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Apartment Zero [Import]

Hart Bochner , Colin Firth , Martin Donovan    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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A tense psychological thriller, Apartment Zero concerns the intertwining of a loner, film buff Colin Firth (The English Patient) and his new mysterious boarder (Hart Bochner) in present-day Argentina. The new roommate is enigmatic and outgoing, befriending everyone that the poor loner could not. But Firth soon suspects a connection between his boarder's appearance and the reports of bodies in the streets murdered for political reasons.

The heart of the film lies in the increasingly bizarre relationship that develops between the two opposites, breeding the seeds of mistrust. An original and offbeat noir-type drama, the film, cowritten by David Koepp (Jurassic Park), proceeds at a slow and deliberate pace, gradually drawing the viewer deeper into the intrigue and isolation of Firth's tortured soul. Some genuinely creepy moments and an all-around macabre mystery make this film worthwhile viewing for mystery fans everywhere. --Robert Lane

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Thriller May 3 2002
I should probably see this one again, to sort out all the details, but a first viewing was enough to have me hooked on the story and characters, and left me thinking about them for days afterwards.
As a thriller it is superb, drawing you in slowly, building tension by what is left unsaid, by limiting your knowledge of the characters, and also by making them both thoroughly likable and somewhat detestable. A long, musical scene where the immensly attractive if somewhat sinister Jack rescues a cat from a ledge is a perfect example--he's irresistable to everyone, including the viewer, but we also see the way he stares down the cat and don't quite trust him. Colin Firth's lonely, film-obsessed and alienated loser Adrian is fascinating in his own right.
The heart of the movie lies in the many difficult relationships-Adrian's dislike of the other tenants, their adoration of Jack, and the marvellous, tense, sexually charged relationship between the two, sort of Withnail and I meets Vincent and Theo, meets The Talented Mr. Ripley.
If I have a complaint, it's that all this is carried a little too far, and I think it might have ended a bit better with that plunge from the balcony. Still, that's only a small quibble for an original and daring film like this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly unsettling� Feb. 4 2000
When struggling Buenos Aires' art house owner Adrian (Colin Firth), is forced to take in a border, yuppie business man Jack Carney (Hart Bochner) agrees to share living quarters and expenses.
That Jack is more than he seems at face, and that Adrian is even wierder than one might imagine gives this psychological study in character the foundation it needs to succeed. The film has a very eerie tone, unlike films made currently in the US, and is fraught throughout with political and sexual overtones left for the viewer's interpretation. Think La Ceremonie with male leads and an Argentinean backdrop, or better yet, Neil Simon's The Odd Couple twisted like a pretzel in this early David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Carlito's Way) script.
Challenging viewing not for all tastes, a movie for repertory film, about repertory film, I like it immensely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, haunting, compelling May 7 2001
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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5.0 out of 5 stars CULT CLASSIC - GREAT ACTING - DON'T MISS IT! Jan. 26 2004
"Apartment Zero" is one of the best psychological character studies ever put on film. Colin Firth (in an amazing performance) portrays Adrian LeDuc, a lonely movie theater owner in Buenos Aires whose mentally ill mother is in the hospital.
Adrian and the other misfit tenants in his apartment building (a transvestite, two elderly British alcoholic sisters, a lonely housewife starved for attention, et al) are all smitten by Adrian's charming new roommate, Jack Carney (played by Hart Bochner, who smolders with every close-up). Adrian feels Jack "has a certain James Dean je ne sais quoi," but he soon finds out that his gorgeous roommate is not all he appears to be.
Great acting by Firth and Bochner. Lots of suspense, double-entendre and sexual innuendo, plus an over-the-top ending you'll never forget.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A sure-fire cure for acute movie fanaticism! April 23 2001
Do you ever feel like you're obsessing about movies just a bit much? Are you TOO good at playing the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game? Do you participate in every daily movie poll at imdb.com and "Ain't-It-Cool-News"? Have you watched "Pulp Fiction" a hundred times in search of some unifying theme? Or do you know someone who exhibits these symptoms?
If so, it's time for you (or them) to check THIS movie out. "The movie for people who watch too many movies," as I like to call it. As a movie fanatic who's seriously losing touch with the real world, Colin Firth's character makes a superb negative role model. Viewing this film can ONLY be a sobering wakeup call for someone too enamored of cinema.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint-hearted June 9 1999
By A Customer
It's not often you see a movie that makes you think about how truly lonely people are and what is really meant by friendship and loyalty. These two guys are lonely down to their core, but it is their loneliness that creates a silent loyalty, they drive each other crazy, test one another, and ultimately save one another's souls - or are they damned? (you decide)
Hart Bochner (hubba-hubba) is completely without conscience until his last moment, incredibly sexy, Colin Firth (OK, maybe not so hubba-hubba, but he sure is adorable) is a man of integrity being pushed to the brink, and the final scene with the two of them is nothing short of amazing brutal power - and the ultimate in 'black' comedy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Apartment Zero
I first saw this movie when it was released many years ago and found it dark yet so intriguing.
Upon watching the movie a second time and years after, I loved the movie even... Read more
Published on May 24 2011 by Harold
5.0 out of 5 stars Zero Complaints
Die hard "art-house" fans will love this pre cell phone gem. Smoldering hot city shots of Buenes Aires meld beautifully with scenes of a shirtless Hart Bochner. Oh my! Story? Read more
Published on April 5 2011 by Kenneth O. Connor
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted.
A "film noire" with a lot of weird characters and a very twisted plot that leaves you guessing. A psychological study with a surprise, creepy ending. Read more
Published on March 27 2011 by L. McKellar
5.0 out of 5 stars squirmy psycho thriller
saw this at the Seattle Film fest in '89 and thought it was quite cool. The casting of Colin Firth was a coup for the filmmakers; he projects the squirmiest sense of psychosis... Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2006 by Raegan Butcher
3.0 out of 5 stars decent thriller in a bare-bones dvd edition
This 1988 thriller, written and directed by Hal Hartley alum Martin Donovan, is set in Buenos Ares and stars Colin Firth (Pride and Prejudice, Valmont) as a lonely young man whose... Read more
Published on June 8 2003 by audrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
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. Read more
Published on April 18 2000 by Greg B Raney
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the oddest movies I've ever seen!
Loved this movie. Loved it, loved it. Both actors were uniformly excellent, with Colin Firth as my personal favorite. The subtexts of the movie were subtle and fascinating. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 1999 by memyself&i
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate
this is a thriller that film buffs, lovers of Argentina, and lay folk who enjoy suspense will all want to see. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 1999
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