johnlink ranks PHONE BOOTH (2002)

I see that IMDB’s User Rating has PHONE BOOTH up over 7 out of 10. I seem to remember hearing that a lot of people didn’t like the movie, so I was surprised to see it so high. Personally, I have it in my top 100 (though its bounced around, and I still don’t know where to stick it). I hadn’t seen it in awhile, and it was late so I was looking for a short movie, so I popped it in.

The movie tells the story of a man (Colin Farrell) being held captive in a phone booth by an unseen sniper (Kiefer Sutherland).

I watched PHONE BOOTH (2002) on 4.2.09. It was, I believe, my fourth viewing of the film.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAINS THE SAME.

FILM

This is Joel Schumacher proving that he CAN make a good movie, even though he is responsible for some really terrible ones. However, I still think this movie could have been shot to be more claustrophobic. I mean, the guy is stuck in a phone booth. As an audience member I always felt like one of the crowd watching him, rather than being put into his position. Instead, Schumacher focuses more on the fact that Stu does not know where his enemy is. There are plenty of shots of dark windows to go around. Overall though, this movie is effective in keeping a whirlwind pace while still making some points about the shallowness of publicity. SCORE: 6

MOVIE
This is an unrelenting film. If it were more like 95 or 100 minutes it would be too long, but it comes in solid at under 85 minutes. There is no point in this movie where you can really stop and catch your breath. SCORE: 9

ACTING

A lot of people hate Colin Farrell. I know he’s no Olivier, but he usually does a solid job. I really like him in PHONE BOOTH. Kiefer Sutherland has one of the best speaking voices in the history of mankind, so  you know he does a solid job (though the sound editing sucks, more on that below). Forest Whitaker is mostly wasted. I like Radha Mitchell in this, she’s an underrated actress.  And, sigh, Katie Holmes. God I used to love her. What happened to Katie Holmes? Give me a minute to mourn my loss… SCORE: 7

WRITING

Well paced and well thought out script. You could see them stretching to make sure that it lasted as long as it did (do we really need to know Forest Whitaker’s familial issues?), but the heart of the script is solid. All the Kiefer/Colin stuff is just fun to listen to. The idea of a guy being in a phone booth was an idea originated by Alfred Hitchcock. I think he would have shot this movie a little differently (and a Bernard Hermann score would have been kick ass), but he probably would have liked the result. SCORE: 6

BONUS

Why does Kiefer Sutherland sound like he is narrating the film rather than being on the other end of a phone line? He sounded more like the voice of God than the voice of a stalker on the phone. Maybe that was intentional, but the result is often disjointed. It often feels like the two characters are not communicating with each other. The sound editing here could have been better. SCORE: -1

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 6; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 6; BONUS: -1

6+9+7+6-1=27

FINAL SCORE: 6.75

~ by johnlink00 on April 2, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: