Phone Booth

Phone Booth (2003)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Kiefer Sutherland
Extras: Commentray Track, Theatrical Trailer

Given the response I had seen after the movie’s theatrical release I had high hopes for ’Phone Booth’ and decided to give it a check-up when the DVD arrived here. Sadly, the movie did not really live up to my expectations. The plot is weak and inconsistent, and people behave irrationally at many times, breaking your suspension of disbelief over and over again. A little clean-up work in the script department would have made ’Phone Booth’ a very cool thriller but as it is, it’s just half-baked, I’m afraid, not nearly living up to its potential.

It’s the story of Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell), a self-centered publicist who takes a random phone call in a public phone booth. But as it turns out the call wasn’t random at all. Stu has become the target of a sniper who is intimately familiar with his many character flaws and wants Stu to bare his soul in front of the entire world, or else…

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is presenting ’Phone Booth’ in its 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ration on this DVD, as well as in a fullframe presentation. The image is clean and without any blemishes or defects. Grain is at a minimum and the presentation’s color reproduction is absolutely faithful with very natural skin tones and balanced hues. Black levels are solid, adding to the quality of the picture and no compression artifacts distract from the experience.

The DVD contains a variety auf audio tracks, including 5.1 channel Dolby Digital tracks in English and French, and a Dolby Surround track in Spanish, all of them complemented by subtitles. The tracks are engaging and make very good use of the multi-channel capabilities of the format. While the film doesn’t offer a lot of overt sound effect’s work, the surround channels are used very dynamically to create the bustling atmosphere of New York City with its cacophony, as well as to lead the ear to certain deliberately placed sound sources.
The DVD contains a commentary track by director Joel Schumacher, as well as the movie’s theatrical trailer.

’Phone Booth’ has the makings of a classic thriller but sadly falls short due to a sloppy script. The film is nicely paced and plays pretty well nonetheless but never manages to be more than an entertainingly tight 80 minutes.