'Cell' [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
(John Cusack, Samuel Jackson, Stacy Keach, Isabelle Fuhrman, et al / Blu ray+Digital HD / R / 2016 / LGF)
Overview: When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England.
Blu ray Verdict: I have to say that going into this new film that I already knew what to expect - and to expect a great time, no matter what! Aside from Samuel L. Jackson being in it, who can't put a movie foot wrong in my humble opinion, the always-on-the-mark John Cusack once again plays his "usual character" - long black jacket, cap, dark clothing, stoic, yet gray look on his face, head down, always running from someone or something. Which, in my book, ALWAYS adds up to a great 80 minute romp - and 'Cell' was no exception.
I this variation of the zombie apocalypse, and using the "script" written out by the great author Stephen King (from his book of the same name), borrowing from films like '28 Weeks Later' or Kaufman's 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', what follows is a movie that relies more on psychological tension than on graphic violence. I mean, just the opening scene of how it all goes down is enough to make you rethink picking up your very own cell phone next time it rings!
Sure, some graphic bloody violence then breaks out, but the first act is more about the build up, the outline for what's to come. Indeed, it's pretty damn good. Intense, sharp, adopting a fast pace that dispenses us of the genre's clichés. And again, sure, that doesn't last as 'Cell' slowly becomes standard fare, but come the third act, well, wow, the Director heads down so many blind alleys that come the final "twist" it has to be noted that I never saw it coming - and was VERY sad, disappointed even that such a character "end" had become our hero.
In closing, 'Cell' was an excellent movie, again, in MHO, but for one thing - it just doesn't actually explain why it all happened in the first place. So, with a few other clues scattered around, I am pretty sure it is a psychological breakdown of one person. In either case, the ride is fun and with good performances all round. If you must have all questions answered, and don't like the idea of one person having a breakdown, it will not work for you, but for all fans of John Cusack, well, this WILL suffice rather nicely - as always. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the special features of:
Audio Commentary with Director Tod Williams
To Cell and Back: The Making of the Film