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*** Official "PHONE BOOTH" Discussion Thread (1 Viewer)

Scott Weinberg

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Those interested in this very entertaining movie should certainly enjoy reading this article written by screenwriter Larry Cohen:

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...ll=cl%2Dsuncal

Seems Phone Booth has, at one point or another, been connected to the likes of Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Will Smith, Michael Bay, the Hughes Brothers, Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock!
 

Chucky P

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That is a good read, especially the Michael Bay bit!

It is also interesting that Larry Cohen also wrote Daddy's Gone A-Hunting with Alfred Hitchcock in mind to direct.
 

Seth Paxton

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Schumacher was never just getting the "hack" title because of Batman & Robin.

He had built momentum toward this title by doing either bad films or template crowd pleasers, with Lost Boys perhaps being his "best" film. Yes, it's rather popular in some circles, but a lot of that lies in a quirky product-of-the-times charm the film has.

Falling Down is also generally pleasing, but was also not seen as "high art" apart from getting into Cannes.

But stuff like DC Cab, Dying Young, St. Elmos, Cousins, Flatliners was not offset by The Client or A Time to Kill mainly because those good films were, as I said, rather template in their approach.

Then he hit us with Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, 8mm, and then "recovered" with Flawless. The first 3 were very poorly received and don't just represent my opinion of very bad films. 8mm was so wretched to me that I could barely finish it, and I don't mean the subject, I mean acting, dialog, etc.

Tigerland stood as a surprise. Enough to make me question if JS was responsible or if Matthew Libatique had much more to do with the final results (as well as Colin Ferrell). Libatique was the DoP on Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Tigerland, and now Phone Booth. Not that he hasn't worked on a few duds himself, but at least with Tigerland the grainy visual style was a big part of the film's artistic slant.

So JS has 2 really satisfying films (I assume with PB), and both feature Ferrell and Libatique. In between he pushed out Bad Co., perhaps the worst of all Bruckheimer productions I have seen which is really a bad thing.

Maybe he just takes it for the studio to do his own artistic thing, but it makes me wonder where all those artistic efforts are if that is the case. Seems to me that they didn't show up until Ferrell/Libatique did.


As for it being passe to slam him, that makes little sense considering the fact that much of his worst work happened most recently. Maybe if the point is to look trendy by bashing the latest person that is cool to bash, but not if the point is to critically evaluate the works of filmmakers.


I welcome JS to the ranks of "good" filmmakers if it really is the case. But were I in charge of the money I would be very hesitant to give him a project even at this point.


I'm with Scott on the Ferrell thing. The guy earned his way through the ranks very quickly by bringing a big-time A-game. At this point I am much more interested in the next Ferrell effort than I am the next Crowe effort, for example. I think the fact that I could even suggest such a comparison based on the last 3-4 years worth of work shows how strong Ferrell's work has been.

I'm a Cruise fan, but I felt that Ferrell was still able to steal scenes in Minority Report, and I agree that he dominated Daredevil, often in spite of having a cartoonish character to work with.
 

Damin J Toell

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I'm definitely much more interested in the "redemption" (or, rather, reemergence) of Larry Cohen than Joel Schumacher. Tigerland redeemed Schumacher's street cred, as it were, anyhow. Cohen, on the other hand, is due some mainstream popularity (again?). I will be seeing a screening of the film tomorrow night with Cohen in attendance, so it should be fun...

DJ
 

Steve_Tk

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They actually are advertising now that Keifer is in the movie. Kind of ruins the whole "who is it", doesn't it?
 

Scott Weinberg

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Steve,

I don't think it's meant to be a 'who is it?' gimmick.

Kiefer's playing the villain. Just so happens that this villain only communicates via voice.

...or maybe not. I ain't spoilin' nothin'! ;)

Plus all you need to do is hear the voice and you know it's him. I don't think Fox is trying to keep him a secret.
 

Shane Martin

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Should we point out that in NYC where the film is at, there are no phone booths?

That alone is a huge plot issue that just don't work. Then again I haven't seen the film yet but I have been planning on it.
 

Scott Weinberg

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I was thinking the exact same thing before the movie started. The screenplay does cover that minor anachronism quite effectively.
 

Seth Paxton

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The screenplay does cover that minor anachronism quite effectively.
Wow. That surprises me that they would even bother with that issue.

We were just discussing this in my writing course because a guy had a phone booth setting in his story and it was noted that they don't have phone booths anymore. I hadn't really thought about it before that point. Makes me miss phone booths. Just think of all the great scenes involving them.

Birds and Matrix just to name a couple. Any other favs in the phone booth scene list?
 

Damin J Toell

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Birds and Matrix just to name a couple. Any other favs in the phone booth scene list?
To state the obvious: Superman.

I don't blame Cohen (or Fox) for not changing the phone booth to a phone stand (or whatever it is that one would call the style of pay phones we have on NYC streets). The booths may no longer exist, but they're much more aesthetically effective. Plus, of course, Cohen planned on it being a booth for the last 30 years. The anachronism definitely seems worth a chuckle, but doesn't seem to me to be a plot point that could harm the story's effectiveness.

DJ
 

JohnRice

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the only one that came to mind for me, DeNiro trashing the phone booth in Goodfellas.
 

Nelson Au

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Just saw this tonight. It was quite enjoyable. One of the few times you could tell the whole audience was sucked into the plot.
Just one thing, was the sniper's voice really Sutherland
?

Nelson
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Phone Booth" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

All HTF member film reviews of "Phone Booth" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Crawdaddy
 

Matt Stone

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Yes, Nelson.

I saw it last night, too...and really enjoyed it. It was definitely short, but it didn't feel that way since it was all essentially one scene. That was pretty badass too, because they never cut to different locations...if he was calling someone it was shown as a PiP.
 

Dennis Pagoulatos

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After watching this yesterday, I'd say it has much bigger problems than the lack of phone booths in Manhattan. Yikes, it's a stinker. Check my mercifully short review for this mercifully short "film" in the review thread.

-Dennis
 

Steve_Tk

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So far it's a dung pile and the best of 03.

I love these descriptive words some reviewers use for movies. I remember one poster referring to DareDevil as Yak Dung.
 

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