Dean Zanuck

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The Zero Theorem Review


Good

Lively and imaginative, this raucous adventure-drama recaptures the ramshackle futurism of director Terry Gilliam's 1985 masterpiece Brazil, throwing a lonely guy into a series of events that get increasingly surreal. And while we never lose interest, the plot seems to fall apart about halfway in, circling around itself and the pungent themes that ooze through every scene.

The central figure is Qohen (Waltz), a genius who feels like life has lost its meaning. He hates the corporate mentality at Mancom, where both his manager (Thewlis) and the computer system drive him nuts. Then after a chance encounter with the big boss (Damon), he's given a new assignment to work at home crunching numbers to prove the Zero Theorem. Everyone is vague about what this theorem is, but Qohen likes being away from the office. But now he's distracted by the seductive Bainsley (Thierry), who puts on a sexy nurse outfit and lures him into a virtual reality environment. He's also assigned 15-year-old computer nerd Bob (Hedges) to keep his system up and running. Or maybe everyone is spying on him.

The central theme is the search for meaning in life, which is echoed in Qohen's inability to feel, taste or properly experience anything. And the theorem itself turns out to be an attempt to prove conclusively that everything is meaningless. This allows Gilliam to deploy his vast imagination in every scene, with a flood of corporate and religious imagery, suggestive innuendo and topical gags about free will in a society that values making money at the expense of actually living. All of the actors grab on to these ideas, adding comical physicality and knowing humour to each scene. 

Continue reading: The Zero Theorem Review

Get Low Review


Extraordinary
Not only is this film elegantly shot, with a gorgeous sense both of internal textures and wide-open spaces, but it also features knockout performances from an especially fine cast while exploring serious issues from a refreshingly low-key perspective.

After the death of a friend, mysterious hermit Felix Bush (Duvall) decides it's time to get low, put his affairs in order. So he hires the local undertakers (Murray and Black) to throw a funeral party before he dies. While this will help him clear the air, it also undermines the dangerous reputation that's guaranteed his privacy for so long. It also means confronting a dear old friend Mattie (Spacek) about a dark event from their past. And more importantly, making peace with himself.

Continue reading: Get Low Review

Road To Perdition Review


Essential
Murder is a cold and senseless act. Those who make it their life must by necessity be hard and brutal men. Road to Perdition never flinches away from that, but somehow, in the emotionally empty lives of mafia killers, finds warmth, depth, and soul.

This second film from American Beauty director Sam Mendes presents a highly stylized and muddied look into the world of the Irish mob. Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is at the center of it, as mob boss John Rooney's (Paul Newman) personal "Angel of Death." Raised as Rooney's son, Sullivan and his family have been given an idyllic life, marred only by the secrecy of Sullivan's dastardly work. But when his oldest son Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) witnesses dad taking care of business, their world is shattered, as mob boss Rooney's overeager son murders Sullivan's wife and youngest child in response. Now, Sullivan must put his loyalty to the test to protect his oldest son Michael and buy a life for them both.

Continue reading: Road To Perdition Review

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Dean Zanuck Movies

The Zero Theorem Movie Review

The Zero Theorem Movie Review

Lively and imaginative, this raucous adventure-drama recaptures the ramshackle futurism of director Terry Gilliam's 1985...

Get Low Movie Review

Get Low Movie Review

Not only is this film elegantly shot, with a gorgeous sense both of internal textures...

Road to Perdition Movie Review

Road to Perdition Movie Review

Murder is a cold and senseless act. Those who make it their life must...

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