Oxford Murders [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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A woman is murdered in Oxford. Her body is discovered by two men who meet for the first time at that moment: Arthur Seldom, a prestigious professor of logic, and Martin, a young graduate student who has just arrived at the university hoping to study with Seldom. It quickly becomes clear that this is the first in a series of murders, all of which are announced by the murderer with strange mathematical symbols. Professor and student join forces to try and crack the code and thus begins an elaborate puzzle, in which nothing is at it seems, and the truth is elusive.
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The Oxford Murders (2008) is much like that steak. Based on the novel of the same name by Argentine mathematician Guillermo Martinez, the movie stars Elijah Wood as an American maths student who becomes the protégé of an Oxford professor played by John Hurt, and the two of them get involved investigating a series of murders around campus seemingly connected to an obscure mathematics problem. Along the way, Elijah gets mixed up with two women, played by Leonor Watling and Julie Cox, both of whom appear as potential suspects, as well as Elijah's student rival Podorov, played by Torchwood's Burn Gorman. See? There's some talent there, the makings of a potentially good story, the director Alex de la Iglesia is an experienced man whom some cineastes might know from his cult film Accion Mutante (1993), and the screenplay is based on a best-selling novel from a well-established writer.
So, it looks like a good companion for the evening. But it ends up like a drunken, thieving date with more issues than the complete run of Superman comics. I watched it, rapt in wondering how bad this could get, how offensive and weird this movie could end up. And to my horror, it kept getting worse, like watching a snake slowly swallow a man on YouTube.
So how did it get this way?Read more ›
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The plot, on the other hand, is pretty clever. The trouble is that the book on which this is based was obsessed with ideas, high-level concepts and its own cleverness, rather like a version of The Da Vinci Code for those with above-average IQs. It was inevitable that it would be unfilmable. What we end up with is so much intricate exposition spoken so quickly that most viewers will just give up and those who try to pay attention will lose all sympathy with the characters because, frankly, nobody talks like that.
So, yes, it's a terrible film - but I found it strangely watchable and the twist is really very ingenious. If you're feeling in an ironic mood and there's no Poirot on ITV3, you might actually want to give it a try!
I found the whole plot enticing and was always looking forward for the next piece of evidence to be revealed and the next mystery to be solved. It is like an elaborate crime thriller and I can see how it was compared to the Da Vinci code the whole feel of the film is very similar.
There were of course some negaitve points as there are with any film such as the somewhat unneccessary dubbing and perhaps the film could have stayed on the main storyline and not got as sidetracked. But other than that there are no other major problems.
I can't really tell you much about the storyline itself without giving away important pieces of the film. But the basic plot is that there is a series of murders happening in or around Oxford with Mathmatical symbols left at each one. A proffesor and a determined student of Maths try to uncover the mystery in order to prevent anyone else dying. Everyone could be a suspect and the whole idea of Trust no-one comes into play.
Overall I rate this film quite highly it is not a huge blockbuster but it does appeal to those interested in Philosophy, Maths and most importantly crime solving storylines. My advice is don't listen to all the people who lost interest after 5 minutes so decided to write an entire review on the whole movie based on the opening credits. Give it a try.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this film strangely watchable, even though all the bits with the sums and symbols went over my head somewhat. Read morePublished 10 months ago by GailT
I wasn't sure what to expect with this film, I actually enjoyed itPublished 15 months ago by manders
Hated it really could not believe so many good actors and a rubbish storyPublished 17 months ago by Mike
I live near Oxford and cycle to this fabulous city pretty much every week.I don't usually take time to leave reviews, but this film was so supremely awful, that I just wanted to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by L. Backer