My favorite genre of all time is suspense. That’s why I love most all of Hitchcock’s films, and why I love the movie industry. Now, Halle Berry is rarely an actress to dramatically tug your heartstrings, but I’ve always believed she has potential. Unfortunately, wherever that is, it isn’t enough to save a shamelessly derivative script.

The Call takes a unique workplace perspective. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why no one considered mining the concept before, since these people who take our emergency calls surely undergo an incredible amount of stress, but this particular story’s insistence on pursuing ever accelerating states of implausibility as it drags along with terrible pacing and choppy acts is truly disappointing from the director of Transsiberian.

Not that that movie wasn’t without its flaws, but a voice and personality were distinct. It hammered the infidelity flirtation too hard, and could have been more taut, but it was clear what his intentions were. I hardly need mention the pros of The Machinist, directed by Brad Anderson as well. It’s been discouraging how his filmography has depleted its strengths until all that was left is The Call.

In conclusion, I give kudos to the movie for its acknowledging a previously completely ignored profession, and must criticize its lack of effort to do anything with it. This is a film that is clearly designed for just another night at the movies, and I strongly feel that the only reason it placed so highly is because the only other competition is comedy—a genre which is so much more difficult to become successful with financially or otherwise.

Oz the Great and Powerful would have little trouble keeping a hold on the top of the box office again with its summer blockbuster-style budget and presentation, along with the applicable age bracket of its audiences.

Coming up next week is Olympus Has Fallen, which is essentially a lost Die Hard script, which is completely unnecessary since anytime we like we could go watch Air Force One. Gerard Butler has charisma, but he continues to select unsatisfactory screenplays. Also releasing the 22nd are The Croods and Admission.

Both have been negatively received already, the former for its lack of imagination—which is what counts most for animated films—and the latter evidently for forced comedy. I find this hard to believe, as it’s quite unlike Tina Fey, who’s consistently proven herself a genuinely funny actress. Sadly, I’m positive that if the script and endeavor was her own, it’d be as gold as Mean Girls.

Weekend Results

1.) Oz the Great and Powerful (BV): Second weekend, with $42.222 million.

2.) The Call (TriStar): Opening weekend, with $17.1 million.

3.) The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (WB): Opening weekend, with $10.305 million.

4.) Jack the Giant Slayer (WB): Third weekend, with $6.22 million.

5.) Identity Thief (Universal): Sixth weekend, with $4.519 million.


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