HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: ONE MISSED CALL (2008)

CAST
Edward Burns (27 Dresses)
Shannyn Sossamon (Sleepy Hollow)
Ana Claudia Talancon (Fast Food Nation)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Johnny Lewis (Aliens vs Predator 2)
Jason Beghe (The Finder)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Ariel Winter (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
The film opens on Shelley, a college student, sitting outside a Japanese style house near a koi pond. Her pet cat is near the pond, and after hearing a strange noise there, Shelley goes to investigate. A hand reaches out of the pond and grabs Shelley, pulling her under. Seconds later, the same hand drags the cat down to its death. A red hard candy floats to the surface of the pond.
College student Beth Raymond is talking with her friend, Leann, who attended Shelley’s funeral. Leann’s cellphone rings with a lullaby-like ringtone, and it says it’s from Shelley. Leann listens to the voicemail, which is herself screaming. The voicemail is dated three days in the future. Leann begins to experience hallucinations that make her increasingly anxious. While walking home minutes before the time on the voicemail, she calls Beth. Beth runs to get to Leann, and arrives in time to see Leann fall off a bridge and get hit by a passing train. Although obviously dead, Leann’s hand dials a number on her phone.
At Leann’s funeral, Beth’s roommate, Taylor, is talking about Shelley receiving a strange voicemail before her death, just like Leann had. Brian, Leann’s ex-boyfriend, begins to see disturbing apparitions, and leaves the funeral in a rush. Beth catches Brian outside a coffee shop and Brian shows her a voicemail he received the night Leann died, from Leann’s phone. Beth realizes the voicemail is dated mere seconds away. An explosion at a nearby construction site sends a rebar through Brian’s torso. Brian coughs out a red hard candy and collapses, as Beth stares in horror. When Beth arrives home, a distraught Taylor is waiting for her. Taylor says she knows she’s next, even though she hasn’t received a voicemail. Beth assures her that it isn’t going to happen, and takes the batteries out of both their cellphones to ensure they can’t receive calls. Later that night, Beth and Taylor are awakened by the lullaby ringtone coming from Taylor’s battery-less cellphone. Despite having no power source, Taylor’s phone screen displays a video message of her death, dated two days in the future.
The next morning, Andrews visits Beth, saying his sister was the one who called Shelley, despite his sister being dead at the time of the call. He also says he traced the voicemail left on his sister’s phone and was going to find out more about the person who sent it, Marie Layton. Andrews goes through the local autopsy reports, and finds a report for Ellie Layton, Marie’s eldest daughter, who died of an asthma attack. They find records for hospital visits for Ellie and Laurel, who is Ellie’s younger sister. Laurel was injured often, which leads Beth to suspect abuse from her mother. As Taylor’s time approaches, Beth races to her, and sees Taylor being choked to death by an unseen force. A red hard candy falls out of her mouth. Suddenly, Beth’s phone begins to ring and she finds a voicemail dated for tomorrow. In an effort to save herself, Beth decides to find out more about the hospital fire alone. At the hospital and with less than half an hour left, Beth is frightened by various apparitions. She runs into Andrews, and the two try to escape the hospital. They are separated and Beth finds a crawlspace. She discovers finds Marie’s body, burned to death and clutching a cell phone. At the time of Beth’s foretold death, Marie’s corpse assaults her while weeping. It is later revealed that Marie was actually protecting Beth, not trying to hurt her. Beth survives her predicted death.
While visiting Laurel, Andrews goes to her room and finds her teddy bear with a video disc in its back. The disc is a video of a camera Marie hid to monitor Laurel and Ellie. The disc reveals that Ellie had cut Laurel’s arm with a butcher knife. Marie had entered and realized that the abuse she has been blamed for has been Ellie all along. She then left to take Laurel to the hospital, locking Ellie in the bedroom. Ellie suffers an asthma attack and dies while dialing her mother’s cell, making Marie the first real victim of the curse. Laurel tells Andrews that though Ellie hurt her, she always gave her the red hard candies, the ones found in the mouths of all the victims. Andrews’ cellphone begins to ring with a voicemail dated for thirty minutes later.
Andrews realizes that the force behind the murders is Ellie, and races to Beth. After he arrives at her house, the two hear a knock on the door. As Andrews looks through the peephole, a knife stabs through it and kills him. Ellie’s spirit appears and reaches out to kill Beth. The spirit of Marie then appears and grabs Ellie, saving Beth yet again. A red candy spills out of Andrews’ mouth and his cell begins to dial a number on its own, revealing that Ellie’s ghost is still out there, and more people will die.
One Missed Call is a really fun little movie to watch and it’s also nice to see Shannyn Sossamon back in a leading role. Well-timed scares, a decent plot, some great creepy moments and a very fast pace all add up to a pretty decent night in

REVIEW: 27 DRESSES

 

CAST

Katherine Heigl (Bride of Chucky)
James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Judy Greer (Two and A Half Men)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Melora Hardin (The Hot Chick)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)

Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) has been a bridesmaid for twenty-seven weddings. One night when she is attending two weddings almost simultaneously, she meets Kevin Doyle (James Marsden), who helps her home but disgusts her with his cynical views of marriage. He finds her day planner which she’d forgotten in the cab they shared. Meanwhile, Jane’s sister Tess (Malin Åkerman) falls in love with Jane’s boss George (Edward Burns) at first sight. Tess pretends to like the same things that George does so that she can get him to like her. Despite loving George herself, Jane does not reveal the truth and her sister’s courtship progresses rapidly. Soon the new couple announces that they intend to marry in only three weeks and Jane becomes the wedding planner.
The reporter who agrees to cover their wedding for the society page turns out to be Kevin, who writes wedding announcements under pseudonym Malcolm Doyle. Having looked at the contents of Jane’s planner before returning it, he then decides to use the contents as material for a piece on the “perennial bridesmaid” and hopefully be promoted to writing investigative pieces about “real” news. Jane is unaware of Kevin’s intentions, and when he asks to interview her for his column on Tess, he gets her to try on all 27 bridesmaids dresses in her closet. He takes pictures of her in all of them and sends them with the completed article to his boss. As they get to know each other because of Tess’s wedding, Kevin begins to think that Jane is not as one-dimensional as he thought, and asks his editor to hold his article so he can “fix” it.
When Kevin finds out that Jane is getting her sister’s marriage fixed with the man she loves, he rebukes her. Jane agrees to one drink with Kevin and ends up getting drunk. Kevin and Jane kiss and have sex in the car. Kevin’s editor runs the article anyway on the front page of the ‘Commitments’ section. When Jane finds out about it the next morning, she feels betrayed and is furious at him. Tess then gets angry at Jane for giving Kevin material about her, whom he describes as a bridezilla. The fight escalates when Jane realizes that Tess altered their late mother’s wedding dress to her own choice, the last straw on Tess’ string of lies to George and demands on Jane. Despite the fight, Tess still asks Jane to make a slideshow to show at her engagement party. Jane decides that George should know the truth about Tess and instead runs pictures of Tess with other men during her past years, eating ribs, and holding a cat by the tail – in short, doing all the things she had told George that she never did. After Pedro, the young Hispanic child that George mentors, tells the crowd that Tess had him cleaning George’s apartment for money, George breaks off the engagement.

Later at work, George tells Jane that he appreciates her because she never says no. Remembering that Kevin once said the same thing as a criticism, Jane quits and admits she only stayed at the job because she was in love with George. She discovers after an experimental kiss that she no longer loves him and decides to meet Kevin. She announces in front of the entire crowd at a wedding he is covering that she is in love with him. One year later Jane and Kevin are now getting married. George and Tess meet in their wedding again, and a hope for a second chance shows. All 27 brides Jane helped, as well as Tess and Casey (Judy Greer), her best friend, are her bridesmaids, and they are wearing the dresses she once wore as their bridesmaid.

27 Dresses is a solid film. It proves that you can take a standard love story and build it into something special thanks to excellent direction and acting

 

REVIEW: LIFE OR, SOMETHING LIKE IT

CAST

Angelina Jolie (Gia)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Tony Shalhoub (The Last Shot)
Stockard Channing (Practical Magic)
James Gammon (The Cell)
Melissa Errico (Frequency)
Christian Kane (Angel)
Lisa Thornhill (Veronica Mars)
Gregory Itzin (The Ides of March)
Veena Sood (50/50)
Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary)
Christopher Shyer (The Core)

Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie), a successful reporter for a Seattle television station interviews a self-proclaimed prophet, Jack (Tony Shalhoub), to find out if he really can predict football scores. Instead, Prophet Jack not only predicts the football score, and that it would hail the next day, but also that she would die in seven days, meaning the following Thursday. When his first two prophecies turn out to be correct, Kerrigan panics and again meets with Jack, asking him for another prophecy so that she can prove it wrong, which would imply uncertainty of her death. Jack tells her that there will be a relatively significant earthquake in San Francisco at 9:06 am; she hopes that it will be wrong but again it also becomes reality. Now Lanie becomes sure of her upcoming death and is forced to reevaluate her life.  The remainder of the storyline, which runs for the week of the prophecy, revolves around her attempts at introspection. She seeks consolation in her famous baseball player boyfriend Cal Cooper (Christian Kane), and in her family, but finds little there.Pete (EDWARD BURNS) offers advice to a skeptical Lanie (ANGELINA JOLIE), whose once "perfect" life has been turned upside-down.Her lifelong ambition, that of appearing on network television, begins to look like a distant dream. In her desperation, she commits professional blunders, but ends up finding support in an unlikely source: her archenemy, the cameraman Pete Scanlon (Edward Burns), with whom she once had casual sex; he introduces her to a new approach to life. Pete tells her to live every moment of her life and to do whatever she always wanted to do. Lanie implements Pete’s advice; she moves in with Pete for a day, he introduces her to his son Tommy (Jesse James Rutherford) who lives with his mother who had separated with Pete, and they spend a whole day together with Tommy; that night they sleep together for the second time. The next day Lanie receives an opportunity for a job she always dreamed of in New York; she asks Pete to come with her, but he declines and tells her that her appetite for success and fame will never end. Lanie sadly leaves for New York.

Pete meets Jack and tells him how wrong he is, as Lanie got the job which Jack foretold she would not get. But Jack explains that he was right as Lanie will never be able to get the job as she’ll die before it begins; he again gives a prophecy of a death of a famous former baseball player in a plane crash. Pete receives the news of the death of the baseball player as foretold by Jack, and tries to call Lanie to warn her. When he cannot reach her, he also flies to New York. Lanie, unconcerned with Jack’s prophecy, interviews her idol, famous media personality Deborah Connors (Stockard Channing). Lanie realizes how petty the opening questions are and shares a heartfelt moment with Deborah live on air. The interview receives which receives huge television ratings. The network immediately offers her a position, but Lanie declines, realizing that she wants a life with Pete in Seattle. As she leaves the studio, a police officer gets into a conflict with a man, who shoots a bullet into the air. Pete tries to warn Lanie across the street, but she is shot in the crossfire. Luckily, Lanie survives, and Pete tells her in the hospital that he has loved her since the first time he saw her; Lanie says she loves him, too. Later, Pete, Lanie and Tommy watch Cal’s baseball game, where Lanie (in a voiceover) says that one part of her has died—the part which didn’t know how to live a life.

Enjoyable film which has both a strong satirical edge and an introspective, philosophical tone. Jolie is fab as the shallower than shallow career journalist who has her life changed by a modern day soothsayer

 

REVIEW: CONFIDENCE

CAST

Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Andy Garcia (The Unsaid)
Morris Chesnut (Kick-Ass 2)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
Leland Orser (Daredevil)
Robert Forster (Dragon Wars)
Louis Lombardi (24)
Brian Van Holt (House of Wax)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Luis Guzman (Waiting)
Tommy Lister (The Dark Knight)
Abdoulaye NGom (My Name Is Earl)
Robert Pine (Jobs)

An electric con artist caper that was completely overlooked at the box office (despite well-done trailers and posters), “Confidence” isn’t anything groundbreaking in the genre, but it’s still an intelligent picture that’s a lot better than most of what’s in theaters today. The latest from “Glengarry Glen Ross” director James Foley, “Confidence” stars Ed Burns (“Life or Something Like It”), as Jake Vig, a professional con artist whose team has been working Los Angeles. His problem: the latest scam that took money from an accountant also took money from the accountant’s client: a mob boss called “The King” (Dustin Hoffman).

In order to try and pay back the King, Jake and his team – including a new addition, Lily (Rachel Weisz) – attempt to scam a mob-connected banker named Morgan Price (Robert Forster). Problems – of course – happen: an FBI agent named Gunther (Andy Garcia) arrives and starts rounding up those in the know in order to try and catch Jake in the act. There’s also Price’s lieutenant Travis (Morris Chestnut) to worry about. Of course, double and triple crosses ensueRachel Weisz in Confidence (2003)“Confidence” isn’t as much about the plot as the parts and pieces of the thing. Juan Ruiz Anchia’s cinematography is ridiculously beautiful, with deeply saturated neon tones washing over the night streets and rich, crisp colors and interesting, unusual perspectives during the daylight scenes. Unusual flash-forwards and talking to the audience on occasion in the picture work surprisingly well, too; the film’s editing, pacing and atmosphere all click into place perfectly and it proceeds with confidence. Hoffman’s high-speed performance is superb,  it’s impressive that he can make himself convincingly intimidating. The attractive Weisz also has good chemistry with Burns. There’s also good supporting efforts from Paul Giamatti, Andy Garcia and others. They all handle Doug Jung’s rather Mamet-esque dialogue and characters well.Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz in Confidence (2003)Again, “Confidence” isn’t anything new at its core, but it’s one of those movies where the plot isn’t original, but everything around it clicks into place so well that the movie becomes an awfully fun ride anyways.