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The Call

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'The Call' thrills with raw emotion, stellar performances, and suspense, despite predictability and a divisive ending.

    The Call Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • 'The Call's Blu-ray presentation excels in clarity, color, and detail, apart from inconsistent black levels. Digital photography shines, capturing realistic textures and vibrant scenes with minimal noise, making it nearly perfect.

  • Audio
  • The Call's Blu-ray release boasts a flawless DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack, delivering theater-like, immersive audio quality with clear dialogue and dynamic, realistic sound effects.

  • Extra
  • The Call's release is packed with extras including a detailed audio commentary, making-of featurettes, alternate endings, deleted scenes, and a look at stunts, alongside DVD and UV digital copies.

  • Movie
  • The Call" thrills with Halle Berry's standout performance and palpable suspense, marred only by a divisive ending.

    Video: 74

    The Call" shines in this 1080p HD Blu-ray presentation, encapsulated in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Derived from a digital source, the film demonstrates the impressive capabilities of contemporary digital cinematography. The image is consistently sharp, with even the minutiae of backgrounds, skin textures, and fabric patterns presented in stunning clarity. Fine details such as skin wrinkles, blemishes, and individual strands of hair are visible, exemplifying the transfer's commitment to visual fidelity. Colors are vivid and well-saturated, from the cooler tones of the call center to the vibrant hues found in mall scenes and the dynamic colors of cars on the freeway, all popping with life and adding a lush vibrancy to the film’s aesthetic.

    Despite its predominantly stellar quality, the video transfer does exhibit some inconsistencies with black levels. Ideally, blacks should appear deep and inky to contribute to a more immersive viewing experience; however, there are instances where they appear lighter than desired, slightly undermining the overall visual impact. This issue notwithstanding, the Blu-ray presentation is largely devoid of compression artifacts or banding, maintaining a clean and noise-free image that supports an immersive viewing experience.

    In summation, "The Call" on Blu-ray offers an exemplary video presentation that showcases the strengths of digital cinematography. The balance and brilliance of colors, alongside remarkable detail in both close-up and wide shots, create a compelling and realistic image. Although the handling of black levels occasionally misses the mark, the overall transfer quality remains outstanding, making it a visually engaging experience that highlights the technical prowess of modern filmmaking and home media presentation.

    Audio: 82

    The Call" debuts on Blu-ray with a remarkable DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack, which admirably mirrors the experience of a cinematic auditory feast. The precision of its clarity and the overall quality catapult it into the realm of near perfection for audiophiles and cinema fans alike. The intricate detail paid to the dissemination of audio, especially notable in scenes featuring a cacophony of 911 calls, immerses the viewer fully, with voices enveloping the space from all directions. The nuanced delivery of music is both smooth and expansive, lending strong surround support along with robust bass foundations. Realism is at the forefront of this audio presentation, with even the most complex soundscapes, such as music muffled by the confinement of a car trunk, presented with striking authenticity.

    Equally impressive are the dynamic sound effects that punctuate the film's soundtrack; from the palpable buzz of helicopters to the startling clarity of crashes, each element is rendered with exceptional fidelity. The soundtrack's low frequencies intensify towards the climax, adding a visceral depth to the experience. Dialogue maintains prominence and clarity, anchored firmly at the center of the audio mix, ensuring every word is understood without compromise. Although not perpetually dynamic, the track excels in delivering a fully engaging and flawlessly technical listening experience.

    Complementing these technical achievements, the mix's dynamic range stands out, seamlessly balancing intense highs and resonant lows without overshadowing dialogue or critical sound effects. Ambient sounds and directional audio cues are leveraged effectively, creating an enveloping atmosphere that extends well beyond the visual boundaries of the screen. Every sonic detail, from the ambient noise of the environment to the tension-filled score, is carefully calibrated to enhance realism and emotional impact, making "The Call's" audio presentation a benchmark for home cinema experiences.

    Extra: 57

    The Blu-ray extra presentation of "The Call" delivers an insightful and comprehensive collection of bonus materials that enhance the viewing experience significantly. Highlighted by an engaging, well-executed audio commentary featuring a diverse group of seven key figures from the cast and crew, including director Brad Anderson and stars Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, the extras dive deep into the film's production. Viewers are treated to behind-the-scenes perspectives on everything from the origins of the story, real-life 911 operator insights, to the technicalities of shooting, such as the intricacies involved in filming inside a car trunk and executing stunts. Other notable extras include deleted and extended scenes, a making-of featurette that provides a basic overview while revealing fun tidbits like whom cast members would choose to be trapped in a trunk with, and dedicated set tours that explore significant locations in the film. This collection not only satisfies fans but also appeals to cinephiles interested in understanding the collaborative effort required to bring such a thrilling story to life.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Alternate Ending: Brief alternative conclusion to the main storyline.
    • Audio Commentary: A comprehensive discussion with major contributions from director Brad Anderson, actresses Abigail Breslin and Halle Berry, among others, covering a wide range of topics including casting, filming specifics, and editing.
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes: Includes scenes like "Call Center Class" and "Jordan and Officer Phillips Talk on Rooftop."
    • Emergency Procedures: A making-of featurette with insights on various aspects of production, including actor preparation and location shooting.
    • Inside the Stunts: Focuses on the execution of specific stunts within the film, providing details on how certain sequences were accomplished.
    • Michael Eklund Audition Footage: Offers viewers a look at the audition process for one of the film's actors.
    • Set Tour of the Call Center & Set Tour of the Lair: Production Designer Franco G. Carbone guides tours through important sets used in the film, discussing their construction and significance.
    • Previews: Trailers for additional Sony titles.
    • UV Digital Copy & DVD Copy: Provides digital and physical versions of the film for versatile viewing options.

    Movie: 67

    The Call," directed by Brad Anderson, presents itself as a gripping thriller, encapsulating the high-stakes world of a 911 call center, aptly named "the hive." The narrative thrives on the emotional and physical ordeal of Jordan Turner (Halle Berry), a veteran 911 operator, as she embarks on a mission to rescue Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin), a teenager kidnapped and trapped in a car's trunk. With a backdrop that skillfully blends the urgency of real-time decision-making and the fraught emotional landscape of such dire circumstances, the film explores the intricacies of heroism in the digital age—where help is simultaneously immediate yet hindered by technological limitations.

    The film's strength lies in its ability to maintain a taut narrative that cleverly manipulates space—contrasting the claustrophobic confines of the trunk with the expansive yet equally restrictive environment of the call center. Halle Berry delivers a multifaceted performance, portraying Jordan's professional calmness and underlying panic with equal believability, while Abigail Breslin compellingly conveys the terror and desperation of her character's plight. Alongside Berry and Breslin's standout performances, Michael Eklund's portrayal of the kidnapper adds a chilling layer to the narrative, ensuring the tension remains palpable throughout.

    However, "The Call" is not without its flaws. The film's final act diverges sharply from its carefully constructed build-up, introducing elements that strain credulity and detract from its otherwise meticulously drawn thriller credentials. This deviation not only disrupts the film's pacing but also muddles its thematic focus, leaving audiences with a resolution that feels both unearned and contrived. Despite this, "The Call" remains a noteworthy entry in the thriller genre, primarily due to Anderson's adept direction, the compelling performances of its leads, and its engrossing portrayal of the unseen lives of 911 operators.

    Total: 72

    The Call" emerges as a competent thriller that doesn’t revolutionize the genre but stands its ground with a gripping narrative fueled by raw emotion and a classic good vs. evil setup. While it may tread along predictable lines, the movie flourishes under the weight of its tension-filled storyline and the sterling performances of its lead actors. The film's capacity to engage is undiminished from start to finish, benefiting from a slick production that showcases both the talent in front of and behind the camera. Notwithstanding its conventional trajectory, "The Call" deserves acknowledgment for delivering a riveting experience that makes it a commendable watch, if not a contender for major accolades.

    Sony's Blu-ray presentation of "The Call" does justice to the film’s cinematic quality with exceptional video and audio clarity, enriching the viewing experience. Alongside the main feature, the Blu-ray comes packed with a satisfying range of extras that offer insight into the making of the film. Despite the controversy over its concluding scenes, which some might argue detract from the overall impact, the movie's solid foundation—buoyed by outstanding performances from Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin—and high suspense levels maintain its allure. The technical prowess of the Blu-ray enhances these aspects, making it a worthwhile addition to any collection.

    In conclusion, "The Call" on Blu-ray stands out for both its engaging narrative driven by strong lead performances and its superior technical presentation. While it might not break new ground in the thriller genre, it secures its position as a well-executed film that is both entertaining and visually appealing. The Blu-ray edition, with its excellent audiovisual quality and comprehensive selection of extras, ensures that viewers receive a thoroughly enjoyable home entertainment experience. Despite any reservations regarding its finale, this release comes highly recommended for fans of the genre and collectors alike.