, and American Hart Bochner, the definition of attractive leading man if there ever was one. We need more movies with Hart Bochner's face filling the screen! When he rescues the cat on the ledge, it is movie-making magic. Bochner is a mysterious character who shows up and is taken in by Firth. While the film's ending is quite unexpected and, frankly, a little on the weird side, the flow of this film is gorgeous, careening between humanistic character study and slightly gory crime scenes. At its core, it's about a male friendship between two men who are unstable in different ways -- fascinating to watch. Why more people haven't seen this movie, I have no idea ....
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steven Sprague on January 27, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Argentina has been called a "country of Spanish-speaking Italians who live in French houses and want to be English." This is even more so in the capital of Buenos Aires. A city with an identity crisis, and a people uncertain about the future and haunted by a past of corruption and terror. A claustrophobic, anxious environment that is the setting for this film. Adrian, the resident of Apartment Zero, has created within that space a controlled, sanitized existence into which the outside world cannot penetrate. He purposefully avoids intimacy of any kind, preferring to absorb himself in a celluloid reality of male screen idols (Montgomery Clift, James Dean) and classic American movies. The outside world begins to close in on Adrian after his institutionalized mother dies and the necessity of having a cash-flow forces him to rent one of the rooms in his flat. The prospect of a suitable flat mate is grim until Jack walks into the room. As Adrian puts it, Jack possesses a certain "James Dean je ne sais quoi." Jack turns out to be a chameleon of a man, who is also a quick study of human weakness and insecurity. In a short time, Jack has Adrian, along with the other lonely residences in the apartment complex, dependent upon his affections. All the while this interaction is going on, the "classic American" movie theater that Adrian operates, is now being used to show films from Argentina's past in an effort to hunt down former members of the death squads that once held the country in a state of terror. And staring in one of the reels is Adrian's very own screen idol Jack!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Erotic Collector on February 9, 2005
Format: DVD
I first saw this film at the NuArt in L.A. when it first came out. I had no idea what the movie was about, and maybe that's why I liked it so much. Going in blind, without having heard anything, made the film so much more powerful. For years, I thought about the film and then I rented it again when staying at the Paramount hotel in NY. And the film lived up to my memory. Now, that I own it, I watch this film over and over, and honestly, I'm not sure why. None of my friends like it nearly as much as I do. But there is something about the relationship between the two main characters, as well as the relationships with the people in the building that resonates with me.
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Topic From this Discussion
New DVD coming
Yes, and it took Amazon long enough to pick up on it. TLA video has had a pre-order ad for weeks.
Nov 21, 2006 by James Morris |  See all 2 posts
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