Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Don't mind the last part... it's just a draft I have to save.

Whoop-dee-doo. Here’s my review of Phone Booth. Obviously, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Phone Booth:

The prequel to Ford’s “Live In It To Win It” challenge…

Collin Farell stars as Stu in one of most ingenious films I’ve ever seen. Phone Booth is almost a one-act movie that depicts a battle of minds between a sniper on the roof and his hapless prey inside a phone booth. One wrong move and it’s over for Stu. And he knows it. For a nerve-wracking hour or so, the spotlight is trained on Stu as he goes through Hades and back, completely at the mercy of an invisible assailant who seems to be one step ahead of everyone. He knows everything there is to know about Stu- his lifestyle, his pretenses, and how he’s been trying to cheat on his wife. Like some twisted vigilante, he wants Stu to repent for his sins. In front of live national television.

Stu is taken aback as he tries to make heads and tails of what’s going on. He can’t believe that of all people to be pinpointed, it had to be him. It’s not like he was a hardened criminal who did someone in. In fact, the only “crime” he committed was lying. He never cheated on his wife. He only tried to, but the opportunity never presented itself. In spite of all that, the horror is still as real as ever: and he has to figure out a way out, while nobody seems to understand the nature of the situation he is trapped in, as some believe he is a killer, while others think he’s just a nutcase.

In what he thought was a stroke of genius, he manages to find a way to let the police find out about the situation he is trapped in. And as he thinks he finally found a way out, and his assailant is dead, he realizes that his momentous change of heart will have to last… lest he hears from his would-be killer again, who has tricked everyone into believing the nightmare is over.

This is one of the most gripping thrillers I have seen to date, simply because it’s hard to imagine how a movie as great as this could be pulled off in a single location without disenchanting the audience. The script was sheer genius, and Collin Farell was amazing as he delivered a very compelling performance that required him to go through a range of emotions in one felling swoop. There’s no doubt that Collin’s intense performance was worthy of some degree of acclaim, and Kiefer Sutherland as the sniper proved to be every bit the menacing and cunning villain that he appeared to be from the start. I honestly am hard-pressed to find any problems with this film, because there were very few things they did wrong with this movie.

There’s no question that this film really has the power to go and keep you glued to your seat. In spite of that, the ending seemed rather obvious at the end because to see the pizza guy as the assailant simply didn’t make sense. It got rather predictable at the end, but I still couldn’t think up a single better ending for the film, regardless. This film comes pretty close to the perfect mark, and the only reason it falls is because of the lack of motivation to target Stu. Sure, he was “evil”, but the point is clear: why him? It just seemed like a random act of terror, and the lack of knowledge about Sutherland’s character proved to be problematic. Moreover, this film still doesn’t have the X-Factor that makes you just go and sing the movie’s praises to everyone you come across. It doesn’t seem to have “must see” written all over it. It’s a little lackluster in that department, but the thing is, X-Factor is something you can’t just manufacture, so we can’t really murder the rating on that basis.

Marcelle’s Rating: B+/A-

A disclaimer: As a Communications student, I merely have a fair bit of interest in Philosophy. I would like to point out that as someone who is not as well-versed in Philosophy as most of the people in this site happen to be, I can only offer a few insights and speculations on what proves to be my favorite Philosophical topic: Aletheia, or unconcealment.

Neo versus Smith: The One versus The Many
(Main basis: The Phenomenology of Knowledge, by William Luijpen)

Two of the greatest questions of Philosophy talks about the very nature of truth. Is Truth absolute? Is truth relative? Two schools of thought have always been at odds with one another on this: those who believe in Truth as The One, and those who believe that there are many truths in varying degrees. Both camps have their merits, but both camps also have their flaws. For one, the belief in Truth as The One has given rise to ethnocentrism, and the belief of the Catholic Church in their Truth as the absolute has led to the Inquisition. On the other hand, those who adhere to many truths have promoted chaos in relativism, where all are entitled to their opinion, and no standard can possibly be established.

In Matrix Reloaded, this age-old debate is enacted in living color by The Burly Brawl, Neo’s confrontation with a hundred former Agent Smiths.

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