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One Missed Call(2008)
Beth Raymond is traumatized when she witnesses the gruesome deaths of two friends just days apart. Even more disturbing, she knows that both of them had received chilling cell phone messages—actual recordings of their own horrifying last moments. Impossibly, the calls were received days before they died, but each death occurred precisely when and how the messages foretold. The police think Beth is delusional—except for Detective Jack Andrews, whose own sister was killed in a freak accident that bears a strange similarity to the deaths of Beth's friends. Together, Jack and Beth work feverishly to unravel the mystery behind the ominous calls. But even as they get closer to the truth, Beth's cell phone begins to ring with an eerie tune, and the readout displays: One Missed Call.
For more about One Missed Call and the One Missed Call Blu-ray release, see One Missed Call Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 21, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 1.5 out of 5.
Starring: Shannyn Sossamon, Edward Burns, Ana Claudia Talancón, Ray Wise, Azura Skye, Meagan Good
Director: Eric Valette
» See full cast & crew
One Missed Call Blu-ray Review
"Hi, this is a good movie, I'm not available right now, so you're stuck with this one after the beep." Beep.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 21, 2008
That's not my ringtone.
I'd really like to believe that the folks behind the making of One Missed Call had my best interests at heart from initial idea, to the pitch, to the green light, to the filming, to the editing, to the advertising, and finally to the film's glorious release to hoards of teenagers the world over (or at least my county). I for one long for a seminal movie to scare teenagers out of using their cellphones in theaters, forever. I don't know about anyone else's, by my local multiplex is plagued by a barrage of relentless cell phone attacks. I've mostly given up on attending, because I'm sick and tired of seeing cell phone screens popping up every five minutes. If ever there was a good idea, it was One Missed Call. Scare these kids silly, I say, in the name of improving my moviegoing experience. Unfortunately, One Missed Call is a miserable failure of a movie, proving to be nothing more than perhaps the worst example of the teenage-centric horror sub genre. Too ridiculous to be scary, too boring to keep your interest long enough to be scared, the movie relies on tired clichés and incompetent teenagers to move the plot along, complete with an uninspired performance by Pvt. Reiben from Saving Private Ryan fame. Had the movie even been funny good, the moviegoing experience may have worsened, as no doubt the teenagers in attendance would return home, download the ridiculous ringtone heard throughout this film, and send it to their friends day and night, probably over many a future visits to the theater. Thank goodness, then, for the movie's utter failure, the retention of the status quo, "off" buttons, and my home theater.
Believe it or not, there is some kind of plot here that is deeper than the ring of a cellphone and the subsequent death of another cookie-cutter teenager. What that plot is I really couldn't tell you, because my interest piqued about three minutes into the movie and fell off dramatically and continuously from there on. Basically, we have a group of teenagers (tell me again how some of these folks managed to find themselves in a Hollywood motion picture, especially one distributed by arguably the biggest studio in the world?) whose cellphones ring ("that's not my ringtone!") the ring of death, leaving them with "one missed call" that plays the moment of their death and leaves the exact time it will happen for good measure. Clueless teen after clueless teen kick the bucket, none of the death sequences proving to be the least bit gruesome or interesting, the movie at times seemingly wanting badly to be the next Final Destination but completely failing to become so. As the film drags on, we learn of the origin of the ringtone, why people are dying, and so on. Or at least I got the impression that we did. My interest had long since waned, the most interesting aspect of the movie being the countdown to the credits as I begged that timer on the front display of my BD-30 to get to that magical 80 minute mark.
The first shot we see in the movie is of a brick wall. How appropriate, a perfect surface on which to beat my head, a far more interesting and entertaining pastime than watching this film. Heck, I'd rather continue watching my Pittsburgh Pirates continue to implode for the 15th (or is it 16th? I've lost count) straight season, succumbing to wallop after wallop, much like their game last night against the Florida Marlins, than have to endure even a second of this movie again. As the film began to drag very early on, and we were introduced to the characters, I began daydreaming of how these people will get it in the movie, and how fast (the sooner they die the sooner the movie is over), but like everything else, I came away disappointed. Not that more gore or language would have saved the movie, but it's definitely been dumbed down for the PG-13 high school freshman audience. Early in the film, a character is smacked by a fast moving train. We see her lying on the tracks, completely intact, only a few drips of blood on her, dialing her cellphone in some kind of postmortem trance, probably her body reverting to its most basic skill, that of dialing her phone, a tribute and final farewell to her best friend and companion, her Motorola.
One Missed Call doesn't even have any camp value, and I'm not so sure that even Crow, Tom Servo, and Mike could do anything with this one other than stare at it in utter disbelief, perhaps able to throw in the occasional joke or two about the stiff acting and stupid decisions of the cast, but unlike so much MST3K fodder, there's just nothing here to laugh at. It would probably prove to be as futile as commenting on the hilarity that is watching paint dry. Should I even mention that the "thing" on the cover of the box, you know, that person with mouths for eyes, plays absolutely no role in the movie whatsoever? That's right, we get but a glimpse of this being for about 3/4 of a second, and that's it. Frankly I'm not surprised, and other than an admittedly somewhat creepy look, she adds absolutely nothing of substance to the movie, and is definitely false and misleading advertising at its finest. No bother, because I doubt many people will see either this film or its box all that much anyway, and once it has been out for a week or two, it will be off the front page of Blu-ray.com, relegated to the footnote section of cinema lore, and at the bottom of the bargain bin at your favorite Blu-ray emporium (go Amazon!).
One Missed Call Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in 1080p high definition and framed at 1.85:1, One Missed Call sports a mediocre transfer, and this video quality definitely adds no value to the experience. Even the opening title sequence looks poor, substandard even for a cheap made-for television movie, an opening title sequence put to shame by just about everything I've seen. The movie can looks good on occasion, but as the movie wears on, so does the transfer, going from "okay" to "substandard." Some medium distance shots during the opening of the film, which happens to be the best the film will look, seem a bit hazy and overly bright, but even those shots look better than what's to come. There is some film grain early in the film, and it seems to get heavier as the movie wears along, and I cannot say if this is intentional or not, but it adds nothing to the look and feel of the movie either way. Dark scenes definitely look the worst, full of excessive grain, extremely bright blacks, and washed-out detail. Even in bright, clear shots, detail is only moderate, and the best shots are flat and uninspiring. Flesh tones can look somewhat pasty and unnatural, though they are never overly red in appearance. I generally like the look this movie seems to have aimed for, one that is somewhat grainy and that retains a cinematic look and feel, but the effect is lost here. Not the worst transfer I've seen, but also a far cry from even the average Blu-ray transfer. Luckily, this is a disc that probably won't see a lot of playing time, so the moderately ugly transfer is really a non-issue.
One Missed Call Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Faring somewhat better than the video quality is the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mix. Some lively effects work their way into the mix, but in the end this is a typical teen horror film sound mix, one replete with plenty of the generic, pseudo-scary teen horror sounds and atmospherics that are so trite that we long to turn the system off in hopes of sparing our ears. Still, the track offers a nice array of sound movement and panning, as well as good use of direction and imaging, and the overall quality of the track, despite some tired yet trendy scare effects, is quite good. Some good surround effects are on display now and then, and not of the ho-hum horror schlock variety. Some electrical sparks, explosions, and other halfway interesting effects work their way into the mix. A high-pitched scream and the sounds of a burning building lead off the movie, and the sound is about what you'd expect from a mix of very recent vintage and presented in a lossless format. Dialogue reproduction is just fine, and the movie's score generally takes a back seat to said dialogue and also to the atmospherics heard throughout. If there is any reason at all to spin this disc, it's for the above average sound mix, but it's not nearly good enough to bother listening to when so many other discs out there offer sound that is simply mind-boggling rather than just "good."
One Missed Call Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
It should come as no surprise that Warner has phoned in this Blu-ray disc and provided absolutely nothing in terms of extra content. A monumental flop with both audiences and critics, One Missed Call fails to provide even trailers for other films, though I cannot imagine even the most putrid of films wanting any kind of association with this. There is not even a main menu on this disc, for goodness sake. Nevertheless, it's a brilliant move to forego any kind of extras and I'm tempted to give the disc's supplements 5/5 for sparing us from spending one more moment with this movie than need be, but I'll stick to the format so as not to confuse anyone who just looks at the scores.
One Missed Call Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
One Missed Call, a film in the vein of FeardotCom, seems destined for the same fate as that movie, the butt of a few jokes and a movie that will collect dust at the bottom of the bargain bin, maybe occasionally finding its way into the bottom 100 list at IMDB. The movie had so much potential (to silence the cell phones anyway) but alas, it was just too bad to have any long-term effect. The way I see it, Blu-ray is making the movie theater experience less and less attractive anyway, and if this movie sells a few copies, more power to it and more sales for Blu-ray. I won't be recommending a purchase, however. Neither the movie nor the disc has any redeeming value, the only thing at all worth while is the slightly above average Dolby TrueHD sound mix, but it alone is definitely not worth your rental or buying dollar. One Missed Call leaves me with the message of advising you to ignore this ring tone, not for peril of your life, but for the preservation of your hard-earned dollars (Yen, Pounds, Duetschmarks, Kronas, etc), as well as to save a valuable 87 minutes during which you could watch another and far better Blu-ray disc.
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One Missed Call Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Warner Announces One Missed Call - February 26, 2008
Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring the horror film 'One Missed Call' to Blu-ray on April 22nd, day-and-date with the DVD release. No video or audio specs have been announced at this time, but expect this BD-25 to have 1080p VC-1 video with a Dolby ...
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