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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, if patchy sci-fi thriller series
You wake up on the floor of a cell with five other people - none of whom can remember why they are there or how they got there. The cell is 14 foot on each side and there is a hatch one each of the four walls and on the floor and ceiling, each leading to another identical cell. You have to find your way out of the complex before you die of thirst, but your way is beset by...
Published on 14 July 2011 by Crookedmouth

versus
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Three versions of one simple concept
One idea; three movies. Cube 1 is the best. It's set in the present or near future. All the characters know who they are and have been chosen because of their skills. The dialogue gives the impression that whoever created the cube has neglected it and no one is watching. The entire movie is set within the cube and we get a real sense of their confinement and desperation...
Published on 8 April 2006 by T. Bearne


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, if patchy sci-fi thriller series, 14 July 2011
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (Somewhere in the Jurassic...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
You wake up on the floor of a cell with five other people - none of whom can remember why they are there or how they got there. The cell is 14 foot on each side and there is a hatch one each of the four walls and on the floor and ceiling, each leading to another identical cell. You have to find your way out of the complex before you die of thirst, but your way is beset by lethal (and rather gruesome) boobytraps and the rising tensions and in-fighting between your companions.

This is a box set of three innovative sci-fi films, Cube, Cube 2; Hypercube, and Cube Zero. I first caught this film series several years ago on the sci-fi channel and was hooked.

==============
Cube - 3 Stars
==============
At first glance, Cube (indeed, the series) doesn't have a lot going for it. There are no big name stars and the acting ranges from average to thickly-sliced ham, although Andrew Miller turns a fairly convincing Rain Man performance as a mentally challenged savant. The plot is linear in the extreme; the initial tension the viewer feels quickly evaporates as the prisoners discover that the traps can be avoided by reading clues in the rooms' serial numbers (which also provide a handy escape route clue) or by the simple expedient of chucking their boots into the next room before entering.

In its favour, the set is certainly striking despite (or because of?) the low budget and sparse SFX. I mean how much would you need to spend on a set that (probably) comprised of one or two identical prison cells? It was, however, the /concept/ that captivated me when I first saw the film. The idea of being trapped in an apparently endless series of cells, some benign, some designed to kill in the nastiest of ways, resonated with my worst nightmares. It's a concept that richly deserves further exploration (and it got that in the two sequels). Who built it? Why? What were the prisoners guilty of ? Why the booby traps and why the escape clues? Certainly the origin of the prison is a huge elephant in the room and the prisoners speculate about it (one is even revealed to have been a clueless sub-sub-sub-contractor in its design) but in the end the film never ventures outside the confines of this construct and the questions are left hanging. That ambiguity is probably the film's greatest strength.

Unfortunately, though, it's not quite enough to raise the film far above the parapet of ordinariness. Once you've experienced the environment and discovered that there are no answers, all you are left with is the group dynamic - the rising tensions, the allegiances, treachery and violence and, as I mentioned the "could-do-better" acting doesn't quite manage to set fire. Having seen the film once and been captivated, the second viewing came as a bit of a disappointment.

=====================
Hypercube - 3.5 Stars
=====================
This second outing can legitimately be described as a remake of its progenitor. Some changes have been wrought, but they are essentially the same film. Now, Hypercube has pretty much split the field in the Amazon review section, giving it an overall three star rating. There are a couple of 4/5 star reviews that are distinctly dodgy looking, but then there is also a dodgy 1 star review so I think it pretty much balances out. Nevertheless this seems to be a "like it or loathe it" film. I'm in the former camp as you will have deduced by now.

If you saw and enjoyed Cube 1 then I find it hard to understand what you can dislike about Hypercube. I believe that the majority of changes are either neutral or for the better. The set design has changed substabtially and the Cube is now a "virtual construct existing in four dimensions" (as we theoretical mathematicians* like to say). This adds a (literally) new dimension to the plot, as travel between cells becomes rather less predictable. Everything is now white, shiny and brightly lit, bringing a different, surgical feel to the film as opposed to the original's industrial atmosphere. There's a lot more CGI in this outing but, in the main, it's done quite well and doesn't overwhelm the feel of the film. There are some rather hokey props - the dessicated corpses could have been done a lot better.

The actors are neither substantially better or worse in this film than the last (slightly better, I'd say although I was hoping for "Mrs Paley" to get bumped off a lot sooner than she was**). The booby traps in the first film have changed; they're fewer in number and don't all come at the beginning of the film so that they are, in consequence, somewhat less predictable. Finally, we gain a little more insight into the origin and reasons behind the Cube - not a lot but enough to whet the appetite.

Of course, the main objection may simply be "why remake a perfectly acceptable film, so soon (3 years) after the original?" A perfectly reasonable question, I grant you but not, in my opinion, valid if the remake is better than the original which this is (albeit only just).

Overall, then, I firmly believe that this film works at least as well as Cube 1 and in some places slightly better. I gave the first film three stars and I would give this one a half a star on that, rounded up to a four star rating.

=====================
Cube Zero - 4.5 Stars
=====================
This is the third (and so far the last) of the series and it acts (apparently) as a prequel to the series. Following from the remake/reimagining "Hypercube" (much maligned, and in my opinion, unfairly so) Cube Zero returns to the roots of the concept; the cell system is mechanical in design and industrial in its feel. The setting is certainly very atmospheric and eerie and I think that on balance it wins over Hypercube's surgical/sci-fi environment.

Despite the familiarity of the setting, this last film differs somewhat from it's predecessors in several ways. Firstly, we are provided with a backstory for the protagonist, Rains and, secondly, a good deal of the film is set outside the cube in the cube control room (and even the outside world) from where the plight of the prisoners is often observed from the perspective of the cube's technicians/controllers. I guess that after two films which never ventured outside the confines of the prison cells, this move was probably inevitable; the questions posed by C1 and C2 could hardly be left unanswered for a third time. Nevertheless, much of the motivation of the cube's designers still remains hidden to a degree.

Apart from that, the film follows the same formula as its predecessors, with a few small deviations and it is unsurprising then that exterior becomes the more interesting environment. We discover that the technicians seem to have as little idea of their purpose or origin as their subjects, and similarly little exposure to the outside world. When it is revealed that several of their number have disappeared, they even invent lame excuses to avoid unpalatable questions. Even when a supervisor arrives to take control of a deteriorating situation, all we learn is that there are layer upon layer of management and no answers to be had.

Conceptually, this is definitely the strongest of the three films. Far from clarifying the mythos, and therefore breaking the spell, the film adds to the mystery by introducing external influences. The setting is also made all the richer by the introduction of the control room and it appears that the set designers had a lot of fun building the detail and backstory into ths environment - the leaking roof, the banks of filing cabinets, the fish in the coffee perc and the mysterious elevator.

The cast is fairly standard cube-fodder and yet again, the more interesting characters are the ones outside the cube: Zachary Bennett and David Huband do a decent job as the Cube technicians, but honorable mention should go to Michael Riley who overacts shamelessly as Jax, the ridiculously sinister and sarcastic supervisor. He plays the role like a parody of a typical Bond baddie and, while some may dislike the overacting, I thought that it added a bit more depth to the scenery.

Although this is, ostensibly, a prequel to Cube 1. I am not entirely convinced that it is obvious that it sits earlier in the canon and I suspect that it is best watched after the first film. It certainly has the most "re-watch" potential of the series.

=================================
Overall series rating - 3.5 stars
=================================

* I'm not a theoretical mathematician. I just made that up.
** Not a spoiler. Read the film's blurb - "only one will survive" and it's a good bet that it won't be the senile old lady!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 30 April 2010
By 
R. graham (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
amazing films that not many people seem to have heard of

would watch again
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Three versions of one simple concept, 8 April 2006
By 
T. Bearne (Huddersfield United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
One idea; three movies. Cube 1 is the best. It's set in the present or near future. All the characters know who they are and have been chosen because of their skills. The dialogue gives the impression that whoever created the cube has neglected it and no one is watching. The entire movie is set within the cube and we get a real sense of their confinement and desperation. For anyone interested in film making on a low budget, the director's commentary is worth a listen.
Cube 2 Hypercube changes things. Same time period but we now know it's an evil weapons corporation behind it all. This time there's no real tension. The 4th dimension can mean anything the producers decide at any moment. A character dies and is alive again in the next scene in a different time dimension. Most characters die several times over and we only get to know they're permanently dead at the end of the movie when they haven't appeared in a subsequent scene.
Cube Zero is supposed to be a prequel of Cube 1 but it's not really. (Try watching this then Cube 1. It doesn't follow on at all.) Now it's an alternative time period with elements from the future and the past. Think Brazil (the movie). The characters have now had their memories wiped so that they don't even know their own names which limits the dialogue somewhat, and we now get to see the technicians who are in control. It doesn't seem to be a weapons corporation this time; more like some kind of villainous organisation that we'd expect Batman and Robin to be up against. More gory violence. More black comedy. And a 'religious element': "Do you believe in God?", "No", fiery death! Cube Zero is a poor early-80's-straight-to-VHS-era style remake of Cube 1.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
It is exactly want i wanted and my family enjoy them to, thank you for the item and the speed dispatch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great box set, 9 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
my other half looked everywhere for this box set after finding out there was others he loved the films and he said its worth its money as the other place he seen it, it cost a lot more for the same thing
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4.0 out of 5 stars As expected, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
The films was as expected especially Cube 2 which I've already seen.Minuses would be cube 1 which is projected
as windowed format.Cube 3 is a prequel to cube 1.But other than that good movies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You either love them or hate them, 27 Mar 2010
By 
Bjorn Halvorsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
Cube movies are the kind where you either love them or you hate them. Being a tech person i really like them, but do not see them if you want to know the plot. The plot is almost about there is no plot. Its all about how the different characters cope with the situations, and how they develop. Can someone say "trap" ?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A*, 5 Feb 2009
By 
This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent trilogy to own. introduced it to my friends who all love it also. reccomend the buy to anyone contemplating it.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars let down by the sequel, 19 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
My advice, do nnot buy this, buy cube zero and cube seperately. THE SECOND IS GARBAGE! The origional sees 6 people wake in a maze of interconnecting, and deadly cubes. Each has a specific skill to help them navigate the cube. No-one knows how they got there, or why they were there. A creepy film, but has no answers.
The prequel, another blood filled film, with a different set of 6. This film delves into the origins of the cube, ties some loose ends, and gives you some idea of the outside lives of the cube operators. Brilliantly inventive, blood soaked prequel.
The second, cube 2: hypercube. Total let down. 1 star material. If only it was a properly funded, effective sequel. The plot's the same as the first, exept it's set in hyperspace. Badly acted, thoughtlessly ended sequel, with no real relation to the other two, and no explainations, it just confuses and bores you.
BUY CUBE AND CUBE ZERO SEPERATELY, DO NOT GET THIS, THE SEQUEL WILL DISSAPPOINT ANYONE!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT SHOULD YOU MAKE OF THESE MOVIES...........?, 19 Jan 2007
By 
Andrew Tolfree "Iamjustsaying" (Bucks, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] (DVD)
Reading the other reviews here below may lead to confusion about whether one or any of these films are any good.

So I hope this cuts through to the chase.

Cube 1

is excellent - you will be on the edge of your seat watching the characters negotiate the maze of rooms and traps and you also be intrigued by the social debate and relationship between them all. Cube 1 is a great film and an interesting part is the discussion about the nature of the Cube and the notion that the "great conspiracy is that there is no conspiracy, it is just a load of small groups all working on their own small bit that is later used by someone else - because it is there."

Cube 2: Hypercube

This does not come across well as a film and on watching it will be clear why some people find it weak. however listen to the commentary and you find that this is a film designed by mathematicians about maths. Then it is clear that although the acting is off centre by some characters, the concept of the film is mind-numbing. So a geek film basically, but do not discredit it. Although you can indeed miss this one out without affecting the story.

Cube 0 -

Is a cheap film (not overly cheap and not tacky, but certainly cheap looking. But it is excellent once you see it is a little cheaply made. An indie film almost.

I find the (almost) boss character far too cartoony and I understand the Batman reference in the other review.

However the ending is magnificent and ties in with the first movie fantastically. If you watch Cube then watch Cube Zero - at the end of Cube Zero you will be nodding your head, saying "Oh yes, Excellent - that is sharp genius."

OVERALL

The scripts of the films are excellent - it is clear from the commentaries that the writers are intelligent and are creating a film not purely spectacle, but to make you think. If you do not think about the Cube movie you have not understood them.

Watch this - you will not be disappointed.
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Cube Trilogy - Cube / Cube 2 / Cube Zero [DVD] by Andrzej Sekula (DVD - 2005)
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