Phone Booth (2003)
Review by HTQ4

Written by Larry Cohen
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Starring Colin Farrell, Keifer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Radha Mitchell, Katie Holmes


Released by: Fox Home Entertainment
Rating: R
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes
My Advice: Rent it

Stu Shepard (Farrell) is just going about his daily life in New York. He's a publicist who tries to be more than he is most of the time. He has one life with his wife (Mitchell) and another with a young wannabe actress (Holmes). He has carried on his affair with the actress for a while now without his wife's knowledge. But all of that changes one afternoon when he answers a pay phone. The Caller (Sutherland) on the other end has been watching Stu's actions for a long time and knows a lot of detailed personal information about him. The Caller also happens to have a high-powered rifle with a high-powered scope on it. The Caller won't let Stu leave the phone booth until he has made a confession to his wife about his affair.

Colin Farrell did an amazing job with this role. His character goes on quite a ride in the course of this movie, and he jumps on the bull, grabs the horns, and doesn't let go until it's all over. His final monologue in the movie is outstanding. Sutherland is mostly a voice actor in this movie, but he is eerily creepy in his role of the Caller. If there is something that I would say bugged the crap out of me about this movie is that there is a false payoff at the end. I was anxious to hear Schumacher's commentary on this...more on that in a minute. I don't want to give anything away, but it left me very pissed off. If that was the point, I congratulate the filmmakers; if it wasn't, then I just want to smack every single one of them in the face. Don't get me wrong, it's very much action packed, but the ending almost doesn't jibe. After you have seen the movie and disagree with me, get on the Gabfest and let me know.

The DVD is not a loaded one. In fact, there is only one special feature on the disc, but they get points for choosing the right one. The commentary with Schumacher is quite good. He doesn't spend a lot of time blowing smoke up the skirts of his cast and crew. Nope, instead he goes straight for the guts of this movie and talks about how they actually went about shooting the film. They shot it in ten days in Los Angeles, in real-time: meaning that they shot everything as it happened and changed the lighting as best they could to make it look like it was taking place all in the same afternoon. Back to what I said before, he does explain the choice for the ending, and I have to say that I agree with the decision. That doesn't mean that it didn't piss me off, it's just that I respect his reasoning behind making the decision.

The movie shouldn't be missed. It's a great suspense movie and the commentary is worthy as well. However, unless you are a huge fan of the movie, Farrell or Schumacher, I wouldn't recommend this one as a purchase.

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