Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reviews of Films I Have Never Seen:
THE CALL – Chatty Berry Vehicle Wrecked by No Picture







Who in cinema law enforcement hasn’t solved a crime?

Let’s see: there’ve been films about beat cops, street cops, by-the-book cops, no-book cops, traffic cops, loner cops, disgraced cops, and finally, 911 operators.

Halle Berry plays Jordan Turner, a seasoned 911 emergency services operator who happens to track down a serial killer. 

Directed by Brad Anderson, this film has a lot of talking and was written by Richard D’Ovido with story help from Nicole D’Ovido and Jon Bokenkamp. As a side note, I don’t think these writers should’ve accepted screenplay money.

Because of all the dialogue, this film is basically a radio play. And the professional rate for writing radio scripts is considerably less than that of a feature film.

In any case, I think the filmmakers were just a little bit too slick. Other than the trailer, nothing else is filmed. No master shots or close ups. No underscore. A few sound effects.

Artistic? Well, sure. But after awhile you want to see something even if it’s just writing on the screen. Perhaps something like this:

SERIAL KILLER
Hey, are you the 911 operator?

JORDAN TURNER 
Sir, please HHHHHHHHHHrelease that young 
lady you’ve illegally seized.

SERIAL KILLER
No. I’m going to kill her.

JORDAN TURNER 
I’m asking you not to. Why can’t 
you listen to me? I won’t tell anyone.
 
SERIAL KILLER
Aren’t these phone calls recorded? 
Even if you don’t tell anyone, cops
can listen in and hear for themselves. 

JORDAN TURNER
Oh, you think you’re so clever. 
But I’m going to catch you.

SERIAL KILLER
Ha, ha. You’re only a 911 operator.

JORDAN TURNER
I’m more than that… inside…where 
it counts, buster.

SERIAL KILLER 
I’ll call back later to taunt you.
Go get some coffee and a ├ęclair.

That was just a sampling, but I think you get the point.

At first, I thought the French were behind such an odd film, but it turns out part of the movie was financed by one of the wrestling leagues. So I’m really surprised that Halle Berry doesn’t have to fight the Serial Killer’s evil manager who hits her over the head with a folding chair.

Just a thought.

No one excelled in the credits this week. I wish they had. I like to give out special honors but I would lower myself to participation medals.

Five stars out of five for stubbornly refusing to show any images whatsoever.

So many movies would be better off that way.

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