_MOVIES  
 

PHONE BOOTH
A 20th Century Fox Release

review by Joseph B. Mauceri

SYNOPSIS: What do you do when you hear a ringing public phone? You know it's a wrong number, but instinct forces you to pick it up. A ringing phone demands to be answered and Stu Shepard takes the call. He finds himself hurtled into a tortuous game when the caller - a serial killer with a sniper rifle -- informs Stu that he'll shot him dead if he hangs up. Stu, the embodiment of an unethical a low-rent media consultant, self-serving existence, must now undertake a sudden and unexpected moral evolution. Stu's lies, half-truths, and obfuscation no longer matter. Instead, he must dig deep into his soul, find his strength and attempt to outwit the caller, taking the game to an even more dangerous level.

REVIEW: Right off the bat, this is one of those reviews that are hard to write because the movie is so good. (So I'll keep it short because the proof is in the viewing!) It's a collaborative effort of all the talent involved that makes it so damn good. There is a remarkable harmony between screenwriter Larry Cohen's prose and director Joel Schumacher's visuals. PHONE BOOTH is a character driven motion picture that does not rely on cutting edge special effects or computer generated graphics. This is a character study, like a great Agatha Christie novel or a spellbinding Hitchcock film, like "The Wrong Man" or "Life Boat." In fact, Schumacher and Cohen do for phones booths what Hitchcock did for showers.

The real burden of the film falls upon the shoulders of the lead actor, Colin Farrell, and the film's editor, Mark Stevens. Farrell sells the nature of Stu Shepard right from the start and takes us on the journey of the character's deconstruction. Unlike Anthony Perkins' performance in "Psycho," Farrell's performance validates his abilities as a truly unique talent. In fact, Farrell delivers probably the most brilliant, compelling, and intense performance we'll see this year!

Now, here's this character stuck in a phone booth, and Kiefer Sutherland's voice is great as the menacing caller, but how are you going to make it visually interesting? Editing, editing, editing! You take Farrell's performance, Sutherland's voice-overs and the interaction with the few other characters and you work those camera angles and edit it like mad. PHONE BOOTH is tight, tense and terrifying, and will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the end.

OFFICIAL WEB SITE:
http://www.phoneboothmovie.com


 

BACK

OVERALL WORTH 
based on a Manhattan price 
of $10.00
STORY $10.00
ACTING $10.00
DIRECTING $10.00
PRODUCTION
DESIGN 
$10.00
SPECIAL
EFFECTS 
$10.00
SCORE/MUSIC
SONGS
$10.00
"REAL" VALUE $10.00

SUMMARY:
PHONE BOOTH is a perfect thrill that Hitchcock would have been envious of!

CREDITS:

CREW
Director - Joel Schumacher; Screenplay - Larry Cohen; Producers- Gil Netter & David Zucker; Cinematographer - Matthew Libatique; Original Score - Harry Gregson-Williams; Editor - Mark Stevens; Production Design - Andrew Laws; Art Direction - Martin Whist; Set Decoration - Don Diers; Costume Design - Daniel Orlandi.

CAST
COLIN FARRELL... Stu Shepard; KIEFER SUTHERLAND... The Caller; FOREST WHITAKER... Capt. Ramey; RADHA MITCHELL... Kelly Shepard; KATIE HOLMES... Pamela McFadden; PAULA JAI PARKER... Felicia; ARIAN ASH... Corky; TIA TEXADA... Asia; JOHN ENOS III... Leon; RICHARD T. JONES... Sergeant Cole; KEITH NOBBS... Adam; DELL YOUNT... Pizza Guy; JAMES MACDONALD... Negotiator; JOSH PAIS... Mario.