Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Oxford Murders - DVD Review


Starring Elijah Wood, John Hurt, Leonor Watling, Jim Carter, Julie Cox, Alex Cox and Dominique Pinon.
Directed by Alex de la Iglesia.

Originally made in early 2007, this movie dribbled across European screens in 2008, got thrown onto one screen for one week in the US this August, and now it's arrived on DVD.

What is it? It's about an American math student (Elijah Wood) trying to make a name for himself at Oxford, and he quickly butts heads with a less literally-minded professor (John Hurt), but when the two of them stumble upon a dead body, they try to use their reasoning and logic to deduce who killed her.

Elijah Wood, who'll have that babyface deep into his 40's, does okay, as does John Hurt, a ham at heart. The whole movie is those two, and some of their conversations get into lofty theory where I had to suspend my disbelief that these guys really knew what they were saying. For a good hour of it, it plays out like an episode of Numb3rs. So it's fine; it actually probably works better on the small screen. Why can't I ultimately recommend it? Because when we get the big explanation at the end of the movie on who the killer is and how they did it and why, I did not care. It was almost irrelevant.

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