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The Zero Theorem 2014 R CC

Available on Prime

In the near future, a computer hacker (Academy Award Winner Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained) is given a seemingly impossible mission by a shadowy, all-powerful corporation. From visionary director Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, Brazil).

Starring:
Christoph Waltz, Gwendoline Christie
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Fantasy, Drama
Director Terry Gilliam
Starring Christoph Waltz, Gwendoline Christie
Supporting actors Rupert Friend, Ray Cooper, Lily Cole, David Thewlis, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Peter Stormare, Ben Whishaw, Mélanie Thierry, Matt Damon, Lucas Hedges, Margarita Doyle, Tilda Swinton, Emil Hostina, Pavlic Nemes, Dana Rogoz, Rudy Rosenfeld, Dan Astileanu, Gabriel Rauta
Studio CreateSpace
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
In an overpopulated, ultra-technological future, there is an isolated and idiosyncratic computer virtuoso who refers to himself in the plural ("We are dying," he sadly intones) and awaits a telephone call he believes will reveal the purpose of his existence. Employed by a vast corporation, he receives an absurd, complicated, and perhaps dangerous assignment: prove zero equals one-hundred percent, which is to say prove the universe, despite its complexity, has no overarching purpose. Part of his troubled mind rebels against the idea, devoid as it is of design and hope, even as he hides in his home--an old, burned, cobweb-and-shadow-enshrouded church--and devotes his days and nights to proving it. The Zero Theorem is latest feature by visionary director Terry Gilliam, whose many legendary films include Time Bandits, Brazil, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

This plays as a companion piece to Brazil in particular: a more intimate, but still very amusing and highly thoughtful continuation of the 1985 film's anxious themes (a flawed, but hopeful man against an overbearing and soul-crushing surveillance state) and elaborate humans-in-a-pinball-machine set pieces, complete with vivid pop-art colors and acrobatic camera movements. Gilliam proves he still has the X factor which has always set him apart (as a stylist, as a social critic, as a comic, as a cinematic madman). He has an invaluable partner here in star Christoph Waltz, who has become one of the most unusual and riveting actors on the A list after dual Academy Awards for performances in Quentin Tarantino films. Bald, curved, neurotic, retreating from others, and racing to and fro in his environments as if even his bed were an inhospitable place, Waltz vanishes headlong into his role, creating a character peculiar beyond compare, yet easy to champion as he searches the expansive void for elusive answers which may not even exist.
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Format: Blu-ray
Qohen (not Quinn) has been given the most dubiously impossible task imaginable: to prove that "zero must equal one hundred percent." He is seemingly the perfect individual for this, a loner stuck in his falling down tenement, afraid of human contact, convinced that he (or "we") is dying. He's waiting for his call, THE Call, that will explain everything to him. Enter a computer hacking teenager and a beautiful temptress. And the Zero Theorem.

So many of Terry Gilliam's films revolve around three things: acting, visuals, and concepts. Conceptually, ZERO THEOREM reaches for the stars and falls somewhere short, though this may be due more to Pat Rushin's screenplay, which meanders a bit in the middle. As for the visuals, this is up there with Gilliam's best: a deviously dark tapestry of color, technology, and pseudo-dystopian themes of oppression and the corporate omnisciency. Basically, think BRAZIL done with modern technology.

The real winner here, and the reason you should really check this out (if you aren't a Gilliam fan already) is the acting. The film hinges on a nuanced, brilliant performance from Christoph Waltz. He's in practically every scene, and he owns this role and the film. The supporting cast moves in and out, but is reliably solid: Melanie Thierry, Lucas Hedges, David Thewlis, Tilda Swinton, and Matt Damon, plus a joyous scene with Ben Whishaw and Peter Stormare. (Well, maybe "joyous" isn't the proper word, though I felt utterly delighted while watching it.)

Don't get me wrong: there's much more here than solid acting. And don't let those three stars fool you; if not for a few troubles with the script, I would've given this four stars easily. This is a Terry Gilliam film that doesn't quite reach the heights that his films can, but still manages to soar in spots. Watch it for the visuals, watch it for the acting. I simply recommend watching it.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This movie has some Brazil-like themes, but is also quite different. For one, Brazil has a tragically dark ending that invites the viewer to find a way to deny it. This is possible because some scenes are clearly imaginary or full of cognitive dissonance, yet there seems to be no escape. Zero Theorem has similar elements, but any sense of ultimate darkness is denied (by a voiceover in the credits). The viewer is free to be satisfied or dis-satisfied. But the same enticement to understand is undeniable, a mark of great art. You cannot forget this movie. Also special is the junction of main characters that each quite obviously live in different worlds, though part of the same world. Their perspectives are not just different, they are otherworldly different. Yet they coexist, tolerating dialogs that contain interleaved sense and nonsense. The sets, visuals, and cinematography are also excellent.
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Format: Amazon Video
I had no problem finding parallels between the themes in this movie and my own life, so it was quite fun to watch - as well as a cautionary tale, depending on how you interpret things. If you are the type of person who likes to get high on psychedelics or delve into deep, philosophical stuff, this movie is fertile ground for as many discussions as you can handle. Also, I'd recommend watching this movie at least twice within the same 24 hour period, but perhaps not back-to-back, as it yields further symbols on subsequent viewings. For example, if we examine how the main character persists in telling people how to spell his name: "Q, no u, o-h-e-n" It isn't until later in the movie that another character begins to refer to Qohen as simply "Q" - when watched again, taking into account the possibility that Qohen may be the only "real" person in the story, the first part of his spelling out of his name could be rendered "Q, no you..." because you don't exist. Small gems like this are one of the reasons this movie is amazing to me.
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