Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Politics > Romania > 12:08 East Of Budapest (aka A fost sau n-a fost?/2006/Tartan)

12:08 East Of Budapest (aka A fost sau n-a fost?/2006/Tartan)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: B-



When a dictator falls, does anything really change?  Not if the dictator’s friends take over and pretend there will be change when things will stay the same in the worst way.  That is the point of writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu’s dark comedy 12:08 East Of Budapest (aka A fost sau n-a fost?/2006) makes in its clever, smart, honest, no holds barred look at what happened only sixteen years ago as the fall of the USSR caused a china reaction of all sorts.


Besides a good cast playing interesting characters, TV itself is made a character and shown as an instrument that is as disturbing and it is problematic as the federal controlled cinemas of Communists’ past was.  The revolution is televised, but is really not a revolution at all and this film spells it out in sad, unfortunate realities that still plague the countries once held together behind The Iron Curtain today.  Some in-jokes and cultural items I am certain I was missing will be an issue for some, but it makes this all the more authentic.  Recommended.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is a bit soft throughout, but it is clean and consistent enough throughout.  The DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes show the limits of the audio originally recorded, spread out in both mixes (from the same soundmaster) with limited surrounds.  Extras include the original theatrical trailer and director’s feature length audio commentary.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com