Sunday, May 08, 2005

Movies: Cube²: Hypercube

I watched the original Cube on CD in December last year.  Yesterday evening, STAR Movies showed Cube²: Hypercube, which I watched later in the night after videotaping.

The first film, which was a low-budget science-fiction effort from director Vincenzo Natali, had a group of six people finding themselves in a cubical-shaped room of 14x14x14ft. in size, with no idea of how or why they got there.  Each room had six doors (one on each wall) that led to another similar cubical room.  Some rooms contained traps that meant gruesome death for anyone who entered them, others were safe.  Like rats in a maze, the people had to find the way out (if there was one) while avoiding the booby-trapped rooms.  The movie had some very intriguing ideas and was very well-made, due to which it was well-appreciated.  In addition to the basic idea of the cube, the movie also succeeded as it explored the characters well.

The sequel takes the whole idea further, in fact, one dimension further.  In this movie, a group of people (more characters than in the first film) find themselves in a cubical-shaped room, but later on realise that they are actually inside a tesseract (or hypercube), a four-dimensional construct.  They discover, to their horror, rooms with gravity working differently from adjacent rooms, rooms where time runs differently, even rooms where alternate realities exist.  In fact, in the tesseract, rooms can "fold in" on others, and the whole structure seems to be somehow unstable.  At least a few of the characters turn out to be associated with a weapons manufacturer called Izon (anagram of Zion, I don't know why they called it that), which might have actually built this hypercube.

The characters in this movie are again taken from the archetypes established in the first Cube — there's Simon Grady (Geraint Wyn Davies), the person who "loses it"; psychotherapist Kate (Kari Matchett); game designer Max (Matthew Ferguson); the blind Sasha (Grace Kung); the senile Mrs. Paley (Barbara Gordon); Jerry (Neil Crone), a more positive-minded person; and others.  Once again, the paranoia escalates as the group tries to find a way out, and perhaps an answer to why they're in the structure.

Unfortunately, I didn't think the ending did the film justice.  In the first film, there was the element of the characters gradually figuring out the way to exit the cube, whereas in Cube², since the structure is far more complex, that element wasn't there.  So essentially the characters are just traversing the rooms randomly, hoping to find a way out.  Some explanations are offered at the end, but I didn't find them entirely satisfactory.

Still, I appreciate the filmmakers because they tried to do something new with the concept instead of just extending the concept of the first movie.  I don't know whether it was due to the acting or the writing, but I think I liked the characters in this movie better than those in the first one.

Cube² is directed by Andrzej Sekula, who previously photographed Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.  He makes the whole film look like a big-budget production, giving the whole thing lots of style.  I thought the film was visually brilliant, with some good digital effects.  Unlike the first film, where the cube's rooms were lit in different colours, here all the rooms have bright white lighting.  Gave a different atmosphere to the movie.  The opening credits sequence was also very nice, and the movie kept me interested through its running time thanks to its interesting ideas.  I also loved the music score by Norman Orenstein, it suited the science-fiction feel of the movie very well.  The movie has a screenplay by Sean Hood (also story), Ernie Barbarash and Lauren McLaughlin.  There was a third Cube film made in 2004, which was directed by Barbarash.  It's called Cube Zero and I hope to see that sometime as well.


At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Vinay said...

Came across your blog. Real nice. I needed to know something...

1. It's done in Blogger right - How did u manage to link it to "". I was planning on the same but coudn't

2. How is the Net4Domains - Hosting service? Which plan do u suggest for personal Web pages.

thanks for the help buddy
Vinay (vins294 at

P.S: Heard the placements at TAPMI was amazing this time around. Congrats on TCS.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Karthik Abhiram said...

Thanks for the comment... in reply to your questions:

1. Sign in to Blogger, then go to your "Settings" tab.  Under the "Publishing" item, you can choose to publish your blog on or on an external site.  If you choose the external site option, you'll have to provide the FTP details for it.  It works flawlessly, the only downside being that publishing can get slow if you're republishing your entire blog.

2. Net4Domains is good, I've not had any problems with their hosting so far.  For your personal webpage, I suppose you could decide the hosting plan depending on the kind of content you'll be uploading.

Yes, we were fortunate to have a wonderful Placement Season at TAPMI this year... the Placement Committee did an amazing job!


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